University of Colorado at Boulder
  • No. Students: 32201
  • No. Staff: 3600
  • Study mode: 20 On campus
  • Languages of instruction: English
  • Phone:
  • +13034921411

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About the University of Colorado Boulder

The University of Colorado Boulder (commonly referred to as CU or Colorado) is a public research university located in Boulder, Colorado, United States. It is the flagship university of the University of Colorado system and was founded five months before Colorado was admitted to the Union in 1876.

In 2015, the university consisted of nine colleges and schools and offered over 150 academic programs and enrolled almost 33,000 students. Twelve Nobel Laureates, nine MacArthur Fellows, and 20 astronauts have been affiliated with CU-Boulder as students, researchers, or faculty members in its history. The university received nearly $454 million in sponsored research in 2010 to fund programs like the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, and JILA.

The Colorado Buffaloes compete in 17 varsity sports and are members of the NCAA Division I Pac-12 Conference. The Buffaloes have won 28 national championships: 20 in skiing, seven total in men's and women's cross country, and one in football. Approximately 1,500 students participate in 34 intercollegiate club sports annually as well.

  • College of Arts & Sciences

    The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at the University of Colorado Boulder is the intellectual core of the university, conducting research, scholarship, creative work and education in more than 60 fields.  Our research generates new knowledge, solving some of the world’s most critical problems. The college leads nationally in undergraduate and graduate education, bringing world-class research and scholarship to our students, both in and out of the classroom. 

    The College of Arts and Sciences comprises a vast spectrum of studies in the natural sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities. 

  • Leeds School of Business

    Through a culture centered on integrity and excellence, Leeds is devoted to producing innovative, principled business leaders who are equipped to drive value, graduates who possess the analytical abilities and skills needed to succeed in a globally competitive marketplace, and students who are nurtured in academic programs by top-tier faculty and staff.

    The school enrolls more than 3,400 undergraduate and graduate students in degree programs that include areas of emphasis in Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Management and Entrepreneurship as well as graduate programs in Full-Time MBA, Evening MBA and Master's in Accounting, Master's in Business Analytics, Master's in Finance, Master's in Real Estate  Master's in Supply Chain Management. Leeds also offers a PhD program as well.

  • School of Education

    The School of Education is known for its:

    • Model teacher education and graduate programs
    • Excellence in research methodology, educational policy, and classroom research
    • Close ties with partner school districts, educators, and policymakers throughout Colorado
    • Commitment to equal educational opportunity and diversity
    • Research-based reform and a strong tradition of collaborative research

    The School of Education is proud of its educational leadership, working professionally with colleagues and communities to deliver outstanding undergraduate and graduate programs for classroom teachers and future scholars alike. Our faculty members offer personalized, interactive undergraduate teacher education programs and collaborate on internationally recognized research.

  • College of Engineering and Applied Science

    Our college has a tradition of excellence in engineering education dating back to 1893, and we continually update and improve our programs to reflect the highest standards in teaching and learning, discovery and innovation, and community and culture:

    • Our strengths in integrated and discovery learning and in engineering for global society deliver an unrivaled university experience to students.
    • Our faculty and students collaborate across the disciplines and with our many external partners on solutions to the world's greatest challenges in aerospace, biotechnology, energy, and other fields.
    • We promote an environment of inclusive excellence where the diversity of our students, faculty, and staff provides an enriched experience for all members of our community and helps to prepare students for careers in an increasingly global workforce.

  • Graduate School

    The Graduate School serves as the intellectual crossroads of the university, a place where we work to educate the next generation of teachers, scholars, and researchers and to develop the fields of knowledge and research within which those leaders will pursue their work.

    Over 5000 graduate students from around the world come to CU Boulder to work in over 100 programs leading to master's and doctoral degrees. We offer degrees in the full range of disciplines, and we also provide a number of opportunities to pursue interdisciplinary work, both in degree and certificate programs.

  • Law School

    The University of Colorado Law School is one of the top public law schools in the United States. 

    • Established in 1892 in Boulder, Colorado
    • Diverse student body from over 100 undergraduate institutions
    • Highly published faculty 
    • State-of-the-art Wolf Law Building (LEED Gold certified)
    • 509 students 
    • 9.9:1 student-to-faculty ratio
    • Thriving academic community

  • College of Media, Communication and Information

    The College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI) opened in fall 2015. It was created to match the times we live in—times of revolutionary change in the way people communicate, the tools they use to do it and the impact that change has on society.

    We are innovative: Our students use the newest tools and learn the latest skills from top experts in their fields. They go outside the classroom to test their knowledge in workshops, internships and community partnerships.

    We are creative: CU is set in the beautiful mountain city of Boulder. On and off campus, students are surrounded by imaginative people who think big and try new things.

    We are thoughtful: When things are moving fast it’s especially important to step back and think carefully about what’s happening. What problems are these changes in communication and technology causing and how can they be fixed? What opportunities does change provide and how can society benefit? Our students learn communications theory along with practice. Our faculty’s research contributes to society’s discussion of the issues facing us.

  • College of Music

    Since its founding in 1920, the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music has established itself as one of the top university music programs in the United States. With its award-winning faculty of professional performers, composers and scholars, the College of Music links tradition with innovation in its curricula. The college’s distinctive combination of core educational programs with professional experiences prepares students for success. Courses covering virtually all areas of music are accessible through several undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 23 fields of study and elective certificates in music technology and entrepreneurship. 

    Ensemble experiences include a full complement of concert and jazz bands, choirs and symphonic orchestras as well as chamber groups, pioneering world music ensembles and a state-of-the-art laptop orchestra. The College of Music presents more than 400 musical events to the public each year, ranging from fully staged operas to early and new music performances. 

    The rich resources of a leading research university, providing students access to the liberal arts and numerous interdisciplinary opportunities, enhance this intensive musical training. With 300 undergraduate and 250 graduate students, the College of Music boasts a faculty-to-student ratio of approximately one faculty member for every six students. This close interaction inspires and equips students to develop their talents, refine their passions and ultimately succeed in their professional endeavors.

History of the University of Colorado Boulder

On March 14, 1876, the Colorado territorial legislature passed an amendment to the state constitution that provided money for the establishment of the University of Colorado in Boulder, the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, and the Colorado Agricultural College in Fort Collins.

Two cities competed for the site of the University of Colorado: Boulder and Cañon City. The consolation prize for the losing city was to be home of the new Colorado State Prison. Cañon City was at a disadvantage as it was already the home of the Colorado Territorial Prison. (There are now six prisons in the Cañon City area.)

The cornerstone of the building that became Old Main was laid on September 20, 1875. The doors of the university opened on September 5, 1877. At the time, there were few high schools in the state that could adequately prepare students for university work, so in addition to the University, a preparatory school was formed on campus. In the fall of 1877, the student body consisted of 15 students in the college proper and 50 students in the preparatory school. There were 38 men and 27 women, and their ages ranged from 12–23 years.

During World War II, Colorado was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a navy commission.

USA requirements for international students

Each university in the Unites States of America sets its own admission standards so there isn't the same criteria for all the students and the university can decide which applicants meet those standards. The fee for each application is between $35 to $100. 

After the selections of the universities you want to attend, the best of all would be to contact each university for an application form and more admission information for the international students. Moreover, for a graduate or postgraduate program it's necessary to verify the admission requirements. Some programs require that you send your application directly to their department. 

Admissions decisions are based on students's academic record and different test scores, such as TOEFL, the SAT or ACT (for undergraduate programs) and GRE or GMAT (for graduate programs). Admission decision is based on your academic results and motivation.


  • Institutional Accreditation or Recognition - The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Year of first Accreditation - 1913


  • U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Colorado Boulder tied for 92nd best among all national universities, tied for 38th among public universities in the U.S., and tied for 32nd best among all universities globally in 2017.
  • The Center for World University Rankings ranked CU-Boulder 19th among U.S. public comprehensive institutions and 63rd overall in the world in its 2014 ranking of the top 100 degree-granting institutions of higher education.
  • Twenty-four CU-Boulder graduate school specialty programs are ranked in the top 50 in the nation, including seven in the top 10, by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • CU-Boulder’s atomic/molecular/optical physics program holds the top spot nationally (1). Other CU-Boulder programs ranking in the top 10 are environmental law (5), ceramics (8), quantum physics (8), geology (9), physical chemistry (9) and aerospace engineering (8).
  • U.S. News & World Report also ranked the Education school 29th, the Engineering school 34th, the Law school 40th, and the Business school tied for 86th.
  • In its 2010 rankings of American doctoral programs, The National Research Council ranked the PhD program in Geography at CU-Boulder tied for second in the U.S.
  • In 2015 Thomson-Reuters ranked the University of Colorado system as the 28th most innovative educational institution in the world.
  • In 2015, Sierra Magazine ranked CU-Boulder 52nd in its "Coolest Schools" in America list for campus sustainability and climate change efforts.

Srudent life @the University of Colorado Boulder

Sports teams at the school are called Buffaloes. The varsity athletic teams participate in the NCAA's Division I (FBS for football, see Bowl Championship Series) as a member of the Pac-12 Conference. The school officially joined the Pac-12 on July 1, 2011, ending its affiliation with the Big 12 Conference. (CU had previously been a member of the former Big Eight Conference, whose members had merged with four schools of the former Southwest Conference to create the new Big 12 Conference in 1996.) The official school colors are silver and gold, as opposed to the common belief of black and gold. Silver and gold were chosen to represent the state's mineral wealth, but the colors did not look good together on the uniforms, so black was substituted. There are three official fight songs: "Glory Colorado", "Go Colorado", and "Fight CU."

In 1934, the University teams were officially nicknamed the "Buffaloes." Previous nicknames used by the press included the "Silver Helmets" and "Frontiersmen." The final game of 1934, against the University of Denver, saw the first running of a buffalo in a Colorado football game. A buffalo calf was rented from a local ranch and ran along the sidelines.

Varsity athletics

CU's varsity teams have won national championships in skiing, men's cross country, women's cross country, and football. Conference championships have also been won in several sports. Several club sports, such as cycling, swimming & diving, and triathlon, have won national championships in addition to the varsity teams.

In football, CU enjoys an in-state rivalry with the Colorado State Rams in the "Rocky Mountain Showdown", a game that is played at the neutral site Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Additionally, Colorado and former Big Eight and Big 12 rival Nebraska Cornhuskers have played some notable games, often finishing their respective seasons in nationally televised confrontations on the Friday following Thanksgiving since the 1990s. This ended after the 2010 season as a result of CU joining the Pac-12 and Nebraska joining the Big Ten Conference.

Colorado once had rivalries with the Utah Utes and the Air Force Falcons, but these have not been played in recent years. However, the Utah rivalry was renewed in 2011, as the Utes also joined the Pac-10 (which became the Pac-12).

The CU ski team has won 20 National Championships at the Division I level. The sport is not sponsored by the Pac-12 Conference, however (nor was it sponsored by the Big 12).

Club sports

See also: Colorado Buffaloes § Club Sports

CU also maintains one of the largest Club Sports departments in the U.S. It supports over 30 club teams with leading clubs such as both men's and women's water polo, crew, cycling, Ultimate, swimming & diving, fencing, men's and women's lacrosse, baseball, softball, ice hockey, rugby union, and the CU Triathlon Team.

Mascot; spirit program

See also: Colorado Buffaloes § Mascots

CU also includes a spirit program. The spirit program consists of three teams: two Cheerleading squads, and the CU Express Dance Team. The Cheerleading Program consists of a competitive co-ed squad as well as a competitive all-girl squad. Both the Cheerleading squad and the Express Dance Team compete at NCA/NDA College Nationals. In 2007, the Cheerleading squad finished sixth at NCA Nationals in Daytona Beach, Florida. All squads support the home games of football, Women's Basketball, Men's Basketball and Women's Volleyball teams, along with other athletic and social events.

The school's live mascot is an American Bison named Ralphie. The costumed mascot CHIP is also a part of the CU Spirit Program. CHIP is a costumed buffalo that represents the University of Colorado at numerous athletic and social events. Along with the Cheer and Dance Program, CHIP competes on a national level once a year against mascots from around the country, including Bucky Badger, Sparty, Aubie, Goldy Gopher and many other Hall of Fame mascots. Most recently CHIP competed in the 2009 UCA national competition and was crowned #1, and the national champion after performing a skit titled "CHIP's Favorite Video Games".

Clubs and other organizations

CU-Boulder offers a variety of political student organizations which cover the full spectrum of politics. Among them are Amnesty International, which focuses on human rights worldwide, as well as the College Democrats and the College Republicans. The University of Colorado also offers many clubs promoting diversity and human rights, such as the Gay Straight Alliance. Students can also choose from a plethora of clubs and organizations centered on ethnicities and countries, as well as different religious groups. CU-Boulder also maintains one of the nation's most competitive student-run parliamentary debate programs. In 2010, CU-Boulder became the first fully student-run program to win the NPTE(the national championship of parliamentary debate).

Services of the University of Colorado Boulder

The University of Colorado Student Government

The University of Colorado Student Government (CUSG) is the student government for the University of Colorado Boulder. The government contains three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. Presiding officers for the student government are elected in a bi-annual vote administered to the 30,000 students at the University. The student government has an autonomy agreement with the University Administration and oversees an annual budget of $36.6 million. CUSG is responsible for the management of the University Student Union, the Recreation Center, the GLBTQ Resource Center, the Women's Resource Center, and the Wardenburg Health Center, along with various other facilities on campus. The government also oversees the fiscal appropriations of over 120 student groups on a yearly basis.

Chinese Students and Scholars Association

Chinese Students and Scholars Association at CU-Boulder was founded in 1996. It is also known as CSSA@CU-Boulder. CSSA aims to promote Chinese culture to the campus community and build a home for all Chinese students and scholars in Boulder. Every year, CSSA holds many events, such as the Chinese New Year Gala, Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration, New Students Welcome, Sports Games, Hiking, Singing and Dancing Party, Movie Night, and more.

Hiking Club

Founded in May 1919, the Hiking Club is the longest running student organization at the University of Colorado Boulder. It is a non-profit, student-run organization for university students and affiliates interested in hiking and outdoors activities, with hundreds of active members on campus.

The club organizes member-led trips every weekend, and travels throughout the Rocky Mountain Region during breaks to wilderness areas in New Mexico, Wyoming, and Utah. Depending on the outing, various activities are featured such as climbing, mountain biking, hot-springing, and backpacking. Examples of frequent trip destinations include the nearby Indian Peaks Wilderness, ascents of Colorado's fourteeners, and day-hikes among the picturesque Flatirons.

The club motto, "half mile more," dates back to the 1940s of the club's tradition-rich history. A slide show of the club's activities is shown on campus during semi-annual new member meetings and the alumni association meets annually.

Radio 1190

KVCU AM-1190, popularly known as Radio 1190, is a college radio station affiliated with the University of Colorado Boulder. Staff of the station are compensated with funds provided by the University of Colorado Student Union while operating funds are raised during biannual on-air pledge drives. It is also run by volunteers from the journalism program.

Boulder Freeride

Boulder Freeride is the ski and snowboard club at the University of Colorado Boulder. It was started in 1933, and has thrived on the CU campus as a student run, nonprofit organization. It was designed to promote skiing, and later, snowboarding at the University of Colorado Boulder campus.

Boulder Freeride is active year-round. Fall activities include a camping trip, BBQs, popular ski and snowboard movie premieres, and one of the year's biggest events, Welcome Freeriders.

Boulder Freeride organizes a number of ski trips each year. Past trips have included a Thanksgiving trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, an annual trip to Aspen, Colorado to see the X Games, spring break trips to Innsbruck, Austria, Whistler, BC and Chamonix, France, and summer surf trips to South America.

CU Cycling Club

Founded in 1983 by Jim Castagneri, the team was taken to the national championships in 1987 by 1992 Olympian John Stenner. The CU cycling team frequently ranks in the top five USA Cycling Collegiate teams in both road cycling and mountain biking disciplines. They have won the national championship on several occasions, including 2005 where they won in both disciplines. From the club, many members have gone on into professional cycling, such as Tyler Hamilton.

The team is open to any student who pays annual dues and meets a minimum amount of credits during the semester. The members include nearly every different type of cyclist, from BMX riders, trials, and bicycle commuters to elite amateur or part-time professional road and mountain riders. Specifically, to qualify for road or mountain nationals, a rider must have enough high race results to upgrade to "A" category in the USA Cycling rankings. Then, a number of "A" riders will be chosen by the coaches to represent CU at the National Championships. The number of riders the team allowed to send is based on how well the team did overall during the season.

Program Council

Established in 1953, Program Council is a student run group that coordinates concerts and movies played on campus throughout the year. Program Council mainly focuses on organizing concerts around campus. Over the years, this group has brought such acts as The Rolling Stones, The Who, Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., The Ramones, and many more to the University of Colorado. Concerts vary in size ranging from large scale concerts, to smaller local acts, some of which are free to attend. Besides concerts, Program Council also hosts a film series throughout the year which allows students to see soon-to-be-released movies as well as cult classics for free in one of the large lecture halls on campus.

The Herd

The Herd is one of the largest student alumni groups in the nation, with over 6,000 members. The Herd's main goal is increasing school spirit. Therefore, the Herd encourages students to attend school activities such as sports games and club meetings. The Herd also sponsors discounted bus rides to the ski slopes, discounts around Boulder, and football pre-game parties. Sixteen student leaders run the group; the group is open to currently enrolled students.

Volunteer Resource Center

The Volunteer Resource Center is a student funded organization aimed towards promoting volunteerism in the Boulder community. They provide a database with volunteer opportunities of 250 organizations around campus and in the Boulder area. The CU-Boulder campus was recently one of 3 U.S. Universities to receive the Presidential Award for Exemplary Student Community Service in 2008. The Volunteer Resource Center hosts or participates in special volunteer events and activities including Alternative Breaks, Better Boulder Better World, and The Buffalo Can Challenge. The Volunteer Resource Center also a yearly Volunteer Internship Program which engages six selected students through an interview process to create events aimed at involving more freshmen in volunteering, effectively managing all logistics of the event, and implementing the events on campus.

Greek life

The Panhellenic sorority community consists of nine Panhellenic sororities and two associate, local-interest, chapters. The men's fraternities at the University of Colorado are not officially affiliated with the school; however, they are still a presence on campus. Students who participate in Greek Life account for a little more than ten percent of the student body. The recruitment process consists of four datebooks, dressing from more casual to formal as the datebooks progress. First day is introduction, second day is philanthropy, third day is skit night, and the fourth day is preference night.

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