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Summer in Boulder

Great Campus. Great Outdoors.

Go beyond the classroom and explore everything CU-Boulder has to offer in the summer. Attend a production of Shakespeare on a beautiful summer evening or participate in one of the numerous activities around Boulder. Whether on campus or on a mountaintop, make the most of your summer.

Summer is in session, but don’t worry, you can take advantage of summer in Boulder while earning CU-Boulder credit. Enroll in classes and make time for summer events all season long. From biking to hiking and bluegrass to Shakespeare, on campus and off, earning credits and enjoying summer has never been more fun. Here are a few suggestions to fill your downtime and invigorate your mind and body.

Boulder Creek Festival

Downtown Boulder along Boulder Creek from 9th Street to 14th Street
For over a quarter century, this annual festival acts as the unofficial kickoff to summer in Boulder. Held Memorial Day weekend, the festival is free and open to the public, and includes three days of music, food, carnival rides, and the signature Great Rubber Duck Race. For more information visit the Boulder Creek Festival website.

Bolder Boulder 10K Race

30th Street and Walnut
Take part in this Boulder community tradition. Enjoy the beautiful Boulder scenery, roadside entertainment, and finish strong at Folsom Field on the Boulder campus as part of this annual Memorial Day weekend 10-kilometer race. For more information visit the Bolder Boulder website.

Boulder County Farmers’ Market

Next to Central Park, Downtown Boulder
Taste summer’s finest fruits and vegetables in their prime at the local farmers’ market. Enjoy locally grown fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers, and plants directly from the growers. Stay for the special events and pastries, too. For more information visit the Farmer's Market website.

Twenty Ninth Street Live! Concert Series

Twenty Ninth Street Mall
Attention music lovers! This concert series features live, outdoor music on Saturday nights all summer long with restaurants and shopping nearby. For more information visit the Concert Series website.

Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast

Folsom Field
Since 1941, Boulder residents have gathered at Folsom Field to ignite their patriotic sides on Independence Day. In addition to the customary fireworks show, the event features pre-fireworks activities and unique musical entertainment. For more information visit the Independence Day Blast website.

Boulder Outdoor Cinema

1350 13th Street
Enjoy a classic movie outside under the stars. Pre-show contests, short films, and live entertainment precede the movie that starts at dusk. For more information visit the Outdoor Cinema website.

Band on the Bricks

1300 block of Pearl Street
This summer tradition takes place on the bricks of the popular Pearl Street Mall. Enjoy varied performances from some of the best local musicians along the Front Range during this outdoor summer concert series. For more information visit the Band on the Bricks website.

Chautauqua Summer Series

900 Baseline Road
Engage in nature, culture, and heritage at the Chautauqua National Historic Landmark. Since 1898, activities and events have been offered to anyone seeking an escape from urban life – including academic stressors. Enjoy the sweet songs of summer, take a hike within the site’s 40 acres, or attend a local performance. For more information visit the Chautauqua website.

Colorado Music Festival

Chautauqua Auditorium
Experience classical favorites, chamber music, and world music with the internationally acclaimed festival held four nights per week for seven weeks at the historical Chautauqua Auditorium. For more information visit the Music Festival website.

CU New Opera Works

CU New Opera Works (CU NOW) brings great contemporary composers to Boulder to work on world-premiere operas with College of Music students. Getting an opera ready for its stage premiere is a fascinating process involving composers, directors, singers, and an entire production team. Audiences get a rare advance hearing of new operatic works during these works-in-progress sessions and also participate in talkbacks, offer opinions about what works, and suggest changes. While workshops of this kind are common in the theatre world, they remain rare in opera. For more information visit the New Opera Works website.

Colorado Shakespeare Festival

Mary Rippon Theater, Boulder campus
Regarded as one of North America’s most important Shakespearean festivals, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival brings professional actors center stage during the summer. The festival highlights several plays each summer many of which are held under the stars at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theater. Summer 2014 features The Tempest; Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2; The Merry Wives of Windsor; and I Hate Hamlet. For more information visit the Shakespeare Festival website.

Especially for Teachers

Accomplished faculty, great courses, and stimulating students make Summer Session at CU-Boulder the place to be. With hundreds of courses to choose from, there’s ample opportunity to advance your career, gain insight into subject matter, or spur your creative drive.

The School of Education is nationally recognized for its model teacher education and graduate programs. For more information visit the School of Education website or call 303-492-6937.

Many summer offerings within the College of Arts and Sciences, the Journalism and Mass Communication Program, the College of Engineering and Applied Science, and the College of Music may interest teachers. You can earn undergraduate or graduate credit as a nondegree or visiting student.

The online Resource Directory for Educators is another source of classes available statewide for teachers needing professional development, seeking re-licensure, or interested in working toward an advanced degree. If you have questions about classes for teachers, set up a time to meet or talk with a Continuing Education academic advisor.

High School Students

Summer Study Programs at the University of Colorado Boulder offers the “Total Pre-college Experience” for high school students presently in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade. High school students can choose from exciting 5-week academic programs including math, science, art, music, theatre, and more. A 2-week, 3-week, and 5-week residential program provides pre-collegians with enrichment class opportunities not generally offered as a part of high school curricula. The program includes extensive recreational activities and sports clinics including rafting, hiking, mountain biking, tennis, soccer, basketball, and more. Summer Study participants make lifelong friendships as well as get the rare opportunity to “taste” college life while still in an organized and supervised environment. Experience a summer like never before!

Research Opportunities

There are numerous research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides funding for undergraduates to work over the summer with world-class scholars. Visit the UROP website for application criteria and deadlines or call 303-735-6802.

The Summer Multicultural Access to Research Training (SMART) program offers ten-week research internships for historically underserved undergraduates in science and engineering each summer. The internships provide hands-on experience in research and an introduction to graduate education at a major research institution. Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, interns design, carry out, and formally present research projects in their area of interest. Visit SMART website for more information.

Be sure to check out...

INVST Community Studies programs develop engaged citizens and leaders who work for the benefit of humanity and the environment. For more information visit the INVST website or call 303-492-8045.

Summer Study Abroad offers 90+ summer programs in over 40 countries. Programs run from two to ten weeks, and include language study, field study, traveling programs, faculty-led Global Seminars, and much more. All programs provide CU-Boulder credit; eligible students can use their CU-Boulder financial aid, and scholarships are available. There will be nearly 25 faculty-led Global Seminars taught in various locations around the world in 2014. Faculty will be teaching courses in Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Cuba, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, and Turkey. Early application encouraged. For more information visit Study Abroad website or email

Learn More About Climate (LMAC) translates climate change information into resources and tools for teachers, policymakers, and citizens. Watch videos, schedule a guest speaker, and teach standards-based lessons. Representing many institutes and departments of the University of Colorado Boulder, LMAC offers this centralized hub for learning more about climate change. The LMAC website and resources are a project of CU-Boulder’s Office for University Outreach.

Finishing your degree is closer that you think. CU Complete is a service designed to help former CU-Boulder degree students complete their degrees. We have academic, financial aid, and career advisors available to assist returning students. We can also provide assistance and referrals for enrollment at a variety of colleges or universities in the state. For additional information visit the CU Complete website or email