Fall Deadline: December 15
Spring Deadline: September 15 (MS only, PhD applications not considered for spring)

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General Admission Information

  • The MSE graduate program encourages applications from prospective students with undergraduate degrees in science, engineering, or related disciplines including but not limited to materials science and engineering, physics, chemistry, computer science, biology, biochemistry, and all engineering disciplines.
  • The MSE program is flexible and encourages those with non-traditional backgrounds to apply. In general, we expect a minimum of two years of calculus/differential equations as well as basic courses in physics and chemistry in order to maximize your chances for success in terms of both admission and completion of the program. A customized plan to address any deficiencies will be assembled with your advisor as appropriate.
  • Requests for information about the MSE program should be addressed to
  • Please review the grad school's admissions website. It includes comprehensive information on the process.
  • An MS degree is not required to apply to the PhD program. If you are interested in pursuing a PhD, you must apply to and be admitted directly to the PhD program.
  • PhD applications are only considered for fall admission. MS applications are considered for both fall and spring.
  • Application fee waivers are extremely limited. In order to be considered, you must have your application completed and ready to submit. Application fee waivers are not guaranteed. 
  • International students should thoroughly review the graduate school's webpages on country-specific requirements and English language proficiency requirements. MSE is included under the grad school's category of "All Others" in the Minimum Scores Required chart for English proficiency.


All 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 and ability to pursue advanced study and research as evidenced by the student's scholastic record.
  • Have adequate preparation to enter graduate study in the chosen field.
  • Have at least a 3.0 undergraduate grade point average. Note: applicants who cannot meet this undergraduate standard may still secure regular admissions if they have completed 9 semester hours (3 courses) of relevant graduate course work with at least a 3.25 grade point average overall.

All MSE Graduate Applicants Must Submit

  • Three letters of reference - Applications are considered complete with three letters of reference/recommendation. Letters of recommendation help the Graduate Admissions Committee learn more about the qualifications and experiences of prospective students. You should choose recommenders who can relay a holistic view of the your experiences and skills. Many students elect to have former professors, supervisors, or industry colleagues submit letters on their behalf. It is strongly recommended that PhD applicants include at least one academic reference.

  • Professional MS Applicants Must Also Submit -

    • Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement - Please describe in 1-2 pages your past work in materials science and allied fields, as well as your plans for the future. You may include academics, non-coursework educational experiences, relevant employment, professional experience, or other related activities. Please address your reasons for choosing CU Boulder Materials Science & Engineering and how the Professional MS will help you achieve your career goals.

  • PhD Applicants Must Also Submit -

    • Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement - Please describe in 1-2 pages your past work in Materials Science and related fields, as well as your plans for the future. You may include completed and in-progress research; relevant work experience; creativity in problem-solving; aptitude for planning and organization; scholarly engagement outside of coursework; indices of leadership; recognition of achievements over time; extracurricular activities, community involvement/service special skills and/or experiences; personal and professional ethics; educational, cultural, and geographical background; etc.

    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement - The MSE program is dedicated to building and fostering a diverse community that experiences an inclusive learning and working environment. Please describe your personal and/or professional experiences related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. You may speak to your educational, cultural, or geographical background; provide examples of how your personal and/or professional experiences have shaped your values in relation to diversity, equity, and inclusion; speak to your view on DEI in higher education, engineering, and science disciplines; etc.