Admission Requirements and Application Process

Thank you for your interest in our graduate program in Chemistry at Colorado State University. Applications must be submitted to the CSU Graduate Admissions. For more information or assistance with the application process, please contact Kathy Lucas, Graduate Coordinator, by phone at 970-491-7966 or by email at Before completing the Graduate School application, please carefully read the following information on department requirements and the application process.

Department Requirements: A Bachelor’s degree is required and your major need not be chemistry, though a significant background in chemistry is expected. Admission to our graduate program requires an undergraduate GPA above a 3.0. Our most competitive applicants typically have research experience, though this isn’t always the case if students can demonstrate a passion and curiosity for chemistry in other ways.

Completed applications are due January 1, 2025, however, early submission is encouraged.

A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is required for regular admittance to our graduate programs, but applicants can be admitted provisionally if they have cumulative GPA between 2.8 and 3.0 OR if they have a cumulative GPA below 2.8 and a grade of B or better in six credits of regular, graduate‐level CSU coursework (500 level or higher). Provisionally admitted students must achieve a 3.0 GPA in the first semester of graduate school to remain in the program. Unofficial transcripts may be used for the graduate application, but official transcripts must be submitted by the end of the first semester of graduate school. GRE scores are NOT required for admission to our graduate programs. For international students, we adhere to the Graduate School’s requirements for English language proficiency on the TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, or PTE Academic tests. To begin the formal admission process, applicants must complete an application to the Graduate Admissions at CSU with the below required documents.

Submit Your Research Experience & Personal Statement (2 parts - 1 document)

Research Experience: Describe your research experiences and reflect upon how these experiences have driven your preparation and research interests in graduate school.

Personal Statement: Describe and reflect on your motivations for attending graduate school and obtaining a Ph.D. in chemistry.

Submit 3 Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation should be from persons familiar with your chemistry abilities and potential for success in graduate study

Submit Transcripts From All Collegiate Institutions Attended

Note: One copy is needed from each

You can submit unofficial transcripts.  If recommended for admission, then you will need to submit official transcripts.

Send transcripts to Graduate Admissions at:

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

If official transcripts are sent by email, request they be sent to

Submit CV/Resume

GREs are not required

GREs are not required.  However you may self-report GRE scores.

CSU institution code is 4075, no department code.

Non-U.S. Applicants Must Also Submit:

  • TOEFL Exemptions and Submission of English Proficiency Scores
  • Proof of English Proficiency: Self-reported scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Pearson Test of English (PTE).  If recommended for admission, official scores will need to be submitted.  Photocopies will be accepted for application review.
  • TOEFL Scores Should Be Sent To: Institution code 4075 (from ETS). The Department of Chemistry gives a strong preference to applicants with TOEFL scores of at least 90 (internet based)/600 (paper exam).
  • IELTS Scores Should Be Sent To: Colorado State University, Office of Admissions, 1062 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062. A score of 7.0 is strongly recommended for the Department of Chemistry.
  • Minimum PTE score for admission without condition is 65.

Mailing Address & Contact Information

Any documents not submitted online, including official transcripts, should be mailed directly to the Graduate Admissions Office at:

Colorado State University
Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, Co 80523-1062

For additional questions, contact:

Kathy Lucas
Graduate Admissions Coordinator
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
Ft. Collins, CO 80523
Phone: 970-491-7966 


The Chemistry Department fully supports all Ph.D. students who remain in good academic standing via Graduate Teaching or Graduate Research Assistantships. We support our students with full stipends ($30,000/year for the 2024-2025 year) and paid tuition ($36,656 for first year out-of-state; $13,967 for in-state students). There are additional fellowships available as well for well-qualified students.

More information on the Graduate Student Mandatory Fee Coverage Plan can be found here:


The Graduate School partially funds this benefit as a way of helping you protect your educational investment.  Criteria for the benefit is detailed on the Assistantship Health Insurance Contribution webpage.

For students serving as GTAs/GRAs in both Fall and Spring, the Graduate School will also cover the cost of summer insurance. For students serving as GTAs/GRAs for only one semester during the academic year, the Graduate School will cover the cost of health insurance for ONLY that semester – not the other semester OR the summer.

Please see the CSU SHIP website for more detailed information about health insurance for graduate students:


From the Colorado State campus, it is only a ten minute drive to Horsetooth Reservoir, a man-made lake and recreation area situated in the foothills. Thirty minutes from the campus is the canyon of the Cache La Poudre River, famous as a trout fishing and white water recreation area. Estes Park, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, is a one-hour drive up the Big Thompson Canyon.

Many nationally known ski areas are located within a few hours’ drive:

Camping, climbing, boating, skiing, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, and many other outdoor activities are easily available to Colorado State students year round. In addition, numerous cultural activities including lectures, symphony concerts, ballets, plays, and movies are regularly brought to campus.

Visit or FortNet for more information on the wealth of social, cultural, and educational activities available in Fort Collins.


Colorado State provides comfortable on-campus housing facilities for student families and single graduate students at rates well below the national average. One and two- bedroom apartments are available either furnished or unfurnished. Students preferring off-campus housing can choose from among a large number of modern apartments and homes that are located in the vicinity of the campus.


The university has an on-campus recreation center, which includes cardio and weight spaces; a climbing wall; an aquatic center (pool, spa, steam room, sauna); locker rooms; and use of gyms and studios (Mat Room, Main Gym, MAC Gym, Studios 1-4).

You also get access to equipment, classes, and more, such as Drop-In Sports (badminton, basketball, table tennis, indoor soccer, racquetball, volleyball), recreation equipment check-out, Drop-In sports equipment (basketballs, paddles, indoor soccer balls, volleyballs, etc.), outdoor sports equipment (basketballs, soccer balls, volleyballs, etc.), Climbing Wall equipment (harnesses, shoes, etc.), Group Fitness classes (excluding Yoga), Cycling classes, Outdoor Program free clinics, and day-use lockers.

Visit the CSU Campus Recreation website for more information:


Whether you’re experiencing a situational problem, an immediate crisis, or have a longstanding mental health concern, the CSU Health Network is here to help. The professional staff includes licensed psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors, as well as new professionals working toward licensure and graduate student staff completing their degrees in a mental health field.

For more information on counseling services, visit:


The Department of Chemistry at Colorado State occupies three buildings on the main CSU campus.

The new Chemistry Research Building opened Fall 2017. The new state-of-the-art research facility provides a home for students to learn side-by-side with leading scientists to solve global challenges. The building provides 60,000 square feet of additional hood-intensive lab space, integrating collaborative student and faculty research across multiple areas of chemistry.

This building has been awarded with a Platinum LEED Certification – one of two such chemistry research facilities in the country. 

The Chemistry Building is 157,000 square-feet and houses four floors of offices, teaching and research laboratories, chemical and equipment stockrooms, and machine, glassblowing, and electronics shops, as well as lecture halls, classrooms, and seminar rooms.

The Albert C. Yates Hall opened in the fall of 2002. The Yates Building houses state-of-the-art undergraduate laboratories and classrooms for biology, biochemistry, and chemistry (4th & 5th floors).

Instrument facilities at CSU are extensive through the university’s Analytical Resources Core (mostly housed in the chemistry buildings) as well as the EcoCore Analytical Facility. The department maintains electronics, woodworking and scientific glassblowing expertise, and the university has a fully-staffed machine shop.

Tours of ARC spaces can be found here.


picture of chemistry research building

Analytical • Biological • Inorganic • Organic • Materials • Physical • Sustainability

Students are encouraged to cross disciplines and fields and can choose between a traditional or interdisciplinary focus; while course requirements are minimal, graduate students have opportunities to take a wide array of courses within the department, and through other departments and colleges at the university. Graduate classes emphasize the most modern concepts and are taught by an internationally respected faculty.

Areas of research cover both the traditional chemistry disciplines (analytical, inorganic, organic, physical) and interdisciplinary fields (materials, chemical biology, environmental). Instrument facilities at CSU are extensive through the university’s Analytical Resources Core (mostly housed in the chemistry buildings) as well as the EcoCore Analytical Facility. The department maintains electronics, woodworking and scientific glassblowing expertise, and the university has a fully-staffed machine shop.

Tours of ARC spaces can be found here.

Spring 2024 Recruiting Weekends

  • February 9-11 (Friday to Sunday)
  • March 1-3 (Friday to Sunday)

Details on the weekend, travel, and accommodations will be provided via email after you have been accepted by the department.


  • 183 Graduate Students: Largest graduate program at CSU by nearly 100
  • 22 Postdoctoral Fellows
  • 1 in 4 First-Generation Students
  • #1 Annual Production of CSU PhD Degrees
  • 17 Awards/Scholarships in the Last Year
  • $135,028 Amount from Awards/Scholarships in Last Year
  • #52 National Ranking for Best Chemistry Graduate Program


Research Scientists

Academic Faculty


National Institute of Standards and Technology Fort Lewis College Constellation
Argonne National Laboratory University of California Santa Barbara Dow Chemical
California Institute of Technology University of Colorado — Boulder Eli Lilly and Company
National Renewable Energy Laboratories Princeton University Merck
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory University of Utah Solaronix
Sandia National Laboratory Baylor University
HACH Company
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory University of Wisconsin Genentech

Tell me more about the university

Colorado State University, founded in 1870 as Colorado’s land-grant institution, has offered graduate work for more than 90 years. Combining a tradition of excellence in higher education with outstanding facilities, the 669-acre campus at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains provides a pleasant and inspiring setting for graduate study. Take a campus tour without leaving home! The present Colorado State enrollment consists of 22,425 regular on-campus undergraduate and 3,800 graduate students (Fall 2013 numbers).

Colorado State is located 64 miles north of Denver in Fort Collins, Colorado, a city of 143,986 (2010 census). At 4,984 ft. elevation, Fort Collins has a pleasant four-season climate, characterized by a clear, dry atmosphere and an annual average of 246 days of sunshine. Temperatures range from an average high of 82° to an average low of 54° in the summer, and from an average high of 45° to an average low of 17° in the winter. The average annual precipitation is 14.2 inches, in part provided by an average annual snowfall of 46 inches. For up-to-the-minute weather information in Fort Collins, The Weather Underground has the current conditions, as well as a five-day forecast.

Who can I contact if I have more questions?

Kathy Lucas
Graduate Admissions Coordinator
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
Ft. Collins, CO 80523
Phone: 970-491-7966 

What other resources are there?

 Chemistry Graduate Student Organization (CGSO):

The department houses a number of modern support facilities, including:

  • The Analytical Resources Core that contains extensive NMR, mass spectrometry, and staffed x-ray analysis for single-crystal structure analysis. It also has powder diffraction, thermal analysis, and various spectroscopic instruments.
  • The CLeRC is a core departmental resource that promotes the development of new learning communities, provides support for collaborative, active, and student-centered pedagogies both in and out of the classroom, and increases access to educational technologies.
  • Modern computing facilities under the supervision of CNSIT
  • Support shops (electronic, glassblowing, machine) staffed by full-time personnel
  • chemistry stockroom that provides chemicals and supplies for all avenues of research
  • Ready access to the chemical literature through resources at the CSU Morgan Library and electronic and internet-based resources supported by the Chemistry Department and the CSU Libraries


Bike Fort Collins
Fort Collins is a Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community! And for runners, there are dozens of local and regional races, including the Fortitude 10K that finishes in the new stadium.
There are local concerts, festivals and activities year-round! There are festivals and concerts for everyone including the Taste of Fort Collins, the Lagoon Concert Series, and Bohemian Nights New West Fest!
At CSU, we have a brand-new on campus football stadium! Go RAMS! Empower Field at Mile High is just a short drive to Denver! Go Broncos! Our Rockies baseball team plays nearby at Coors Field, and both our basketball team, the Nuggets, and our hockey team, the Avalanche, play at the Pepsi Center, also in Denver.
Fort Collins is home to over 30 breweries in the area that include some of the country’s best beer! All within walking or biking distance of the university.
Old Town
At the heart of it all, Old Town has more than 84 restaurants, antique shops, retail stores, and specialty boutiques! Disney Land’s Main Street USA was modeled after our downtown Fort Collins!
FoCo Outdoors
Horsetooth Reservoir is a Fort Collins favorite for hiking, camping, boating, picnicking, swimming, scuba diving, rock climbing, and many more activities! Rocky Mountain National Park is also only 1.5 hours from Fort Collins and has 415 square miles of spectacular mountains and 300 miles of hiking trails, wildflowers, wildlife, starry nights, and fun times!

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