Colorado Online Colleges & Universities – Top Online Schools for 2015

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Quick Facts:
  • 46 Colleges

    in Colorado offer
    full online programs

  • 1,491 online programs

    were available
    in 2014

  • 535 online graduate degrees

    were offered by Colorado
    schools in 2014

Best Online Colleges in Colorado for 2015

Students with work and family obligations can complete undergraduate and graduate degrees online, and there’s no waiting for the snowplow to arrive before commuting to campus. The breadth and depth of academic options vary from program to program, curriculum to curriculum. The colleges listed below are leaders in online education in Colorado, universities committed to providing students with affordable, flexible and diverse learning opportunities. See who made the list of the Best Online Colleges in Colorado for 2015:

RANK COLLEGE Tuition And Fees Enrollment Accredited MORE INFO
1 University of Colorado-Colorado Springs$6,41210,027YES
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs offers a vast number of master's degree available through distance learning. The university is accredited through the North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission. Master's of arts, business administration, criminal justice, engineering, and public administration, and master's of science nursing degrees comprise the school's online college offerings.
2 University of Northern Colorado$6,51411,895YES
The University of Northern Colorado offers graduate level degrees entirely through online college to students interested in distance learning. These include a broad number of Master's of Arts degrees in areas such as art and design, educational psychology and special education. U.S. News & World Report also ranked the school 9th out of 200 for having the best online graduate level programs for 2013.
3 Colorado Mesa University$7,20610,773YES
Colorado Mesa University provides both individual courses and specific degrees that are available to students through online college. These include associate and bachelor's degrees in areas such as the liberal arts, nursing, public administration and social science. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.
4 Adams State University$7,4493,058YES
Adams State University, based in Colorado, provides distance learning degrees and certificates fully online to students. Example distance-learning programs include the RN-to-BSN degree, and the Bachelor's of Arts in Business Administration. Students who have already completed their associate degrees elsewhere can pursue two-year programs through Adams State's online college to complete a bachelor's degree.
5 University of Colorado Denver$7,49416,271YES
University of Colorado Denver offers bachelor's and master's degree programs online. See if the courses you want are available at CU Denver by searching the distance learning database for each CU campus. Choose from courses in Business, Nursing, Sociology and more. Some online college courses use a mix of different types of educational media.
6 Colorado State University-Fort Collins$8,64925,590YES
Online master’s degree programs at Colorado State University-Fort Collins are taught by on-campus professors. Receive the same education you would as a resident without compromising your current work or family responsibilities. Master’s degree programs are available in the fields of Education, Computer Science, Business, Engineering, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Tourism, Health and Natural Sciences.
7 University of Colorado Boulder$9,48229,890YES
Using the new web-based distance education catalog of the University of Colorado Boulder, you can research online college courses offered at CU Boulder. Current offerings include master’s degrees in Engineering, Computer Science and Telecommunications. Some courses are offered completely online while others are taught using a combination of learning media.
8 Nazarene Bible College$11,2501,228YES
Nazarene Bible College offers a wide range of ministry-related bachelor's degrees to students, some of which are available via distance learning. Online degrees from Nazarene Bible College include Counseling for Christian Ministries, Hispanic Pastoral Ministries, Bible and Theology, Christian Educational Ministries, Christian School Education, Leadership and Ethics, Pastoral Leadership, and Pastoral Ministries. The college is accredited by Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
9 Remington College-Colorado Springs Campus$14,695274YES
Remington College at the Colorado Springs campus offers online college opportunities to students who want to obtain associate and bachelor's degrees. Distance-learning programs are career oriented and available in subjects such as business, criminal justice, human resources, marketing, and organizational management. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.
10 Colorado Christian University$23,8704,317YES
Colorado Christian University offers associate, bachelor's and master's degrees online and certificates and minor degrees available through distance learning. The school utilizes group discussions, document sharing, and e-mail within its online college programming, and students can pursue degrees in areas such as biblical studies, business administration, criminal justice, healthcare administration, psychology, and more.
11 Johnson & Wales University-Denver$26,4121,951YES
Johnson & Wales University in Colorado offers expanded education options to students through its online college programs. Students use the online learning course platform, Ulearn, to discuss issues, receive instructions, and submit assignments. Online options include its bachelor's of science degrees in baking and pastry arts and food service management or the culinary arts and food service management as well as an MBA program offering a hospitality concentration.
12 Regis University$31,8007,165YES
Regis University, a Jesuit school based in Colorado, provides an extensive number of online college options to students interested in distance learning. These include bachelor's and master's degrees, and certificate programs offered at the undergraduate and graduate level. Students can pursue online learning in subjects such as accounting, business, finance, marketing, and public administration.
13 University of Denver$39,1775,879YES
The University of Denver's "University College" provides hybrid and online learning options to students wanting to pursue certificates or bachelor's and master's degrees. Learning is asynchronous, meaning that students can be online at a time convenient for them. Online degrees are available in subject areas such as arts and culture, global affair, healthcare leadership, security management, and more.

Researching Online Colorado Colleges

Nearly 540,000 college students are enrolled statewide in Colorado. For the prospective student considering joining their ranks, there are several criteria to evaluate prior to making a decision about which university to attend. Important factors include tuition, student population, degree levels and the type of instruction available. The search tool below allows students to gain a better understanding of these and other factors, which can help them make a practical, data-driven decision about their educational future.

Degree Level:
Tuition:
Student Population:
School Type:
46 results TUITION ACCEPTANCE RATE STUDENT POPULATION SCHOOL TYPE
University of Colorado Denver Denver, Colorado Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 76% STUDENT POPULATION 22,206 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Rn To Bs
  • Bachelor of Arts in English Writing
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Public Health, Leadership And Public Health Practice
  • Master of Science in Management And Organization
  • Master of Science in Nursing Leadership And Healthcare Systems (Ilead)
  • Master of Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education
  • Master of Arts in Information And Learning Technologies, Elearning Design And Implementation
  • Master of Arts in Information And Learning Technologies, School Library
  • Master of Engineering, Geographic Information Systems
  • Master of Science in Information Systems
  • Master of Science in Nursing, Informatics Option
  • Master of Public Administration
DOCTORATE DEGREES
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (Dnp)
  • Doctor of Pharmacy (Ipharmd)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Phd) in Nursing
Front Range Community College Westminster, Colorado 2+ years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE NR STUDENT POPULATION 19,619 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of Applied Science in Accounting
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business
  • Associate of Arts in Business For Transfer
  • Associate of Arts in Economics For Transfer
  • Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies
  • Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice For Transfer
  • Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education
  • Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education For Transfer
  • Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems - Web Developer
  • Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems Programming Designation
  • Associate of Applied Science in Holistic Health
  • Associate of Applied Science in Medical Office Technology Billing Specialist
  • Associate of Arts in French For Transfer
  • Associate of Science in Mathematics For Transfer
  • Associate of Arts in Anthropology For Transfer
  • Associate of Arts in History For Transfer (A.A.)
  • Associate of Arts in Political Science For Transfer
  • Associate of Arts in Psychology For Transfer (A.A.)
  • Associate of Science in Psychology For Transfer
  • Associate of Arts For Transfer
  • Associate of General Studies (A.G.S.)
  • Associate of Science For Transfer
University of Northern Colorado Greeley, Colorado Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 70% STUDENT POPULATION 12,710 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Dietetics: BS Degree or DPD-Only (Didactic Program in Dietetics)
  • Nursing BS Degree: RN-BS
  • American Sign Language - English Interpretation BA Degree
  • Psychology BA - Online Degree Completion
  • Sociology BA - Online Degree Completion
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Educational Leadership: Principal Licensure and MA/EdS Degree Programs
  • Physical Education & Physical Activity Leadership MAT Degree
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education: MAT Degree or Endorsement-Only
  • Dance Education MA Degree
  • Educational Psychology MA Degree: Teaching Applications Emphasis
  • Educational Psychology Master of Arts: Teaching Applications Emphasis
  • Science Education MA Degree
  • Special Education MA Degree: Deaf & Hard of Hearing Emphasis
  • Special Education MA Degree: Gifted & Talented Emphasis, Endorsement or Certificate
  • Special Education MA Degree: Intervention Specialist Emphasis
  • Special Education MA Degree: Visual Impairment Emphasis
  • Teaching American Sign Language MA Degree
  • Theatre Education MA Degree
  • Speech-Language Pathology MA Degree
  • Art & Design MA Degree
  • Curriculum Studies MAT Degree
  • Sports Coaching MA Degree
DOCTORATE DEGREES
  • Educational Studies EdD Degree: Innovation and Education Reform Emphasis
  • Nursing Education PhD Degree
  • Nursing DNP Degree: Post-Master's
University of Denver Denver, Colorado Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 77% STUDENT POPULATION 11,778 SCHOOL
TYPE
Private
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Degree
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing - Rn To Bs
  • Bachelor of Arts in English Writing
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Public Health, Leadership And Public Health Practice
  • Master of Science in Management And Organization
  • Master of Science in Nursing Leadership And Healthcare Systems
  • Master of Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education
  • Master of Arts in Information And Learning Technologies, Elearning Design And Implementation
  • Master of Engineering, Geographic Information Systems
  • Master of Science in Information Systems
  • Master of Science in Nursing, Informatics Option
  • Master of Public Administration Degree
  • Master of Arts in School Library
DOCTORATE DEGREES
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (Dnp)
  • Doctor of Pharmacy (Ipharmd)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Phd) in Nursing
Regis University Denver, Colorado Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 70% STUDENT POPULATION 9,722 SCHOOL
TYPE
Private
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • B.S. Accounting
  • B.S. Business
  • B.S. Business Technology Management
  • B.S. Business: Finance specialization
  • B.S. Business: Human Resources Management specialization
  • B.S. Business: Management specialization
  • B.S. Business: Marketing specialization
  • B.S. Business: Project Management
  • B.S. Business: Public Administration
  • B.S. Finance?
  • B.S. Human Resource Management
  • B.S. in Health Care Administration
  • B.S. Marketing
  • B.S. Criminology
  • B.S. Computer Information Systems
  • B.S. Computer Networking
  • B.S. Computer Science
  • B.S. in Health Information Management
  • RN to B.S. in Nursing Completion?
  • B.A. Communication
  • B.A. Social Science
  • B.S. Applied Psychology?
  • B.S. Public Administration
  • B.A. Liberal Arts
  • Bachelor of Applied Science
MASTERS DEGREES
  • M.S. Accounting
  • M.S. in Nursing - Leadership in Health Care Systems: Education Focus
  • M.S. in Nursing - Leadership in Health Care Systems: Management Focus
  • M.S. Information Technology Management
  • Master Nonprofit Management
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration
  • MBA Emerging Markets
  • MBA Finance and Accounting
  • MBA Health Industry Leadership
  • MBA Marketing
  • MBA Operations Management
  • MBA Organizational Performance Management
  • MBA Strategic Management
  • MSOL Enterprise Resource Leadership & Planning
  • MSOL Human Resource Management & Leadership
  • MSOL Organization Leadership & Management
  • MSOL Project Leadership & Management
  • M.S. Criminology
  • M.Ed. Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
  • M.Ed. Reading
  • M.S. Adult Education & Training?
  • RN to MS in Nursing Degree: Education or Management Focus
  • M.S. Data Sciences
  • M.S. Database Technologies
  • M.S. Health Care Informatics and Information Management
  • M.S. in Health Care Informatics and Information Management
  • M.S. Software Engineering
  • M.S. Software Engineering & Database Technologies
  • M.S. Systems Engineering
  • M.S. in Health Services Administration
  • M.S. Information Assurance
  • Master of Arts
Colorado Mesa University Grand Junction, Colorado Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 82% STUDENT POPULATION 9,676 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of Art, Social Science Emphasis
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Science in Sport Management
  • Bachelor of Art in Liberal Arts, Elementary Education Licensure
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Administration/Public Safety
Community College of Aurora Aurora, Colorado 2+ years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE NR STUDENT POPULATION 7,874 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of Arts in Business
  • Associate of Arts in Spanish
  • Associate of Science in Mathematics
  • Associate of Arts in History
  • Associate of Arts in Psychology
  • Associate of Science in Psychology
  • Associate of Applied Science
  • Associate of General Studies - Generalist
Colorado State University-Global Campus Greenwood Village, Colorado Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE NR STUDENT POPULATION 7,402 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration And Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems And Business Analytics
  • Bachelor of Science in Marketing
  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Science in Project Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Public Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice And Law Enforcement Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Social Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Communication
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Services
  • Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Professional Studies
Colorado State University-Pueblo Pueblo, Colorado Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 94% STUDENT POPULATION 7,089 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Computer Science
  • Master of Engineering in Computer Science - Artificial Intelligence
  • Master of Engineering in Computer Science - Computer Graphics
  • Master of Engineering in Computer Science - Database Systems
  • Master of Engineering in Computer Science - Human-Computer Interaction
  • Master of Engineering in Computer Science - Numerical Computation
  • Master of Engineering in Computer Science - Operating Systems
  • Master of Engineering in Computer Science - Parallel Processing
  • Master of Engineering in Computer Science - Programming Languages
  • Master of Engineering in Computer Science - Software Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Computer Science - Theory of Computation
  • Master of Engineering in Computer Science/Master of Engineering in Engineering Management
  • Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering/Master of Engineering in Engineering Management
  • Master of Engineering in Engineering Management
  • Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering
  • Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering - Astrodynamics And Satellite Navigation Systems
  • Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering - Bioastronautics
  • Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering - Earth And Space Science, Remote Sensing
  • Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering - Structural And Materials Systems
  • Master of Science in Aerospace/Master of Engineering in Engineering Management
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - Biomedical Engineering
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - Computer Engineering
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - Digital Signal Processing Communication
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - Dynamics And Controls
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - Electromagnetics, Rf, And Microwaves
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - Nanostructures And Devices
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - Optics And Photonics
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - Power Electronics
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - Power Systems And Renewable Energy
  • Master of Science in Telecommunications - Ip Networks
  • Master of Science in Telecommunications
  • Master of Science in Telecommunications - Energy
  • Master of Science in Telecommunications - Policy
  • Master of Science in Telecommunications - Security
  • Master of Science in Telecommunications - Wireless
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Overview of Colorado Online Colleges

Colorado schools have recognized the need for flexibility in higher education and responded by adding distance learning courses to traditional course line-ups. These online programs come from private not-for-profit colleges, religious schools, for-profit institutions and public universities–for example, the University of Colorado.

At the forefront of online colleges in Colorado, UC proudly describes a three-pronged approach to distance learning: flexible degree options, extensive student support and specialized faculty training. The university’s CU Online division has 23 online and hybrid degree programs available, as well as 15 certificates. Featured majors include business, engineering, nursing, health care and education.

The University of Colorado is just one of the many higher education institutions in the state that offers extensive choices for online learning programs. Colleges and universities in Denver—the state’s largest city—provide students with a wide selection of distance learning opportunities.

Higher Education Spotlight: Denver, Colorado

Standing at the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is home to 32 universities, colleges and post-secondary trade schools. In this highly educated metro, 42.2 percent of all residents aged 25 and older have completed at least a bachelor’s degree. Denver colleges and universities serve a combined student body of 70,570 with excellent undergraduate and graduate degree options at nationally recognized institutions.

The Auraria Campus is a downtown complex serving the four-year University of Colorado, Denver (UCD), the Metropolitan State University of Denver and the two-year Community College of Denver. UCD is Colorado’s largest research university and is ranked among the top 200 national universities by U.S. News & World Report. With more than 130 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, UCD has gained high rankings and recognition for its nursing and School of Medicine programs coordinated with the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. The Community College of Denver has more than 200 partnerships with businesses in the city and offers over 100 certificate and associate degree programs.

Online Learning at Denver Colleges and Universities

UCD was among the first universities in the nation to offer online degrees in 1996. This university’s fully online offerings have grown to 18 degree programs along with 12 professional certificates. Popular programs include the MBA, nursing (RN, RN to BSN, master’s and PhD) and a specialist license in early childhood special education. U.S. News has ranked the university’s online graduate nursing programs 10th in the nation.

Regis University, a Jesuit institution in Denver, provides 16 undergraduate degree programs, 25 graduate degrees and 25 professional certificates in a web-based format through its College of Professional Studies. The Regis College for Health Professions offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates through the Loretto Heights School of Nursing, School of Physical Therapy and Division of Health Services Administration.

Cost of Living and Tuition in Colorado

Pursuing a college education is a significant financial investment, with tuition as the highest expense. Tuition can vary considerably depending on the institution and its location. Colorado college students who have established state residency typically pay less tuition than those who have not. In 2012, yearly tuition for Colorado residents was $10,900.

When estimating the cost of college, prospective students also need to consider other mandatory college fees. For example, many schools charge fees for labs, parking, athletics and other student services. Fees to attend colleges in Colorado in 2012 averaged $800, for a total of $11,700 in tuition and fees for the year.

In addition to tuition and fees, living expenses account for a large portion of higher education costs. Room and board rates can cover a wide spectrum, depending on whether students choose to live on campus or off campus. The cost of living in Colorado is just 1 percent higher than the national average. The following table breaks down the cost of living (COL) in Colorado’s metro areas as compared to the U.S. mean (100%):

Urban Area Composite Index Housing Groceries Utilities Transportation Health Care Misc.
Pueblo -14.40% -28.50% 0.50% -19.90% -6.20% -5.90% -9.90%
Loveland -9.00% -20.70% 2.70% -10.40% -8.60% 0.30% -4.30%
Colorado Springs -7.20% -8.00% -4.60% -13.20% -3.80% 2.30% -7.90%
Grand Junction -1.70% 5.40% 1.90% -13.60% -0.90% 3.80% -6.90%
Denver 3.20% 7.50% 1.00% 1.90% -4.60% 5.90% 2.70%
Gunnison 10.00% 34.50% 10.60% -14.30% -1.00% -2.70% 0.60%
Glenwood Springs 24.00% 69.00% 3.30% -11.00% 10.90% 12.00% 8.70%

While many colleges in Colorado offer a wide range of academic opportunity, certain schools are notable for a solid return on investment (ROI). The following five colleges boast the highest lifetime value for a college education. Here, ROI is measured by subtracting the total cost of attendance for four years from the average lifetime salary of graduates:

  1. Colorado School of Mines
  2. University of Colorado – Boulder
  3. University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
  4. University of Colorado at Denver
  5. University of Denver

Funding College Studies in Colorado: Scholarships and Financial Aid

Students can reduce college costs with help from numerous programs. For example, federal financial aid is one of many options Colorado students have for lowering college costs. Since federal financial assistance entails need-based programs, students must fill out the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine the total amount for which they qualify. The percentage of Colorado undergraduate students who received federal financial aid in 2012 was 59.

Most students, even those who receive federal financial aid, can pursue scholarships to make college more affordable. A number of higher education institutions in Colorado award scholarships. Students can also apply for scholarships from nonprofit organizations, companies, and state and local governments. Here is a list of some of the sources for scholarships in Colorado:

  • ASTA-Rocky Mountain Chapter
  • Coloradans for Nebraska
  • Colorado Department of Higher Education
  • Colorado Early Achievers Scholarship
  • Colorado Student Grants
  • Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals
  • Denver Association
  • MU National Scholars Program
  • Greenhouse Scholars
  • LEAD Foundation
  • Partner Colorado Foundation Scholarship
  • Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute
  • Stephen T. Marchello Scholarship Foundation
  • The Pinnocal Foundation College Scholarship Foundation

Colorado College Accreditation Standards

In order for students to receive financial assistance, they must attend an accredited Colorado college or university. There are several regional and national accrediting agencies, each with set quality standards. In Colorado, the primary regional accrediting body is the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Online colleges in Colorado may receive national accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, a private, not-for-profit organization founded in 1926 to cover correspondence education.

Individual schools and programs may also seek accreditation to garner further recognition of their academic offerings. For instance, the University of Northern Colorado’s School of Nursing has received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approval by the Colorado State Board of Nursing.

Comprehensive Resources for Colorado Students

For students seeking additional information about online colleges in Colorado, the list of resources below highlights major topics of interest: student aid, career selection and development, and services offered by the government and other groups to support higher education.

Major Colorado Educational Resources: