Application Deadline

Applicants for fall admission to the master’s and PhD programs in Computer Science must complete the following steps no later than 10 PM, MST of Dec. 15 of the preceding year. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The department does not offer spring admissions.

Application Fee Waivers

The College of Engineering is offering the following application fee waivers: 

  • U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident
  • Applicant must be applying for a PhD program in the College of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Applicant must be applying to enroll in fall 2022
  • Applicant must have at least a 3.4 GPA from their accredited undergraduate institution
  • Applicant must meet all department requirements for their PhD programs
  • Waivers only last until 11:59 PM on November 15th

The Graduate School offers application fee waivers for participants in the following programs:

If you are affiliated with one of these programs, please send us proof of your affiliation to gradadm@colorado.edu after you have started an application and before you submit, and we will process your fee waiver for you. 

  • AmeriCorps (currently serving),
  • Black in AI (BAI),
  • Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative,
  • Gates Millennium Scholars,
  • Leadership Alliance, 
  • Louis-Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), 
  • McNair Scholars Program,
  • Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program, 
  • Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Scholar Program,
  • Peace Corps (currently serving),
  • Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP),
  • SMART,
  • Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)
  • Teach for America. 

    If you are in the U.S. military you will receive an automatic fee waiver as a thank you for your service (active duty, veteran, previously served, and active reserve are all eligible for this automatic fee waiver).

    If you are undocumented and/or a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiary, please contact gradadm@colorado.edu to inquire about possible fee waivers.

    General Application Steps

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

    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)

    4. Submit three letters of recommendation. Requests will be sent to your recommenders when you enter them in the Online Application.​ 

    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.

    Note - GRE scores are not required for admissions to our graduate programs.

    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
    303-492-6301

    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.