Past Education

To be eligible for the MS degree program(s), students must hold an undergraduate degree in engineering, sciences or mathematics from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. A complete list of accredited institutions and agencies is available from the Database of Accredited Post-Secondary Institutions and Programs.

Given the technical and quantitative nature of our graduate courses, any such degree should have included—or exceeded—the following course recommendations:

  • Undergraduate courses in calculus, linear algebra and differential equations
  • Two semesters of undergraduate calculus-based physics
  • At least two semesters of upper-division undergraduate courses in engineering or physics

If a student has completed prior graduate coursework or a graduate degree that addresses some or all of the above course recommendations, they are fully eligible to apply, even if the undergraduate degree does not satisfy the recommendations. Applicants are also encouraged to supplement non-STEM undergraduate degrees with non-degree seeking engineering coursework to meet some or all of the above recommended coursework. If an interested student has an undergraduate degree that does not cover these recommended courses, the graduate advising team can be consulted at prior to applying. 


Although GPA alone doesn't paint a complete picture of a graduate student’s prior performance and future potential, our most competitive applicants have an undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or above. The Graduate School at CU Boulder has established minimum standards for admission and for 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.

If applicants have below the required 3.0 undergraduate grade point average, we still encourage students to apply (assuming all other admission eligibility have been met). We also encourage applicants to view the "Creating a Strong MS Application" recorded event addressing how to supplement your application despite a lower-than-recommended GPA. 

English Language Test Scores

International applicants are also required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Duoling English Test (DET). Preferred scores for each of these tests are the following:

  • TOEFL: The minimum required score is 80, but a score of 90 or above is preferred.
  • IELTS: The minimum required score is 6.5, but a score of 7.5 or above is preferred.
  • Duolingo Englist Test (DET): The minimum required score is 120.

Note: The TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo requirement is waived for international applicants for whom their native language is English, or who have completed at least one year of full-time study at a U.S. Institution (or at an institution in a country where English is the native language), within two years from the desired admission term. Additionally, applicants from countries listed on the Graduate School's English Proficiency Requirements webpage are not required to take an English language exam.

GRE Not Required

We have discontinued the GRE requirement for applicants seeking admission to our graduate program.