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Application Process for Visa Students

Application Submission

The following application materials should be submitted online:
  1. The University application
  2. The departmental application
  3. Statement of purpose
  4. U.S. $80 application fee (credit card payment). There are no exceptions to this fee; it must be received prior to a decision being issued for admission.
  5. Optional curriculum vita or resume.
  6. Four letters of recommendation. Optionally, these may be mailed to the ECEE Graduate Office address below.
The following documents:
  1. One official copy of transcripts and proof of degree(s) earned from each university attended
  2. ETS-supplied GRE score (for M.S., MSEE, and Ph.D. degrees)
  3. Proof of Finances form and accompanying banking statements or financial guarantor statements or letter of offer from out department for a Teaching or Research Assistantship. These are required only after you are admitted but may be submitted earlier in order to speed up I-20 processing.
should be sent directly to:

For overnight or express mail (DHL, UPS, FedEx), send to:

Submission of Letters of Reference

If it is more convenient for those writing letters of recommendation in support of your application to mail them than to submit them online, the letters may be sent to to the address above.


They may e-mail a pdf of their letter to


If none of these options is possible, the letter writer may seal his/her letter in an envelope, signed with his/her signature across the seal, and then send them to you. You may then submit the letter with all other non-electronically submitted paperwork to the appropriate address above.

How You Will Be Evaluated

Your GRE and TOEFL scores, grade point average, strong letters of recommendation, well-written personal essay, work/research/teaching and other life experiences are all taken into account for our admissions decisions.

GRE VQA scores of 153/155/4.5+ are preferred (500+/700+/4.5+ on the former scale).
Note: GRE scores must be no older than 5 years at time of application.

Paper-based TOEFL scores should be 600 or above, computerized scores above 250, and internet-based scores above 100. An IELTS score of 7.0 or higher may be accepted in lieu of TOEFL. TOEFL or IELTS scores must be no more than two years old. Equivalently, one or more years (evidenced by transcripts) of prior instruction at a U.S. university or at a university in a country in which English is one of the official languages may be accepted, as long as the coursework is not more than two years old.

Useful Links

CU Catalog: Choose the current year's link. Keep in mind that catalog information may be as much as a year and a half out of date. The most current information will be found under the "Current Students" tab on this web site.

For GRE exam scheduling and information, go to the GRE web site.

For TOEFL schedules and information, to to the TOEFL web site.

Preparing for life in Boulder. This is an excellent site prepared by one of our students from India. Although it is geared primarily to students arriving from India, it contains good information for anyone coming to CU from outside the United States.

Other Commonly Asked Questions

How does the application process work?
  1. Once your transcripts and proof of degrees are received, they are evaluated by the CU International Admissions Office.
  2. The International Admissions Office completes evaluation sheets and sends them to the ECEE Department. When your application is complete, your application will be reviewed by the department's graduate admissions committee.
  3. As soon as an admission decision has been reached, you will be informed by email of the decision.
  4. You will be emailed periodic updates on status, if necessary.
All parts of your application are evaluated as a whole, including GPA, GRE scores, strength of the statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, grades in specific courses, publications, and other academic and life experiences.

Our acceptance rate ranges from 50% to 70% for all applicants regardless of degree applied for and visa or financial status. Decisions are based on academic strengths only, not financial status. Strong English skills, as evidenced by sufficiently strong GRE and TOEFL (or IELTS) scores are prerequisite to application.

What are the deadlines?
For fall admission, completed applications should be received by November 1 in order to be considered for financial aid. Admission review by the department begins in January, and decisions are issued no later than April 15. Applications received after January 15 will not be considered for either admission or funding.

For spring admission, there is a strict deadline of September 1. Review of applications by the department begin in mid-October and decisions are issued in November and December.

There are NO admissions for the summer semester.

Three vs. four letters of recommendation?
Although three letters are required, four are preferred.

Online vs. postal mailed letters?
Either is acceptable. Ask your recommenders to use whichever method is more convenient for them.

What about GPA fields in the application software?
The software is programmed for systems such as those used by U.S. universities. If you are filling in information from a non-U.S. university, you do not need to use these fields but do fill in the names and places of all universities attended. The International Admissions Office will evaluate your transcripts before sending them to this department.

Unofficial copies vs. official GRE or TOEFL scores?
We require official scores prior to admission. You may submit photocopies but they must be replaced with official scores before they will be considered. Scores for all three portions of the GRE exam (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing) are required. These take about two weeks to reach us after your exam date. Be sure you use institutional code 4841.

Technical support questions about application software?
Email about any problems with completing the application online.

Other questions?
If you have questions that have not been answered by this web site, you may email the Graduate Advisor, Queries are handled much more quickly and efficiently by email than by phone.