Graduate Schools in Colorado

Breathtaking natural splendor unfolds at every turn here, where the snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains reach their highest highs—and where you can attend one of the many Graduate Schools in Colorado.

Amid this picturesque backdrop are majestic canyons, raging rivers, winding trails, and thrilling downhill ski runs. When you want a break from the scenery, the cool urban centers of Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs offer plenty of riches – vibrant culinary and craft brew scenes, music, and sports.  

Why Go to Grad School in Colorado

With its diverse natural landscape, Rocky Mountain peaks, myriad outdoor opportunities, and chill cultural cities, Colorado makes for an attractive state to attend grad school. A rich rustic tapestry of canyons, mesas, and stunning scenery surround a mix of towns and cities teeming with culture. Amid this idyllic canvas are a variety of both public and private universities for graduate schools in Colorado.

Denver is the gateway to the Rockies and the international portal to the Centennial State. The city overflows with outdoor spaces, from tree-lined parks to craft-brew patios. Music, art, boutique shopping, and culinary hotspots highlight the scene here, and the balanced energy makes for easy living. Boulder also embraces the outdoors, especially with its seemingly endless sun and some 150 miles of hiking, walking, and biking trails. Colorado Springs, the state’s second largest city, lies in the shadow of the Rockies and amid this backdrop is a vibrant arts community. The university vibe fills the air in Fort Collins, with its buzzing historic Old Town and bike-friendly trails. All these towns are along the north-to-south Interstate 25; head west for outdoor pursuits and inspiration on stunning peaks and prairies.

Fun Fact

Coloradans love their craft beer! The state has more craft breweries per

capita than any other state.

Living and Learning in Colorado

An inspiring urban culture enhances the relaxed vibe of the cities – Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Spring – that flow north to south along the I-25 corridor in the eastern part of the state. In the center and the west lies the Rocky Mountains, stretching north to south; the rest of the state has a variety of natural landscapes and national forests. Because of this diverse landscape, Colorado contains a varying climate, more so than other mountain states. The mountains and valleys can greatly affect the local climate, thus the general rule of increasing elevation equals decreasing temperature applies. Generally, Colorado is a mix of high plains, mountains, and deserts, the latter of which is mostly in the southern part of the state.

Denver is the main gateway for air travel, with access to flights to airports around the country and abroad. Colorado Springs handles many regional and national flights. Amtrak trains offer two routes through the state, including one that stops in Denver. The RTD light rail and bus service system provides transportation in Denver and nearby communities. Bus lines provide service throughout the state, but a car is essential should you want to live outside the urban areas.

Outdoor Adventures

Biking. Rock climbing. Skiing. Hiking. Snowmobiling. White-water rafting. Wandering. Colorado is a nature lover’s playground – it’s the place to become one with nature. Thus, outdoor recreational and relaxation opportunities are beyond abundant. Hit the endlessly-groomed slopes at the luxe après ski resorts of Aspen and Vail. Climb one of the “Fourteeners” (mountains with an elevation that exceeds 14,000 feet) for breathtaking vistas. Go mountain biking at Winter Park, Steamboat Springs or Crested Butte; or ride the desert trails of Grand Junction and Canon City. Hiking trails are everywhere and in every type of terrain – through deserts, canyons, waterfalls, mountains, and more. Try Pike’s Peak, the Royal Arch Trail, or the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. And it you want to stay in your urban center but still want your outdoor fix, you’ll find plenty of parks, trails, and more to chill, get inspired, or get active.

Eat & Drink Well

Colorado is certainly a culinary star when it comes to cuisine. The progressive mindset here has brought a stellar menu of international flavors, especially in the cities. It’s not just Denver – for even in smaller communities, the palate-pleasing options are many. That being said, Colorado also has its own specialties – think Denver Omelette, the cheeseburger (Denver is the birthplace), bison steaks and tacos, and freshwater trout. Look for menus with fresh indigenous game – quail, rabbit, elk, moose, rattlesnake, moose – which chefs use to create a variety of mouth-watering platters. As for the drinking culture, Colorado is often called the microbrew capital of the United States, and you can taste and tour your way through breweries up and down the state. Denver, especially, has a complete roster of breweries to check out. The state also has a nascent wine country, and is really starting to produce some excellent wines.

Cultural Things

Outdoor beauty notwithstanding, Colorado is home to a vibrant arts community (music, theater, performing arts, film) world-class museums, and historic attractions. Marvel at the Andy Warhol collection at the Denver Art Museum, wander among the Ancestral Puebloan houses at the Yucca House National Monument, or go on an archeological dig at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs are cultural meccas, with thriving gallery scenes, live music, and cultural events. The state holds a full calendar of festivals, too. Celebrate the state’s Native American history at the Mesa Verde Country Indian Arts & Culture Festival; indulge your love of strawberries at Strawberry Days, the longest-running festival west of the Mississippi; and sample the state’s best cuisine at Taste of Colorado. Are you a sports fan? NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL teams are all represented, as well as a minor league and local teams.

Major Colorado Industries

Students going to grad school in Colorado can pursue a variety of post-graduate opportunities including those in tourism, technology, health and wellness, finance, science, and creative industries.

City Living

The chill urban centers of the Centennial State have much to offer grad students. Easy access to the natural surrounds, palate-pleasing dining scenes, outdoor activities, and a cool music scene highlight the urban lifestyle here. Marijuana is legal here, and certainly adds to the mellow vibe. These four cities offer the best in the state.

  • Denver
  • Fort Collins
  • Boulder
  • Colorado Springs

Denver

Mighty Denver – Mile High City - the Colorado capital, is as exuberant and vibrant as the dazzling Rocky Mountain scenery outside the city limits. The former cowboy town is now a cosmopolitan urban enclave, rich with a performing arts scene, outdoor festivals, and a parks and gardens at every turn. Bike around the lakes in City Park or wander the Denver Botanic Gardens. Head downtown to LoDo, where century-old buildings hum with restaurant, art galleries, brewpubs, and jazz clubs. The city also holds plenty of captivating, world-class museums – the Denver Art Museum, Museo de las Americas, and the Black American West Museum & Heritage Center to name a few. For sports fans, Denver is home to the NFL Broncos, the NBA Nuggets, the MLB Colorado Rockies, and NHL Colorado Avalanche. The culinary scene buzzes with Mexican, Western-infused cuisine, and all sorts of ethnic eateries. And if your sweet tooth beckons, Denver is donut town, and you’ll find a hold roster of donut shops. Live music – jazz, rock, big concerts – keep the groove going, while a busy calendar of festivals offer everything from rodeos to arts festivals. Plus, access to the Rocky Mountains and all the outdoor activities you can think of are 12 miles west of town.

Fort Collins

An unassuming but culturally vibrant university town, Fort Collins appeals for its historic Old Town, with its plethora of boutiques and restaurants amid cool, Art Deco-styled 20th-century buildings. Wandering the European walkways, lined with Tivoli lights and potted flowers, is a real treat. Downtown, in general, is where the action is. Ride the trolley car, ride a bike along the Poudre Trail, check out the mixed-media exhibits at the Fort Collins Museum of Art, or learn about Native American Indian tribal history at the Museo de las Tres Colonias. Fort Collins is also the home to Colorado State University, where you can attend myriad cultural and educational events. There’s dozens of craft breweries, more restaurants than you can dream of in a city this size, and an extensive system of biking and hiking trails around the city. Music, annual events, and easy access to Colorado’s never-ending natural scenery round out the mix.

Boulder

At the foothills of the Rockies, some 35 miles north of Denver, Boulder is often referred to as “the happiest place to live.” And why not? The year-round sunny weather, the laid-back vibe, and access to Colorado’s natural wonderland are only the beginning. Wander the art galleries, restaurants, and boutiques that line historic Pearl Street, a pedestrian-friendly mall downtown. Tour the craft breweries and sample the city’s culinary smorgasbord – foodies will have no shortage of palate-pleasing restaurants. At the University of the Colorado campus, take in zoology exhibits at the Museum of Natural History or take an outer space trip in the Fiske Planetarium. Alongside the plethora of outdoor adventures outside the city – white-water rafting, hiking, climbing – the city has some 150 miles of trails for hiking, walking, jogging, and bicycling. A vibrant artists community will certainly inspire.

Colorado Springs

About an hour’s drive south of Denver, Colorado’s second largest city lies between the regal Rockies to the west and windswept plains to the east. The year-round sunny, mild climate appeals to the outdoor enthusiasts who make this idyllic city their home. Surrounding the city are such stunning natural wonders as the spectacular red sandstone monoliths of the Garden of the Gods and the towering summit Pike’s Peak, a favorite for hikers and climbers. Other outdoor adventures include white-water rafting on the Arkansas River and marveling at the cascading waterfalls at the Seven Falls. When not enjoying the endless outdoor beauty, Colorado Springs has a vibrant cultural scene. Check out the Georgia O'Keeffe collection at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, take in a Colorado Springs Philharmonic concert, or step back in time at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry. An eclectic food scene, craft breweries, and live music add to the city’s dynamic.

Fun Fact

You can definitely get high in Colorado – higher than in any other state. The Mount Evans Scenic Byway, west of Denver off I-70, is the highest paved road in North America, climbing more than 14,000 feet above sea level.

Popular Graduate Programs in Colorado

Prospective graduate students can find a variety of schools in Colorado. You may find one that fits not only your area of study but also one that has an environment that matches your lifestyle. The following are a few highlights:

Colorado offers an array of graduate school opportunities mostly centered in Denver. However, Fort Collins, Boulder, Colorado Springs, and other smaller communities offer opportunities to pursue a graduate degree in Colorado. Here are some of the top options to study at the graduate level.

4 Choices for Health & Medicine Degree Programs

At the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, the Master of Science degree in Sport Nutrition aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary for applications and competencies of sports dietitians, working with athletes and active individuals in a variety of settings. The master’s degree in Nutritional Science at the American Health Science University attracts students who want to pursue a broad-based, cutting-edge knowledge of nutrition and develop excellent research and consulting skills. Regis University's MBA degree in Health Industry Leadership helps students develop such skills as management, critical thinking, and economics, enabling graduates to advance in health care careers such as health care finance, policy, and marketing. The MIS In Traditional Chinese Medicine at the Colorado School Of Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches students acupuncture and related modalities, tui na (physiotherapy/therapeutic massage), Chinese nutrition, and energetic exercise/meditation) with a grounding in Western medicine.

4 Options for Technology Programs

At the University of Colorado-Boulder, the Master of Engineering in Computer Science offers a flexible track-based curriculum that allows students to select specific coursework including such topics as artificial intelligence, computer graphics, software engineering, and more. The Master of Science in Cybersecurity at University of Denver is an immersive one-year program that focuses on the fundamentals and real-life application to cybersecurity. The Aspen University MS in Information Technology (MSIT) program equips students with fundamental technical skills presented in the widely recognized Microsoft Certificate Systems Engineer certification coupled with such vendor-neutral information technology principles as data communications, intranet development, and project management. The Master of Science in Technical Communication at Colorado State University prepares students who want to pursue communication management careers in technical and scientific communication, new communication technologies, health communication, public relations, or public information for business, industry, government, and educational institutions.

4 Choices for Fine Arts & Designs Programs

The Museum & Field Studies graduate program at the University of Colorado-Boulder offers two program tracks: a collection/field track for students interested in the curatorial and research aspects of museum work, and an administrative/public track for students interested in the public aspects of the museum such as program development and exhibition planning. Colorado State University’s Design and Merchandising graduate program offers a research-focused master of science degree in two areas of specialization: Apparel and Merchandising and Interior Design. The Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver offers master’s programs in composition, conducting, music theory, musicology, performance, jazz studies, orchestral studies, and more. At Colorado State University, the Master of Music Education Specialization program offers an online/on-campus curriculum emphasizing such concepts as the use of folk song, folk dance, and game literature to teach musical concepts.

4 Options for Business Programs

The graduate program in Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism at Colorado State University includes myriad areas of study including International Ecotourism, Park and Visitor Management, Tourism Planning, and Wilderness/Protected Area Management. At the University of Denver, the Master of Science in Finance program seeks to provide students with the skills and credentials to open doors to investment banks, securities traders, and portfolio managers on Wall Street and beyond. The Master of Nonprofit Management at Regis University is intended for individuals interested in enhancing their leadership and management skills within a nonprofit setting, or those considering starting a nonprofit entity. At Colorado Technical University, the Master of Business Administration-Marketing graduate program teaches core business skills as well as marketing research, international marketing, e-marketing, and customer relationship management skills.

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