University of Colorado


The University of Colorado Boulder was established with the Colorado School of Mines in 1876 before the territory was admitted as the Union’s 38th state. Its inaugural co-educational class welcomed 38 men and 27 women. Rapid enrollment growth led the flagship public, space-grant RU/VH research institution to educating over 32,200 today. Endowed for $1.09 billion, it’s easily the four-site University of Colorado system’s largest campus. Sprawled over 786 urban acres, CU Boulder stands on the edge of the Rocky Mountains just 25 miles northwest of Denver. The University of Colorado Boulder is affiliated with 12 Nobel Laureates, including David J. Wineland.

According to the U.S. News, CU Boulder is the 92nd best national university, 38th top public college, and 59th most veteran-friendly school for 2017. In particular, Colorado houses America’s 32nd best bachelor’s business programs and 40th top law school. Thomson-Reuters crowned CU the world’s 28th most innovative university. Sierramagazine picked the University of Colorado Boulder as the 52nd “Coolest School” for sustainability nationwide. On Niche, CU Boulder was recognized for the 21st best college location and 91st best student life. The National Science Foundation ranked CU 12th for the country’s most research funding. Times Higher Education also placed it 127th globally.

University of Colorado Boulder Accreditation Details

Continuously since 1913, the University of Colorado Boulder has been reaffirmed every 10 years without sanctions by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA). The U.S. Department of Education will recognize CU Boulder for Title IV funding through the next review in 2020. Specific departments have also maintained approval from:

• Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
• Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
• American Bar Association (ABA)
• American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (APA CoA)
• National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
• Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC)
• National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)
• American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

University of Colorado Boulder Application Requirements

Becoming a Buffalo isn’t effortless with the University of Colorado Boulder’s “more selective” admission process. Approximately 80 percent of first-time students holding a high school diploma or GED certificate are accepted. At minimum, students must complete a 17-unit college-prep curriculum with a top 50 percent class ranking. Freshmen enter CU Boulder with an average GPA of 3.44, SAT score of 1120, and ACT score of 25. In particular, the College of Engineering & Applied Science requires a cumulative GPA above 3.00. The Environmental Design program also mandates four years of math and science.

Undergraduates who’ve completed at least one full-time semester after high school can transfer into the CU community. Credits are transferred for courses scored “C” or better. Having good standing at another regionally accredited institution is imperative. Engineering majors must have two semesters each of calculus and physics. Guaranteed Admission is extended to Colorado community college students with 30+ credits and a 2.7 GPA or higher. The Graduate School has general guidelines requiring a baccalaureate degree, minimum 3.0 GPA, and TOEFL pBT score over 575 if applicable. The Leeds School of Business requests a GMAT score of 550.

At the University of Colorado Boulder, students must apply before the Spring deadline on October 1st, Fall deadline on January 15th, or Summer deadline on March 1st. Applicants can sign onto their MyCUBoulder account or simply use the Common Application. Don’t forget the:

• Check or money order for the $50 fee
• High school and collegiate transcripts
• Official college entrance tests
• One academic recommendation letter
• Typed, 250-650 word writing supplement

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time undergraduates from Colorado are billed $5,502 per semester for tuition. Non-resident undergrads enrolling full-time pay $16,658 each term. Mandatory fees include the $67 computing fee, $86 health fee, $286 student activity fee, and $106 recreation center fee. Health insurance premiums of $1,889 can be waived. Standard room and board will add $6,795 each semester. Attending CU Boulder has a total undergraduate cost of $31,393 (in-state) or $54,427 (out-of-state) annually. Graduate tuition prices vary drastically though. For instance, the MBA costs $8,946 per full-time semester while the Juris Doctor charges $14,859.

The NCES shows that 62 percent of full-time, starting CU students are assisted. The average financial aid package is worth $10,461. Nearly $100 million comes in the form of non-repayable awards like the Regent Scholarship, Chancellor’s Achievement Scholarship, Art & Humanities Merit Scholarship, and Louise Noble Transfer Scholarship. Undergraduates may obtain the Federal Pell, FSEOG, TEACH, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service grants. Centennial State residents could earn the Colorado College Responsibility Grant or Colorado Graduate Grant. The CU Gold Grant could pay 20 percent of tuition for students with an EFC below 12,000. Federal Work-Study (FWS) jobs also have an average wage of $8.30 to $11 per hour.

Student Experience

The University of Colorado Boulder is a public academic powerhouse encouraging students to “Let Your Light Shine” across nine academic units. Students have the freedom to choose from 86 bachelor’s, 81 master’s, 59 doctoral, and 13 certificate programs. Some unique undergraduate offerings include the B.S. Architectural Engineering, B.A. Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences, B.A. Evolutionary Biology, B.F.A. Film Studies, and B.A. Theatre & Dance. There’s also a well-known partnership with Colorado Mesa University for a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Small courses are possible with the 18:1 student-faculty ratio. Engagement is also fostered through the Faculty-Student Mentoring Program.

CU’s architecturally acclaimed campus provides dozens of experiential learning options. Over 1,200 undergraduates are involved in faculty research at 11 cutting-edge centers, including the Institute for Arctic & Alpine Research. Budding social scientists could work with the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History. Astronomy enthusiasts can attend Friday Night Stargazing at the Sommers-Bausch Observatory. Each June, more than 20,000 people attend the school’s Shakespeare Festival. Macky Auditorium Concert Hall has also welcomed performers like Tori Amos, REM, and Yo Yo Ma. For off-campus learning, students could consider the CU in DC course or studying abroad.

Getting involved in CU Boulder’s active campus life is easy with over 400 student-led clubs. Students could find Zen with the Bhakti Yoga Club, worship with the Campus Crusade for Christ, code with the Game Developers Club, debate with the Mock Trial Team, and more based on their interests. Founded in 1919, the Hiking Club is CU’s oldest organization and offers weekend trips to nearby landmarks like the Flatirons. Sports fans can join “The Herd” in cheering on 15 varsity teams in the NCAA Division I Pac-12 Conference. The University of Colorado Boulder is highly regarded for winning 20 national skiing championships.