Colleges, Universities & Online Colleges in Denver

April 22, 2022 • 4 Min Read

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Often referred to as the “Mile High City”, Denver is well known for its natural beauty, ample outdoor activities, and almost 300 days of sunshine a year. According to The National Center for Education Statistics, this young and active city also boasts 28 institutions of higher learning. As the home of numerous state and federal government institutions, Denver also offers its 2.5 million residents a wide variety of unique job opportunities. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Colleges in Denver

According to The New York Times, the Denver-Aurora-Broomfield metro area ranks as one of the most educated cities in the nation with 38.2 percent of its residents having successfully graduated from college. In the city of Denver itself that number is even higher, with 42.2 percent of the population holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Community College of Denver (CCD) possesses a small, but diverse student body. More than 10,400 students enrolled at CCD in the fall of 2014, 23 percent of which were full-time students. Over a quarter of the student body is Hispanic and, as such, the college is proudly registered with the Hispanic Association of Colleges. Students have the option of choosing between the more than 100 degrees and certificates that CCD offers in 41 different areas of study. The school prepares students to either begin a new career path or to transfer to a four-year university. CCD adheres to Colorado’s Guaranteed Transfer Pathways program, which states that if a student starts at a public university in Colorado and then is accepted to another institution in the public school system, the student is allowed to transfer up to 31 credits of completed coursework.

There are two public universities in the Denver area: the Metropolitan State University of Denver and the University of Colorado Denver. With its 126-acre urban campus and over 13,000 undergraduate students, the University of Colorado Denver is ranked as one of the best colleges in the country by U.S. News & World Report. It provides students with courses in over 130 subjects and is especially well known for its health program, which is located at the Anschutz Medical Campus.

To supplement the city’s educational needs, Denver is also home to a number of private, nonprofit universities including: Regis University, University of Denver, and Johnson & Wales University.

Below is a glance at a few of Denver’s colleges and universities:

Community College of DenverPublicAssociate’s degrees, Continuing education, Career & Technical education
Colorado Heights UniversityPrivate (Not for Profit)TOEFL (ESL), Bachelors, MBA
Iliff School of TheologyPrivate (Not For Profit)MA, Graduate Certificates
Johnson & Wales University- DenverPrivateAssociate, Bachelors, Masters
Metropolitan State University of DenverPublicBachelors, Masters, Certification, Licensure, Concentration
Regis UniversityPrivate (Not For Profit)Bachelors, Masters, PhD, Certification, Licensure
University of Colorado DenverPublicPre-Collegiate, Bachelors, Masters, PhD, Certificate, Health Program
University of DenverPrivate (Not For Profit)Bachelors, Masters, PhD, Certificate Programs

Online Colleges in Denver

There are a number of online education options in the Denver area. In addition to the larger nationwide online institutions such as DeVry University, The University of Phoenix, and Grand Canyon University, many of Denver’s local colleges and universities offer online degrees and courses. The University of Colorado Denver, for example, hosts 21 accredited online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate programs. In addition to online courses, the school also hosts hybrid courses, which take place both online and at the school’s local campuses. Many of their online programs are in the fields of business, engineering, nursing, health, and education.

The Community College of Denver has a similar online program in that they have both online and hybrid classes. Their programs are convenient for those who are unable to attend traditional on-campus programs. Students are able to upload materials, turn in assignments, and discuss course topics with other students all from the convenience of their own homes. On average, students enrolled in an online class at CCD can expect to spend one to three hours online actively involved in class a week. This does not include the time students spend studying and preparing.

The University of Denver’s online classes do not require students to be online at a specific time; instead, students are allowed to complete courses at their own pace and on their own schedule.

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Top Industries, Careers and Employers

Forbes Magazine recently named Denver as the 6th Best Place for Business and Careers. Denver’s major industries have historically been largely a function of the city’s geographic location. Given its proximity to the Rocky Mountains, Denver is an ideal location for many mining and energy companies. Furthermore, because Denver is located halfway between many other major cities in Colorado, it provides the ideal location for numerous storage and distribution facilities. This central position has also made the city a destination spot for major telecommunications companies. The largest industries in Denver are:

  • Aerospace and Aviation
  • Bioscience
  • Broadcasting and Telecom
  • Energy
  • IT and Technology

In addition to the aforementioned industries, government employment plays a strong role in the city’s economic development. A number of federal government departments, including the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Agriculture, and six military bases are located in the Denver area. The top five employers in the city are, U.S. Government, State of Colorado, University of Colorado Systems, Denver Public Schools, and City and County of Denver.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies the following occupational titles as the most common in the Denver-Aurora-Broomfield metropolitan area:

  • Office and Administrative Support
  • Sales
  • Food Preparation and Serving
  • Business and Financial Operations
  • Transportation and Material Moving

The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce painted an extremely optimistic picture of Denver’s economic future in their 2014 Denver Metro Economic Forecast report. After 2013’s record setting job growth numbers, 2014 promises to also be a very successful year for the city. Unemployment is expected to continue falling in 2014 and growth in the natural resources and construction, professional and business services, education, and health care sectors is expected to be especially strong.

Colleges & Universities in Denver


University of Colorado Denver31,972$6,336Public
Metropolitan State University of Denver29,924$3,809Public
Regis University14,706$30,588Not For Profit (Private)
University of Denver13,879$36,936Not For Profit (Private)
Johnson & Wales University-Denver1,821$23,955Not For Profit (Private)


Community College of Denver19,455$2,540Public

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