Required Steps for All Incoming Students

Complete these steps as soon as you've confirmed your intent to enroll. 

Confirm Your Intent to Enroll

If you have not already let us know that you will be attending CU Boulder and paid the $200 enrollment deposit you may do so on your application status page. Students are not permitted to register if the university has not received the deposit. Confirmation deposits are only refunded to students upon graduation or official withdrawal from CU Boulder within established dates and procedures; the deposit is non-refundable if you decide to not enroll/register.

Submit Official Transcripts

If you receive an offer of admission and confirm your intent to enroll, you will be required to submit your official transcript(s) to Graduate Admissions. Official transcripts must match the unofficial ones that were submitted with your application. Electronic official transcripts are accepted as long as they are sent directly from the issuing institution. Electronic transcripts should be sent to with the exception of the Master's in Teacher Leadership students who should submit them to Copies of transcripts mailed in unsealed envelopes and sent directly by applicants are NOT official transcripts. Please do not have these sent until a final official transcript is available - including all graded coursework and degree with graduation date


Note: All academic documents received by the University of Colorado Boulder become the property of the university. The university scans all transcripts into an electronic application file and destroys the paper copy shortly after that. We are unable to return any original or official transcripts to the student.

International Applicants

If you receive an offer of admission and confirm your intent to enroll, you will be required to submit your official transcript(s) to Graduate Admissions. Official transcripts must match the unofficial ones that were submitted with your application. Electronic official transcripts are accepted as long as they are sent directly from the issuing institution. Electronic transcripts should be sent to Include any official transcripts, mark sheets, or grade reports, and any certificates, degrees, diplomas, or statements of graduation or completion from each college or university attended, regardless of the length of attendance, whether or not courses were completed, and whether or not you believe the record will affect your admission or transfer of credit.

For the following countries, only the official English language transcript is required: Bangladesh, British Commonwealth countries, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Jordan University of Science & Technology, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sudan, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey (for any university if the student’s major is taught in English), United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Here are country specific requirements for China, India, Spain, and all Latin American countries:

China - Every page of each document must bear an original stamp or seal of the institution. Students must submit transcripts and diplomas in both the native language and English and must submit separate diplomas showing every degree awarded.

India - Every page of each document must bear an original stamp or seal of the institution showing that it is attested by the registrar or appropriate school official. Students must submit individual mark sheets for each semester or year, and must submit separate diplomas showing every degree awarded.

Spain and all Latin American countries - Must submit transcripts and diplomas in both the native language and English and, as appropriate, must submit the official Titulo or Grado/Grau diploma for every degree awarded.

For all other countries, all records should be submitted in the native language with original stamps. All credentials written in languages other than English must be accompanied by a literal certified English translation. If you will have trouble replacing your transcripts or any of your academic documents, please contact the International Admissions Team at for possible alternatives to sending your original or expensive documents.

Transcripts from U.S. schools, must be official and must be sent to the Admissions Office directly from the U.S. school.

Send application materials 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 80303-1058 USA 303-492-6301

Domestic Applicants

Send application materials to:

Graduate Admissions
University of Colorado Boulder
3100 Marine Street - 553 UCB Bldg RL3 Suite A122
Boulder, CO 80303-1058

Activate Your IdentiKey

If you have not done so already, activate your IdentiKey. It is important that you set your IdentiKey password and remember it. It is your key to apply for housing, sign up for New Student & Family Programs and register for classes. A U.S. Social Security Number is required to activate an IdentiKey. If you do not have one, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) will email you a four-digit personal identification number (PIN) to use instead. If you do not receive your PIN within five business days of confirming your intent to enroll, contact OIT at to request your PIN. Your IdentiKey will also allow you to log in to the Buff Portal, which is your secure entry point for CU Boulder online services and information that you need as a student. It typically takes three to five business days for your IdentiKey activation to be completed before you can access the housing application. Activate today

Activate Your CU Boulder Email

Email is an official means for campus communication—campus departments and faculty will use it to relay important information to you. Moving forward, all emails will be sent to your account. You must activate your IdentiKey before you can create your email account.
Set up your email address 

Register for Classes

For details on registration, please visit the website for the Office of the Registrar. Students may need their advisor's approval in order to register for classes. The flag on your account will be removed by your advisor allowing you to register. Once you have secured your IdentiKey and password, and you have read the information on how to register, you can log in to the Buff Portal. On the registration checklist card, change the drop-down to the upcoming semester. Your enrollment start time (Mountain Time) will be listed at the top of the card. Once you have determined your registration date and time, you can begin searching for classes. After your enrollment dates end, registration remains open for current grad students until the date specified on the academic calendar. Once registration closes, you'll need to wait until the schedule adjustment (fall registration only) or the open enrollment period to change your schedule.

Fulfill the Health Insurance Requirement

All students are required to have health insurance while attending CU Boulder. Students may elect coverage through an individual health insurance plan, through a family member or employer or the CU Gold Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). Students must meet this requirement their first semester at CU Boulder and at the beginning of each academic year. Those taking six (6) or more undergraduate credit hours or one (1) or more graduate credit hours are required to complete the health insurance requirement process. For more information, please visit

Immunization Requirement

All new students must complete the immunization requirements by the deadline according to their first semester at CU Boulder. For more information visit

Spouse and Dependent Coverage

At this time, CU Boulder student health insurance does not cover spouses and dependents. Wardenburg Health Services refers all students looking for spouse and dependent insurance coverage to the Colorado Health Exchange. From there, you can browse plans and find resources for health insurance in Colorado.

Submit a Photo for Your Buff OneCard

Your Buff OneCard is your student ID card and your key to many different services and events, including dining, printing, banking. Plan ahead and submit an application and valid photo online, and when you arrive on campus you can quickly pick up your card and get moving, rather than waiting in line. Visit the Buff OneCard website for deadlines, applications and instructions.

Additional Pre-Arrival Steps for International Students

Important:  If you are an F-1 or J-1 student, please take note of your program start date.  All F-1/J-1 students MUST arrive no later than the program start date which is reflected on your I-20/DS-2019.  Note:  You may enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to this date.

Read the CU Boulder Graduate Student Bill of Rights & Responsibilities.

Know your rights and your responsibilities. Familiarize yourself with the CU Boulder Graduate Student Bill of Rights & Responsibilities

Log-on to Buff Portal to pay bill, check financial aid status, and view your schedule

The Buff Portal will provide you with your course schedule, classroom locations, financial aid status and your bill. While your tuition bill will be due around the time that courses start, please note that your first payment from a research or teaching appointment generally is not available until a month into the semester.

Find Housing

CU Boulder offers limited on-campus housing to graduate students and their families, as well as services to help you find off-campus housing in the area. The local rental market can be a challenge, so begin looking at housing options today.
Housing information  

Childcare Resources

The CU Boulder Children's Center offers childcare options for children of CU affiliates 2.5 - 5 years of age. In addition, graduate students who are also employees have access to Bright Horizons Care Advantage, which includes preferred enrollment at certain childcare centers and a free Sittercity membership. Childcare services in Boulder have long wait lists; it’s a good idea to arrange for childcare now.
Explore childcare options

Ask Your Department Important Questions

Essential Questions

  • Who is my advisor?
  • Can I switch advisors?
  • Are there sequential course requirements I need to be aware of in order to complete my degree on time?
  • What semesters are required courses offered?
  • Does my department offer teaching, research, or grading opportunities for students?
  • How can I become eligible for these positions?
  • Are there any upcoming department events or activities?
  • How do I find out about them?
  • When is my department's graduate student orientation?

Additional Questions

  • Does my department maintain an email list server for students?
  • Do I have an office or a department mailbox?
  • Where are they located?
  • Do I have department copy privileges?
  • Where is the nearest location to make copies?
  • Does the department offer independent study courses?
  • How do I set up an independent study course?
  • Where can I find the department graduate student handbook?
  • Who are the graduate students I could contact for advice on coursework, teaching, or the program requirements?
  • Are there any department clubs, internships, or professional societies?
  • Are there any exchange or summer programs that support my degree?
  • What academic centers/programs are going to be the most useful to me?
  • Does the department support travel expenses for conferences or research?
  • What are some common certificate programs for students in this department?
  • What opportunities does the department offer in the summer?
  • Am I allowed to switch disciplines?
  • Is there a foreign language requirement? If so, how do I satisfy it?
  • Who do I contact in the department about payroll?

Attend Community Equity Training

To educate our community and create a welcoming and safe campus environment, the University of Colorado Boulder requires all new students, staff and faculty to complete education on policies prohibiting Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination and Harassment. The Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) provides education about these policies. The online training can be accessed through OIEC’s website. Click on the “Mandatory Training for Graduate Students” tab.

Establish Colorado Residency for In-State Tuition

If you do not already qualify for in-state tuition, you can become eligible after one full year of living in Colorado. To qualify for in-state tuition you must complete a Petition for In-State Tuition Classification. The petition requires proof of residence in Colorado for the entire year, such as a signed lease, as well as documentation that you have registered to vote, obtained a Colorado driver’s license, registered your vehicle and filed Colorado state income taxes. For more information on the process, visit the Office of the Registrar. For general information on vehicle registration, obtaining a driver's licence, etc., visit Visit the Boulder DMV to obtain a Colorado license, register your vehicle and register to vote!

Boulder DMV Office
2850 Iris Ave., #F
Boulder, CO 80301 (Northeast end of 28th and Diagonal Plaza)

Attend the Center for Teaching & Learning Fall Intensive

The Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) supports the development of graduate students as teaching scholars.The CTL sponsors a range of programs that enable educators to make sustained inquiries into teaching and learning. These programs bring educators together from across campus in order to foster the exchange of ideas and practices. Visit the Center for Teaching & Learning website to learn more about CTL programming