University of Colorado--Boulder

2014 Quick Stats
Regent Administration Center, Room 125, 552 UCB

Boulder, CO 80309-0552

Phone: (303) 492-1411
2013-2014 Tuition
male /
Jan. 15
application deadline

More Information


U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#86 Overall Score: 51 out of 100. National Universities

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University of Colorado--Boulder is a public institution that was founded in 1876. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 25,805, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 600 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. University of Colorado--Boulder's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 86. Its in-state tuition and fees are $10,240 (2013-14); out-of-state tuition and fees are $32,008 (2013-14).

The University of Colorado Boulder, called CU­--Boulder for short, lays against the majestic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Boulder is a lively college town with more than 80 miles of biking and walking trails. In the evenings, students can travel anywhere within the city limits for free in CU NightRide shuttles, which run until 1:15 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 12:15 a.m. all other nights. On campus, there are more than 300 student clubs and organizations and close to 40 fraternities and sororities. Freshmen must live on campus. The Colorado Buffaloes compete in the NCAA Division I Pac-12 Conference. The student athletes, called Buffs for short, are supported by two buffalo mascots: a costumed student called Chip and a live animal named Ralphie V. The university stresses its commitment to volunteer efforts like Better Boulder Better World, a day of community service in the surrounding neighborhoods. For trips off campus, there are 11 ski slopes within 3 hours of campus, and Rocky Mountain National Park is 45 miles away. A bit closer is Denver, the state capital, where students can catch professional sports matches or concerts in the unique outdoor concert hall, Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

CU--­Boulder is the only school in the Rocky Mountain Region to make it into the Association of American Universities, an elite group of 62 research universities. The university has highly ranked graduate programs through the College of Engineering and Applied Science and School of Education. Its Law School stresses experiential learning through clinics, externships, competitions and pro bono work. CU--­Boulder graduates are immediately inducted into the dues-free alumni association, Forever Buffs, whose particularly distinguished members include "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and sportscasters Chris Fowler and Jim Gray.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

The University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder), a major research and teaching university, is a dynamic community of scholars and learners situated on a beautiful campus at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. CU-Boulder is one of 34 U.S. public institutions belonging to the prestigious Association of American Universities and the only member in the Rocky Mountain region. And while it is a major research university and Colorado's flagship university, the campus maintains an intimate college atmosphere with many small academic communities and 83% of classes enrolling fewer than 50 students.

The university has a proud academic tradition, with five Nobel laureates, seven MacArthur "genius grant" recipients, and 107 Fulbright scholars since 1982. CU-Boulder has a long history of environmental awareness and has been ranked among the top "green" universities in the country. We earned a place on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts, are home of the founding chapter of Engineers Without Borders, and rank as one of the top five sources of Peace Corps volunteers. The university received more than $380 million in sponsored research funding during the 2012 fiscal year. Faculty members bring their research into the classroom in areas such as physics, space sciences, and the American West.

CU-Boulder offers more than 3,600 courses in approximately 150 areas of study and 78 degree programs at the bachelor's level. Undergraduates apply to the following colleges, schools, and programs: Architecture & Planning, Arts & Sciences, Leeds School of Business, Engineering & Applied Science, Journalism & Mass Communication, Music, and Education. University facilities include an observatory, planetarium, mountain research station, a hands-on teaching and learning laboratory for engineering, and the Alliance for Teaching, Learning, & Society Center, a structure that offers the university community groundbreaking instructional technology and learning opportunities. Outstanding departments and programs include aerospace engineering, astrophysical and planetary sciences, biochemistry, biology, chemistry, engineering, English, entrepreneurial business, geography, integrative physiology, law, music, physics, and psychology.

Talented undergraduate students participate in a variety of enrichment opportunities on campus, including honors programs, the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, community and service learning, and 14 residential academic programs that offer specialized living and learning communities featuring top faculty and small-class environments.

Students come from every state in the nation and about 100 countries. Many ethnic, religious, and social backgrounds are represented, fostering a multicultural community that enriches each student's educational experience. Students from diverse backgrounds may receive academic, personal, and financial support through one of the CU-Lead (leadership, excellence, achievement, and diversity) alliance programs housed in various colleges and departments.

The Study Abroad Office administers over 300 CU-Boulder-sponsored programs in more than 65 countries around the world with more than 1,000 students participating annually.

CU-Boulder competes in 15 intercollegiate sports at the Division I level, is a member of the Pac-12 Conference, and maintains one of the nation's largest club sports programs, supporting more than 30 intercollegiate teams in sports such as cycling, ice hockey, swimming/diving, triathlon, and ultimate Frisbee.

The campus offers art galleries, a natural history museum, theaters, concert halls, and an extensive calendar of social and cultural events, highlighted by the annual Conference on World Affairs, musical performances by the Grammy Award-winning Tak??cs Quartet, and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival.

General Information

School type public, coed college
Year founded 1876
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting city
2012 Endowment $385,666,597


When applying to University of Colorado--Boulder, it's important to note the application deadline is January 15, and the early action deadline is December 1. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due January 15. The application fee at University of Colorado--Boulder is $50. It is selective, with an acceptance rate of 83.6 percent and an early acceptance rate of 93.1 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 83.6%
Application deadline January 15
SAT/ACT scores must be received by January 15

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at University of Colorado--Boulder is 19:1, and the school has 41.9 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at University of Colorado--Boulder include: Social Sciences; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Psychology; and Engineering. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 84 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 19:1
4-year graduation rate 42%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Social Sciences 16%
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 11%
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 11%
Psychology 10%
Engineering 9%

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Student Life

University of Colorado--Boulder has a total undergraduate enrollment of 25,805, with a gender distribution of 54.1 percent male students and 45.9 percent female students. At this school, 28 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 72 percent of students live off campus. University of Colorado--Boulder is part of the NCAA I athletic conference.

Total enrollment 31,725
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA I

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Campus Info & Services

University of Colorado--Boulder offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, day care, health service, and health insurance. University of Colorado--Boulder also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, student patrols, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at University of Colorado--Boulder, 11 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at University of Colorado--Boulder.

Students who have cars on campus 11%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At University of Colorado--Boulder, 38.3 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $7,994.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

In-state tuition and fees $10,240 (2013-14)
Out-of-state tuition and fees $32,008 (2013-14)
Room and board $12,258 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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