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Graduate Program FAQs

Prospective Students

Supplemental application materials

Supplemental application materials must be uploaded electronically within the application.

Admission standards

To be admitted as a graduate student in our department, you will need to demonstrate that you have the potential to succeed in graduate school.  You can show this through grades, letters of recommendation, test  scores, your statement of purpose, and your resume/CV and/or creative work samples.

All applicants should have a four-year baccalaureate degree with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale (A=4.0); or meet the qualifications outlined in the Graduate School admission requirements for special consideration based upon professional and related work experience.

International students must also have an electronic Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score, or an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score. Details about current acceptable minimum scores can be found here.

The submission of any false information or fraudulent documents in connection with the application process is grounds for rejection of the application or dismissal from the Graduate School regardless or the nature of other credentials.

Check your application status

When you applied, you were sent a temporary PIN and log in information to get back into your Slate application. You should be able to log in there as often as you like to check status of your application, materials received, decisions, etc.  If you are admitted, you will be sent information on how to set up your CSU ID and your RamWeb account.

Conditional admission

Undergraduate GPA below 3.0 – Provisional Admission may be granted if recommended by the Graduate Admissions Committee and  approved by the Department Head and the Dean of the Graduate School.  This information is covered in the Graduate School Bulletin.

  • The University may waive its 3.000 minimum undergraduate grade point average requirement under unusual circumstances or if the applicant is applying through Track II Admissions (see below). Applicants must present strong countervailing evidence that successful completion of a degree program is likely. Examples of the kinds of evidence that might be considered are high scores on the GRE aptitude test, high scores on the GRE advanced test, excellent letters of recommendation, relevant professional experience, and other indicators of exceptional motivation and performance. A positive recommendation by the department is required in such cases.  Additionally, if admitted, the student MUST achieve a 3.0 GPA during the first semester to continue.

Course Work Deficiencies – Provisional Admission may be granted if recommended by the Graduate Admissions Committee and approved by the Department Head,  and Graduate School. This information is covered in the Graduate School Bulletin.

  • Applicants seeking graduate degrees in horticulture should have adequate preparation in the fundamental sciences (biology, chemistry, biochemistry, statistics, physics) and at least 20 semester credit hours of undergraduate course work in the plant sciences (e.g., agronomy, botany, ecology, horticulture, genetics, plant physiology, plant pathology, plant anatomy). Applicants lacking adequate course work preparation may be accepted conditionally, with the provision that required undergraduate courses must be completed before the degree can be awarded.

International TOEFL/ILETS minimum requirement not met – Conditional Admission may be granted if recommended by the Graduate Admissions Committee and approved by the Department Head, and the Dean of the Graduate School.  A link with FAQ’s regarding this type of conditional admission can be found here.

  • Colorado State University requires that proficiency in English language be demonstrated either by the TOEFL or IELTS tests prior to admissions. The minimum TOEFL score for admission without condition is 550 (paper -based), or 80 (internet-based). The minimum IELTS score for admission without condition is 6.5. Official scores, taken within two years prior to admission, must be submitted directly from the testing agency.
  • To be considered for conditional admission, a student must have a minimum TOEFL score or 475 on the paper based test or 50 on the internet based test or minimum IELTS score of 5.5. After receiving conditional admission, the student must satisfactorily complete the INTO CSU Academic English Program. Enrollment in regular University academic courses is at the discretion of the INTO CSU Academic English Program. Approval of both the department and the Dean of the Graduate School is necessary for such conditional admission.
  • Generally, however, applicants should achieve satisfactory TOEFL or IELTS scores before arriving on the Colorado State campus.

What happens at our end after you apply

Once ALL required documentation has been received by us:

  1. Your application packet will be reviewed by the Graduate Admissions Committee.
  2. The Committee will recommend admission or denial to the Graduate School.
  3. The Graduate School will notify you of their decision.

Newly Admitted Students

Changing your term of admission

To initiate the process to defer to a different term than you selected on your application, please email and Please note, each applicant is allowed only ONE FREE change of term request. Changes must be done prior to the Graduate School Orientation)

Graduate School orientation

The Graduate School online orientation is available 24/7 at this link:

Facilities you may need to locate

Interactive campus map
  • Graduate Student Offices
    The graduate student offices are located on the fourth floor north of the University Services Center 601 South Howes St.
  • Computer Lab
    Computer Labs are located in the NESB B wing and the Animals Sciences Building.
  • Graduate School
    The Graduate School is located in the Student Services building.
  • Morgan Library
    The library is located on the central plaza. Graduate students may check out books for extended periods of time.
  • Student Financial Services
    Student Financial Services is located in Centennial Hall.

Things to take care of when you arrive

  • Establishing residency
    Out-of-state students may wish to begin the process of establishing residency.
  • Email account
    The department relies on email to communicate regularly with students.  You will need to set up and access your email account as soon as possible.
  • Contact information
    In addition to keeping the university informed if your contact info changes, please notify Melissa Harmon if and when you change your phone number, mailing address or email address.
  • Locate your snail-mail box
    Mailboxes for graduate students are located on the fourth floor north of the University Services Center. Please check your boxes for department notices and academic information. Be sure to remove any old material.
  • Order and pick up your keys
    The Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture will issue exterior door access  to the University Services Center building to all graduate students. Please see Danielle Martin with any questions about building access.

Transportation resources and employment opportunites

  • Parking
    Parking permits can be purchased at the Parking Services Office on Lake Street and Center Avenue. Please be aware that Parking Services may be very aggressive about ticketing. For current fees and information please check the Parking Service website or call them at 970 491-7041.
  • Bicycle Permits
    More information on keeping and riding your bike on campus.
  • Bus Service
    Full time students are eligible for semester bus passes for the city’s Transfort Bus system.
  • Employment Postings
    Job and Internship postings can be found the bulletin board at the east end of the main hallway in Shepardson and on Career Ram.

Useful checklists from our Graduate School

Welcome to Fort Collins, Colorado

We are delighted that you have decided to come to Colorado State University and to our department!  We know you will enjoy your time in Fort Collins and we look forward to getting to know you and help you accomplish your academic goals.

Current Students

Department Information

Departmental Graduate Studies Manual
Departmental Graduate Student Forms

Graduate School Website

The Graduate School website is an essential source of accurate, up-to-date information for all graduate students on campus.  Here a are a few links you will visit often throughout your graduate studies.

Student Resources
Steps to Student Degree
Graduate & Professional Bulletin
Contact CSU Equal Opportunity Privacy Statement Disclaimer

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