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College of Engineering and Applied Science

Engineering and Applied Science Doctor of Philosophy (EASPhD)

The Engineering and Applied Science Doctor of Philosophy program consists of studies in engineering and engineering-related disciplines. It is a multidisciplinary program in keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of modern research. The degree is conferred by the College of Engineering and Applied Science. However, applicants to the degree program apply to and enter the program through one of four departments, called the host department, of the college. The applicant chooses his/her host department based on his/her intended primary concentration of study. The four departments that serve as host departments are Civil Engineering (CE), Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), Electrical Engineering (EE), and Mechanical Engineering (ME). Each host department offers several concentrations. The secondary concentration can be chosen from any remaining department of the college, including Bioengineering (BIOE). The secondary concentration may also be chosen from another college/school at CU Denver. The course work in the primary and secondary areas must consist of ten courses (30 units). In addition to other courses, a student must take at least five courses in his/her primary area of concentration and at least three courses in a secondary area of concentration. Other courses may be recommended by the student’s advisor. Research that spans across two or more of the five college departments is strongly encouraged and is a major strength of the program.

Applicants to the EASPhD program applying to the Department of Electrical Engineering as the host department are eligible for a limited number of merit-based fellowships, offering full or partial financial support. Consideration for these fellowships is automatic for applications submitted by the fall semester admission deadlines (March 1 or April 1).

The goal of this PhD program is to prepare future leaders in engineering to advance our current understanding of engineering principles and practices through the application of specialized knowledge in specific engineering disciplines. A successful doctoral student will receive the degree Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering and Applied Science.​

What are the minimum degree requirements?


Course work in primary and secondary areas of concentration: 30 units
Research/dissertation: 30 units
Total: 60 units

What is required for the admissions process?

  • Application for admission
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • One official copy of transcripts from all institutions attended. E-transcripts should be sent to the Graduate School at
  • Processing fee
  • Bachelor's or master's degree
  • Previous GPA above 3.0
  • Personal statement of academic and research interests, including intended primary concentration within the host department. (This statement and concentration choice may either be written in a cover letter or written on the application form in Part 2, Item 6.)

Additional materials that are required in special cases

  • International applicants are requried to submit TOEFL scores
  • Applicants must submit evidence of adequate preparation for graduate study by either (a) submitting official GRE scores, or (b) documenting an earned bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.00 or higher from an institution accredited by a U.S. accreditation body, or an earned master’s degree with a GPA of 3.50 or higher from an institution accredited by a U.S. accreditation body.
  • Host departments may have additional requirements regarding the GRE exam, please check the pages of each department for application requirements

Application Process 

A student will apply to and enter the program through one of the four host departments of the college: Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or Mechanical Engineering. 

Application Deadlines 

The application deadlines for fall admission are March 1 for international applicants and April 1 for domestic applicants. The application deadlines for spring admission are September 15 for international applicants and October 1 for domestic applicants. No summer applications for admission will be considered. Applicants must submit all required application materials to their host department by the relevant deadline to be guaranteed full consideration for admission. 

Prior Degree and GPA Requirements

A student does not need to possess a master’s degree before applying to the EASPhD program. The minimum requirements for admission to the EASPhD program are a BS in one of the corresponding engineering disciplines, or an equivalent degree in mathematics, physics, chemistry or biology from a reputable institution, with an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or better (“A” is equal to 4.0), or a 3.00 or better GPA in twelve (12) credit hours or more of a partially completed master’s degree program. Satisfaction of minimum requirements will not guarantee admission. The grades obtained in the student’s area of concentration will be an important factor in the consideration as will possible multiple repetitions of fundamental courses. 

Prerequisites for Courses 

Students with undergraduate degrees in mathematics, science or other engineering or non-engineering fields are eligible to apply for admission into the EASPhD program through one of the engineering host departments. However, all students must fulfill any prerequisite course requirements assigned to any graduate course in the corresponding department. Students with an undergraduate degree in areas other than engineering must also see their graduate advisor to receive approval before registering for a class in engineering. 

GRE Requirements

Preferred minimum GRE scores are 150 Verbal, 153 Quantitative, and 3.5 for Analytical Writing. A student who does not meet the minimum 150 for Verbal or the minimum 3.5 for Analytical Writing may be required to successfully complete the University of Colorado ESL Academy program. 

English Language Proficiency Requirements 

An international student whose undergraduate language of instruction was not English, will be considered to have met the required English language proficiency if they meet one of the following criteria: 

1. The applicant has obtained a composite score of 75 or above on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Internet-Based Test (iBT), or a composite score of 537 (minimum) or higher on the TOEFL paper-based test (pBT), including obtaining minimum sub scores in each category below: 

  1. Reading: Minimum score of 15 
  2. Listening: Minimum score of 14
  3. Speaking: Minimum score of 19
  4. Writing: Minimum score of 20
2. The applicant has obtained a composite score of 6.5 (minimum) on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), including obtaining minimum sub scores in each category below:
  1. Reading: Minimum score of 5.5
  2. Writing: Minimum score of 5.5
  3. Speaking: Minimum score of 5.5
  4. Listening: Minimum score of 5.5 
3. The applicant has graduated from the University of Colorado’s ESL Academy.
An applicant who does not meet any of these requirements can petition the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School for admittance, as either a Regular or Provisional degree student.

Provisional Acceptance

A student who meets the minimum requirements for admission, as dictated by the graduate school, but is not deemed qualified for direct admission to this program, may be admitted “provisionally;” that is, he/she may be required to take or repeat certain undergraduate courses before his/her admission to the program is official.

Transfer Credit

Request for transfer of credit will be considered on a case-by-case basis. This includes students possessing a master’s degree. In keeping with the rules of the Graduate School, doctoral students may transfer in a maximum of 21 credit hours, including graduate courses completed at the University of Colorado. Students possessing a master’s degree, including those that obtained the degree from the University of Colorado, will be required to take a minimum of 9 additional course credit hours. Additional imposed course credit requirements will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All requests for transfer of credit must be made at the time of application for admission and will be granted solely at the discretion of the Graduate Committee of the pertinent CEAS host department. Furthermore, no coursework completed five or more years prior to the commencement of study in the EASPhD program will be considered for transfer of credit and all transfer students must meet the same requirements for admission as non-transfer students.


Upon acceptance to the EASPhD program, each student will be assigned a temporary graduate faculty advisor from the ranks of full-time, host-department graduate faculty who possesses a Ph.D. degree in Engineering, Mathematics or Sciences to help the student select courses for the first semester. During the first semester, this advisor will also help the student plan a long-term program of study, which will be submitted to the respective host department for approval. In the first year of graduate studies, each EASPhD candidate must select and have an agreement from a permanent graduate faculty from the ranks of the full-time CEAS faculty who possesses a PhD degree in Engineering, Mathematics or Sciences to be the student’s research advisor or the student will be discontinued from the program.

Required Signatures

After the host department Graduate Committee Chair has signed to accept a candidate, the file should be passed to the Department Chair for his/her signature indicating that the Department Chair agrees that everything is in order for acceptance of the candidate.

Where do I send the application materials?

Applications are to be completed online.  Send all supporting application materials to the Graduate School at the following address:

Graduate Admissions
Graduate School
Campus Box 163
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Graduate Admissions 
Graduate School
1380 Lawrence Street, Suite 1251
Denver, CO 80204
Phone:  303-315-2179​

International Applicants

International applicants must apply through the Office of International Admissions. For advising, contact the office by email at or by phone at 303-315-2230. You may also contact the office by mail at the following address:

Office of International Affairs

International Admissions
University of Colorado Denver
Campus Box A005/185
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Physical Address (courier):
1050 17th Street
Suite A-300
Denver, CO 80265

What if I have additional questions?

Please contact the department directly.

Civil Engineering: 303-315-7160
Campus Location: North Classroom Bldg. Room 3037

Computer Science and Engineering: 303-315-1408
Campus Location: Lawrence Street Center, Room 800

Electrical Engineering: 303-315-7520
Campus Location: North Classroom Bldg. Room 2615

Mechanical Engineering: 303-315-7500
Campus Location: North Classroom Bldg. Room 2024​​​​​

Who are the faculty in the host department and supporting departments?
Go to the faculty portion of the website and click on the various departments to find information about faculty members and their research interests.

Engineering Seminar Series (ENGR 7150)
All Engineering and Applied Science PhD students are required to attend the CEAS seminar series for a minimum of two semesters at 0.5 credit per semester, up to one credit. Individual departments may require additional semesters of seminar attendance. Prereq: Graduate standing; Grading: pass/fail. Attendance at 75 percent of the seminars per semester and submission of a report on at least one seminar per semester are required to pass.

How do I learn more?
For more information or advising appointments, contact the host department where you expect to have your primary area of concentration. The phone numbers and locations on campus of the host departments are listed below, or write to the host department using the department's e-mail address.

Civil Engineering: 303-315-7160
Campus Location: North Classroom Bldg. Room 3037

Computer Science and Engineering: 303-315-1408
Campus Location: Lawrence Street Center, Room 800

Electrical Engineering: 303-315-7520
Campus Location: North Classroom Bldg. Room 2615

Mechanical Engineering: 303-315-7500
Campus Location: North Classroom Bldg. Room 2024

Hard-copy application forms can be mailed by the host department office or can be picked up at the department office. If you wish to use the online application form, go to​​​​