Yes. A student may enroll directly in the PhD program. However, the student should obtain an MS degree on the way to the PhD degree, even if he or she has a master's degree from elsewhere. 

It normally takes 1.5-2 years to obtain an M.S. degree with a thesis. A Ph.D. degree typically requires 2.5-3.5 years beyond the M.S. degree.

The Balsells Fellowship Program at the University of Colorado is restricted to students who enroll for a graduate degree in one of the following disciplines sponsored by the College of Engineering and Applied Science:  Aerospace Engineering, Architectural Engineering, ATLAS (Technology, Media, and Society), Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or Telecommunications. However, these students may have undergraduate degrees from engineering or related disciplines, such as biotechnology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics.

No. A combination of fellowship and assistantship support is provided for two years from the Balsells Foundation, the Generalitat de Catalunya, and the University of Colorado. Students will need to renew in March of their first year to receive the second year of support. After the first two years, continuing support for Ph.D. students is available in the form of research and teaching assistantships from a Balsells student’s advisor and/or department.

A research assistantship involves working with a faculty member on a sponsored research project, usually the same as the student’s M.S. or Ph.D. project. A teaching assistantship involves helping a faculty member with a course, such as grading papers, holding office hours or help sessions, and sometimes giving lectures. Both types of assistantships pay for tuition and a monthly stipend.

Please review the Academic Calendar for CU Boulder. New students should plan to be on campus at least one week early for orientation. Arriving two weeks early is recommended, to settle into Boulder and to apply for a Social Security card, thereby ensuring on-time receipt of financial support.

No, you are encouraged to apply during your final year of undergraduate studies. However, you will need to complete your 4-year or 5-year undergraduate degree before enrolling at the University of Colorado. A 3-year technical degree is not sufficient to qualify for the program.

Students seeking admission to a CU-Boulder master’s or doctoral program apply online directly to the appropriate department(s) rather than to the Graduate School, according to the department requirements. If an applicant wishes to apply to more than one graduate program, a separate application is submitted to each department. See the International Applicants page under Graduate Admissions to start the application or to learn more.

If you are admitted to CU Boulder for graduate studies, the next step is to apply for the fellowship when the call is announced by the Generalitat de Catalunya in March or April. Robert Davis will send you the information on how to apply once the information is released.

Yes. The general test of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required.  All international applicants are also required to meet a minimum standard of English proficiency. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score is required to demonstrate this proficiency. However, this requirement may be waived if you either do your mobility experience at the University of Colorado Boulder, complete a Skype interview with our staff (email Britta Bergstrom if your are interested in this option) or if you have had at least one year of full-time study in a country where English is the native language. These tests are offered in Barcelona. Further information is available at the Educational Testing Service site (for the GRE and TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System site (for the IELTS). Our institution code will be needed: 4841.

No, you may submit your application first and then have your test results sent afterwards. However, it is strongly recommended that you take the exams in November or early December, as it takes a few weeks for the results to be released and applications are typically reviewed by the admissions committees starting in the middle of January. Many departments will not review applications until all admissions materials, including recommendations and GRE and TOEFL or IELTS scores, are received. It is in your best interest to complete your application as soon as possible, so that it can be evaluated by the department.

After you apply, admissions officers at the University of Colorado will evaluate your entire application, including your grades and test scores, taking into account the grading scales at your home institution. To-date, most Balsells Graduate Fellows at the University of Colorado Boulder have had average undergraduate grades of 7.0-8.0 (scale with maximum of 10), TOEFL scores of 85-105 for the internet-based test (scale with maximum of 120) or 600-630 for the paper-based test (scale with maximum of 677) and quantitative GRE scores of 152-170 (new scale with 170 maximum) or 690-800 (old scale with 800 maximum).

No, we are able to waive this fee at the University of Colorado Boulder. After submitting the application materials, students who are applying for the Balsells Fellowship Program should send an email to stating that they have applied for the Balsells Fellowship Program and are requesting a waiver of the fee. You do not need to submit payment in order to submit your application.

Yes. The Balsells Foundation has provided mobility support for several students each year to do their final-year undergraduate or master’s projects with faculty members in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder, and additional students may be accommodated if they have their own financial support for transportation and living expenses. Contact Andrew Wingfield at if you are interested in this possibility. The program is for students who subsequently intend to apply for the Balsells Graduate Fellowship Program.

There are currently at least five Balsells Graduate Fellowships for new students each year at the University of Colorado Boulder.

  • July-December: Students apply to CU graduate school
  • October-November: Students take GRE & TOEFL/IELTS exams
  • December: Students complete application to CU-Boulder (deadline varies by department)
  • Mid-January: Department graduate committees start reviewing applications
  • February/March: Admissions decisions made by university
  • March: Admitted students apply for fellowship (to the Generalitat)
  • April/May: Balsells fellowship decisions are announced
  • Late August: Fall semester starts (or January: spring semester starts)