Study in Colorado | Top Universities

Study in Colorado

By Staff Writer

Updated March 5, 2016 Updated March 5, 2016

If you like the idea of studying in a US state crammed full of some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet, coupled with a laid-back culture and a thriving ski scene – and let’s face it, you probably do – then Colorado could be the place for you.

In a country where natural beauty comes as standard, Colorado still manages to outdo most of the competition. The Rocky Mountain National Park alone is visited by more than three million people annually.

Dominated by the ‘Rockies’, not only does Colorado contain the 30 highest peaks on the American mainland, it also boasts four national parks, 11 national forests, 41 national wilderness areas, and a plethora of other outdoor attractions.

Sports fans will be overwhelmed by Colorado’s endless variety of ways to combine keeping fit with exploring the great outdoors: from hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking, to some of the best skiing and snowboarding slopes to be found anywhere in the world.

Meanwhile, literary types may be attracted by the state’s links with the ‘Beat’ group of writers. Denver features as one of the key locations in Jack Kerouac’s classic novel On the Road (1957), and in 1974, poets Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman helped establish the Jack Kerouac School at Naropa University, in Boulder, Colorado.

Colorado: Fast facts

• Located in the western part of the US; borders with Wyoming to the north, Nebraska to the north east, Kansas to the east, Oklahoma and New Mexico to the south, and Utah to the west

• The point at which Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico meet is known as the ‘Four Corners’

• Like neighboring states Utah and Wyoming, Colorado has no natural borders – its territory is defined by lines of latitude and longitude, rather than natural features

• State capital Denver is nicknamed the ‘mile-high’ city, as its official elevation point – a spot on the steps of the State Capital building – is one mile above sea level

• South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone met while studying at the University of Colorado at Boulder

• The 500-mile Colorado Trail, popular with hikers, crosses eight mountain ranges, seven national forests,  six wilderness zones and five rivers

Top universities in Colorado

Colorado’s highest ranking university is the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU-Boulder), which is rated at 142 in the 2011/12 QS World University Rankings.

Based in the small city of Boulder, CU-Boulder is part of the University of Colorado System, which also includes University of Colorado, Denver, and the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs – which has an additional medical campus in Aurora.

Slightly confusingly, the state’s second-highest ranked institution, Colorado State University (based in Fort Collins), is also part of a university ‘system’. Called the Colorado State University System, this also includes Colorado State University-Pueblo, and CSU-Global Campus – which offers online courses only.

More states for mountain-lovers:

This article was originally published in November 2012 . It was last updated in March 2016

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