Online Schools & Colleges In Colorado

Options & Accreditation

Colorado boasts more than 470 institutions of higher education, including two-year technical and community colleges, four-year public and private institutions, and private occupational schools. Approximately 400,000 students attend college in Colorado, and nearly half are enrolled at four-year public institutions.

Colorado has two networks of public, four-year universities: the University of Colorado System and the Colorado State University System. The state also has seven unaffiliated public, four-year universities. Seven private, non-profit, regionally accredited universities complement the state’s public higher learning institutions. The Colorado Community College System (CCC) incorporates 13 public, two-year institutions. There are also a handful of other public two-year colleges that are not part of the CCC system.

Distance Learning and Online Schools in Colorado

A high-tech, forward-thinking culture is reflected in the state’s wide array of distance learning programs. Both of its public university systems have expansive online education programs, while the schools in the CCC system present a unified distance learning program. In addition, most of the state’s private, non-profit institutions provide online education options.

A number of traditional colleges, including the University of Colorado and Colorado State University, have online degree and certificate programs. Schools often use online educational software, such as Blackboard, which allows students to log in to courses to view learning materials, submit assignments and participate in discussions. Additionally, some online schools in Colorado use videos, podcasts or mobile apps to facilitate distance learning.

Beyond Colorado’s three technical colleges, its numerous community colleges offer hundreds of short-term certificate programs, as well as predominantly campus-based two-year degree programs. The Department of Higher Education has initiatives to promote student success: The Guaranteed Transfer Program (gtPathways) is a statewide curriculum ensuring that students successfully complete all general education requirements necessary to transfer to a four-year institution in Colorado. With Colorado’s Transfer Articulation Agreement, students who have completed 60 credits of coursework with an acceptable GPA can transfer to any four-year institution in Colorado.

Four-Year Public and Private Institutions in Colorado

Among the numerous online schools in Colorado, the University of Colorado (UC) is the state’s largest, with campuses in Denver, Boulder, Aurora and Colorado Springs. The second largest system is Colorado State University (CSU), which houses campuses in Fort Collins, Greenwood Village and Pueblo. Public institutions are governed by the state, making tuition available at lower rates to residents. Showing the prowess of Colorado schools, UC Boulder ranked 88th among national universities according to U.S. News & World Report in 2015.

Compare Universities and Colleges


Adams State University

Alamosa, Colorado Public
Super Safe

Aims Community College

Greeley, Colorado Public

Arapahoe Community College

Littleton, Colorado Public

Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology

Denver, Colorado Private for-profit

Everest College-Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, Colorado Private for-profit

University of Colorado Denver

Denver, Colorado Public
Very Safe

University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, Colorado Public
Super Safe

Redstone College

Broomfield, Colorado Private for-profit

University of Colorado Boulder

Boulder, Colorado Public

Colorado Christian University

Lakewood, Colorado Private not-for-profit
Super Safe

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Spotlight on Distance Learning and Online Schools in Colorado

Online College Spotlight
University of Colorado Denver (CU Online)

Among the degrees offered by CU Online are bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs administered through the Denver campus, as well as certificate programs and individual courses. CU Online offers a wide variety of subjects — including education, engineering, business, art and human development — that students can take from the University of Colorado’s Business School, School of Public Affairs and other divisions.

CU Online has 450 individual courses to choose from, which can be taken online only or in the hybrid format, where students complete some of their work on campus. Final examinations for CU Online’s courses are administered in a few different ways, depending on the instructor. For instance, in-person, take-home and online exams are all options.

While the application process for CU Online is the same for traditional campus studies, there may be additional requirements specific to the desired degree or certificate program. Interested students can take a sample course online before they commit to a program or class.

For more information about distance learning at CU Denver, visit:

Online College Spotlight
Colorado Community College System (CCCOnline)

CCCOnline is an extension of the services offered by the multiple colleges that make up the CCC System. Through this collaboration, the system’s home colleges can offer complementary courses that they would not be able to provide as individual entities. There is no substantive difference between courses taken or credits earned online and those received on campus. Not only does CCCOnline involve all 13 of its member colleges, but it also includes a 14th college: Dawson Community College located in Glendive, Montana. Although CCCOnline does not grant online degrees or certificates, it does offer a number of courses in five general areas: career and technical education, liberal arts and communication, math, science and social sciences.

The spring and fall terms include both 10-week and 15-week courses. In the summer, students can choose between 10-week courses and an accelerated 6-week program. One standout element of CCCOnline is the guaranteed-transfer program, which provides a list of courses to help take the guesswork out of deciding which credits would apply to a transfer.

Visit CCCOnline for more information:

Online College Spotlight
Colorado State University (CSU-Global Campus)

Colorado State University’s distance learning program, CSU-Global Campus, is home to more than 5,000 students. CSU-Global Campus is dedicated wholly to delivering online education through the Blackboard learning system and virtual classrooms. Thanks to a streamlined scheduling process, courses start every eight weeks. Most classes have a weekly schedule that includes peer discussions, readings, assignments and exams. Some courses include limited classroom instruction in addition to the online components.

Choices include individual courses, undergraduate and graduate degrees, and certificate programs. Online bachelor’s degree programs are available in areas such as agricultural business, anthropology, fire and emergency services administration, human development and family studies, liberal arts and psychology. The majority of CSU’s online offerings are at the graduate level, with dozens of degree programs, including applied statistics, tourism management, mechanical engineering, computer science and business administration. Professional development certificates are found in subjects such as project management, finance and business intelligence.

CSU also has a unique program in which students can earn digital badges that represent competency and mastery in a subject area. Student can tailor badge programs according to their needs and goals. In addition, the Division of Continuing Education and CSU OnlinePlus host free, non-credit Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs.

Learn more about CSU’s online classes:

Online College Spotlight
Colorado Technical University (CTU Online)

A private, for-profit university, Colorado Technical University (CTU) offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs across a broad range of subjects such as business, law enforcement, liberal arts, health sciences and homeland security. Many courses use Intellipath, the university's online educational technology. This software is designed for adaptive, customized learning and tailors course materials on the basis of a student's prior knowledge. CTU has earned accreditation from six accrediting bodies, including the Higher Learning Commission, the Engineering Accreditation Commission, and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.


Best Online Schools in Colorado for Future Service Members

Colorado’s national parks tend to attract fans of the great outdoors, but its schools often attract service-oriented students. Among the variety of degree tracks, many colleges have ROTC programs that can include Army, Navy and/or Air Force, with a focus on the student who wants to give back to their community. Here is a list of the best four-year degree granting, non-profit colleges that boast at least two ROTC programs. Kudos to these online schools in Colorado that are offering economical educational choices and opportunities for students interested in serving their communities.

College Name Tuition City ROTC - Army ROTC - Navy ROTC - Air Force
University of Colorado Boulder $8,056 Boulder Yes Yes Yes
Metropolitan State University of Denver $4,304 Denver Yes No Yes
University of Northern Colorado $5,214 Greeley Yes No Yes
University of Colorado Denver $6,384 Denver Yes No Yes
Colorado State University-Fort Collins $6,875 Fort Collins Yes No Yes
Colorado School of Mines $13,590 Golden Yes No Yes
Colorado Christian University $18,540 Lakewood Yes No Yes

Best Online Schools in Colorado for Personal Attention

Colorado is home to dozens of top-quality colleges and universities, some with targeted training, and others offering a variety of degree programs. Whatever their desired specialties or degree goals, students are often looking for that special blend of a quality education coupled with individualized attention. These online schools in Colorado could meet those goals, with enrollments of over 5,000 but fewer than 20 students per professor on average. The following four-year, non-profit colleges in Colorado deserve praise for some of the best student-teacher ratios in the state.

College Name Student-Teacher-Ratio Undergraduate Students Tuition Type City
Montessori Education Center of the Rockies 20 to 1 16 N/A Private not-for-profit Boulder
University of Northern Colorado 20 to 1 11,895 $5,214 Public Greeley
Fort Lewis College 19 to 1 3,962 $4,800 Public Durango
Colorado State University-Fort Collins 19 to 1 25,590 $6,875 Public Fort Collins
University of Colorado Boulder 19 to 1 29,890 $8,056 Public Boulder
Colorado State University-Pueblo 18 to 1 7,122 $5,494 Public Pueblo
Western State Colorado University 17 to 1 2,387 $4,627 Public Gunnison
Colorado School of Mines 17 to 1 4,118 $13,590 Public Golden
University of Colorado Denver 17 to 1 16,271 $6,384 Public Denver
University of Colorado Colorado Springs 16 to 1 10,027 $5,640 Public Colorado Springs
Adams State University 14 to 1 3,058 $3,816 Public Alamosa
Regis University 14 to 1 7,165 $31,200 Private not-for-profit Denver
Colorado Christian University 13 to 1 4,317 $18,540 Private not-for-profit Lakewood
University of Denver 12 to 1 5,879 $38,232 Private not-for-profit Denver
Colorado Heights University 11 to 1 117 $4,776 Private not-for-profit Denver
Naropa University 11 to 1 484 $27,510 Private not-for-profit Boulder
Colorado College 10 to 1 2,345 $41,332 Private not-for-profit Colorado Springs
Nazarene Bible College 9 to 1 1,228 $10,050 Private not-for-profit Colorado Springs
Colorado Mountain College 9 to 1 10,566 $2,850 Public Glenwood Springs
United States Air Force Academy 8 to 1 4,422 N/A Public USAFA
Yeshiva Toras Chaim Talmudical Seminary 7 to 1 24 $7,750 Private not-for-profit Denver

Best Online Schools in Colorado for Women in Technology

Colorado is home to many premiere degree programs aimed at women in technology. These online schools in Colorado showcase the very options for women seeking diplomas in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects. What sets these schools apart from others is their ability to create gender ratios in STEM courses that match those of other programs. The number of women flourishing at these schools speaks volumes about the healthy environment, which may be created through mentorships and all-female residence hall options. Below is a list of Colorado colleges that could be a fantastic choice for women interested in pursuing an education in technology or engineering. Here is more information on the methodology driving these rankings.

College Name Tuition + Fees City Women in Tech Degrees Awarded Total Enrollment Institution Type
University of Colorado Boulder $9,482 Boulder 227 26,842 Public
Colorado School of Mines $15,654 Golden 223 4,892 Public
Colorado State University-Fort Collins $8,649 Fort Collins 85 23,121 Public
University of Denver $39,177 Denver 47 8,412 Private Not for Profit
United States Air Force Academy N/A USAFA 35 4,413 Public
University of Colorado Denver $7,494 Denver 27 11,681 Public
University of Colorado Colorado Springs $6,688 Colorado Springs 20 6,576 Public
Colorado Mesa University $6,870 Grand Junction 5 6,738 Public

Online Schools in Colorado Fighting for Families

Colorado’s higher education is home to some of the nation’s best social work programs. Strong programs with family and child concentrations are listed below. What sets these online schools in Colorado apart from other institutions is the extraordinary commitment to providing students with the foundations of skills, values and experience necessary for this demanding field. Through clinical settings, rigorous classes and constant fieldwork, these programs grant degrees to exemplary social work graduates. Taking into account rankings, reputation and academic facilities, here are the ultimate social work programs at Colorado schools, including the best degrees for rewarding careers working with children and families. More details are available on the methodology used.

College Name City Social Degrees Awarded Women Men Tuition & Fees Total Enrollment
Colorado State University-Fort Collins Fort Collins 295 209 86 $8,649 23,121
University of Colorado Boulder Boulder 274 185 89 $9,482 26,842
University of Denver Denver 267 242 25 $39,177 8,412
Colorado State University-Pueblo Pueblo 148 96 52 $7,327 4,436
Metropolitan State University of Denver Denver 118 106 12 $5,341 14,260
University of Colorado Colorado Springs Colorado Springs 64 50 14 $6,688 6,576
University of Colorado Denver Denver 61 45 16 $7,494 11,681
Fort Lewis College Durango 42 28 14 $6,462 3,533
University of Northern Colorado Greeley 40 28 12 $6,514 10,323
Colorado College Colorado Springs 33 28 5 $41,892 2,025
Regis University Denver 24 20 4 $31,800 5,690
Western State Colorado University Gunnison 24 13 11 $6,449 1,983
Adams State University Alamosa 23 15 8 $6,448 2,231
Colorado Mesa University Grand Junction 11 7 4 $6,870 6,738