List of Online College Programs in Colorado


POPULATION (2021): 5.8 million




Most of the Colorado population is located in or near the major cities of Denver, Boulder, and Colorado, and the state is split into a sprawling desert climate in the east and one of the most mountainous regions in the country in the west, with the most prominent being the Rocky Mountains. 

As such, most of the colleges are also located in these metropolitan areas, though some schools break the mold! One thing all college students in Colorado can be sure to experience is a lot of space for adventure and moderate weather throughout the year. The mountains do, indeed, get a lot of snow, but at lower elevations, it tends to melt quickly, and snowstorms are often followed by t-shirt weather a day or two later. Exploration is nearly unlimited in Colorado, no matter where you decide to go to college.

Universities in Colorado – 4-Year Colleges and Online 

After a lapse caused by COVID (and certainly not unique to Colorado), college enrollment has increased again, and there are an estimated 295,000 students enrolled in universities, colleges, and community colleges throughout the state. Here is a look at some of them.

Public Universities in Colorado

There are several options for public universities in Colorado, with the two major systems being Colorado State University and the University of Colorado. Colorado State only has two campuses, with the majority of students attending the Fort Collins campus, but the University of Colorado has locations in Boulder (main), Denver, Aurora, and Colorado Springs. 

Even with multiple campuses, these two state schools do only offer classes in the metropolitan areas, but there are several other public universities sprinkled throughout the state, including Adams State in Alamosa, Western Colorado University in Gunnison, and The Colorado School of Mines in Golden. 

Additionally, the state’s Community College system is quite robust and offers some 4-year programs as well.  

Private Universities in Colorado

There are only two private universities in Colorado with more than 10,000 students (University of Denver, Colorado Technical University) and a full serving of 4-year degrees, but there are quite a few smaller colleges in the state, including some focused universities, such as The Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver. 

Community Colleges in Colorado

The Colorado Community College system is very robust, and the 13-school system had a combined student body of more than 71,000 students as of 2020. The majority of students who attend the Colorado Community Colleges (67%) are not full-time students, so if you are looking for a part-time education, Colorado is a great option, and one of their campuses will be close to you, no matter where you’re work or other non-college priorities may take you in the state. 

Prominent Online Colleges in Colorado

Colorado State’s “Global Campus” receives annual praise from both students and educators for its online offerings. Many Colorado State students enjoy a hybrid schedule, as well, which can lead to a lot of opportunities for long weekends in the mountains or the deserts, as long as students have a wifi signal. 

Denver’s Regis University and the neighboring University of Denver are ranked as the top two private university online programs, and just like CO State, they also have some hybrid programs, with more being offered each year. 

The University of Colorado and Colorado Mesa University are good schools to check out if you’re interested in online education. 

Universities in Aurora, CO

Aurora is a suburb of Denver and shares the same climate and general scope of “things to do,” if you don’t mind catching some public transportation. It’s also a bit cheaper, which makes it a residency destination for students attending school anywhere in the Denver metropolitan area. As far as universities and colleges located within the Aurora city limits:

  • American Sentinel University
  • Colorado State University – Global Campus Headquarters
  • Platt College-Aurora

Universities in Colorado Springs, CO

Referred to as “Springs” by most college-aged folk in the state, Colorado Springs is a growing city about an hour south of Denver and Aurora. The University of Colorado’s Colorado Springs campus is the largest in the city, but Springs is also home to a National American University campus and Colorado College, both with 4-year degree programs. 

Though a community college, Pike’s Peak CC also offers some 4-year degrees in Colorado Springs. 

Universities in Denver, CO

Denver is the biggest city in Colorado, the capital of Colorado, and also serves as a gateway to the Rockies, and all of the fun and adventure they offer residents of the state of Colorado. It also has a lot of options for college students looking for a nice work-life balance while pursuing a degree, such as 

  • Aspen University
  • Colorado State – Denver
  • Denver College of Nursing
  • Johnson & Wales University
  • Metropolitan State University
  • Regis University
  • University of Denver

Get to Know Colorado

Colorado is very close to the middle of the country, making it relatively accessible for everyone who wants to attend college there. Both coasts are 3-hour flights away, and the Denver Airport is one of the busiest in the country. For those who don’t need to fly, there is even more fun to be had on the journey to and around The Centennial State.

Skiing and winter sports dominate the tourist economy in the winter (and well into the spring in many high-elevation places), and outdoor activities are even more popular in the summers. Music and art festivals are frequent throughout the state, and even the renowned Red Rocks Amphitheater is an outdoor venue that attracts some of the biggest acts in the world every year. 

The cost of living is fairly high in the cities, but so are opportunities for part-time employment while you pursue a degree.

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