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Metropolitan State University in Denver (MSU Denver) is a four-year public institution that educates nearly 18,000 undergraduate students and over 1,000 master's degree students. Since its founding in 1966, MSU Denver has been a vital part of Colorado's economy and culture. In 1968, MSU became a full four-year institution of higher education, and it has been growing and thriving ever since. These days, MSU Denver supports students with over 110 major degree options, teacher licensure programs, online degree options, and 90 concentration or emphasis programs.

Overview of Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver)

After class, MSU Denver students find that the campus supports them with ample opportunities for recreation, fellowship, entertainment, and leadership. The recreation center, for instance, provides facilities for fitness classes, individual workouts, and pick-up games of racquetball, squash, and basketball. For the more competitive, MSU offers a range of intramural leagues that compete in traditional sports and E-sports, as well. Those who wish to compete against other area schools, yet not join a varsity team, can show their skill in sports such as archery, hockey, lacrosse, cheerleading, esports, and Tae Kwon Do.

There are also outdoor options including hiking, yard games, and cityscape tours of Denver that focus on art, architecture, and the history of this great western metropolis. Students should also put the climbing wall in their radar for both casual post-class climbs and competitive adventures, too.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Large
Campus Housing No
Student Faculty Ratio 19:1
Graduation Rate 30%
Year Founded 1965

Student Enrollment

Total Students17,678


Undergraduate Student

Male 7,267
Female 9,248

Graduate Student

Male 512
Female 651

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MSU Denver Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 4,505
Female 6,801


Male 3,919
Female 6,121

Acceptance Rate89%

Male 87%
Female 90%

Enrollment 1,811

Male 862
Female 979
Application Fee $25
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Required
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Considered But Not Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline July 1
Common Application Accepted No

MSU Denver Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Metropolitan State University of Denver is able to provide low-cost, high-value academics to students, especially those from Colorado. Non-Colorado residents pay more but still walk away with a high-value educational experience. State residents see gross costs of around $12,000, while non-residents pay upwards of $29,000 for a year at Metropolitan State. Still, students must fund the cost of room, board, and other living expenses. Once those expenses are tallied, Coloradans pay close to $31,000 and non-residents pay $48,000. However, these are the gross costs that don't factor in financial aid packages.

After the financial aid office works its magic, the net price comes down significantly. The average net cost for a year at MSU is only $14,000. This figure falls to just over $13,000 for MSU's lowest earning households and doesn't exceed $20,000 for households that earn over $110,001. Meanwhile, the median income bracket pays an average net price of $15,000.

Average net price 2020-2021
Net Price $14,195
Average Total Aid $6,912
Students Receiving Financial Aid 72%
Room & Board $13,160

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $10,021
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $27,502
  • Books and Supplies - $1,460
  • Room & Board - $13,160
  • Other - $6,080


Students love to apply to Colorado universities for outdoor activities such as winter skiing, summer hiking, and everything in between. However, our educational researchers have found that there is more to Metropolitan State University than gorgeous surroundings and a dynamic urban campus. When researchers looked at MSU's academic statistics, they found strong numbers in terms of the school's retention and graduation rates, among other metrics.

The retention rate is a figure that reflects how many first-time, full-time students return to campus for a second year. MSU reports that 61% of these students return for their second year. On top of this, they report an overall graduation rate of 30%, plus a 37% transfer out rate. While transfer rates may initially seem negative, on deeper reflection researchers see that transfer students are often motivated students who want to build on their strong academic foundation in a university that is either more competitive or which offers special degree programs. In this light, it can be said that MSU prepares up to 67% of its students for graduation, whether on their Denver campus or elsewhere.

Student Population Total

Student Population 17,678

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 706 Total Graduates / 23%
Business Administration and Management, General 185 Graduates
Accounting 134 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 108 Graduates
Management Information Systems, General 81 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 238 Total Graduates / 8%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 118 Graduates
Health/Health Care Administration/Management 52 Graduates
Alternative and Complementary Medicine and Medical Systems, Other 28 Graduates
Communication Sciences and Disorders, General 19 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 213 Total Graduates / 7%
Research and Experimental Psychology, Other 180 Graduates
Developmental and Child Psychology 33 Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services 199 Total Graduates / 6%
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 181 Graduates
Fire Services Administration 18 Graduates
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 199 Total Graduates / 6%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 178 Graduates
Biochemistry 21 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 50%

Outcome & Salary

Metropolitan State students pay a lot for their diploma. Those considering attending may be interested in estimated salary outcomes. While there is no way to predict how much any one student will earn after graduation, researchers look to the self-reported incomes of MSU alumni.

At the top of the list for highest earning degrees are the computer science students, who report median earnings of $83,000 for their first jobs. The fifth highest reported earnings come from the management information systems students, whose median salary is around $64,000. At the middle of the pack are the electrical engineering students, who report median earnings of $67,000.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $53,800
College Grads Average Salary $64,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $90,600
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $640,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,546,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $56,780
10 Year Projected ROI $583,220
20 Year Projected ROI $1,489,220
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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