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 “preliminary application” to the Graduate School in which copies of transcripts and test scores are allowed. Applicants are not required to pay the application fee for preliminary applications. The preliminary 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 in which official transcripts, test scores, and an application fees are required.

Step 1:  Preliminary Application

Prospective graduate students are expected to complete the Preliminary Application and provide additional items (see below), and then wait for a status advisement from the graduate admissions committee before moving to Step 2, the official Graduate School application. Note the application fee is NOT required during this step.

In the Preliminary Application, the applicant is required to upload the following to their application:

  • Copies of transcripts (in English).
  • Copies of general GRE (verbal, quantitative, and analytical).  This exam is required before preliminary applications will be reviewed by the graduate admissions committee.
    • New for Fall 2019 applicants: The Physics GRE will no longer be required for applications to the Physics Graduate Program.
  • Copies of TOEFL score 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 submitted to your application by the recommender.

Applications will be reviewed by the Physics Department Graduate Admissions Committee after all of the above items have been uploaded or 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 a recommendation for admission.  The $60 (U.S. citizen/permanent resident), $70 (international) non-refundable application fee will be required in Step 2.

Address for mailed materials:

Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University – Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062

Domestic Students: Electronic transcripts may be sent on your behalf to directly from your prior institution school to CSU.

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.