Top Colorado Colleges

Learn about 8 of the Top Colleges and Universities in Colorado

If you want to go to a great college with ready access to world-class skiing, climbing, hiking, fishing, kayaking and other outdoor activities, Colorado is worth a close look. My top picks for the state range in size from 1,400 students to over 30,000, and the admissions standards vary greatly. The list includes public and private institutions, a Catholic university, a career-focused school, and a military academy. My criteria for selecting Colorado's top colleges include retention rates, four- and six-year graduation rates, value, student engagement, and notable curricular strengths. I have listed the schools alphabetically rather than forcing them into any kind of artificial ranking; these eight schools vary so much in mission and personality that any distinctions in rank would be dubious at best.

Compare Colorado Colleges: SAT Scores | ACT Scores

Air Force Academy (USAFA)

United States Air Force Academy
United States Air Force Academy. PhotoBobil / Flickr

Colorado College

Colorado College Science Center
Colorado College Science Center. Greverod / Wikimedia Commons

Colorado School of Mines

Colorado School of Mines
Colorado School of Mines. rkimpeljr / Flickr

Colorado State University - Fort Collins

Colorado State University
Colorado State University. ecopolitologist / Flickr

Johnson & Wales University-Denver

Johnson & Wales University in Denver
Johnson & Wales University in Denver. Jeffrey Beall / Flickr
  • Location: Denver, Colorado
  • Enrollment: 1,278 (1,258 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: specialized career-centered university
  • Distinctions: schools of business, hospitality and culinary arts; students from 49 states and 9 countries; strong emphasis on real-life experiences and hands-on learning; classes in a student's major begin the first year; good choice for students with clear career goals
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Johnson & Wales University profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for JWU admissions

Regis University

Regis University
Regis University. Jeffrey Beall / Flickr

University of Colorado at Boulder

University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Colorado at Boulder. Aidan M. Gray / Flickr

University of Denver (DU)

DU, University of Denver
DU, University of Denver. CW221 / Wikimedia Commons

20 Top Mountain State Colleges and Universities

The Mountain States
The Mountain States.

If you love the mountains and outdoor opportunities of Colorado, be sure to check out these 20 top Mountain State colleges and universities.

More Top Colleges and Universities

Cornell University Sage Hall
Cornell University Sage Hall. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

If you want to see top picks across the United States, check out these articles of great schools:

Private Universities | Public Universities | Liberal Arts Colleges | Engineering | Business | Women's | Most Selective | More Top Picks

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Your Citation
Grove, Allen. "Top Colorado Colleges." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Grove, Allen. (2023, April 5). Top Colorado Colleges. Retrieved from Grove, Allen. "Top Colorado Colleges." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 30, 2023).