I am a first name user; my family name does not appear on my passport. OR I am a family name user; no ‘first’ name appears on my passport. How should I indicate this on the application?

In both cases, you should enter a period “.” for your first/given name, and the entirety of your name into the “family/last” name field. We follow the SEVIS Name Standards in doing so. If you registered for a test (SAT, ACT, TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, etc.) under a different variation of your name, please provide us with your registration information by email to intlgrad@colorado.edu.” 

Does CU Boulder accept graduate international applications and materials from third-party organizations or individuals?

CU Boulder does not accept applications or materials from third party organizations or individuals. Academic documents must be submitted via approved official sources. There are a few exceptions to this, which include (but may not be limited to) IIE, Fulbright, and certain branches of overseas governments. 

Do you offer conditional admission?

At this point we do not offer conditional admission. Some departments do not require you to provide TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo results as part of the application process, but if you are offered admission, you will be required to provide sufficient and official English proficiency scores before we can finalize your admission. If you are admitted, but have not yet met the English proficiency requirement, you may continue to take the tests and submit results as you attempt to get the necessary score. If you are not able to obtain a sufficient score, you can inquire about an admission deferral from your department. You may also consider applying to our International English Center.

Please note that we do not accept completion of an English language program as “proof of English proficiency.” Only scores from a TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo test will satisfy this requirement. 

What is a transcript?

A transcript is a year-by-year academic record which should include ALL post-secondary academic work completed to date, including courses appearing as transfer credit on other transcripts, credits earned in study abroad programs, and courses taken for college credit while in high school.

What is the difference between an official and an unofficial transcript?

  • Official transcripts are those that bear the facsimile signature of the registrar and seal of the issuing institution. They are sent to the University of Colorado Boulder directly from the issuing institution either as electronic documents by email or as hard copy documents delivered by post. Submission of official transcripts is only required if you are admitted.
  • Unofficial transcripts include the same information as official transcripts, but are lacking the signature and seal of the institution. An unofficial transcript may be a transcript that was opened by the student; a copy or a scan of an official transcript; a downloaded copy or one that was not issued directly from the school; or a translation of the transcript by a student or a translation service. 

Do I need to provide an unofficial transcript from every post-secondary institution I have attended?

We require one copy of the scanned unofficial transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution you attended to be uploaded in the application for admission. This includes community colleges, summer sessions, and extension programs. While credits from one institution may appear on the transcript of a second institution, 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.

Do I need a translation of my transcript?

If documents are written in a language other than English, complete and official English translations must be uploaded together WITH the original language records. Each transcript (mark sheet) should contain a complete record of studies at the institution from which it is issued (i.e., the subjects taken and grades/marks earned in each subject), as well as any legend. We will not accept grade reports.

For the following countries and regions, only the English language transcript is required:

Australia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Botswana, Canada, Commonwealth Caribbean, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, (The) Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Macau, Malaysia, Malta, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

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.

Should I provide a transcript evaluation?

We have trained and experienced professional staff in our office who evaluate your records, including converting your GPA. Additionaly, we do not accept third party credential evaluations from companies like WES or ECE.


What kind of transfer credits will you accept from my non US school?

Please see the Transfer Credit information on the Graduate School FAQ page.

Who is an international student?

We distinguish international from domestic students based on their immigration status—that is, whether they will be attending CU on a valid visa. Anyone who plans to study at CU while on a valid visa of any sort is considered an international student. 

I have applied for permanent residency, but have not yet gotten it. Am I a domestic or international student?

If you (or your family) have a receipt for the submission of your I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence) form, you should indicate “permanent resident” on the application, even if your permanent residency has yet to be granted. You would be considered a domestic applicant. If your application for permanent residency is later denied please let us know immediately at intlgrad@colorado.edu

You are a Graduate School Applicant if you have completed or will complete the equivalent of a four-year U.S. bachelor's or master's degree and you wish to pursue further education (a master's or doctoral degree).

You are a Transfer Undergraduate Applicant if you have enrolled at another college or university since graduation from secondary school, but have not completed a bachelor's degree. Preparatory years do not count as university-level work.

Admissions Criteria for Undergraduate Transfers

To be eligible to apply to the University of Colorado Boulder, graduate applicants must meet the Minimum Admission Requirements. This includes holding a baccalaureate level degree from an institution that is recognized by the Ministry of Education of the country where the institution is located. Three-year degrees meeting such criteria can be considered. It is acceptable to apply if such a degree is currently in progress, but will be awarded before attendance at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Up-to-date tuition information and rates are available on the Bursar's Office website.

How do I get an I-20?

In order for our office to generate an I-20 for you, you need to complete the online application, submit all required materials, be reviewed for and offered admission by the department to which you are applying, and meet all immigration regulations (which include proof of English proficiency and proof of funding). 

When do I need to provide my financial statement?

You do not need to provide the financial statement until you have been admitted to the University of Colorado Boulder.

If I live off campus, do I still need to demonstrate living expenses funding?

Yes. While the estimate for living expenses is based on rates for living in campus housing, you should expect to pay at least a similar amount (if not more) if you’ll be living off campus.

My source of funding has changed, should I get a new I-20 to reflect this?

Yes, you should get a new I-20 to reflect the funding change. Please let us know this information immediately so we update it in the SEVIS system. Whenever any information that appears on your I-20 changes, please let us know immediately at intlgrad@colorado.edu

The major that appears on my I-20 is not the exact name of the major/department to which I was admitted. Is this an error?

The major on your I-20 is known as the CIP Code.  Not all majors at CU have the exact name of the CIP Code used on the I-20.  This is not an issue.

I received the I-20 but there’s an error on it. What should I do?

Please communicate any issues with your I-20 to intlgrad@colorado.edu.


Please refer to the Tuition & Money Matters page for more information.

Employment Eligibility

International students may verify their employment eligibility and restrictions through International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).

Teaching & Research Assistantships

The main form of funding through CU-Boulder for international graduate students is from the department to which you are applying.  Many departments provide graduate students with teaching or research assistantships. These appointments provide a salary and tuition waiver, as well as a partial insurance benefit.  To find out more about assistantships opportunities, you must contact the department to which you are applying. You may also find more information about funding on the department’s website. 


Some departments offer support in the form of graduate fellowships. Check with the department to which you are applying to see what opportunities may exist.

Training Grants

Departments may provide students with funding through training grants, providing graduate students the opportunity to work closely and collaboratively with mentors and other graduate students on specific, long-term research projects. Primarily science, engineering, and social science departments offer this type of grant. Students should consult directly with their home department to find out what opportunities are available in this area.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is defined in part as U.S. government assistance for U.S. citizens and permanent residents. If you are neither of those you will not qualify for it. You should check with your own government as to whether they offer financial aid, scholarships or grants to students studying abroad, but you would need to secure that support independently. 


Educational loans from U.S. banks are generally not extendable to non-citizens and non-permanent residents, because they are considered part of financial aid, as they are backed by the U.S. government. These types of educational loans may be available in your country, but you would need to seek out that support independently.

Student Employment

International students can sometimes secure small jobs around campus, but it’s important to note that these types of positions would never be enough to pay for tuition and room and board.  CU-Boulder's Student Employment Office posts an average of 600 part-time, on-campus and off-campus jobs for students on myCUinfo. Many domestic U.S. graduate students who qualify for federal financial aid also qualify for federal work-study awards. Call the Student Employment Office to find out at 303-492-7349 or stop by Regent 205.

Additional Funding

Additional funding may be sought from national, international, industrial, or foundation sources. A partial list of such sources is available on the Graduate School website. Other avenues to learn about these opportunities include career counseling offices and directories of funding sources such as the Annual Register of Grant Support and the Grants Register in university libraries.

Online Resources

eduPASS (external website) 


As a foreign national, you will need to obtain a temporary visa from the United States in order to be allowed entry to the country. The two most common types of visas for students attending the University of Colorado Boulder are the F-1 student visa and the J-1 exchange visitor visa.

The F-1 student visa is used by most students. If you are admitted, and after we receive proof of funding for your studies and proof of your English proficiency, the CU Boulder Office of Admissions will send you a Form I-20, which is the application for the F-1 student visa. Information from the I-20 will allow you to pay the government visa fee (online) and thus to make a visa appointment at the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. You will also be required to pay a visa fee. In addition to your application materials, passport, and admission offer, you’ll need to bring this I-20 to your visa appointment. Both the F-1 student visa (stamped into your passport if approved) and the I-20 Form are necessary to enter the US. If you are an F-1 student already studying in the United States, you must complete the F-1 immigration transfer form and arrange to have your current F-1 immigration record transferred to us before your “transfer pending” I-20 can be issued. A link to this form is included in your formal admission email.

This pertains only to F-1 students currently attending a US school or college in the United States. The immigration transfer process is an electronic F-1 record transfer from your current school to the University of Colorado Boulder. If any of these steps or items are missing, we cannot begin the immigration transfer process or issue a CU Boulder transfer-pending I-20. You must be eligible for an academic I-20 from CU Boulder. This means that you have applied, been admitted to, and have confirmed your intent to enroll. You must complete the first page of the CU Boulder F-1 immigration form and give, fax, or email it to the Designated School Official (DSO) at your current school (other than CU Boulder). You and the DSO at your current school must agree on a SEVIS release date. This is the date that the DSO at your current school will transfer your electronic record to CU Boulder. The date may not be until classes are over for the semester, or even after graduation (if you are finishing a degree at your current school).

The DSO at your current school must complete the rest of the form and fax or email it to us. Information on how to complete this form is on the form itself. On the SEVIS release date, your record will appear in our Transfer In list in the SEVIS database. We can issue the transfer-pending I-20 only on or after this date, but not before the date. If your record does not appear on or after the SEVIS release date, check with the DSO at your current school to make sure that your record was released to the University of Colorado – Boulder. Sometimes it is mistakenly transferred to the International English Center at CU Boulder. On the SEVIS release date, and if your record appears in our Transfer In list, we will issue a transfer-pending I-20. If your current F-1 visa is not expiring, you can travel in and out of the US with that visa and your transfer pending I-20 from CU Boulder. If your current F-1 visa is expiring, you can use the CU Boulder transfer pending I-20 to apply for a new visa without having to repay the SEVIS fee (other visa fees may still apply). If you are not leaving the US before starting your CU Boulder program this semester, it may be easiest for us to hold on to your I-20 until you arrive in Boulder. You can pick up your transfer pending I-20 from our front desk in Regent Hall room 125. When you arrive on the CU Boulder campus you must check in with International Student and Scholar Services. To do so, go to their website and sign up online for an appointment.

The J-1 exchange visitor (student category) visa is designed for certain non-privately sponsored students, such as those whose funding comes from their government. If you are admitted, CU Boulder's International Student and Scholars Services (ISSS) office or your sponsoring organization will send you the DS-2019 form necessary to obtain this visa. Information from the DS-2019 will allow you to pay the SEVIS fee (online) and thus to make a visa appointment at the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. You will also be required to a pay a visa fee. In addition to your application materials, passport and admission offer, you’ll need to bring this DS-2019 to your visa appointment. Both the J-1 student visa (stamped into your passport if approved) and the DS-2019 Form are necessary to enter the US.

Students here on other visa types (or who have come as dependents on another person’s visa) are generally permitted to study full time at the university. This includes H-4s, L-2s, and E-2s, among others. If you have one of these visas already, please indicate such on your admission application. U.S. Immigration law prohibits any full-time study for students who enter the U. S. on the visa waiver program or on B1/B2 tourist visas or F-2 visas. If you’re here already and unsure of your visa type or immigration status, please indicate “Other” as your US citizenship on the CU-Boulder admission application.

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 not enter the U.S. more than 30 days prior to this date.

Pre-Arrival Information for International Students can be found on the ISSS website including information about:

Immigration Documents
Applying For your Student Visa
Entering the United States
Completing Immigration Check-In

Due to current restrictions imposed by U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control,  webcourse delivery cannot be provided to the following countries: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, the Region of Crimea. Students who are resident, or may be a resident in any of these countries during their CU study may require prior U.S. Government approval. Students resident in a sanctioned country should not enroll or begin an academic program at CU. CU can seek prior U.S. Government approval on a case by case basis. If you are interested in seeking prior approval, contact the Office of Export Controls at exportcontrolhelp@Colorado.edu