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Colorado State University


Colorado State University has a lot to recommend it, not the least of which is its proximity to the Rocky Mountains. The school offers degrees through eight colleges and fifty-five departments and, as a state university, has a lower tuition than many institutions. CSU was founded in 1870 under the Morrill Land Act, and has a reputation for high research activity, especially in natural resources and sustainability. In fact, 962 of the institution’s 2,633 courses are sustainability-related. The university began as Colorado Agricultural College, changed its name to Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts in 1935 and became Colorado State University in 1957. The school ranks 60th in the nation for research and development and 34th for research spending, discounting the medical school.

Colorado State University Accreditation Details

The university is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, HLC.

  • Degrees in the business department, including the MACC, the MBA, MS and baccalaureate business degrees are accredited through the AACSB.
  • Engineering degrees, including the Chemical and Biological Engineering degree programs, are accredited by ABET.
  • Teacher Education programs are accredited by TEAC.
  • Social Work graduate and undergraduate programs are accredited by CSWE.

There are other program and departmental accreditations.

Colorado State University Application Requirements

If you are applying as a first time freshman, you will need to complete either a common application or the CSU application. The common application is used if you are applying to other schools as well as CSU. There is a $50 application fee. Your high school must send your official transcript to the school. The agency that administered your ACT or SAT test will need to send those official scores too. Both the common application and the CSU application require a 250-650 word personal statement about your student experience. You must also include one letter of recommendation. This should be from a teacher or counselor. If you are applying as a graduate student at CSU, you will apply directly to the graduate department that houses the degree you want to earn.

Tuition and Financial Aid

CSU has no residential requirement for online tuition. The average cost for distance learning programs is $444 per credit hour. Tuition for Colorado undergraduate studies is $11,080 for the nine-month term. Housing and meal plans add $11,862. In addition, there are activity, technology and other fees, and costs for books and materials. Students from outside Colorado pay $28,374 in tuition. Graduate tuition is estimated at $11,992. There may be additional department or course fees. Most students earning a degree must have financial aid. The first step to getting this help is applying for the FAFSA program. The federal government determines your eligibility for federal grants and low-interest student loans. Colorado also offers student aid and incentives. One of these, the College Opportunity Fund, is not available to online students. At CSU, you complete an online common scholarship application. There are some scholarships that have additional requirements, and these can be researched on the school website. Some of the many scholarships and grants available through Colorado State University are based on need while others are merit-based. Individuals often fund scholarships, as do service organizations and corporations. If you have applied all of your grant and scholarship money to your bill and still have an obligation, you might consider taking out a student loan from a bank or private lender. While the interest rate may be higher on these loans than on the federal student loans, it will be lower than regular loans and will include the option to delay repayment until after graduation. Work-study opportunities are awarded through FAFSA and are often overlooked as resources for financial aid. The amount you can earn through these programs is capped, but you will gain valuable work experience in addition to getting help with your college expenses.

Student Experience

Colorado State University is just a few miles from beautiful hiking trails and lakes. It also is just an hour from metropolitan Denver so you will have the best of both worlds when you study at the school. CSU is well-known for research and for its emphasis on global resources and sustainability. In addition, though, it has many fine degrees in other departments.

The Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biological Engineering is an exciting degree that leads to careers in research and product development. All faculty members in this program are engaged in active research. What sets this degree apart is that it requires two semesters of study in the Unit Operations Laboratory. This resource has cutting edge technology that provides hands-on learning in actual real-world problems at pilot scale. It blends science knowledge and skills to “study and control changes in matter.” Classes are small and the faculty-to-student ratio in the department allows students and faculty to bond into a community. Courses are grouped into four divisions: foundation, chemical and engineering topics, electives and humanities courses. Graduates of this program research and develop many of the products and processes that make our lives easier and safer.

Another degree, the Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Science, addresses the foundational intent of a school with agricultural roots. The program is offered in two tracks. One track prepares graduates to become secondary school teachers, and the other prepares them for careers in government, business and other agencies. Graduates from this program will have knowledge in human development, family studies, consumer sciences and other areas that build competencies used to help communities. Many Cooperative Educational Agents graduate from CSU and go on to administer programs in rural areas throughout the state. This program, like most baccalaureate degrees at CSU, contains 120 credit hours.

The Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts Bachelor Degree also draws its courses from several areas. Classes center on communication, economics, political science, humanities and other disciplines to sculpt a unique program for the student. You can tailor the degree to your career expectations using concentrations in business administration, sociology, anthropology, political science and gerontology. A new specialization, a minor in legal studies, has just been added. You might like to investigate a degree program in the renowned CSU sustainability program.

The Bachelor of Science in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability is housed in the Warner College of Natural Resources and Sustainability. This college is the “most comprehensive natural resources college in the nation.” Students in this program build a strong foundation in the natural and physical sciences and apply their knowledge to the preservation and promotion of natural resources. There are many research opportunities built into this program along with field and lab experience. Like most undergraduate degree programs at Colorado State University, the program contains a minimum of 120 credit hours.