Application Deadline

Applicants for Fall 2025 admission to the Master’s and PhD programs in Computer Science must complete the following steps no later than by 11:59:00 p.m. EST (9:59:00 p.m. MST) of Dec. 15th, 2024. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The department does not offer spring admissions.

General Application Steps

Please see the FAQs page for common questions about these steps.

GRE scores are not required for admission to our graduate programs. Submitting these scores does not have any added benefit as these scores are not part of the review process. 

1. Complete the Online Application. 

2. Pay the $60 application fee ($80 for international applicants).  

3. Submit your IETLS/TOEFL or Duoloingo scores, if you are an international student. CU Boulder English Proficiency Requirements (English proficiency test is NOT required if you are from Australia, Belize, Botswana, Canada (except Quebec), Commonwealth Caribbean, Ghana, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Nigeria,Singapore, South Africa,United Kingdom, Zimbabwe). To hold Teaching Assitant position in the department students need at least 25 score in spoken section of the TOEFL exam OR 7.5 score in spoken section of IELTS or its equivalent score in other language tests. 

4. Submit three letters of recommendation. Requests will be sent to your recommenders when you enter them in the Online Application.​ Please DO NOT request more than THREE letters.

We have the following suggestions for letters of recommendation:

  • A good letter-writer is someone who has worked with you closely or evaluated your work. They should be able to comment on your potential to pursue research in your chosen area(s) of interest.
  • Please ask your letter writers at least one to two months in advance, not at the last minute.
  • If they agree, provide them with a resume and brief description of your goals, e.g. area(s) of interest.
  • Clearly communicate the due dates for your letters and how to submit them.
  • If you are asking someone to write you letters for more than one application, remember that they are very busy and keeping track of multiple deadlines is difficult. You can offer to help by asking if they would like you to send reminder emails or if they'd like to use a spreadsheet. Feel free to copy and use this spreadsheet to track applications and letters.

Not all letter writers are familiar with the U.S. Computer Science Ph.D. process, so we have prepared the following paragraph of guidance for you to share with your letter writers if you choose: 

"Thank you for writing a letter of recommendation. We respectfully suggest that the letter will be most helpful if it can include the following information.

1. How you know the applicant and for what length of time.

2. Evaluation of the applicant's potential to contribute to a Ph.D. program in Computer Science or a related discipline, in terms of research aptitude and personal qualities.

3. Comparison to their peers, whether quantitative (e.g. class rank) or qualitative. Comparison to previous students with success in Ph.D. research is especially appreciated.

4. Any additional information, e.g. details of research projects and the applicants' role, or so on."

5. Upload unofficial copies of your transcripts from every undergraduate and graduate institution that you attended, regardless of length of attendance and whether you completed the courses. Failure to list and submit transcripts from all institutions previously attended is considered to be a violation of academic ethics and may result in the cancellation of your admission or dismissal from the university.

6. Upload your Statement of Purpose in the Online Application. Statement should include why you want to pursue graduate work in Computer Science and what you would like to do after you have received your degree. Treat this as your personal and research statement. There are no word or page limits or any format for this SOP. However, keeping it concise to a page or two will be appreciated. 

Our faculty have compiled the following suggestions for the Statement of Purpose. A good Statement of Purpose generally includes these components:

  • What research area(s) you are interested in and, specifically, which professors at CU Boulder would be a good potential fit. Consult the faculty's research to find specific overlaps of your interests with ours.
  • Relevant past experience, particularly in the above research area(s). Be specific about your role and what you found exciting. Consider including some technical details.
    • In addition to or instead of research projects, this could include challenging courses, industry experience, etc. How did the experience prepare or motivate you to do research?
    • We recognize that not all students were able to access such opportunities. We welcome other work or personal experiences that, even if not directly relevant, demonstrate your experience in overcoming challenges or working with others.
  • You may choose to include your motivation and goals for pursuing a PhD. Why do you want to study these area(s) and what do you hope to do with your PhD? However, this section may be kept brief if included.

Some additional suggested material that may be included at your discretion:

  • You may choose to include any unique background or experience that would help you bring an unusual perspective to CU.
  • You may also choose to explain any unusual circumstances and how they have affected you, such as gaps in your resume or challenges you have faced.
  • Apart from the above, an overly-lengthy personal background is generally not helpful.

Finally, some suggestions for style and format of the Statement of Purpose:

  • Consider using small section headers to signpost the important parts of your statement, such as area(s) of interest and research experience.
  • Ability to communicate clearly through writing is important. However, otherwise, we suggest focusing more on the content than the exact wording and style of the statement.
  • Between one and two pages is generally sufficient to communicate the above points. Remember that faculty will be looking through many applications, so help them find the information they need in your application easily.

The CU Boulder Computer Science department would love to help folks with their applications.  Our goal is to provide insight on the application process to potential applicants, including those who are underrepresented in computer science computer science or who are the first in their family to apply to graduate school. Your mentor will provide feedback on materials such as the CV or Personal Statement and is available to answer general questions. Our focus will be to match you with a current member of the department who can give you feedback on your personal statement, CV, or general application materials.  We can also help you find a potential faculty mentor match, as that is an important part of a PhD.

For domestic students with a 3.4 undergrad GPA and above, the application fee is waived until November 15.  In order for us to help you get feedback before this deadline, please fill this form out by Nov 1st.
We cannot guarantee that you will be matched with a current CU affiliate, but we will contact you if we do not have the bandwidth.  Please note this is a volunteer program; our mentors do not have any influence the outcome of your application.

Please complete this Prospect/Affiliate Match Program form before November 1.

You must submit your original/official transcripts once you have been accepted to the program. Once you’ve been accepted, your transcripts, supporting credentials and correspondence in reference to your application should be sent directly to:

Graduate Admissions
University of Colorado Boulder
3100 Marine Street, Suite A122
65 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0553

For overnight or express mail send to:

Graduate Admissions
University of Colorado Boulder
3100 Marine Street Building RL3
Suite A122
Boulder, CO 80309-1058

You must submit your original/official transcripts once you have been accepted to the program. Once you’ve been accepted, your transcripts, supporting credentials and correspondence in reference to your application should be sent directly to:

For standard international mail or mail within the US, including USPS Priority and Express:

Office of Admissions/International
University of Colorado Boulder 
3100 Marine St Suite A122 
65 UCB 
Boulder, CO 80309-0065 USA

Overnight/Express Mailing Address (DHL, UPS, FedEx)          

Office of Admissions/International                
University of Colorado Boulder                      
3100 Marine Street - 65 UCB
Bldg RL3 Suite A122
Boulder, CO 80309-1058 USA

Questions should be directed to CS Graduate Admissions.