Online Colleges in

Online Schools in Colorado

Article Sources
  • College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed December 29, 2016, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
  • QuickFacts, U.S. Census Bureau, accessed December 29, 2016, http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/00
  • U.S. News & World Report, accessed December 29, 2016: Colorado Colleges, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/co?_sort=enrollment&_sort-direction=desc&_mode=list; University of Colorado -- Boulder, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/cu-boulder-1370; Colorado State University, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/colorado-state-university-1350; Colorado Technical University, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/colorado-technical-university-10148; University of Denver, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-denver-1371; University of Northern Colorado, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-northern-colorado-1349; University of Colorado Denver, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-colorado-denver-6740
  • Top Universities, Center for World University Rankings, accessed December 29, 2016, http://cwur.org/2016.php
  • Tuition and Fees by Sector and State over Time, The College Board, accessed December 28, 2016, https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/tuition-fees-sector-state-over-time
  • Labor Market Information Gateway, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, accessed December 30, 2016, https://www.colmigateway.com/vosnet/Default.aspx
  • Long Term Occupational Projections, Projections Central, accessed December 30, 2016, http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed December 30, 2016: Psychologists, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm; Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Including Vascular Technologists, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/diagnostic-medical-sonographers.htm; Information Security Analysts, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151122.htm; Market Research Analysts, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm;
  • Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed December 30, 2016: Colorado, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_co.htm; Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292032.htm; Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes131161.htm;

Colorado is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the U.S., but that's not all the Centennial State has to offer. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) counts 124 campus-based and online schools and colleges in Colorado as of 2017, and many of them have earned high marks from national and international academic ranking agencies.

Here are some numbers on the various types of degrees available at Colorado schools, according to the NCES:

Institution type No. offering bachelor's degrees No. offering associate's degrees No. offering certificates and other non-degree awards No. offering advanced degrees (master's, Ph.D., etc.)
Private nonprofit1191510
Private for-profit22365714

Certain cities in Colorado have a higher proportion of students in their populations than others, which may also mean that certain advantageous academic services like tutoring centers and independent booksellers are more likely to be available. Here's a table of population data from the U.S. Census Bureau and student presence figures from the NCES for a few of the top cities where Colorado schools are located:

City Total estimated population
(U.S. Census, 2015)
No. of enrolled students
(NCES, 2016)
No. of students as a percentage of total population % of residents with bachelor's degrees
(U.S. Census, 2015)
Denver649,65452,4478.07 percent 45 percent
Colorado Springs442,04039,6308.97 percent 37.2 percent
Fort Collins153,29233,86522.09 percent 52.5 percent
Boulder103,91930,63329.48 percent 72.3 percent
Aurora345,86723,1106.68 percent 27.9 percent
Greeley97,07412,41812.79 percent 25.3 percent
Lakewood147,83610,4267.05 percent 36.5 percent

The statewide average tuition and fees expense at four-year Colorado schools was $10,257 for the 2016-17 academic year, according to a report by The College Board, but multiple campus-based and online colleges in Colorado reported average annual tuition and fees payments of several thousand dollars on either side of that figure. Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs was the state's most affordable school in 2016, charging in-state students just $2,756 per year on average, while Colorado College in Colorado Springs cost an average of $50,892 the same year.

Online education in Colorado

Today's colleges and universities provide an array of options for students who need extra flexibility in order to accommodate their continued education, and degrees that can be earned either primarily or entirely online are among the most powerful ones out there. Take a look at the distribution of degree types available through online programs in Colorado:

Institution type No. offering 4-year degrees No. offering 2-year degrees No. offering certificates and other non-degree awards No. offering advanced degrees (master's, Ph.D., etc.)
Private nonprofit1 - 11
Private for-profit1121

Ranking information for traditional and online schools in Colorado

U.S. News & World Report and the Center for World University Rankings take the time each year to rank universities all over the country and the world, and several of the campus-based and online colleges in Colorado made the most recent list. Here's a table of the top-ranking Colorado schools for 2016-17:

Rank Category Ranking Agency
No. 65 Global Universities Center for World University Rankings
Rank Category Ranking Agency
No. 130 Global Universities Center for World University Rankings
Rank Category Ranking Agency
No. 61(tie) Top Public Schools U.S. News & World Report
Rank Category Ranking Agency
No. 86 Best National Universities for Veterans U.S. News & World Report
Rank Category Ranking Agency
No. 32 (tie) National Liberal Arts Colleges U.S. News & World Report
Rank Category Ranking Agency
No. 23 (tie) Regional Colleges (West) U.S. News & World Report

Top degree programs at online colleges in Colorado

Certain programs offered online at Colorado schools have performed well enough in recent years to be named to the 2016 list of best online degrees by U.S. News & World Report. If you're thinking about applying to online schools in Colorado, don't overlook these top contenders:

Rank Degree program Highlights
No. 11 (tie) Online bachelor's programs The customizable online bachelor's programs at CSU Global Campus are designed for working adults and feature accelerated 8-week terms and consistently updated course material.
Rank Degree program Highlights
No. 12 (tie) Criminal justice The criminal justice department at UC Denver offers online graduate degrees as well as a dual bachelor's/master's program and costs about the same for resident and non-resident students.
Rank Degree program Highlights
No. 18 (tie) Graduate information technology Both the information technology and computer science master's programs at CTU allow students to take certain doctoral courses for credit at the graduate level.
Rank Degree program Highlights
No. 21 MBA The online executive MBA for real estate professionals at DU includes studies of property development, construction management, facilities management and integrated project delivery.

Industries and degrees to get in Colorado

Colorado has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country — just 3.2 percent as of November 2016, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) — and certain jobs in the state have been posting opportunity and salary numbers that have to be seen to be believed. Here are some details on a few of today's hottest jobs for graduates of traditional and online programs in Colorado schools:

Industrial-organizational psychologist
Why it's hot
Degree information
These educated professionals use the tools and techniques of the social sciences to improve organizational effectiveness and streamline business practice, and the Colorado economy seems to be clamoring for more of them. CDLE projections show 77.1 percent employment growth expected in the profession by 2024, and the state's average salary for psychologists outside of clinical and counseling settings was $81,660 in 2015 Industrial-organizational psychology is one of just a handful of professional social science occupations that doesn't require a doctoral degree. Psychology graduates with a master's degree can clear the first educational hurdle on their way to a job in the field, and those with special training in industrial-organizational methods, up to and including a full post-graduate certificate in the discipline, may have an advantageous position with employers.
Information security analyst
Why it's hot
Degree information
Skilled technical personnel are in high demand all over the country, particularly in information technology fields, and IT security analysts in Colorado are facing a particularly rosy outlook over the next several years. Not only is the profession projected to see job growth of 53.1 percent between 2014 and 2024, but the 2015 statewide average annual salary of $99,730 was more than $6,000 higher than the national average reported by the BLS. Degrees in computer science, information technology, network administration, cybersecurity and computer engineering can all prepare you fairly well for the demands of an information security career. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists a bachelor's degree as the minimum educational requirement for the position, although employers may prefer candidates with a master's degree when staffing senior positions.
Diagnostic medical sonographer
Why it's hot
Degree information
Diagnostic medical sonography is one of the hottest careers in a surging health care industry, thanks to a large portion of the population approaching old age and diagnostic medicine becoming more widely accessible in recent years. The latest statewide report shows an expected 60.8 percent increase in job opportunities for sonographers by 2024, according to CDLE numbers. On top of that, the state's average yearly wage of $80,300 was seventh-highest in the country in 2015. With its minimum educational requirement often just a two-year associate degree or certificate program, diagnostic medical sonography offers one of the highest possible salaries among professions that don't require a four-year education. Bachelor's degrees in the field are available both on campus and online, however, and employers at some hospitals and other clinical facilities may ask that their sonographers have as much education as possible before seeking employment.
Market research analyst
Why it's hot
Degree information
The ability to take a mountain of data and turn it into a comprehensible set of action plans is a high-value skill for a wide range of companies and other organizations, as the 46.3 percent employment growth for market research analysts in Colorado makes fairly clear. Market research positions also paid an average annual salary of $77,740 in 2015, according to the BLS, with the top 25 percent of earners in the state taking home more than $95,450 the same year. A bachelor's degree is required for most market research analyst positions. Although most companies don't place rigid restrictions on the major subject of your degree, studying quantitative fields such as math and statistics may give you a leg up in the hiring process. Graduates in the liberal arts — literature, design and mass communications, for example — are often prized in this field as well, and a few courses in business administration or data literacy can also be helpful.

Featured schools in Colorado


The top Colorado schools offer a range of well-regarded degree plans to serve the diverse educational goals of their students. Take a look at this table of campus-based and online programs at colleges in Colorado that stood out above the rest:

Institution Name
Online Degrees?
Top Programs
Colorado State University

MBA (on campus and online), non-MBA graduate business (online), information technology (online), engineering (on campus and online), veterinary medicine, public health, social work, math, statistics, earth sciences, occupational therapy, teacher education.

University of Colorado Boulder

Engineering (on campus and online), physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, law, teacher education, earth sciences, economics, business, computer science (on campus and online), fine arts, math, history, social science

University of Colorado Denver

Teacher education (on-campus and online), nonprofit management, health care management, criminal justice (online), public affairs, biological sciences, statistics

University of Denver

Law, social work, library and information studies, graduate business (on-campus and online), information technology (online), psychology, English, public affairs

University of Northern Colorado

Public health, rehabilitation counseling, audiology, psychology, chemistry, math, teacher education (online)

Colorado School of Mines

Engineering, earth sciences, math, physics, computer science, chemistry, economics

Article Sources