Choosing a Program of Study

When applying for admission, students need to choose a major in one of CU Boulder's colleges or schools. Applicants who have not decided on a major can select the Program in Exploratory Studies. This allows students to work with a group of highly-skilled advisors who can help them explore their various interests, set academic goals and customize their educational path. At the end of the first year, students transfer to one of the degree-granting academic options on campus or opt to continue with Exploratory Studies through their third semester. Students can also change their area of study, but this can result in additional course requirements that may add to the number of semesters necessary to complete a degree.

Although applicants can apply to only one CU Boulder college or school, after enrollment they can apply for transfer to another CU Boulder college or school through the intra-university transfer (IUT) process. Criteria for transferring from one college or school to another are competitive, and each college or school establishes its own standards.

Double Degrees, Double Majors, Minors and Certificate Programs

There are several programs that allow students to include additional areas of academic concentration beyond their chosen major. Two different degrees, either from the same college or school, or degrees from different colleges or schools, may be earned, providing certain conditions are met. Students are admitted to one major and degree program initially but may pursue a second degree as early as their first semester of enrollment, with the exception of College of Music applicants, who can select a double degree at the time of application. Minor programs are offered in all colleges and schools except for the Program in Exploratory Studies. Certificate programs in arts and sciences, business, engineering and music fields are also available.

Preprofessional Study

Preprofessional advisors are available to help students interested in medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, veterinary medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physician assistant and other health professions or law. Students interested in these fields may apply to any of the majors open to new undergraduates, including the open option major in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students interested in one of the undergraduate or graduate health sciences programs offered at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus may complete preprofessional work on the Boulder campus. 

For more information, see the Preprofessional Programs section or visit the Pre-Health webpage.

Music Applicants

Prospective music majors must submit both an undergraduate application for admission to the Office of Admissions, and a College of Music supplemental application.

Direct applicants to the College of Music will not receive an early action decision regardless of when they submit their application, as they must audition before receiving a decision. These applicants can expect a decision by April 1. Direct applicants to other majors who have indicated an interest in a double degree in music are able to receive an early action decision to their primary majors if their application materials are received by the early action deadline. They will learn of their music decision after auditioning and will retain their admission to their primary major regardless of the music decision.

Live auditions are required for Colorado residents and are preferred for non-residents. Live auditions are scheduled for select weekends in January and February. Other live audition times may be arranged; high quality recordings also may be submitted in lieu of a live audition.

College of Music scholarships are awarded to music majors only. First-year and college transfer students are automatically considered for merit-based music scholarships upon completion of the application process, including the audition. Transfer students who are receiving a music scholarship from their current institution must submit a scholarship release form before they can be awarded a music scholarship.

The College of Music Supplemental Application can be accessed through the application status page after submitting an application to CU Boulder. To obtain more detailed information about audition requirements, faculty and degree programs, visit the College of Music’s Admissions webpage.

Teacher Education Applicants

The School of Education offers multiple pathways for teacher candidates interested in transformative careers in education.

Undergraduate students interested in K–6 Elementary Education may either pursue the bachelor's degree in elementary education or complete the teacher licensure requirements while earning a bachelor’s degree from another college on campus. Students interested in K–12 Music Education complete the teacher licensure requirements while earning a Music Education degree from the College of Music. Students interested in Secondary (7–12) teacher education will complete the teacher licensure requirements while earning a bachelor’s degree in a corresponding field. CU Boulder offers secondary programs in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and the following world languages: French, German, Japanese, Latin, Russian and Spanish.

Students interested in an undergraduate degree combined with teaching licensure must first apply to the CU Boulder undergraduate degree-granting program, and then submit their application and credentials to the School of Education. Undergraduate students who plan to pursue teacher education should declare this intent to the school’s Office of Student Services as soon as possible after enrolling at CU Boulder.

To understand whether CU Boulder's Teacher Licensure Programs will meet professional licensure requirements in the state where you are located and to get more information about professional licensure requirements, please visit our licensure website for information.

Refer to the School of Education section for more information about teacher education. For application and deadline information, interested students may also visit the School of Education website, email or call 303-492-6555. 

College Readiness in English and Mathematics

The state of Colorado mandates that all undergraduate students entering public institutions of higher education in Colorado be screened for college readiness in reading, writing and mathematics. To pass the screening requirements, students must present minimum test scores.

Students who have successfully completed four years each of college preparatory English and college preparatory math courses are deemed to have met the respective requirements regardless of the test score.

Students who do not meet CU Boulder's criteria for college readiness will be required to demonstrate readiness through an additional examination or to enroll in preparatory courses prior to completing the first 30 credit hours of coursework on the Boulder campus. Students who have not demonstrated reading, writing and/or mathematics readiness will receive additional details after they confirm their intent to enroll at CU Boulder.