- "Domestic Applicants" are US Citizens and Permanent Residents.
- The application submission deadline is December 1. Unofficial transcripts are uploaded as part of your application.
- New for 2020 - GREs will NOT be required for applicants who submit their application by December 1, 2020, who intend to start their graduate program in Fall 2021.
- Reference letters and GRE scores must also be received by December 1. Please plan accordingly by ordering GRE scores or taking the GRE test early enough to meet this deadline. Notify those writing your reference letters in advance of the December 1 submission deadline for your application. Please be aware that as you are comleting your application, you can send a request to your letter writers to upload their letters as soon as you enter their name and information. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of this feature.
- Early applications are strongly advised.
- We do not have a regular Spring admission. You can begin the admissions process on August 1 of the year prior to the fall semester that you want to start your graduate program. Allow at least 3 months after the application deadline to receive notification about your application status.
- Applications are completed on-line.
- You must complete all parts of the application.
- You will be asked to designate up to 4 potential primary faculty advisors as part of your application. You will list them in your order of preference (i.e. the faculty member you would most like as your advisor should be listed first). You should contact them by email to discuss your research interests.
- Have 3 reference letters uploaded as part of your on-line application.
- Upload 1 unofficial copy of your transcript as part of the online application - see below for details.
- Have GRE scores sent to the University of Colorado-Boulder (GRE Institution Code: 4841)
- Pay application fee on-line.
- Let us know immediately if your email address changes; we use it to communicate with you.
Complete Your Application
Must Contain the Following:
(all of these application materials are part of the on-line application).
1) Application fee: $60, nonrefundable.
You will be able to pay the application fee online as part of the application process.
2) Application for Graduate Admission.
The criminal history question on the application MUST be answered. Failure to answer this question will STOP ALL PROCESSING of your application. If you answer yes or if you leave it blank, you must complete the additional steps you will find as part of the on-line application process.
Pay special attention to your Statement of Intent (or Statement of Purpose). It is important to write a careful one to three page statement on what your research interests are, why you have chosen this particular program, and what you hope to do afterwards.
You will be asked to designate up to 4 potential primary faculty advisors as part of your application. You should contact them by email to discuss your research interests. Your application will not be considered if you do not identify at least one faculty member. This is not your committee, but rather faculty with whom you would like to work, whom you will list in your order of preference (i.e. the faculty member you would most like as your advisor should be listed first). This is in the "Question" section of the on-line application.
Here is a list of subplans for the Department of Geography. Please indicate your desired area of specialty/subplan:
Biogeography, Cartography, Climatology, Cultural Geography, Development, Environment and Society, GIS, Geomorphology, Hydrology, Medical Geography, Political Ecology, Political Geography, Population-Migration, Remote Sensing, Urban Geography
Three (3) recommendations are required. Request professors and/or other professionals familiar with your research potential to upload their recommendation letter. Use the procedures that are part of the on-line application process. Please ask your recommenders to have their letter ready by December 1.
You may see instructions on other parts of the CU website (such as the Graduate School page) directing you to send in four (4) recommendations. These are general instructions that apply to all departments on campus since some departments do require four (4) recommendation letters. The Department of Geography only requires three (3) recommendation letters.
4) Upload One Unofficial Transcript
All applicants must upload one unofficial transcript for each school attended. A minimum of 2.75 GPA on a 4.0 system is required by the Graduate School for regular admission. The Department minimum GPA is 3.0.
Graduate School Instructions: For review and decision purposes you are required to upload an unofficial copy of your transcript(s) in the online application. We require one copy of the scanned transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution that you attended. This includes community colleges, summer sessions, and extension programs. While credits from one institution may appear on the transcript of a second institution, unofficial transcripts must be submitted from each institution, regardless of the length of attendance, and whether or not courses were completed. 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.
Official transcripts are only required after recommendation for admission.
5) Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
New for 2020 - GREs will NOT be required for applicants who submit their application by December 1, 2020, who intend to start their graduate program in Fall 2021.
US citizens and permanent residents (and foreign students studying in North American universities at the time of application) are required to submit GRE scores for the Analytical, Verbal, and Quantitative sections of the test. If you have not done so, arrange to take the GREs as soon as possible. When applying to take the GREs, request that scores be sent to the University of Colorado at Boulder. Scores are received by us electronically several weeks after the test. Please plan accordingly so that the scores have been sent here by the December 15 deadline to receive all materials. It is important that GREs be taken early enough for scores to reach the Department prior to the December 15 deadline for receipt of all materials. If you have taken the GRE exam within the last 5 years, you may request that ETS send your scores to the University of Colorado-Boulder. If you have already requested your scores to be sent here within the last 5 years, you do not need to do that again. We should have then in our system.
GRE Institution Code: 4841
No application will be considered complete without all of the above-listed materials. December 1 is your deadline to submit your application and the deadline for receipt of all application materials for Fall admissions.
For standard international mail or mail within the US, including USPS Priority and Express:
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0553 USA
For overnight or express mail (DHL, FEDEX, UPS) send to:
University of Colorado Boulder
3100 Marine St Bldg - 553 UCB
Building RL Suite A122
Boulder CO 80303-1058 USA
Inform us if your address changes
We use email whenever possible to communicate with applicants, so it is vital for the Geography department to have your current email address. It is also important that we have your most current mailing address too. It is the applicant’s responsibility to update your on-line application with any address and also email the department with address changes. Please keep us informed of changes so we can reach you if needed.