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Regent Drive at Broadway
Boulder, CO 80309-0017
p. 303-492-1411
w. www.colorado.edu

University of Colorado Boulder

University of Colorado Boulder Rating: 4.3/5 (16 votes)

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The University of Colorado at Boulder (CU Boulder) opened its gates in 1877 and is now among the best public research universities in the United States. As a member of the Association of American Universities, the university prides itself in academic excellence and an award winning faculty. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

With more than 15 astronauts as CU alumni, the university received $400 million in 2010 to fund programs in astrophysics, aeronautical sciences and space physics.

CU Boulder offers 3400 courses every year. Colleges and schools include:

  • College of Architecture and Planning
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Engineering and Applied Science
  • College of Music
  • School of Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Leeds School of Business
  • Students can enroll in online and distance learning courses in engineering, applied science, and ESL programs. An option of evening classes and online independent self paced courses is also available.

    Academic “overachievers” can enroll in the Honors Program, which includes the top 10% students in any school with the highest SAT or ACT scores and Norlin Scholars Program, which provides students with academically challenging research projects and an option of working closely with a faculty member of their choice.

    Other special programs include the Puksta Scholars Program, ROTC services, Study Abroad and Presidential Leadership Class (PLC).

    Each year, 50 academically gifted students are chosen to be a part of the PLC. These students receive a merit scholarship and are given rigorous leadership training.

    Most Popular Fields of Study


    All applicants must fill an application form which is available online before the commencement of the fall and spring sessions. Application requirements are listed below:

    Freshmen Applicants

    Requirements include high school transcripts, completion of the Minimum Academic Preparation Standards (MAPS) and SAT I or ACT scores. Successful applicants at CU Boulder have GPA between 3.50 and 4.0. CU Boulder guarantees admissions to Colorado residents who have exceeded the average GPA in their high school, submitted personal essays, and completed MAPS.

    International Applicants

    Freshmen international applicants must submit

  • SAT or ACT scores
  • All educational transcripts
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • Financial support statements
  • F 1 immigration transfer form
  • Transfer Applicants

    The primary requirement for transfer students are their academic qualifications. Each school has its own requirements for minimum GPA which can be found at here.

    Graduate Applicants

    Application requirements depend on the program students want to apply to. Typically, GRE/GMAT scores are required along with high school education transcripts, letters of recommendation and personal statement. Some programs may also have a requirement of work experience.

    Financial Aid

    Multiple types of financial aid are available at CU Boulder in the form of scholarships, direct funding, federal student loans, and work study programs. The first step for getting financial aid is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

    Undergraduate scholarships are listed at The Office of Financial Aid. Merit scholarships include the Presidential Scholarship and the Chancellor’s Achievement Scholarship. Students who receive the Presidential Scholarship get $55,000 in tuition fee, paid over a period of four years.

    Graduate students get financial assistance in the form of:

  • Fellowships
  • Teaching assistantships
  • Grants and loans
  • Student employment opportunities
  • The Presidential Scholarship and Chancellor’s Achievement Scholarship are available for graduate students too. Additionally, many schools and departments at the university have their own scholarship programs. Scholarships can also be obtained through outside organizations and civic bodies.

    Student Financial Aid Details

    Ranks 1905th for the average student loan amount.
    Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Colorado.


    The entire campus is built in the style of Italian rural architecture with brick work giving it an old world feel reminiscent of the 19th century when the college was established.

    Residence facilities are available in the form of residence halls, apartments, and academic residential communities. The campus is dotted with 22 residence halls, with the largest being the Stearns East Hall with 425 students. Eleven apartment housing options are available for upper class and married students.

    Academic communities include:

  • Living learning communities, where students with similar academic interests live together and engage in activities that reinforce the academic theme.
  • Residential academic programs, where students take part in seminar classes held in residence halls and engage with faculty members. These programs are available for first year students only.
  • Residential colleges, where a faculty member lives in the residence hall and participates in academic activities.
  • CU Boulder has four dining centers which accept campus cash and meal plans. Grab and go food options include CU on the Run, Zeller’s, and Lickety Split. The campus also has several grocery stores and cafes.

    With one of the most active student communities, every day is special at CU Boulder. Students can participate in activities like bowling, disco nights, poker tournaments etc.

    Students can join several student clubs and organizations depending on their interest like the Black Student Alliance, Cultural Events Board, Pre-Vet Club and more. The university has an active Greek life which is recognized by the Panhellenic Association and the Multicultural Greek Council.

    CU has a state of the art recreational center which helps students stay by offering Yoga classes and facilities like weight and cardio training. The recreation center has two gymnasiums, a bouldering wall, basketball courts, squash and tennis courts, swimming pool, ice hockey ring, saunas, and a rowing studio.

    Recreational fields include the Business Field, Farrand Field, Franklin Field, and Williams Village Fields.

    Student Enrollment Demographics

    Student Graduation Demographics


    Known as the Colorado Buffaloes, the athletic teams at the university are affiliated with the NCAA and participate in the Pacific 10 Conference. Sports include skiing, cross country, golf, volleyball, basketball, tennis, track and field, soccer, and more.

    The Colorado Buffaloes Ski Team has won 18 national Division I championships while non recognized sports organized through student clubs such as cycling and triathlon are also award winners.

    CU Boulder has a football rivalry with Colorado State University and University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Colorado Buffaloes play in the official colors of black and gold.


    Prominent University of Colorado at Boulder alumni include:

  • John L. Hall, Nobel Laureate
  • Loren Acton, NASA Astronaut
  • Steve Ells, founder of Chipotle Mexican Grill
  • Robert Palmer, Emmy Award winner
  • Glenn Asakawa, Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Trey Parker, co-creator of South Park
  • Lisa Donovan, actor
  • Bibliography

    • University of Colorado at Boulder. University of Colorado at Boulder. Web. 24 May 2011.
    • Colorado Buffaloes. Colorado Buffaloes. Web. 24 May 2011.

    Information Summary

    Ranks 5th in Colorado and 241st overall
    See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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    College Campus :: University of Colorado Boulder Denver art museum :: University of Colorado Boulder Campus building :: University of Colorado Boulder Law Building :: University of Colorado Boulder University of Colorado Boulder

    Campus Crime Statistics

    Ranks 0th in Colorado and 425th overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
      Incidents per 100 Students
    Aggravated assault 9 0.03
    Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
    Rape 8 0.02
    Robbery 6 0.02
    Arson 1 0.00
    Burglary 48 0.15
    Larceny N/A N/A
    Vehicle theft 12 0.04
    Arrest 482 1.48

    Local Crime Statistics

      Incidents per 100 People
    Aggravated assault 203 0.20
    Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 2 0.00
    Forcible Rape 35 0.04
    Robbery 35 0.04
    Arson N/A N/A
    Burglary 467 0.47
    Larceny 1,899 1.92
    Vehicle theft 125 0.13

    Carnegie Foundation Classification

    Research Universities (very high research activity)
    UndergraduateArts & sciences plus professions, high graduate coexistence
    GraduateComprehensive doctoral (no medical/veterinary)
    Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, more selective, lower transfer-in
    EnrollmentHigh undergraduate
    Size & SettingLarge four-year, primarily nonresidential

    General Characteristics

    Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
    Highest offeringDoctoral degree
    Calendar SystemSemester
    Years of college work requiredN/A
    Variable Tuition
    Religious AffiliationN/A
    Congressional District802

    Special Learning Opportunities

    Distance LearningN/A
    ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
    Study Abroad
    Weekend College
    Teacher Certification

    Student Tuition Costs and Fees

    Ranks 245th for total cost of attendance
      In District In State Out of State
    Effective as of 2014-09-19
    FT Undergraduate Tuition $8,760 $8,760 $30,528
    FT Undergraduate Required Fees $1,587 $1,587 $1,587
    PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $365 $365 $30,528
    FT Graduate Tuition $9,918 $9,918 $26,712
    FT Graduate Required Fees $1,596 $1,596 $1,596
    PT Graduate per Credit Hour $551 $551 $1,484
    Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $28,887 $28,887 $50,655
    Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $25,609 $25,609 $47,377
    Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $16,485 $16,485 $38,253

    Student Tuition Costs for Professional Fields

      In State Out of State
    Effective as of 2014-09-19
    Law Degree — Tuition $29,718 $36,504
    Law Degree — Required Fees $1,958 $1,958

    Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

    Prior year cost comparison
      In District In State Out of State
    Published Tuition & Fees $9,152 $9,482 $9,152 $9,482 $30,330 $31,378
      Cost (regardless of residency)
    Effective as of 2014-09-19
    Books & Supplies $1,992 $1,800
    On-Campus – Room & Board $11,278 $11,730
    On-Campus – Other Expenses $4,814 $4,842
    Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $8,712 $8,900
    Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $5,570 $4,842
    Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $4,670 $4,698

    Admission Details

    Effective as of 2014-09-19
    Application Fee RequiredN/A
    Undergraduate Application Fee$50
    Graduate Application Fee$50
    First Professional Application FeeN/A
    Applicants 22,473 (11,995 male / 10,478 female)
    Admitted 19,710 (10,302 male / 9,408 female)
    Admission rate 88%
    First-time Enrollment 5,846 (3,159 male / 2,687 female)
    FT Enrollment 5,777 (3,118 male / 2,659 female)
    PT Enrollment 69 (41 male / 28 female)
    Total Enrollment32,017

    Admission Criteria

     = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
    Open Admissions
    Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /   / 
    College Prep. Completion
    Formal competency demoN/A
    Admission test scores
    Other testsN/A

    Admission Credits Accepted

    Dual Credit
    Life Experience
    Advanced Placement (AP)

    Athletics - Association Memberships

    Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
    NCAA Football Conference Pacific-10 Conference
    NCAA Basketball Conference Pacific-10 Conference
    NCAA Track & Field Conference Pacific-10 Conference

    ACT Test Admission

    177th for 75pctl scores
    Applicants submitting ACT results 75%
    Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 23 / 30
    Math scores (25/75 %ile) 23 / 29
    Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 24 / 29

    SAT Test Admission

    240th for 75pctl scores
    Applicants submitting SAT results 45%
    Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 520 / 630
    Math scores (25/75 %ile) 540 / 650
    Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 1060 / 1280

    Student Services

    Remedial Services
    Academic / Career Counseling
    PT Cost-defraying Employment
    Career Placement
    On-Campus Day Care
    Library Facility

    Student Living

    First-time Room / Board Required
    Dorm Capacity7,392
    Meals per Week19
    Room FeeN/A
    Board FeeN/A

    Faculty Compensation / Salaries

    Ranks 340th for the average full-time faculty salary.
    Effective as of 2014-09-20
    Tenure system N/A
    Average FT Salary $92,681 ($99,971 male / $77,399 female)
    Number of FT Faculty 1,411 (894 male / 517 female)
    Number of PT Faculty 2,096
    FT Faculty Ratio 0.7 : 1
    Total Benefits $79,732,116

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