University of Northern Colorado


Located in Greely, Colorado, The University of Northern Colorado has a liberal arts core curriculum and offers a wide array of educational options for students. Opportunities include single courses, online programs, bachelor’s degees, master’s degrees, doctoral programs and numerous professional certificates. UNC has several satellite campuses in such places as Loveland, Denver and Colorado Springs.

Established in 1889 as the State Normal School of Colorado, the university originally offered training for teachers. The campus is divided into two primary areas. The Central Campus is home to residence halls that are designated a state historic district, as well as the business school, the performing and visual arts school, and the College of Natural and Health Sciences. This area of the campus has a more traditional, studious feel. The West Campus encompasses the rest of the schools of study as well as more residence halls and tends to be the social hub of the campus.


Information Summary

Ranks 9th in Colorado and 885th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 81.9
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $25,494
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 25 / 1190
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 18 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 72% / 40%
Enrollment Total (all students) 13,437


The University of Northern Colorado offers a wide array of educational opportunities for students at all levels. They have over one hundred undergraduate programs, nearly thirty master’s degree majors, almost twenty doctoral majors and more than fifty endorsement and certificate programs. Many of these programs offer opportunities for advanced research projects and UNC enhances the learning experience by incorporating hands-on training in the form of community service, internships and student teaching, clinical placement programs and mentoring. For students interested in studying abroad, the university offers hundreds of programs in more than fifty countries.

Students at the University of Northern Colorado study in one of six different colleges, including the Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business where they may obtain bachelor’s or master’s degrees in several different areas of business. This college has the prestigious claim of being the first and only business college to ever be awarded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award from the Office of the President of the United States. The College of Natural and Health Sciences focuses on the human, natural, math and health sciences and offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs. For students wishing to pursue careers in teaching or psychology, the award-winning College of Education and Behavioral Studies offers several different undergraduate and graduate programs. Finally, the University of Northern Colorado has a liberal arts core curriculum that students will study in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The University of Northern Colorado also provides numerous online classes and degrees. The program is fully accredited, just as if the classes were being taken on campus and are an easy way to obtain an education if full time courses on campus is too difficult. For more information about the online learning program, contact the university or visit the website.

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Unique Programs

The University of Northern Colorado has several interesting programs designed to make the educational experience at its institution better academically, socially and athletically.

Outdoor Pursuits Program

For students interested in outdoor activities such as hiking, white water rafting, camping, skiing or rock climbing, the campus offers the Outdoor Pursuits Program. Students have access to free gear such as tents, backpacks, sleeping bags and snowboards. The program also provides students with the opportunity to participate in leadership experiences and educational workshops as well as trips and activities.

University 101

The University 101 program helps freshmen meet people with similar interests by pairing students in the same program together for two classes. The program is based on UNC’s rich reputation as a research university and the class pairings are advanced and extremely hands-on. The classes are challenging but take place in a supportive environment that helps the freshman adapt to that first year of college and become well adjusted members of the campus community. The classes consist of one liberal arts core course and one liberal arts course suggested for the major. Students earn five credits from the program and get an opportunity to greatly enrich their educational experience.

Campus Recreation Center

The Department of Campus Recreation offers scheduled and drop in recreational opportunities, sports and wellness programs in the Campus Recreation Center. The Center is nearly eighty thousand square feet and offers a fully equipped conditioning and strength training area, an indoor track, climbing wall, racquetball courts and two gyms featuring five basketball courts. The Center also has locker rooms, meeting spaces and offices. Students are able to use the entire facility free of charge and faculty may join for a nominal fee.

Blue Cruisers

In order to provide affordable and eco-friendly transportation to students, the University of Northern Colorado has purchased and customized a fleet of bicycles that are available to students free of charge. The bikes are painted in school colors complete with the mascot and come with a lock and helmet and an optional front basket. Students interested in the program simply need to go to the Campus Recreation office, present their campus ID, and pick up the bike. Bikes need to be returned at the end of a week for service and maintenance, but the student may choose to take another bike immediately, pending availability. There are also bike racks at several locations across campus that are equipped with tools and an air pump.


Undergraduate Admissions

Acceptance to the University of Northern Colorado does not guarantee admission to all majors. There are several programs, including business, nursing, teaching and music, that have additional requirements. Students should be aware of the requirements for the program to which they are applying in order to submit all documentation necessary to be considered for admission.

Students applying to University of Northern Colorado’s undergraduate programs will need to complete the online application and submit the application fee. For students that are financially needy or have exceptional grades and test scores, this fee may be waived. After submitting the application, students will be required to submit official high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. The test scores are not required if a student has been out of high school for more than five years. The university also has high school course requirements that applicants should be familiar with. Finally students may choose to submit a personal statement and letters of recommendation. This is not required, but is encouraged especially if a student has a low GPA or test scores.

Students who have completed more than twelve hours at another institute of higher education will need to complete the appropriate application and submit transcripts from all other schools attended.

The university also has some special admission programs for people that are veterans, high school students, or just simply want to take a few summer courses without enrolling full time. For more information about these programs, refer to UNC’s website or contact them for more information.

Graduate Admissions

Students wishing to apply to one of the University of Northern Colorado’s graduate programs will need to submit college transcripts and GRE scores. Students whose first language is not English may also be required to submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. For students who need to increase English language skills, the university offers an Intensive English Program. Some graduate programs may also consider such things as work experience, communication skills, research interests, career focus, clarity of goals and basic math and analytical skills when determining acceptance to their program.

Every graduate program reserves the right to require additional testing or documentation, so students should research the program of choice to ensure that all documentation required for the application packet is complete.

Financial Aid

More than two-thirds of the students that attend the University of Northern Colorado receive some form of financial aid. The university offers aid in the form of need-based and merit-based scholarships, grants, loans and work programs. The first step to obtaining financial aid is completing the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) which is available online in January. Students should complete this form as soon as possible in order to be eligible for all available programs. Applicants should be aware that financial information for both the student and family will be required in order to complete the FAFSA, and should have this information readily available prior to starting the application.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4703rd for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Colorado.


The UNC Bears are an NCAA Division I association that plays in the Big Sky Athletic Conference. Their colors are blue and gold and they offer nineteen varsity sports including men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, golf, indoor track, tennis and track and field. Men may also choose to participate in baseball or football while women have the additional choices of softball, volleyball or swimming and diving.

Athletics play a large role in campus life and students get free admission to all sporting events with an ID. The athletics association boasts numerous national championships, back-to-back football championships, several trips to the College World Series and over four hundred All-American athletes. Famous athletes that hail from UNC include:

  • Steve Antonopulos, head athletic trainer of the Denver Broncos
  • Aaron Smith, football player (defensive end) for the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Reed Doughty, football player (safety) for the Washington Redskins

For students that would like to participate in sports but do not have the time to invest into varsity sports, or the sport that they choose is not be available at the varsity level, there are also a wide variety of club and intramural sports offered. Some examples are ultimate frisbee, racquetball, basketball, tennis, dodgeball and volleyball.


  • University of Northern Colorado. University of Colorado. 2011. Web. 9 May 2011.
  • University of Northern Colorado Athletics. University of Northern Colorado. 2011. Web. 9 May 2011.
  • “University of Northern Colorado.” The Princeton Review. The Princeton Review. 2011. Web. 9 May 2011.

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