When you apply to the PhD or MS program, the Admissions Committee relies on your completed application form, GRE scores, undergraduate GPA and official transcripts, as well as your statement of purpose and recommendations from individuals who have had an opportunity to observe your ability and performance.

Your GRE scores and GPA are considered in the context of the entire application. The quality of your undergraduate institution will be considered.

Your undergraduate degree must be in engineering, sciences, or mathematics from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, and should have included:

  • 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.

Substantial consideration is accorded to special qualities such as your motivation, undergraduate program, diversity in economic, social, or cultural background, employment or other experience, leadership, and perseverance in overcoming personal handicaps or disadvantages. Graduate level work is also considered.

What Should Be In Your Application?

To be considered, the following items must be submitted.

  • Application
  • Application fee
  • Personal statement of academic and research interests
  • Unofficial Transcripts
    • Transcripts must be received from ALL post-secondary institutions attended (including community college courses, courses taken for college credit during high school, and study abroad coursework - even if this coursework shows as transfer credit on another transcript).
    • PhD preferred undergraduate GPA: 3.5
    • MS preferred undergraduate GPA: 3.2. Please note that the Graduate School requires applicants to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in order to be accepted on a nonprovisional basis.
  • Official GRE scores (general test). Professional MS applicants with three years of full-time professional work experience at the time of application may request to have the GRE requirement waived by emailing megrad@colorado.edu. We prefer to see the following minimum scores:
    • 153 or better Verbal
    • 159 or better Quantitative
    • 4.5 writing
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL scores (if applicable). Please use the main code 4841 for CU Boulder.
    • Minimum required scores -
      • MS Applicants:  79 IBT. (6.5 for IELTS)
      • PhD Applicants: 100 IBT (7.5 for IELTS)

Apply Now


PhD Applicants

The Department of Mechanical Engineering accepts PhD applications for the fall term only. To receive full consideration, please submit all of your application items by the following deadlines. Applicants who submit their applications by Monday, November 13th will receive priority consideration.

  • Early Deadline: Monday, November 13, 2017
  • International Priority Applicant Deadline: Monday, December 4, 2017
  • Domestic Priority Applicant Deadline: Monday, December 18, 2017

Master's Applicants

MS applicants are welcome to apply for either a spring or fall start. Deadlines for each term are listed below.

Spring 2018

  • International Applicant Deadline: September 15, 2017
  • Domestic Applicant Deadline: October 1, 2017

Fall 2018

  • International Applicant Deadline: January 10, 2018
  • Domestic Applicant Deadline: January 10, 2018

Late applications will not be accepted, and the application fee is non-refundable.

Application Fee

Domestic PhD Applicants

There is a $60 application fee for all domestic applicants. However, until December 18, the application fee will be waived for all U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents seeking a PhD and who have an overall GPA of 3.50/4.00 or greater from an accredited college or university. If you are applying to our department and you meet the requirements above, please email our Graduate Advisor (megrad@colorado.edu) a copy of your most recent unofficial transcript.  After a review of your transcript, you will receive instructions on how to waive the application fee.

The application fee will not be waived for applicants seeking a terminal master’s degree.

International PhD Applicants

There is an $80 application fee for all international applicants. However, until December 4, the department will consider waiving the application fee for international students seeking a PhD degree who have a cumulative GPA greater than or equal to 3.80/4.00, 90/100, 9.0/10, 90% or 18/20 for both bachelor's and master's (if applicable) degrees from an accredited college or university. The GPA requirement is not an average of bachelor's and master's degrees. If you meet the requirement, please email our Graduate Advisor (megrad@colorado.edu) a copy of your most recent unofficial transcript and a resume. After a review of your transcript and resume by the Graduate Admissions Committee, you will receive instructions on how to waive the application fee.