Congratulations on your acceptance to the Materials Science & Engineering graduate program at the University of Colorado! 

First Steps: Make sure to follow all steps on the Graduate School's Incoming Students page. You will not be able to register until these tasks are complete.

Next Steps: Registration and Degree Planning. Please feel free to review requirements and peruse our track course options (most of these are offered through other departments) and begin to plan your fall schedule. You can search for all courses using Sign up for course through your Buff Portal. Directions here. You must sign up for at least 5 graduate credit hours to be a full-time student. This is normally 2 classes as most CU graduate courses are 3 credits. PhD students should always be registered full time every fall and spring (it is not necessary under most circumstances to be registered over the summer). MS students may be part-time but should concisder how this will affect their degree timeline. All first-year students should arrange to talk with the MSE Graduate Advisor, before the start of the semester. 

Financial Information, Tuition and Fees: All incoming PhD students are supported by the program through a TA or RA appointment that includes tuition remission. Typically, new PhD students will be assigned as a TA for an introductory Chemistry or Physics course based on their academic background. PhD will be notified of their TA assigments no later than the week of orientation. Unfortunately MSE is not able to offer financial support to MS students at this time.

MS Students should review tuition rates and billing available on the Bursar's Office website. 21-22 Engineering Professional MS tuition and fee rate sheet.

Both MS and PhD students will be responsible for mandatory student fees. Please review fee information on the Bursar's Office website.

MSEN 5000 Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering (Boot Camp) will be offered to new incoming PhD students during the Augmester.  It is an intensive 2-week course designed to provide students both the techincal and soft skills for a successful start to their PhD career.  Boot Camp credits will count toward the breadth elective requirements.

Orientation: Mandatory orientation will take place during the first week of classes in the fall semester. Orientation schedules will be sent out to students closer to the start of the fall semester. The College of Engineering, the Graduate School and other offices and units will also host orientations that new students are highly encouraged to attend. MSE will communicate orientation schedules over the summer.

The following links will help prepare you to begin your graduate studies.

Establish in-state residency to take advantage of in-state tuition your second year of study. PhD students are required to do this; MS students are strongly encouraged to do so. Please note that not all students will qualify. International students in the US on a non-immigrant visa will likely not qualify for Colorado residency. Learn more here.

More Info (Office of the Registrar)

  1. Get your Buff One Card
    Be sure to bring your driver's license or other photo ID when picking up your card.
  2. Satisfy health insurance and immunization requirements
  3. Get a parking permit, if you wish to drive to campus

Please see the ISSS website for the required International Student Orientation, Pre-Arrival Orientation Course, and Immigration Reporting Session.

Important: Federal regulations REQUIRE new international students to check-in to report their arrival in the U.S. and to report their address to their school. IF YOU DO NOT CHECK IN WITH ISSS, YOUR IMMIGRATION STATUS MIGHT BE CANCELLED! If you have questions or concerns, please contact the ISSS office by e-mail at, or by telephone at (303) 492-8057.

Social Security Number for International Students

International Students who will be paid while attending the University of Colorado MUST have a social security number (SSN). Your HR appointment cannot be entered without this number. Please see the ISSS office for more information. For more information go to ISSS website finance page and click on the tab labeled “social security number” toward the bottom of the webpage.

CU International Tax Specialist

  1. When you have received your social security number (SSN) you need to make an appointment to see one of the CU International Tax Specialists, Kendra Zafratos or Alicia Dandenau.
  2. Please make an online appointment here.
  3. It is essential that international students meet with a tax specialist in order to complete the payroll enrollment process. Students that do not complete this requirement CANNOT be paid.