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School Rankings

The 10 Best and Most Prestigious Universities in Colorado

Medinah Aina - March 04, 2022


According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are 4,313 degree-granting institutions in the United States . To make your school search and college application process easier, we have collated a list of the best universities in Colorado. In this guide, you will find the top 10 universities in Colorado ranked.

Read on to learn about the most prestigious universities in Colorado and their defining features, such as location, programs offered, admission requirements, diversity and inclusion, school rankings, and extracurricular opportunities.

How We Defined Colorado University Rankings

University rankings are defined based on various factors. These include academic quality, retention and graduation rates, graduate employment rates, number of fields of study, financial aid packages, and research performance.

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Colorado Universities Ranked: Top 10 Universities in Colorado

  1. Colorado School of Mines
  2. University of Denver
  3. Colorado State University
  4. Colorado College
  5. University of Colorado, Boulder
  6. University of Colorado, Denver
  7. The United States Air Force Academy
  8. Regis University
  9. Colorado Christian University
  10. University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

The Best Colleges and Universities in Colorado, Explained

Students throwing their graduation caps into the air after completing their undergraduate programs. Best Universities In Colorado
Attending an amazing college in Colorado will provide a top-grade educational experience, the archetypical student experience, and excellent opportunities to explore any career path.

The top schools in Colorado provide a combination of world-class education, research programs, and character-building opportunities. They offer a wide range of programs and academic courses for both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Some have online university programs and hybrid course options, as well.

1. Colorado School of Mines

  • US News National Ranking: #83
  • Campus Location(s): Golden, Colorado
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 5,443
  • Graduation Rate: 83%

Colorado School of Mines is a public research university founded in 1874. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs in STEM disciplines focusing on energy and the environment. The core curriculum uses hands-on experiences and collaborative approaches to teach students. There are also community-building activities for students.

2. University of Denver

  • US News National Ranking: #93
  • Campus Location(s): Denver, Colorado
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 5,699
  • Graduation Rate: 76%

The University of Denver is a private research university founded in 1864. It is classified among R1: Doctoral Universities, and has very high research activity. It is the oldest independent private university in its region. Experienced faculty teach using four-dimensional experience where students participate in interactive class sessions that draw from their experiences.

3. Colorado State University, Fort Collins

  • US News National Ranking: #148
  • Campus Location(s): Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 32,908
  • Graduation Rate: 68%

Colorado State University, Fort Collins is a public land-grant research university founded in 1870. The school offers bachelor’s degrees to doctorate programs and online programs through its eight colleges. The school has received accolades, awards, and grants for its research activity. They have a student-faculty ratio of 18 to one and are focused on student mentorship.

4. Colorado College

  • US News National Ranking: #26*
  • Campus Location(s): Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,025
  • Graduation Rate: 86%

Colorado College is a private liberal arts college founded in 1874 in Colorado Springs. The school teaches students using a block plan which allows them to take one class at a time. A block is three and a half weeks long, equal to a semester’s worth of learning. This is unique to Colorado College and allows the students to spend their time in a concentrated way.

5. University of Colorado, Boulder

  • US News National Ranking: #99
  • Campus Location(s): Boulder, Colorado
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 29,511
  • Graduation Rate: 72%

The University of Colorado, Boulder is a public research educational institution founded in 1876 and is the flagship university of the University of Colorado system. It is one of the leading research universities in America, focusing on aerospace and space sciences, bio and health sciences, climate, energy, and sustainability. The school also offers financial aid options to students.

6. University of Colorado, Denver

  • US News National Ranking: #227
  • Campus Location(s): Denver, Colorado
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 14,995
  • Graduation Rate: 44%

The University of Colorado, Denver is a public research university and a part of the University of Colorado system. It offers innovative research and accessible education to students from undergraduate to graduate degree programs. It offers programs in various fields of study, including engineering, history, business, and music, through eight schools and colleges.

7. The United States Air Force Academy

  • US News National Ranking: #22*
  • Campus Location(s): Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 4336
  • Graduation Rate: 85%

The United States Air Force Academy is a public military academy. The school offers a college education to officer cadets at no cost but the dedication to serve their country in the air and space armed forces. Students who attend this school get access to world-class education, military training, Division I athletics, and character-building challenges.

8. Regis University

  • US News National Ranking: #227*
  • Campus Location(s): Denver, Colorado
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 3,197
  • Graduation Rate: 67%

Regis University is a Jesuit Catholic university and the only one of its kind in the Rocky Mountain Region. The school offers over 120 academic programs from certificate level to doctoral degree level both online and on-campus. It has a student-faculty ratio of 10 to one. Regis also offers athletic programs and sports-related financial aid.

9. Colorado Christian University

  • US News National Ranking: #61**
  • Campus Location(s): Lakewood, Colorado
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,508
  • Graduation Rate: 59%

Colorado Christian University is a private Christian institution founded in 1914. It is the flagship of Christian Universities in the Rocky Mountain region. It offers over 200 undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree programs and has a virtual campus that offers master’s degrees and doctoral degrees. The school blends religious teachings with world-class education.

10. Western Colorado University

  • US News National Ranking: #61**
  • Campus Location(s): Gunnison, Colorado
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 3,015
  • Graduation Rate: 51%

Western Colorado University is a public university founded in 1901. The school offers several academic options in undergraduate degree and graduate degree programs, adult degree completion, and accelerated degree programs. It offers over 100 areas of study and has an average class size of 16 with an 84 percent graduate employment rate .

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*These schools are ranked under the National Liberal Arts Colleges on US News.

**These schools are ranked under the Regional Universities West Rankings on US News.

Is a University in Colorado Right for You?

A university in Colorado is right for you if you want to gain world-class education at affordable tuition rates. Colorado has some of the best universities in the country, including top state schools and specialized private schools. The schools have a lot to offer, such as high technical equipment, niche classes, great professional staff, and amazing opportunities for career growth.

Colorado universities stand out as they give students a comfortable campus life while providing top-tier education and an amazing college experience. There are also several options for online students. Getting your higher education at a Colorado university will also give you an advantage in the job market as the educational institutions are well recognized by employers.

Best Universities in Colorado FAQ

What is the #1 college in Colorado?

The Colorado School of Mines is the number one college in Colorado. US News ranks it as the 83rd best university in the US. It offers several degree programs. Hands-on opportunities and collaborative approaches help students to acquire the necessary knowledge. The school has a 92 percent freshman retention rate, which is a great indicator of student success.

What are the most prestigious colleges in Colorado?

Some of the most prestigious colleges in Colorado include:

  • Colorado School of Mines
  • University of Denver
  • Colorado State University
  • Colorado College
  • University of Colorado, Boulder
Is Colorado a good place to go to college?

Yes, Colorado is a good place to go to college as it has many top colleges that offer quality education, high research performance, and a conducive learning environment. With its many days of sunshine and vibrant city life, Colorado is a great place for an academic experience.

Is the University of Colorado, Boulder prestigious?

Yes, the University of Colorado, Boulder is a prestigious university. It is ranked highly among the best universities in the US, making it one of the most reputable education institutions worldwide. It also has a beautiful campus and low average tuition fees, making it a great place to continue your academic career.

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Medinah Aina

About the author: Medinah is an expert copywriter and web designer, helping people learn more about education and careers in technology. She values in-depth research and providing accurate, helpful information. Medinah holds a BSc in Social Work from the University of Lagos and an Eduonix Certification in copywriting.

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