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CU-Boulder Today

University Profile in Brief

Today CU-Boulder enrolls approximately 30,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and offers over 3,400 courses in more than 150 fields of study. Many of the university's programs are not available at any other institution in the state or, in some cases, the Rocky Mountain region. Eight schools and colleges provide academic homes to approximately 1,000 tenured and tenure-track faculty; approximately 1,100 other instructional faculty (including instructors, lecturers, adjunct instructors, and others); and 1,500 research faculty (including research professors, research associates, research assistants, and others). More than 3,000 staff members support the success of CU-Boulder's faculty and students.

The university campus is nationally recognized for its physical beauty and unified architectural style. More than 200 buildings feature sandstone and red-tiled roofs in the "Tuscan vernacular" design. CU-Boulder has grown to approximately 800 acres on the Main Campus, East Campus, University of Colorado Research Park, Williams Village, and Mountain Research Station, along with other properties, such as the South Campus, reserved for long-term needs.

Strengths and Contributions

By engaging in leading-edge research and scholarly work, our faculty and students are making a tangible difference in the world. They apply knowledge and creativity to solving some of society's most vexing problems, whether it be installing a water purification system in a remote African village, developing a more effective tool for identifying flu viruses, or producing a film to raise awareness of global child exploitation.

Additionally, CU-Boulder faculty members have a remarkable record in competing for sponsored research, attracting more than $266 million in federal and other support during the 2007 fiscal year. The number of annual patent applications by CU-Boulder researchers has tripled during the past five years, from 31 to 98. Ninety research institutes, centers, and laboratories contribute to the interdisciplinary strength for which the university is known. More than 11 million publications in our University Libraries provide the largest collection in the Rocky Mountain region. CU-Boulder is highly regarded among universities nationwide, and is one of only 35 public research universities in the prestigious Association of American Universities. We are closely affiliated with several nearby national laboratories, whose scientists and researchers work collaboratively with our faculty to push the boundaries of exploration and discovery every day.

As educators, we take pride in our innovative undergraduate and graduate education programs, including our 11 residential academic programs that provide shared undergraduate learning and living experiences and our concurrent bachelor's/master's degree offerings that allow top students to complete two degrees in five years. Additionally, we honor teaching excellence as one of our core academic values through a wide array of faculty recognition programs and incentives.

The CU-Boulder community also plays an important role in the state of Colorado's economic vitality and quality of life, generating more than $17 in gross state product for every dollar provided by the state in unrestricted general fund appropriations. In addition to attracting significant federal research dollars, we contribute thousands of graduates each year to an educated workforce that helps drive the state's economy. In addition, technology transfer fostered by our faculty and graduate students has led to many of the state's new businesses and industries; in fact, approximately half of the new biotechnology companies created in Colorado each year are the result of technology developed either exclusively at CU-Boulder or in conjunction with our sister institution, the University of Colorado Denver.

Our faculty and students further enhance Colorado's quality of life with a variety of ongoing artistic, musical, and cultural programs—like the nationally renowned Colorado Shakespeare Festival, now entering its 51st year. From museums to concerts to art exhibits to dance performances, CU-Boulder promotes creative expression and public appreciation of arts and culture.