CU Boulder Welcomes Your Application for Graduate Education

As one of the premier research universities in the United States and the world, we value our international students' contribution to our dynamic, innovative, collaborative research environment. We believe you will find we have much to offer in return. 

Your application to conduct your graduate studies at CU Boulder will be considered after all application materials have been received. Please allow plenty of time to complete this process prior to the application deadlines. These deadlines are when all materials, including your letters of reference, should be received.  Please note all deadlines are 10:00pm MST (midnight EST). We recommend beginning the application process early and allowing plenty of time to complete the process.

Graduate Application

Minimum Admissions Requirements

The Graduate School at CU Boulder has established minimum standards for admission.

Qualified students may be recommended for admission to regular degree status by approved programs of the Graduate School provided they meet the following criteria. Individual graduate departments may have additional or more restrictive standards by which they evaluate graduate applicants. Be sure to visit the admissions pages of the programs that you are interested in for a full list of program specific application requirements.  

Applicants must:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, or have done work equivalent to that required for such a degree.
  • Show promise of ability to pursue advanced study and research, as judged by the student’s scholastic record.
  • Have adequate preparation to enter graduate study in the chosen field. Have at least a 2.75 (2.00=C) undergraduate grade point average.
  • Applicants to programs in the College of Engineering and Applied Science must have a 3.00 (3.00=B) undergraduate grade point average. Note: applicants who cannot meet this undergraduate standard may still secure regular admission if they have completed 9 semester hours of relevant graduate course work with at least a 3.25 grade point average.

Additional Requirements:

Required Application Materials

While you may complete your online application in multiple sessions, we recommend that you gather as much of these materials as possible prior to beginning your application.

Prepare your "Personal Statement" as a .doc or .pdf file, and upload it with your application. Questions may vary by department and are available within the application.

The application asks for such basic information as:

  • Your full legal name, as it appears on your birth certificate or passport
  • Home address and contact information
  • Visa Information
  • Post-secondary education
  • Applicable honors, awards, and affiliations
  • Resume
  • Other pertinent background information

For review and decision purposes you are required to upload an unofficial copy of your transcript(s) in the application. We require one copy of the scanned transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution that you attended. Include any 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.

If you are currently enrolled, send all available records at this time, including courses in progress. Final records are required upon completion of the course work or program. All records should be submitted in the native language, and credentials written in languages other than English must also be accompanied by a literal, certified English translation. Only after you are recommended for admission and you confirm your intent to enroll will you need to provide official transcripts.

Instructions for Uploading Unofficial Transcripts to Your Application

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for admission to many graduate departments and is considered valuable for all others. Please check department pages to determine specific test requirements. The GRE college code for CU Boulder is 4841. Direct any inquiries regarding these examinations to the department in which you intend to study. If you are applying to the Business PhD, you are required to present scores from the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). The GMAT college code for CU Boulder is 4841. The Ministry of Education, the American Cultural Center, or educational institutions in your home country are sources for this testing information as well.

Although some departments might be able to offer admission prior to receiving your English proficiency results, it is not possible to issue the necessary immigration documents until we have this proof of English proficiency. CU Boulder accepts only TOEFL and/or IELTS scores as proof of English proficiency. Completion of an English language program does not satisfy this requirement. For more information on the TOEFL, go to www.toefl.org. For more information on the IELTS, go to www.ielts.org.

For 2020 and 2021 admissions: We will be accepting the online version of TOEFL offered by ETS through Proctor U. We will accept English language proficiency demonstrated through Duolingo. A minimum score of 100 (on the 160 point scale) is required. To report your official DuoLingo scores, please click ‘Send Results’ from inside the application, and then choose, ‘University of Colorado Boulder – graduate.’

The CU Boulder college code for the TOEFL is 4841.

All IELTS test centers worldwide are able to send scores electronically to our institution. You must provide the following information to your IELTS test center when requesting your scores (IELTS does not use school codes):

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

Each program requires letters of recommendation but vary in the number. Review the prospective students page of the program to which you are applying to find the required number. You will be asked to supply the names of your recommenders as well as their email addresses within the application.

The application fee can be paid online via credit card when you submit your application.