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University of Colorado Boulder


CU-Boulder Academics

As Colorado's first university, the University of Colorado Boulder shares the same pioneering spirit that defines the state of Colorado. Since the university's founding in 1876, it has become one of the world's top universities, achieving an outstanding reputation for teaching, scholarship, research, and creative work across more than 150 academic fields.

The University of Colorado Boulder offers more than 3,600 courses, nearly 100 service-learning courses in more than 30 academic departments, innovative teaching technology, and individualized academic support. Forty-two percent of the university's classes have enrollment of 20 students or fewer and 83% of its classes have 50 students or fewer.

CU-Boulder offers many degree options and academic programs designed to help students make the most of their college experiences. Students can challenge themselves and further their educations through a variety of honors activities, hands-on learning, service projects, and study abroad opportunities. Opportunities include: more than 30 options to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees in five years; academic neighborhoods and resources that build community and encourage campus diversity (CU-LEAD Alliance); 300 study abroad opportunities in more than 65 countries; Norlin Scholars; and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

Well known nationally and internationally, CU-Boulder is ranked 42 among the nation's top 50 public national universities offering doctoral programs in "US News & World Report's" 2013 America's Best Colleges issue. Individual programs in engineering and business also rank on top 25 lists for public universities. CU-Boulder's 10 most popular undergraduate majors include: psychology; integrative physiology; communication; economics; international affairs; environmental studies; molecular, cellular, and developmental biology; mechanical engineering; finance; and English.

CU-Boulder Accolades

CU-Boulder has many honors and accolades. These include, among others:

- Five Nobel laureates as faculty members. John Hall, Carl Wieman, Eric Cornell, and David Wineland of the physics department, and Thomas Cech of the chemistry department, are all Nobel laureates.

- A top four provider of Peace Corps volunteers for the past decade. More than 2,350 CU-Boulder alumni have become Peace Corps volunteers since the program was founded in 1961.

- The only university to have designed and built NASA space instruments that have been launched to every planet in the solar system, plus Pluto.

- Acclaim for the university's School of Education program that prepares future middle and high school math and science teachers.

- Twice winning the International Solar Decathlon, which involves designing, building, and operating solar homes that educate the public about alternative energy.

- 19 graduates being named Rhodes Scholars.

- The only Colorado university to make the Times Higher Education list of the best universities in the world - number 77 out of 200. CU-Boulder scored highest for citations, research and teaching.

- Having CU-Boulder's Folsom Field be the first major sports stadium in the nation to adopt a zero-waste policy.

- A ranking by "US News & World Report" in its 2013 America's Best Colleges issue as number 43 among the nation's top 50 public national universities offering doctoral programs.

- Engineers Without Borders-USA, program created in 2001 by CU-Boulder civil engineering professor Bernard Armadei, becoming a global engineering movement.

Funding, Internships and Career Resources

Each year more than half of Boulder undergraduate students receive some type of financial assistance. Students receive aid in the form of grants, loans, work-study awards, and scholarships. Funding is provided from federal, state, university, and private sources.

All students applying for need-based financial aid are required to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

CU-Boulder has been rated as a Best Value public university by "The Princeton Review" and "USA Today" for the past five years. CU-Boulder graduates are successful in the marketplace. According to, a market leader in global online compensation data, the numbers for CU-Boulder bachelor's degree holders as of April 2013 include a median starting salary of $45,000 and a median career salary of $87,100

Students have plenty of on- and off-campus jobs, internships, work study, and co-op opportunities, as well as resources available to them through both Career Services and the Alumni Association.

Career Services has professional career coaches and counselors who help students identify strengths, make career decisions, strategize plans, write resumes, practice interviewing, and build networks. More than 11,600 companies actively recruit CU-Boulder students for jobs and internships, including: Accenture, Ball Aerospace, BBDO Advertising, CBS Radio, Ernst & Young, ESPN, Fox Sports, Google, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Verizon Wireless.

Every member of CU-Boulder is forever a Colorado Buffalo. The university's network of alumni -- nearly 300,000 people all over the world -- engages, contributes to, and celebrates CU-Boulder year after year by helping current students and recent graduates secure internships and jobs.

Find A Place at CU-Boulder

In addition to outstanding academics, the range of possibilities students will find as members of the university community enables them to achieve the unique college experiences they deserve.

Whether students are interested in music, cultural heritage, academics, Greek life, religion, or political involvement, Colorado University has more than 300 active on-campus groups where they can pursue their interests.

With a budget of $36 million, the University of Colorado Student Government is the most financially powerful and autonomous student government in the nation.

The university's Recreation Center offers a variety of options, including a state-of-the-art aerobics studio, swimming pool, diving well, fitness systems room, climbing and bouldering walls, ice arena, indoor running track, three basketball courts, and handball/racquetball, squash, and outdoor tennis courts.

Students can choose from 34 competitive sport clubs ranging from tennis, rowing, and wrestling to baseball, lacrosse, rugby, and dance. The university's club teams have won national championships in cycling, hockey, snowboarding, soccer, swimming, triathlon, and ultimate Frisbee.

Casual competition, leagues, and tournaments are available at every competitive level. Students can join team or start their own - it's a great way to stay active, meet people, and gain team-building and leadership experience among friends.

CU-Boulder has won 25 NCAA Division I national titles, including 19 in skiing. The university's teams compete in the Pac-12 conference in football, men's and women's basketball, cross country, golf, skiing, and indoor and outdoor track, as well as women's soccer, tennis, and volleyball.

Make Friends for Life

On-campus residents enjoy the personal feel and support of a small college with the variety of housing options, activities, and excitement of a large university. With 22 unique residence halls and 13 different dining locations, residents have a variety of options to choose from during the first-year living experience. All incoming freshmen are required to live in the residence halls their first two semesters. After the first year, students may choose to live off campus.

Many things set CU-Boulder apart. The Center for Community serves as a hub for student support services and hosts a dining hall that features 11 made-to-order stations of global cuisine made with local ingredients. CU-Boulder's Residential Academic Programs (RAPS) and Living and Learning Communities (LLCs) create opportunities for students to live with others who have similar interests, make friends, and take small seminar-style classes in the residence halls. RAPs and LLCs focus on a variety of interests and emphasize active learning and critical thinking.

Unrivaled Location

CU-Boulder is recognized as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the nation. Set against a prominent mountain backdrop, the 600-acre main campus is distinguished by 200 buildings featuring native sandstone walls, dramatic red tile roofs, limestone trim, and black wrought iron accents - all in a classic rural Italian architectural style.

Boulder has more than 300 miles of bikeways and a bus system that is free for CU-Boulder students. Students enjoy walking on the Pearl Street Mall, hiking, rock climbing in the nearby Flatirons, listening to live music, and studying with friends in the many local coffee shops.

Denver, Colorado's capital, is only 30 miles southeast of Boulder. Denver has great weather, numerous parks and pathways, some of the finest museums in the West, plenty of professional sports teams, and the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Colorado's mountains contain 9,600 miles of streams, 2,850 lakes, and more than 1,000 peaks over two miles high. Rocky Mountain National Park is located only 45 miles from Boulder and features 400 square miles of scenic beauty. Colorado has some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world, with 26 official ski/snowboard resorts, 11 of which are less than three hours driving time from Boulder. Eldora Mountain, the closest ski area, is only 20 miles away.

Majors & Degrees

Degrees Offered
Bachelor&Apos;S, Master&Apos;S, Doctoral, Post-Master&Apos;S, And First Professional Certificates
Architecture And Related Servicesenvironmental Design/Architecturearea, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, And Group Studiesasian Studies; Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender, And Group Studies Related; Russian Studies; Women&Apos;S Studiesbiological And Biomedical Sciencesbiochemistry; Cell And Molecular Biology; Ecology, Evolution, Systematics And Population Biology Related; Physiologybusiness, Management, Marketing, And Related Support Servicesaccounting; Business Administration And Management; Finance; Management Information Systems; Marketing/Marketing Managementcommunication, Journalism, And Related Programsadvertising; Broadcast Journalism; Communication And Media Related; Journalism; Speech Communication And Rhetoriccomputer And Information Sciences And Support Servicescomputer Scienceeducationmusic Teacher Educationengineeringaerospace, Aeronautical And Astronautical/Space Engineering; Architectural Engineering; Biochemical Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Computer Engineering; Electrical And Electronics Engineering; Engineering Physics/Applied Physics; Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering; Mechanical Engineeringenglish Language And Literature/Lettersenglishforeign Languages, Literatures, And Linguisticschinese; Classics And Classical Languages; French; Germanic Languages; Italian; Japanese; Linguistics; Spanishhealth Professions And Related Programscommunication Sciences And Disordershistoryhistoryliberal Arts And Sciences, General Studies And Humanitieshumanitiesmathematics And Statisticsapplied Mathematics; Mathematicsmulti/Interdisciplinary Studiesinternational/Global Studiesnatural Resources And Conservationenvironmental Studiesphilosophy And Religious Studiesjewish/Judaic Studies; Philosophy; Religious Studiesphysical Sciencesastronomy; Chemistry; Geology/Earth Science; Physicspsychologypsychologysocial Sciencesanthropology; Economics; Geography; Political Science And Government; Sociologyvisual And Performing Artsart History, Criticism And Conservation; Dance; Dramatic/Theater Arts; Film/Cinema/Video Studies; Fine/Studio Arts; Music; Music Performance


Admission: 21,744 applied; 18,172 admitted; 5,472 enrolled Average high school GPA: 3.57

Test Scores:

Options: electronic application, early action, deferred entrance
Application fee: $50
Required: essay or personal statement, high school transcript
Required for some: audition for music program
Recommended: minimum 3 GPA, 2 letters of recommendation
Application deadlines: 1/15 (freshmen), 4/1 (transfers)
Notification: 1/15 (early action), continuous (transfers)

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition
    • In-state tuition *Not Reported
    • Out-of-state tuition *Not Reported
    • In-district tuitionN/A
    • * Tuition costs are based on a full academic year typically extending from September to June.
  • Fees
    • Full-time student feesNot Reported
    • Room and board *Not Reported
    • Room only *Not Reported
    • * Room and board charges vary according to board plan selected (i.e., 12-meal plan, 19-meal plan, etc.) and student level (freshman, sophomore, etc.)
  • Other Payment Considerations
    • Guaranteed tuition plan offeredNot Reported
    • Tuition pre-payment planNot Reported
    • Tuition payment plans offeredNot Reported
    • Student groups that qualify for full or partial waiver of tuitionNot Reported

Student Body

Undergraduate Student Population
25,805 Undergraduate Students, 46% Women, 54% Men, 4% Transferred In
Minority Breakdown
2% Black Or African American Non-Hispanic/Latino, 5% Asian, Non-Hispanic/Latino, 9% Hispanic/Latino, 0.5% American Indian Or Alaska Native, Non-Hispanic/Latino , 0.0% Hawaiian Or Other Pacific Islander, Non-Hispanic/Latino, 3% Two Or More Races, Non-Hispanic/Latino, 3% Race/Ethnicity Unknown
International Population
3% Representing 94 Other Countries
Housing Info
28% Live On Campus

Campus Life

On-Campus Residence Required For Freshman Year
Coed, Disabled Students, Campus Housing Is University Owned And Is Provided By A Third Party. Freshman Campus Housing Is Guaranteed
Drama/Theater Group, Student-Run Newspaper, Radio Station, Choral Group, Marching Band, Student Government, Environmental Center, Ski And Snowboard Club, AIESEC (International Leadership Organization), Program Council, National Fraternities, National Sororities
Most popular organizations
Student Government, Environmental Center, Ski And Snowboard Club, AIESEC (International Leadership Organization), Program Council
Campus security
24-Hour Emergency Response Devices And Patrols, Student Patrols, Late-Night Transport/Escort Service, Controlled Dormitory Access, University Police Department
Student services
Health Clinic, Personal/Psychological Counseling, Women&Apos;S Center, Legal Services
Academic Programs
Special Study Options: Accelerated Degree Program, Adult/Continuing Education Programs, Advanced Placement Credit, Cooperative Education, Distance Learning, Double Majors, English As A Second Language, Freshman Honors College, Honors Programs, Independent Study, Internships, Off-Campus Study, Part-Time Degree Program, Services For LD Students, Student-Designed Majors, Study Abroad, Summer Session For Creditrotc: Army (B), Navy (B), Air Force (B)School Calendar: Semesters


Member:Ncaadivision:All Division Iexcept:Football (Division I-A)


Total: 1,899Full-Time: 73% Full-Timestudent/Faculty Ratio: 18 :1

Financial Aid

Costs (2013&-14)
One-time required fee:$182
Tuition:state resident $8760 full-time; nonresident $30,528 full-time. Full-time tuition and fees vary according to program. Part-time tuition and fees vary according to course load and program
Required fees:$1480 full-time
Room and board:$12,258. Room and board charges vary according to board plan, housing facility, and location
Payment plan:deferred payment
Waivers:senior citizens and employees or children of employees

Financial Aid
Of all full-time matriculated undergraduates who enrolled in 2013,12,575 applied for aid, 9,430 were judged to have need, 4,355 had their need fully met. 1,078 Federal Work-Study jobs (averaging $1844). 775 state and other part-time jobs
In 2013,5351 non-need-based awards were made
Average percent of need met:81%
Average financial aid package:$16,054
Average need-based loan:$6770
Average need-based gift aid:$9453
Average non-need-based aid:$9860
Average indebtedness upon graduation:$24,880




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