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Why CU-Boulder

Unique Academic Opportunities

As one of Colorado’s first universities, CU-Boulder shares the same pioneering spirit that defines our state. Since our founding in 1876, we have become one of the world’s top universities, achieving an outstanding reputation for teaching, scholarship, research, and creative work across more than 150 academic fields.

  • 300 study abroad programs in more than 65 countries
  • 42% of classes with enrollment of 20 students or fewer; 83% of classes with 50 students or fewer
  • 3,600 courses in more than 150 fields of study
  • Nearly 100 service-learning courses in more than 30 academic departments
  • Innovative teaching technology, including online learning tools
  • Individualized academic support

Learn more about academic opportunities at CU-Boulder

CU-Boulder offers many degree options and academic programs designed to help students make the most of their college experience. Students can challenge themselves and further their education through a variety of honors activities, hands-on learning, service projects and study abroad opportunities.

  • Concurrent Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree Programs
  • CU-LEAD Alliance
  • Honors Program
  • Norlin Scholars Program
  • Presidents Leadership Class
  • Puksta Scholars Program
  • Study Abroad
  • Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

Engaging Community

At CU-Boulder, on-campus residents enjoy the personal feel and support of a small college with the variety of floor plans, activities, and excitement of a large university. With 22 unique residence halls and 13 different dining locations, residents have a variety of options to choose from during the first-year living experience. All incoming freshmen are required to live in the residence halls their first two semesters. After the first year, students may choose to live off campus.

Housing and Dining

  • The Center for Community dining hall features global cuisine made from local ingredients. Choose from 10 different dining stations featuring food from around the world including Latin Comida, Asian Shi Pin, Italian Cibo, and more!
  • On-campus housing is convenient, safe, and fun. Residence halls are equipped with safety features such as 24-hour key card access and are located within walking distance of hiking trails, restaurants, and shopping centers.
  • Residential Academic Programs (RAPs) and Living and Learning Communities (LLCs) provide an opportunity for students to live with others who have similar interests, make friends, and take small seminar-style classes in the residence halls. RAPs and LLCs focus on a variety of interests and emphasize active learning and critical thinking.
  • CU-Boulder also offers off-campus and family housing for older students and students with families.

Clubs and Organizations

In addition to outstanding academics, the range of possibilities students find as a member of our university community enables them to achieve the unique college experience they deserve.


Your student will have a safe place to study, work, and socialize at CU-Boulder. Our campus is well lit and emergency phones are located at strategic points throughout campus. Police officers patrol campus buildings and parking lots late at night.  CU-Boulder and the City of Boulder work together to provide safe and reliable transportation services for students through public transportation and CU NightRide. CU NightRide is a student-operated program that provides free nighttime transportation to CU students, faculty, and staff.

Facilities on Campus

CU-Boulder is consistently investing in the campus and its students through the construction of new state-of-the-art facilities and the renovation of existing buildings. Whether it is a LEED Certified building like Williams Village North or the Center for Community or the new JILA Addition or Systems Biotechnology building, students won’t find their living, learning, or playing spaces lacking.

Library System

The University Libraries system on the Boulder campus is the largest library collection in the Rocky Mountain region with more than twelve million items. The system includes Norlin Library, the Law Library and four branch libraries: Business, Earth Sciences/Map, Engineering, and Music.


Find out more about the CU-Boulder community

Breathtaking Location

CU-Boulder is recognized as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the nation.  Set against a prominent mountain backdrop, the 600-acre main campus is distinguished by 200 buildings featuring native sandstone walls, dramatic red tile roofs, limestone trim, and black wrought-iron accents – all in a classic rural Italian architectural style.


Boulder is often selected as one of the most desirable places to live because of its beautiful setting and cultural atmosphere. Boulder has a dry climate, with lots of sunshine, so residents spend a lot of time outdoors. More than 300 miles of bikeways and a bus system that is free for CU-Boulder students provide convenient transportation around town. Students enjoy walking on the Pearl Street Mall, hiking and rock climbing in the nearby Flatirons, listening to live music, and studying with friends in the many local coffee shops.


Denver, Colorado’s capital, is only 30 miles southeast of Boulder. Denver has some of the finest museums in the West, including the Denver Art Museum, the Black American West Museum, and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Other attractions include professional sports teams, the Denver Zoo, the Denver Performing Arts Complex, and the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre.


Colorado’s mountains contain 9,600 miles of streams, 2,850 lakes, and more than 1,000 peaks that are over two miles high. Rocky Mountain National Park is located only 45 miles from Boulder and features 400 square miles of scenic beauty. Colorado has some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world, with 26 official ski/snowboard resorts, 11 or which are less than a three-hour drive from Boulder. Eldora Mountain, the closest ski area, is only 20 miles away.


Take a photo tour of the campus and surrounding area

Value of a CU-Boulder Education

CU-Boulder has been rated a “Best Value” public university by USA Today and The Princeton Review since 2009. CU-Boulder graduates earn competitive salaries and according to, a market leader in global online compensation data, the numbers for CU-Boulder bachelor’s degree holders are:

  • Median starting salary of $46,300
  • Median career salary of $85,300

Mmore than 11,600 companies recruit CU-Boulder students and graduates each year including high-profile companies such as:

  • Accenture
  • Agilent Technologies
  • Apple Inc.
  • Ball Aerospace
  • BBDO Advertising
  • CBS Radio
  • ESPN
  • Facebook
  • Fox Sports
  • Google
  • Intel Corp.
  • National Geographic News
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
  • Raytheon
  • SELF Magazine
  • Shell
  • Yahoo!
  • and many more.

Learn more about the value of a CU-Boulder degree