Application Priority Dates and Admission Notification

Applications for degree candidates may be submitted beginning in August for the following spring, summer and fall terms.

The university reserves the right to deny admission to applicants whose total credentials reflect an inability to assume those obligations of performance and behavior deemed essential by the university and relevant to any of its lawful missions, processes and functions as an educational institution.

First-Year Applicants

Students can apply to CU Boulder using the Common Application. Complete applications include transcripts, essays, a letter of recommendation, application fee and optional test scores.

Spring First-Year Applicants

Spring applications are processed on a rolling basis. The Office of Admissions begins notifying applicants about admission decisions in October. Decisions are made approximately six to eight weeks after an application is complete. Full consideration is given to applications that are complete (including the application fee and all required credentials) by the Oct. 1 deadline.

Summer and Fall First-Year Applicants

There are two admission notification periods for fall and summer candidates.

Non-Binding Early Action

First-year applicants who complete their file by Nov. 15 are considered early action and will receive an admission decision on or before Feb. 1.

Students meeting the non-binding, early action deadline may be admitted, deferred to Regular Decision, or denied admission. Deferred students will receive an additional review and are strongly encouraged to submit additional academic information to strengthen their applications. Students who are deferred do not typically receive an admission decision until April 1.

Early action students are not required to enroll at CU Boulder, but should, if they choose to attend, confirm their intent to enroll by May 1.

Regular Decision Application Deadline

The first-year regular decision application deadline is Jan. 15. All applicants with completed files by Jan. 15 will be notified of their admission decision no later than April 1.

Students should, if they choose to attend, confirm their intent to enroll by May 1.

Transfer Applicants

If a student submits a complete application on or before the transfer application deadline, they will receive an admission decision within six to eight weeks. A complete application includes transcripts (high school and college), academic interest response and application fee.

Transfer Application Deadlines

  • Spring Term: Oct. 1
  • Summer Term: March 15
  • Fall Term Early Notification: March 15
  • Fall Term Regular Decision: June 1

Applications are processed in the order in which they are received and completed. The earlier a complete application is submitted, the earlier a decision will be made.

Where to Send the Application, Fee and Credentials

Materials that cannot be submitted electronically, may be mailed to:

Office of Admissions
Regent Administrative Center 125
University of Colorado Boulder
552 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0552

Email and Mailing Addresses

Applicants must keep both their email and mailing addresses current at all times. We use email to communicate with students before, during and after the admissions process. The mailing address is used for mailings until the applicant arrives on campus. Notices are also sent to this address regarding admission, registration and New Student Welcome, as well as other information. If an address changes or is no longer valid, notify the Office of Admissions immediately at 303-492-6301.

Application Checklist

  • Online application for admission
  • $65 nonrefundable ($70 USD for international students) application fee, payable online (if a student cannot pay the fee online, contact the Office of Admission at at 303-492-6301 or at
  • Unofficial high school transcript
  • Unofficial college transcripts (if applicable)
  • SAT or ACT test scores (optional)
  • Common Application essay and one academic interest response (first-year applicants) or one academic interest response (transfer applicants)
  • Letter of recommendation (first-year applicants only)
  • Résumé or activities list (optional)

Confirmation Procedures

All admitted students are encouraged to confirm their intent to enroll through their application status page as soon as possible after receiving their admission notification. If a student cannot confirm their intent to enroll through their application status page, they must contact the Office of Admissions at 303-492-6301 or at

Confirmation Deadlines

  • First-Year Students
    • Summer: May 1
    • Fall: May 1
    • Spring: Dec. 1
  • Transfers: varies; see confirmation instructions on application status page

If students register for classes and then decide not to attend, they may be assessed tuition depending upon the circumstances. For spring and fall semester policies, visit the Office of the Registrar's Withdraw from CU web page; for summer, visit Summer Session's Withdrawal web page. Important policy differences exist for continuing students versus new, readmitted and transfer students.

The confirmation deposits are used as registration deposits each semester as long as registration is completed by the published deadline. Once students have attended CU Boulder, the deposit (minus any fees or other charges owed) will be returned when they graduate. 

International Students

International students need to provide additional materials before they can accept their offer of admission and submit the $200 confirmation deposit. Students must complete the Next Steps Form found on their application status page. Once the Office of Admissions receives these materials they will review them to determine if they are sufficient.


Application Fees

Nonrefundable Application Fee ($65/$70 for international students)

University of Colorado Boulder Application

Pay online when submitting the application or by check or money order (made payable to the University of Colorado) after submission. If submitting a check or money order, include the student's full legal name and birth date. We recognize that some students may be faced with financial constraints in paying the application fee. Waivers can be granted for documented hardships if the student submits an application fee waiver form. Students currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at another University of Colorado campus who are applying to an undergraduate degree program on the Boulder campus are not required to pay the application fee.

Common Application

Pay online when submitting the application. We recognize that some students may be faced with financial constraints in paying the application fee. Waivers can be granted for documented hardships if the student answers the fee waiver question indicating that one or more of the listed financial need criteria are met.

Required Credentials

Credentials or information uploaded by an applicant will be accepted as unofficial documentation. Do not submit samples or photographs of design or artwork. A portfolio is not used for admission purposes and cannot be returned.

Submission of Altered College Transcripts 

All students applying for admission to the University of Colorado Boulder are required to provide unofficial or official, unaltered transcripts from all colleges or universities previously attended. Official transcripts are sent directly to the Office of Admissions by the former institutions and are in a sealed envelope. Digital transcripts sent directly from the institution to the Office of Admissions are also accepted. 

The submission of altered, falsified or counterfeit transcripts is strictly prohibited. Altered transcripts include:

  • forged signatures
  • tampered grades
  • any other modifications that are not in accordance with the issuing institution's official document. 

The University of Colorado Boulder reserves the right to verify the authenticity of submitted transcripts by contacting the issuing institution. Applicants found to have submitted altered or falsified transcripts may be subject to a range of possible disciplinary actions, including admission revocation, expulsion or revocation of course credit, grades and degree. 

Applicants who believe their transcripts were mistakenly identified as altered or falsified may have the opportunity to appeal the decision. The appeal process, including the required documentation and timeline, will be communicated to the affected individual.

Unofficial Transcripts

Transcripts can be official or unofficial and submitted directly to CU Boulder from the issuing institution for admission review. Transcripts can be uploaded to your status page in the "upload materials" section, mailed or sent to Official final transcripts are required upon enrollment to verify credentials.

Transcripts that are marked, for example, "student copy," "issued to student" or "unofficial" are not accepted as official.

Unofficial transcripts cannot be used to post transfer credit.

High School Transcript

All undergraduate degree-seeking students are required to have graduated from high school or received a high school equivalency prior to their first term of enrollment at CU Boulder regardless of their age at the time of application. Students should request that their high school send an official transcript of all work completed, equivalent to U.S. grade 9, directly to the Office of Admissions, regardless of the number of college hours the student has completed (if any) or the date of graduation from high school.

Transfer applicants who have completed 24 or more semester hours of work after high school graduation at the time of application do not need to submit a high school transcript unless they enroll at CU Boulder.

Students who have attended more than one high school and whose most recent transcript does not include the complete high school record must submit official transcripts from each school.

If any part of the high school record is missing from the transcript, the processing of the application will be delayed.

Students who have not graduated and do not plan to graduate from high school must request an official certificate of high school equivalency and official GED scores, plus an official transcript of any high school work (grades 9–12) completed, to be sent to the Office of Admissions.

Official transcripts must be sent to the Office of Admissions from the issuing institution either via email to, via electronic transcript services (i.e Parchment, or by mail and must have the appropriate seals and signatures. All credentials written in languages other than English must be accompanied by a literal certified English translation.

College Transcripts

Students should request that their official transcripts from each collegiate institution attended (except any campus of the University of Colorado) be sent directly from the issuing institution to the Office of Admissions. Be sure to include all institutions, regardless of the length of attendance, whether or not courses were completed and whether or not the record might affect admission or transfer credit. Also include any institutions attended during summers, interim terms and during high school.

Failure to list and submit transcripts from all institutions previously attended before enrolling at CU Boulder is considered a violation of academic ethics and may result in the cancellation of admission or dismissal from the university.

SAT or ACT Test Scores (Optional)

ACT or SAT scores are not required for first-year students, but you may provide self-reported scores if you would like us to take your scores into consideration when reviewing your application.

CU Boulder's SAT code is 4841 and the ACT code is 0532.

If a student would like their scores considered, they should indicate this on their Common Application. To submit scores, a student can self-report in the application, upload an unofficial score report to their application status page, or submit an official score report to CU Boulder.

The easiest and fastest way for a student’s ACT and/or SAT scores to be received by CU Boulder is to self report them using their application status page. If they did not request their scores to be sent to CU Boulder when they registered for the exam, they will need to request an additional score report from either ACT or SAT.

The student's highest scores are used in the admission decision. If a student takes the same test more than once, we combine their highest score from each subsection to give them the highest overall score. Results from SAT or ACT tests taken in December or later may not be received in time if the student wishes to be considered for summer or fall admission of the following year.

For further information:

  • consult a high school counselor
  • visit the SAT website, call 609-771-7600 or write to the College Board (SAT), P.O. Box 6200, Princeton, NJ 08541-6200
  • visit the ACT website, call 319-337-1270 or write to ACT Registration, P.O. Box 414, Iowa City, IA 52243-0414

Personal Essays

CU Boulder requires first-year applicants to submit one short personal essay and one academic interest response and transfer applicants to submit one academic interest response. Applications without essays are considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. Personal essays are the best way for the Office of Admissions to learn about applicants as individuals and to evaluate a student’s academic performance within the appropriate context. There are no "correct" answers to the questions—responses should reflect the unique aspects and experiences of the applicant. The specific essay questions are available on the application.

Letters of Recommendation

One academic letter of recommendation will be required for all first-year applicants. The student's full legal name should be included at the top of recommendation letters.

Optional Documents

Applicants may submit additional letters of recommendation if they wish, however, doing so is optional. Applicants may also choose to submit a resume or list of co-curricular activities, work experience, leadership positions and awards.

College of Music applicants must also complete a College of Music application after their admission application has been submitted, submit a music essay, provide a letter of reference and schedule an audition.