How do I Apply


There are two steps to the application process for admission to graduate study in the Department of Physics at Colorado State University. Step 1 involves a “pre-application” directly to the department. The pre-application is used to (1) provide the applicant with a more rapid evaluation of his or her status and (2) delay the remission of the required fee until after the department has decided on their recommendation for admission. Step 2 is the official application to the Graduate School.

Step 1: Departmental Pre-Application

Prospective graduate students are expected to complete the Physics Department Pre-Application Form and provide additional items (see below), and then wait for a status advisement before moving to Step 2, the Graduate School application process.

Once the Pre-Application Form is submitted the applicant will receive an e-mail allowing them access to the Physics Supplemental Website. This website will allow the applicant to upload the following:

  • Copies of transcripts (in English).
  • Copies of general GRE (verbal, quantitative, and analytical) and subject GRE (physics) exam scores. BOTH are required. These exams are required before pre-applications will be reviewed. The physics GRE is given infrequently, so applicants should make sure to take that exam early enough that their score is available for the pre-application.
  • TOEFL scores or IELTS score. (For international applications only.)
  • Note that the minimum TOEFL score acceptable to the University for admission is 80 (internet based)/215 (computer exam)/550 (paper exam). The Department of Physics gives a strong preference to applicants with TOEFL scores of at least 100 (internet based)/250 (computer)/600 (paper).  The minimum IELTS score acceptable to the University for admission is 6.5. The Department of Physics will give strong preference to applicants with an IELTS score of at least 8.0.
  • CV or resume.
  • Personal statement.
  • Three reference letters. The reference letters must be either (1) uploaded to the website by the recommender, (2) mailed to the address below, or (3) e-mailed to the graduate admissions coordinator.

Address for mailed materials:

Graduate Admissions Committee
Department of Physics
1875 Campus Delivery
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523 USA

Applications will be reviewed by the Physics Department Graduate Admissions Committee after all of the above items have been submitted. Applicants recommended for admission will be notified and advised to proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Official Graduate School Application

Applicants recommended for admission will be provided with instructions for completion of the official Graduate School Application. IMPORTANT. No applicant in Step 1 should proceed to Step 2 without notification of recommendation for admission.

Special Advisement to Foreign Student Applicants

Proof of financial support is required before a student visa can be issued. Satisfactory proof of finances covering all required expenses must be provided before Colorado State University will issue an I-20 or IAP-66.


The application deadline for full consideration for Fall admissions is Feb. 1. Applications received after the deadline will be considered as they come in until all positions are filled.