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Degree Programs at Colorado State University

Colorado State University appears in our ranking of The 100 Most Affordable U.S. Colleges Online.

Colorado State University offers 250 undergraduate majors and over 50 graduate programs across a variety of disciplines, but the school is best known for its emphasis on the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. These programs are divided into five colleges: Agricultural Sciences, Engineering, Natural Sciences, Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and the Warner College of Natural Resources. Many CSU programs have specialization tracks that allow students to go in-depth in a specific field. For example, the major in horticulture is broken into six different concentrations including Floriculture, Horticultural Business Management, Horticultural Therapy, and Viticulture and Enology. Students in all tracks complete many of the same courses like Plant Physiology, Introductory Soil Science, and Greenhouse Management but then plan their electives based on chosen concentration. The horticulture department also offers both a master’s and doctorate degree with over 20 specialized areas of study and research.

The University of Colorado’s online learning platform allows students to complete 10 bachelor’s degrees as well as graduate degrees in 12 areas of study completely online. The Journalism and Media Communication Bachelor of Arts program is one example. Graduation requires 120 total credit hours with at least 40 hours in the journalism department. Throughout the program, students work with a variety of media types in courses like Newswriting, Digital Photography, Web Design and Management, and Advertising. While no campus visits are required, students must complete an in-person internship, but this can be done at qualified media companies around the world.

CSU also has opportunities for students to study non-STEM disciplines in the Colleges of Business, Health and Human Services, and Liberal Arts. The Design and Merchandising department is part of the Health and Human Services College and offers two bachelor’s degrees, one in Apparel and Merchandising and the other in Interior Architecture and Design. Both provide adequate preparation for the Master of Science in Design and Merchandising program which offers specializations in each of the two undergraduate fields. Students need to complete 30 credit hours of graduate study including two core research classes, seven electives, and a thesis course. Regardless of specific discipline, CSU encourages inquiry, experimentation, and innovation.

About Colorado State University

Colorado State University is located in Fort Collins, the fourth largest city in Colorado, and is the flagship school of the Colorado State University System. It began in 1870 as a land-grant school which means that the federal government provided land for the university with the understanding that it would focus on programs related to agriculture and mechanics. Since then, CSU has grown into a world-class research university with enrollment totaling about 30,000 students. The school has remained dedicated to its original core values of inclusion, leadership, and responsibility to the environment and society. Partly due to its proximity to the Rocky Mountains as well as the vast natural resources present in Colorado, there is a great deal of emphasis placed on sustainability and environmental studies on campus. In fact, Colorado State University is one of five in the world to achieve the top platinum rating from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System. The university is also recognized by the U.S. News and World Report with both the veterinary medicine and occupational therapy programs ranking in the top ten nationally and the online bachelor programs ranking #20 on a list of 367 schools.

Colorado State University Accreditation Details

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is responsible for monitoring the quality of post-secondary schools in Colorado as well as 18 other states in the Midwest region and first provided accreditation to Colorado State University in 1925. This is renewed every ten years as long as the university meets its standards, and CSU was last recertified in 2014. Through a series of campus visits, peer reviews, and university self-reporting, the HLC rates schools in a variety of categories including Ethics and Responsible Conduct, Teaching and Learning, and Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness. Different industry-specific organizations can provide accreditation for individual degrees. Some of the organizations that have certified programs at CSU include the following.

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
  • American Council for Construction Education
  • National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council
  • Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Society of American Foresters
  • American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Council for Interior Design Accreditation
  • The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • Council on Social Work Education

Colorado State University Application Requirements

To apply as a freshman, applicants can either use the Common Application or the CSU specific application. In addition, they need to submit the $50 fee, high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, a personal statement, and one letter of recommendation. For graduate school, different programs have their own policies in terms of standardized test scores, minimum GPA, prior experience, undergraduate coursework, and interview requirements. At a minimum, all graduate applicants need to complete the online application and include the $60 application fee, official transcripts, and at least three letters of recommendation. The online admissions process is similar to the above with slight variations per degree program.

Tuition and Financial Aid

All undergraduate tuition for online programs is $476 per credit hour, but graduate tuition ranges between $568 and $1085 based on the degree program. On-campus tuition rates are not as straightforward. There are three residency categories, in-state, out-of-state, and Western Exchange which is a partnership of 16 states located in the western region of the United States. Undergraduate tuition for students taking 12 hours per semester is about $6000 for Colorado residents, $15,000 for non-residents, and $10,000 for the Western Exchange. A nine-hour graduate course load costs approximately $6000 for residents and $13,500 for all out-of-state students. All students are advised to complete the FAFSA to qualify for need-based scholarships and grants. Additionally, many departments offer scholarships and research jobs to help offset tuition costs. Plus, the state of Colorado has education incentives like the College Opportunity Fund, and staff at Colorado State University can explain these programs in detail.