Overview of Colorado Colleges & Schools

The state of Colorado is home to a large number of public and private post secondary institutions. The state funds multiple public institutions, including two university systems. Colorado is bordered by Wyoming to the north, Nebraska to the northeast, Kansas to the east, Oklahoma to the southeast, New Mexico to the south, and Utah to the west. Due to its location, Colorado is a short distance from multiple urban centers in several states. The largest city is Denver, which also doubles as the capital. Colorado is the 22nd largest state in the United States in terms of population. The state is also home to the United State Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

Colorado is home to two university systems, the Colorado University System and Colorado State University System, alongside other public colleges and universities. These schools are overseen by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. The University of Colorado System is comprised of three schools and four campuses and began operation the same year Colorado joined the union, 1876. The schools in the system are primarily research undergraduate and graduate institutions with a selective admissions process.

Colorado University System:

The Colorado State University System was founded in 1870, as the states land grant institution. Each campus in the system serves a different mission, with Fort Collins being a research institution, Pueblo being a Hispanic Serving Institution, and the Global Campus working with non-traditional students.

Colorado State University System:

Colorado also operates several public two year and four year institutions that operate independently of the above systems. These schools provide educational and vocational opportunities to their community, or liberal arts and other such forms of education.

Private schools in Colorado come in the form of liberal arts colleges, Christian colleges, and for-profit institutions. These schools are generally more expensive that public institutions and offer specific educations and opportunities and/or smaller class sizes and more personalized experience. These schools tend to have more opportunities for individuals through internships, research projects, and study abroad programs.

Some private institutions:

Private career schools can also be found throughout the state, offering career and vocational training in high demand fields. These programs are typically short, resulting in a diploma or certificate that demonstrates competency in their area of study. Graduates of such programs will be prepared for immediate entry into the workplace at the entry level. Many of these schools provide job placement services for graduates to assist in post graduation employment.

The most populous city in Colorado is Denver, followed by Colorado Spring and Aurora.  While the most populous county in Colorado is El Paso County with Denver County, Arapahoe County, and Jefferson County close behind.   If you are interested in visiting the state of Colorado, consider visiting their state page or the state chapter of the Chamber of Commerce.

College Degree Breakdown for the State of Colorado

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, NCES, O*NET Online

Doctoral or professional degree65,4002.6
Master's degree49,0602.0
Bachelor's degree610,99024.4
Associate's degree62,9102.5
Postsecondary nondegree award132,4205.3
Some college, no degree61,4402.5
High school diploma or equivalent826,85033.0
No formal educational credential698,61027.9

Public Universities & Colleges

Image of Public College Campus

There are thirteen public 4-year state universities and colleges in Colorado. These four-year institutions predominantly offer bachelor's or higher level programs and some may even include research facilities. See a state-wide list of the state universities and colleges in Colorado.

Private Universities & Colleges

Image of Private College Campus

In Colorado there are fourteen accredited private four-year colleges. Similar to public schools, private colleges and universities offer bachelor's or higher level programs and research opportunities, although they usually have smaller classes and higher tuition. Compare admission requirements and tuition details for private colleges in Colorado.

Community Colleges

Community College in Colorado

Community colleges are public institutions that offer low cost, high quality education for residents throughout the state. These schools offer 2-year programs that grant associate degrees or offer training courses in specialized trades. Colorado" Community colleges also are the number one transfer-out programs available for four-year colleges and universities. Learn more and compare community colleges in Colorado.

Liberal Arts Colleges

Liberal Arts Colleges

Colorado has four accredited liberal arts colleges. These schools primarily focus on undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences through comprehensive and flexible curriculums. Compare all the liberal arts colleges in Colorado.

Browse Schools by Career in Colorado

Follow the links below to get information on accredited schools in our database that offer programs or degrees.

Medicine & Healthcare

Law & Criminal Justice