How to Apply

Application Deadlines

Applicants for admission to our graduate programs must complete the following steps by the indicated deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

We do not offer summer admissions for graduate programs. 

PhD Program Deadlines

  • Fall admission: Dec. 15 of the preceding year
  • Spring admission: Sept. 1
    • Please be advised that we admit very few students for the spring semester and focus more on fall admissions

MS, MSEE and ME Program Deadlines

  • Fall admission: Feb. 15 
  • Spring admission: Sept. 1 

General Application Steps

  1. Complete the Online Application, which includes submitting your resumé/CV.  

    • Please double-check that you are applying to the correct program. We cannot switch you between programs after you apply. If you wish to move from a traditional MS to a PMP program or vice-versa, you must complete one semester in the program of entry with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and have advisor permission from both programs to switch.
  2. Pay the $60 application fee ($80 for international applicants).

    • Fee Waiver Information
      The College of Engineering and Applied Science will waive the application fee for qualifying domestic PhD applicants who apply by Nov. 15, 2021. Learn more about the waiver on the college website

      The Graduate School offers application fee waivers for participants in the following programs: 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) and Teach for America. 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.

      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.

      For all other applicants, we cannot process your application without the application fee. To receive a waiver, you must directly contact the faculty member you would like to work with and ask if they would be able to pay your application fee.

  3. Submit your English proficiency test scores, if you are an international student. Refer to the CU Boulder English Proficiency Requirements for details.

    • Unofficial TOEFL or IELTS results will be accepted as part of the application package. If you are accepted and decide to enroll, you will be required to submit a valid TOEFL or IELTS score. We also accept Duolingo. If you are accepted and decide to enroll, you will be required to submit a valid test score. Please have TOEFL test results sent to the University of Colorado Boulder (institution code 4841) or IELTS test results sent to:

      University of Colorado Boulder - Masters & PhD
      3100 Marine Street, Suite A122
      UCB 65
      Boulder, CO 80303

      Scores must be submitted no later than July 1 of your first academic year. Please note that proof of English proficiency is a federal regulation in order to obtain an F-1 student visa.

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

    • Letters from former instructors are preferred. Letters from work supervisors and/or work colleagues who have their own higher education degrees are also acceptable.
  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 degree or 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. If you are admitted, you must submit official transcripts following the graduate school’s Admitted Students instructions.

    • You must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0). However, admission to the graduate programs is competitive, and a GPA at this level will not ensure admission. Competitive applications to PhD and traditional MS degree typically have a 3.5 or higher GPA.
    • International applicants: The “Foreign Transcript Evaluation” item on the checklist prompts us to do an evaluation of your non-U.S. academic work, after your transcripts have been received. It is entirely an internal item; you do not need to do anything to complete it. You do not need to ask a third-party credential evaluator to review your transcripts.
  6. Upload your Statement of Purpose in the Online Application. The one- to two-page statement should include why you want to pursue graduate work in electrical or computer engineering and what you would like to do after you have received your degree.

GRE scores are not required for spring or fall 2022 admissions. Any submitted scores will be removed from view to maintain fairness in the application review process.


After You Apply

Twenty-four hours after you receive the email confirming that your application was successfully submitted, you will be able to check your application status using the same login credentials as the application. Learn how to access your checklist at the Graduate Admissions website. If you have any problems checking your status or questions about your application, please contact ecegrad@colorado.edu.

Our faculty do not review any applications until the application deadline for that semester has passed. Decisions are not first-submitted, first-decided. Rather, decisions are made after careful consideration of all applicants, side by side, over a period of time. Decisions are not necessarily issued in the order an application was received.

PhD Application Decision Dates

  • Spring: You will be notified of your application decision by mid-November
  • Fall: You will be notified of your application decision by April 15

Master's Application Decision Dates 

  • Spring: You will be notified of your application decision by mid-November
  • Fall: You will be notified of your application decision by April 30