Updated on May 23, 2024
Edited by Evelyn Keener
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The University of Colorado at Boulder (CU Boulder) is a large public university with over 30,000 undergraduate students and approximately 6,000 students pursuing graduate degrees. Students at CU Boulder are currently pursuing many exciting academic fields such as applied mathematics (engineering), Asian studies, biochemistry, civil engineering, teacher licensure, information science, writing & rhetoric, and lots more. In fact, nearly every student is bound to find a program that best suits their needs.

Overview of University of Colorado-Boulder (CU Boulder)

For graduate school, CU Boulder also covers a wide range of programs. Furthermore, many of these programs can be pursued remotely from a laptop anywhere in the world. Students can even get a start on graduate school while still an undergrad. Many programs are set up with the option to accelerate learning in a bachelor's-to-master's degree track. This way students can spend only one extra year on campus and walk into the job market with a graduate degree.

When students aren't pursing the field of their dreams, they can expand their college experience at the recreation center, which has fitness machines, recreational basketball hoops for friendly games, and a full range of team sport opportunities. If that weren't enough, the university supports loads of outdoor recreation opportunities so that students can make the most of living in one of the most beautiful states in the nation.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Midsize
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 18:1
Graduation Rate 71%
Year Founded 1876

Student Enrollment

Total Students36,681


Undergraduate Student

Male 16,587
Female 13,572

Graduate Student

Male 3,587
Female 2,935

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CU Boulder Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 20,160
Female 20,517


Male 15,322
Female 16,414

Acceptance Rate78%

Male 76%
Female 80%

Enrollment 6,980

Male 2,569
Female 4,411
Application Fee $50
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations Recommended
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline January 15
Common Application Accepted Yes

CU Boulder Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Financial concerns are often paramount when it comes to a bachelor's degree. Given the great academics at CU Boulder, the in-state tuition represents a terrific value. It should also be noted that the school is in the Western Undergraduate Exchange, which allows students from states like Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, and more to attend the school with in-state tuition, which is $12,000, plus approximately $1,200 for books and other supplies. Meanwhile, out-of-state students pay tuition of $38,000. On top of that, students pay approximately $15,000 for off-campus living and close to $17,000 to enjoy the conveniences of campus life.

To subsidize their education, many CU Boulder students receive some form of financial aid. In fact, a full 53% of all full-time, first-year undergraduate students receive some form of a grant or scholarship. These 3,400 students each receive an average sum of $9,300 to help offset their academic costs. For additional help, 30% of those first-year students take out loans amounting to $9,000 on average. Meanwhile, when we consider all undergraduate students, over 14,000 of them receive grants or scholarships averaging $11,000 each.

Average net price 2017-2018
Net Price $21,466
Average Total Aid $9,428
Students Receiving Financial Aid 64%
Room & Board $14,778

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $12,500
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $38,318
  • Books and Supplies - $1,200
  • Room & Board - $14,778
  • Other - $2,556

Popular Academic Programs at CU Boulder

University of Colorado Boulder has a large campus with over 30,000 undergraduates and 6,000 graduate students, all of whom receive a top-notch education from some of the nation's top scholars. This is a fact proven by the high retention numbers, stellar graduation rates, and impressive student-to-faculty ratio, especially considering the size of the university.

The retention rate for CU Boulder is an impressive 88% for all first-year undergraduate students. This means that only a slim number of first-year students find another option after their inaugural college year. Retention statistics tend to indicate that students are pleased with their education, the campus' resources, and even their fellow students. In fact, nearly 70% of students stick around to receive their bachelor's degree from CU Boulder. Thus, there's a better than chance likelihood that a group of friends in the first-year dorms will walk across the graduation stage within six years.

These impressive numbers are perhaps due to CU Boulder's impressive student-to-faculty ratio. The university boasts a ratio of 18 students to every one faculty member. While other schools have lower ratios, the slight uptick is likely due to the large introductory class sizes. Later in one's college career, a student is likely to find smaller classes and a more intensive academic atmosphere.

Student Population Total

Student Population 36,681

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 993 Total Graduates / 16%
Business Administration and Management, General 993 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 829 Total Graduates / 13%
Physiology, General 337 Graduates
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 195 Graduates
Cell/Cellular and Molecular Biology 132 Graduates
Neuroscience 94 Graduates
Biochemistry 71 Graduates
All Engineering Majors 827 Total Graduates / 13%
Mechanical Engineering 260 Graduates
Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/Space Engineering 115 Graduates
Biochemical Engineering 79 Graduates
Chemical Engineering 70 Graduates
Civil Engineering, General 63 Graduates
All Social Sciences Majors 669 Total Graduates / 11%
Economics, General 257 Graduates
Political Science and Government, General 171 Graduates
Sociology 130 Graduates
Anthropology 72 Graduates
Geography 39 Graduates
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 642 Total Graduates / 10%
Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication 389 Graduates
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 151 Graduates
Journalism, Other 57 Graduates
Communication and Media Studies, Other 31 Graduates
Mass Communication/Media Studies 7 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 430 Total Graduates / 7%
Psychology, General 430 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 31%

Outcome & Salary

Though CU Boulder provides a tremendous value in education, students and parents need to see that their investment will yield a significant return. This return on investment (ROI) can be assessed in many ways, but the chief indicator for most people is found in salary figures. The top earning graduates from CU Boulder hold bachelor's degrees in computer science and their average salary is reported as $70,000. At the lower end, those with bachelor's degrees in business administration start their careers with a respectable $49,000. These numbers are impressive on their own, but they only grow when one factors in benefits, bonuses, and overall career satisfaction.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $57,800
College Grads Average Salary $76,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $109,900
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $760,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,859,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $85,864
10 Year Projected ROI $674,136
20 Year Projected ROI $1,773,136
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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