Before you formally apply!

Before you begin the application process, it is very worthwhile to review the research of faculty associated with the ENVS program and to contact those doing work in areas that interest you. As with most research-based graduate programs, students in our MS and PhD programs are closely affiliated with advisors with whom they have matching interests. Most students who are admitted have clearly identified and communicated with possible mentors who then support admission of the students they are interested in mentoring. Therefore, we recommend that you: a) look for faculty who have interests similar to your own (each faculty page lists research interests and more detailed information on faculty research is available); b) contact these faculty, describing your own interests and experience, as well as other relevant information (e.g., educational experiences, GREs, GPA), and c) ascertain if any of these possible advisors are interested in accepting new students.


Read the ENVS-specific FAQ and the Online Admissions Application FAQ.

Fall Admission only. There are no exceptions to this rule.

The on-line application deadline for Fall 2018 applications is December 1 for both International Students and Domestic Students. 

MS Applicants, please note that the internship option is no longer available (beginning Fall 2016).  All MS (except dual degree MS/MBA and MS/JD) students will be required to complete a thesis.

MENV Applicants, please refer to the MENV web site.

Fall 2018 Deadlines:

  • International Students:  December 1, 2017
  • Domestic Students:  December 1, 2017
  • Recommendation Letters:  December 15, 2017


  1. On-line application: review How to Apply information from Graduate Admissions. There can be a 72-hour delay from the time you request to open an application to the time you are able to enter it. Please plan in advance. If you open an account the day the application is due, you will not make the deadline.
  2. GRE general test required. All applicants must take the GRE, even if they already have graduate degrees. The only exceptions are for dual MBA/MS and JD/MS applicants who may submit GMAT or LSAT scores.  Fall 2018 applications:  to ensure review, GRE scores must be submitted to CU-Boulder by Friday,  December 15, 2017.  If you take the test that day you will not make the deadline.
  3. Three (3) recommendation letters required -- submit online (preferred) or directly to Graduate Admissions. Fall 2018 applications:  to ensure review, recommendations must be received by Friday, December 15, 2017.
  4. An unofficial transcript from each institution attended (including work that appears as transfer credit on a later transcript) uploaded to your on-line application.  

    Instructions for Uploading Unofficial Transcripts to Your Application


Applicants are responsible for submitting all the required materials, including the application fee, by the due dates. Applications that are incomplete on the due date may not be reviewed.

Application decisions are made and applicants notified by early- to mid-March. Track your application.

Eligibility Guidelines

Environmental Studies Admissions Requirements

Requirements for admission to the MS and PhD programs in the Environmental Studies Program include an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 and completion of the general GRE test with recommended minimum scores in the 50th percentile or above for each section. International students whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL test.

The above scores are meant to be illustrative and are not to be understood as minimum qualifications since there can be considerable variation in scores. Letters of recommendation and student statements of interest are important considerations in the admission process.

Application Process

Please review the FAQs for more information before beginning your application. 

Graduate School Application Information

You are encouraged to use the online Graduate School application. Follow the link below for instructions about the online application form and online recommendation letter submittal site.  Please read all directions thoroughly.   Graduate School Prospective Student Application Process

Please indicate on Part I of the application form:
The Major Code: GR-ENVS
Degree: PhD or MS
Special Field: Your area of interest within ENVS.
University of Colorado at Boulder code: R4841


Deadlines for Fall 2018 Applications: December 1, 2017 for both International and domestic students.
All applications must be completed and all transcripts uploaded by December 1, 2017.

Letters of recommendation for all applicants must be submitted by December 15, 2017. There are no exceptions to this rule. Please be aware that the online application does not generate requests for recommendations until you submit the application and pay the fee. You should plan to submit your application with enough time for your recommenders to write and submit their letters. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

International applicants must follow the directions on the International Admissions web site. Applications received after the December 1 deadline are unlikely to be reviewed.

For the financial assistance application deadline, contact the Financial Aid Office

Information for admitted students

Research Assistantships

Students are encouraged to apply for graduate student research assistantships with faculty members at the University of Colorado. Individual faculty members, the Graduate Coordinator or other departments on campus can be contacted for additional information and potential openings. Candidates with a strong quantitative background and with computer expertise are particularly welcome. Good initiative and communication skills are essential.


Students also are encouraged to apply for external scholarships to help fund their research.

International students

We encourage applications from international prospective students. Be sure to note that the deadline is earlier and requirements are different from the standard domestic application. Please contact the International Admission Team for more information.


Read the FAQ first. It may be helpful to print this page and the FAQs. If you can't find an answer there, please Contact Us. Email is preferred over phone calls. If you would like to speak with someone in person, please make an appointment in advance. The ENVS office is very small, and planned activities have priority.