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Online Colleges in Colorado

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This is your one-stop resource for information on online colleges in Colorado. We begin with a general overview of higher education in the state and then document Colorado‚Äôs state-specific initiatives and any progress they’ve made in supporting online education.

We also reviewed the entirety of Colorado’s online offerings and then ranked the top online colleges based on affordability. After browsing these profiles, be sure to take note of the scholarships and higher education resources for Colorado, located at the bottom of the page. Remember that the best option for your desired online degree may lie outside your home state, so feel free to browse our nationwide database of online colleges as well.


Postsecondary Education in Colorado

Between 2004 and 2014, the average tuition and fees at four-year public universities rose 18%.

The Center on Budget and Policies Priorities reported that from 2008 to 2014 there was an 11.1% decrease in the funding Colorado state gives to each student.

Colorado is nationally ranked in terms of graduation and student retention rates, with a 60.6% overall graduation rate in public four year schools, and 84.2% first year retention rate.

CollegeBoard reports that for in-state students, 2014-15 tuition in Colorado’s public four-year schools came to roughly $7,500, versus a national average of $9,139.

For out-of-state students, Colorado tuition came to roughly $17,500, versus a national average of $22,958.


Online Education in Colorado

NCES Report

According to a recent NCES report, in fall 2012, 19.4% of students enrolled in Title IV institutions in Colorado (72,801 students) were in exclusively online programs.

  • 74% of those students were undergraduates
  • 20.7% were in public 4-year institutions
  • 10.5% were in private not-for-profit 4-year institutions
  • 47.1% were in private for-profit 4-year institutions
  • 40.6% were living in Colorado
  • 56% were living elsewhere in the United States

The State University of Colorado consists of 64 campuses statewide. There are approximately 400 online and blended programs offered online, totaling roughly 12,000 courses.


Most Affordable Online Colleges in Colorado

Below you’ll find the very best in online education in Colorado, sorted by affordability. These rankings identify the fully online programs in a school’s catalogue, explain how the school’s online interface works and spotlight the recognition a school has received for its online initiatives.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

Metropolitan State University

1
Metropolitan State University
Denver
$282
$6,773

An Online Education at Metropolitan State University

Blackboard Learn is the web-based learning management system that hosts MSU Denver's online courses. The online platform allows students and instructors to communicate via email, chats and posts. Course materials such as assignments, quizzes, announcements and group work are posted on Blackboard by the instructor. Although students can complete the work asynchronously, classes typically have weekly deadlines for each module. After students submit their work, instructors provide feedback in the form of guided discussion board posts, instant chat and personal emails. Unlike many other online programs, MSU Denver does not require its online exams to be proctored.

Access to SmarThinking online tutoring, the writing center, Auraria Library and the tutoring center is granted to all MSU Denver students. Those unsure whether online learning is the right choice for them can take a Learning Skills Self-Assessment before applying.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MET)
  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN degree completion)
  • Bachelor of Journalism
  • Bachelor of Technical Communication

Most classes require students to log in at least three times a week and schedule six to nine hours of offline study time per three-credit course every week.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Social Work
  • Master of Arts in Clinical Health
  • Master of Arts in Teaching (hybrid)

In addition to fully online courses, mostly online and hybrid courses are also available to nontraditional, distance students.

Contact Information

Speer Blvd and Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80217-3362
(303) 556-3058


Acclaim for online programs

  • Ranked one of the Best Online Social Work Degree Programs by Best Colleges Online

Colorado State University-Global Campus

2
Colorado State University-Global Campus
Greenwood Village
$350
$8,400

An Online Education at Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State's Global Campus offers an abundance of totally online undergraduate and graduate degrees. Structured into accelerated eight-week long terms, with a new class start date every four weeks, busy students have the opportunity to quickly earn their degree when they it fits their schedules. Having just recently launched their new online learning management system, Schoology, Colorado State offers an enriched virtual learning environment enhanced by tablet and mobile device capabilities, simplified coursework submission, improved classmate and instructor interaction, comprehensive discussion boards and more. Additionally, all CSU Global Campus faculty are trained to work with adult students within the online learning environment.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Accounting
  • Bachelor of Human Services
  • Bachelor of Management Information Systems and Business Analytics
  • Bachelor of Marketing
  • Bachelor of Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Public Management

On average, undergraduate students transfer in 55 college credits.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Management
  • Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning - Education Leadership Concentration
  • Master of Finance
  • Master of Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration
  • Master of Professional Accounting
  • Master of Project Management
  • Master of International Management

Many Certificates of Completion can be earned online as well.

Created in 2007, the CSU Global Campus was the first fully-online state university in the whole of the United States. Continually intending to make career-relevant education more available to adult students on a global scale, CSU Global Campus is committed to its students' success.

Contact Information

7800 East Orchard Road Ste 200
Greenwood Village, CO 80111-0000
(800) 920-6723


Acclaim for online programs

  • #7 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • #53 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Business Programs (Excluding MBA)
  • #86 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs

Colorado Mesa University

3
Colorado Mesa University
Grand Junction
$359
$8,620

An Online Education at Colorado Mesa University

CMU's distance education is presented through the Desire2Learn course management system, which provides students with a vibrant online learning environment. This web-based platform allows students to submit their assignments in a variety of multimedia formats; participate in live, interactive class meetings with visual and audio components; and communicate with their instructors via discussion forums with ongoing, threaded discussion topics.

Any prospective students not residing in the state of Colorado should refer to the State Authorization map prior to applying to ensure that CMU has permission to deliver distance education in their home state.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to DSN Degree Completion)
  • Bachelor of Science in Sport Management
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Administration/Public Safety (Degree Completion)
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology (Degree Completion)
  • Bachelor of Art in Liberal Arts, Elementary licensure

These degree completion programs are designed for students holding a two-year degree or who have completed general education requirements prior to enrolling at CMU. Any prospective students who have not yet begun their college career may enroll at CMU for a two-year degree in their field of choice, then move on to complete the four-year degree.

Two associate programs may also be earned fully online. CMU employs six rigorous quality factors to ensure a quality online learning experience equal to its traditional, on-campus programs, including: quality course design, faculty readiness, student readiness, retention, student services and assessment.

Contact Information

1100 North Avenue
Grand Junction, CO 81501-3122
(970) 248-1020

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

4
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs
N/A
$8,894

An Online Education at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Students and instructors a UCCS use the well-known learning management system Blackboard as their web-based interface for online courses, which is accessible through their MyUCCS Portal. Any who are unfamiliar with navigating virtual classrooms may take advantage of the Blackboard On Demand Video Tutorials to help orient them to the online learning environment. Prospective students who are still unsure online learning is the right choice for them can take the Learning Styles Inventory to determine if they would thrive in an online program.

Once enrolled, students are able to access their Blackboard courses the first day of the semester. Instructors may send out a personal email at the start of the term with instructions on how to get started. From then, students communicate with professors and classmates through discussion threads, virtual chats, collaborative assignments and messaging.

Live, online support and academic advising are just two of the many resources provided for online students.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
  • Bachelor of Science in Business
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Care Sciences: Allied Health Option
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: RN to BSN or Dual Enrollment Option

These are degree completion programs offered to students who have 60 credits already and wish to finish the final 60 online at UCCS.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Arts: Curriculum and Instruction
  • Master of Criminal Justice
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Master of Science in Nursing: Nurse Education
  • Master of Engineering: Space Operations

A wealth of certificates at both the undergraduate and graduate level may be earned completely online in addition to individual courses.

Contact Information

1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
(719) 255-3000


Acclaim for online programs

  • #40 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online MBA Programs
  • #20 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs
  • #48 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs

University of Northern Colorado

5
University of Northern Colorado
Greeley
$395
$9,480

An Online Education at University of Northern Colorado

UNC uses Blackboard as its online course delivery platform to give students access to their individual courses and grades. Students also catch up on announcements and check for new assignments through this LMS. Most interaction on is done through threaded discussion forums lead by the instructors, who provide feedback in response to students' posts. Collaborative group projects between students are conducted, quizzes are taken, assignments submitted and tests administered, all through the virtual classroom environment.

Library services for distance students provide the necessary access to research tools and academic resources. Academic support, advising, writing resources, tutoring, counseling and disability services are available to all UNC students. Every online program provides students with an online orientation.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in American Sign Language - English Interpretation
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology - Degree Completion
  • Bachelor of Science in Dietetics
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing - RN to BSN Degree Completion
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology - Degree Completion

Students may transfer up to 90 college credits towards their online UNC degree.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Teaching American Sign Language
  • Educational Psychology Master of Arts: Teaching Application Emphasis
  • Art and Design Master of Arts
  • Dance Education Master of Arts
  • Special Education Master of Arts: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Emphasis
  • Science Education Master of Arts
  • Curriculum Studies Master of Arts in Teaching

Students residing outside of Colorado should note that UNC is not authorized to deliver distance education in Arkansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee. Students should verify their resident state's eligibility before applying.

Contact Information

Carter Hall - Rm 4000
Greeley, CO 80639
(970) 351-1890


Acclaim for online programs

  • #184 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • #13 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs

Colorado State University

6
Colorado State University
Fort Collins
$397
$9,528

An Online Education at Colorado State University

CSU OnlinePlus is currently in the process of migrating its learning management system from RamCT Blackboard to Canvas. Students should do a browser check to be sure that their operating system can support both learning management systems before beginning an online class. A QuickStart Guide and orientation for both Canvas and Blackboard can be completed by future students who want help navigating through either system's learning environment.

Students communicate with their instructors via posted announcements, emails, messaging, presenting case studies and instant chat; they collaborate with their classmates via discussion threads, journal entries, blogs, wikis and group projects. Although the majority of classes are asynchronous, allowing students flexibility with their schedules, weekly deadlines and due dates are in place to ensure students stay on track. Occasionally, synchronous audio or visual lectures may be live-streamed.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business
  • Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology
  • Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Services Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Education in Adult Education and Training
  • Master of Engineering in Engineering Management
  • Master of Applied Statistics
  • Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering
  • Master of Natural Resource Studies
  • Master of Tourism Management
  • Master of Natural Sciences Education

Free, non-credit, Massive Online Courses (MOOCs) and for-credit certificates at the graduate and undergraduate level are also offered online. A few online courses are offered through outreach partners that might use a different LMS platform than Colorado State.

Contact Information

102 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523-0100
(970) 491-1101


Acclaim for online programs

  • #40 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • #57 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online MBA Programs
  • #31 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Business Programs (Excluding MBA)
  • #78 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs

University of Colorado – Denver

7
University of Colorado – Denver
Denver
$440
$10,560

An Online Education at University of Colorado – Denver

CU Denver utilizes the Canvas learning management systems to deliver its distance education. Students new to the online learning environment can pursue the few sample courses to familiarize themselves with the virtual classroom.

Throughout each course, students share documents, participate in highly interactive discussion boards, take tests or quizzes, view their grades, watch videos, listen to recorded lectures, collaborate with their classmates on group activities and projects and regularly keep in touch with the professor.

Students have access to a number of support services including: online tutoring, library services, live chat with the IT support team, access to the bookstore, career services center and much more.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication
  • Bachelor of Arts in English Writing
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Information Systems
  • Master of Science in Management and Organization
  • Master of Engineering in Geographic Information Systems
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Education in Leadership for Educational Equity
  • Master of Science in Recording Arts, Media Forensics

A number of certificates and licenses may be obtained online through CU Denver. Non-degree seeking students can take individual online courses. Nontraditional students may also be interested in the hybrid course offerings. With more than 450 online courses and more being added every year, CU Denver continually strives to offer a variety of higher learning options.

Contact Information

1380 Lawrence Street, Lawrence Street Center, Suite 1400
Denver, CO 80217-3364
(303) 556-5600


Acclaim for online programs

  • #9 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs
  • #78 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs
  • #5 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs

Regis University

8
Regis University
Denver
$460
$11,040

An Online Education at Regis University

By logging in to their INsite Regis University Online account, students may access the University's preferred learning management system, SharePoint. This internet-based platform is designed to provide access to eLearning tools including: chats, discussion forums, DropBox, Learning Path activities, live conferencing, GradeBook, documents manager and Course Statistics.

Since courses are structured into five- or eight-week long, accelerated terms, students must regularly log in to their courses to make sure they do not fall behind; most instructors will set weekly deadlines for assignments that encourage them to check in. Most courses are asynchronous with the occasional synchronous live session.

Prior Learning Assessments (PLA) allow adult learners to earn college credit for prior work and learning experiences by either assembling a portfolio demonstrating acquired knowledge; taking a test such as the CLEP, DANTES or Challenge exams; or through awarded ACE credits. Regis allows up to 90 credit hours to be transferred in from an accredited community college or university.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Networking
  • Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts
  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Science
  • Bachelor of Health Information Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Public Administration
  • Bachelor of Applied Science
  • Bachelor of Business Technology Management

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Science in Database Technologies
  • Master of Science in Information Assurance
  • Master of Adult Education and Training
  • Master of Education in Instructional Technology
  • Master of Nonprofit Management
  • Master of Science in Nursing - Leadership in Health Care Systems: Education Focus
  • Master of Science in Health Services Administration

Beyond the wealth of undergraduate and graduate programs, dozens of certificates and licenses may be obtained through online learning at RU.

Contact Information

3333 Regis Blvd
Denver, CO 80221-1099
(800) 388-23662111


Acclaim for online programs

  • #58 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • #114 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online MBA Programs
  • #71 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Business Programs (Excluding MBA)
  • #54 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs
  • #54 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs

Colorado Christian University

9
Colorado Christian University
Lakewood
$498
$11,952

An Online Education at Colorado Christian University

The College of Adult and Graduate Studies (CAGS) at CCU presents its online courses through the web-based platform Blackboard LMS. In this virtual classroom, students can find all the tools they need to successfully complete a fully-online course. Instructor-lead discussion boards and collaborative group projects promote communication between classmates. Students can email their instructors directly with any questions they may have as they progress through their assigned coursework. Tests are administered, grades can be viewed, class chats may be held and a great deal of reading and writing will be done all online.

Depending on the program, courses last five to 10 weeks and are delivered one at a time. Another beneficial aspect of this student-centered learning environment is that programs are organized into cohorts that promote peer-to-peer learning. Although most classes are taught from a Christian perspective, students of all backgrounds are welcome at CCU. Most CAGS students are between the ages of 24 and 80 and are busy juggling life's responsibilities.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Communications
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN Degree Completion)
  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management in Christian Leadership
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration
  • Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Counseling
  • Master of Organizational Leadership
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction

The College of Adult and Graduate Studies at CCU accepts up to 90 transfer credits from an accredited institution of higher learning as well as up to 31 credits earned through a Prior Learning Assessment.

Contact Information

8787 West Alameda Avenue
Lakewood, CO 80226
(303) 963-3000

University of Denver

10
University of Denver
Denver
$535
$12,840

An Online Education at University of Denver

UD's course management system of choice is Canvas, which provides an interactive, virtual learning environment for online students. Class participation is a huge component of UD's online learning, so students should be prepared to actively take part in their assigned coursework. They are expected to write papers, participate in discussion boards, examine case studies, take quizzes and tests, collaborate on group projects and email their instructors regularly.

Even though courses are asynchronous, designed specifically for working adults, students should try to login at least once a day to check for new announcements and catch up on discussion threads. UD's online classes follow the campus-based, ten-week quarter schedule.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts
  • Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Global Commerce and Transportation
  • Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies Completion Program
  • Bachelor of Arts in Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Organizational Studies Completion Program

The majority of bachelor degree-seeking students transfer in a number of college credits before beginning their program at UD, greatly varying the length of time it takes to finish a degree.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Art, Literature and Culture
  • Master of Environmental, Health and Safety
  • Master of Science in Geographic Information Sciences
  • Master of Managing Legal Issues in Healthcare
  • Master of Web Design and Development
  • Master of Philanthropic Leadership
  • Master of Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Master of Arts in Sport Coaching

Graduate degrees at UD can tie anywhere between 18 months to two years to complete.

Beyond the abundance of full-fledged degree programs, numerous undergraduate and graduate level certificates individual courses may be taken through UD's College of Professional Continuing Studies as well.

Contact Information

2199 S. University Blvd
Denver, CO 80208
(303) 871-2000


Acclaim for online programs

  • #27 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • #22 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Business Programs (Excluding MBA)
  • #29 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs


Scholarships and Financial Aid in Colorado

Beau Mitchell Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount Amount varies See Scholarship

Colorado State University awards the Beau Mitchell Memorial Scholarship to students who demonstrate academic achievement and strong moral character. Preference is given to former members of the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts of America, and to out-of-state students. Award amount varies based on financial need.

Colorado State University Alumni First Generation School

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $4,000 See Scholarship

Provided by Colorado State University, this award is for students who demonstrate financial need, and who are first generation college students. Applicants must demonstrate potential for academic success. FAFSA application required.

CSU Merit Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $4,000 See Scholarship

The Colorado Merit Scholarship is for in-state freshmen entering Colorado State University. A minimum GPA of 3.6 is required. Award amount is determined by academic record; the maximum award amount is $4000 per year.

Directors Club Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $1,500 See Scholarship

The Directors Club Scholarship is open to in-state freshmen entering the University of Colorado at Boulder. A minimum GPA of 3.5 and evidence of community service or extracurricular involvement is required.

Julia Klug Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount Amount varies See Scholarship

Colorado State University provides the Julia Klug Scholarship for students who have demonstrated academic improvement in high school or college, and have shown academic leadership or community service involvement. Award amount varies based on financial need.

Norlin Scholars

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $4,000 See Scholarship

Provided by the University of Colorado Boulder for freshman and transfer students interested in a liberal education. The Norlin Scholars Program includes an award of $5000 per year, and additional funding for research or study abroad opportunities. All majors may apply.

University of Northern Colorado Trustees Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $6,000 See Scholarship

For in-state freshmen entering the University of Northern Colorado. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.8, and an ACT score of 29 or SAT of 1280.

Vincent and Lorraine Feilk Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $4,000 See Scholarship

This scholarship is for in-state students enrolled at the University of Colorado’s College of Arts and Sciences. Selection is based on financial need. A minimum GPA of 2.8 is required. Award can be applied toward tuition, books and fees.

Virginia T. Schuman Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount Amount varies See Scholarship

The University of Colorado at Denver provides this scholarship for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. A minimum GPA of 2.75 and a demonstration of financial need is required. Award amount varies.


Higher Education Resources in Colorado