Established in 1876, the same year Colorado became a state, the University of Colorado at Boulder stands as the flagship school in the Colorado University system and the only Rocky Mountain member of the 34 member Association of American Universities. Originally housed in the same building as the library, the janitor, and the university president, it has grown to fill 786 acres of gorgeous mountain base forest land, becoming a Tier 1 research institution housing 9 colleges and schools.
The 44 member initial student body has multiplied to almost 30,000 on campus, degree seeking students, over 5,000 of which are graduate seekers. From the School of Law, established in 1892 and the smallest, most selective, most recognized of the schools, to the Leeds School of Business, attracting about 10% of the student body with an MBA program ranked 26th among all public universities, CU-Boulder has a mind boggling amount of academic offerings for both undergrads and graduates.
Boulder offers 3,400 course each year, spanning 150 areas of study, including 85 Bachelor, 70 Master’s, and 50 more PhD level degree programs offered (with graduate degrees offered through the Graduate, Business, and Law schools). The College of Arts and Science, the oldest division (predating the law school by mere months) and by far the largest, has undergraduate offerings in 50 academic departments alone, and utilizes small class sizes and involved discussion over lecture in most areas. In addition, there are more than 90 research laboratories, centers, and institutes on campus, as well as access to all the major resources of a major city and the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountain area.
Being that Boulder has been named America’s smartest city by Forbes two years running, it’s no wonder they have such diverse distance education offerings, making sure that all seeking education are satiated. Currently, there are no entirely online degree programs, but many online for credit and non-credit courses designed to help students work towards a degree without interfering with day-to-day life. The Continuing Education and Professional Studies department “offers you a wide range of online and hybrid courses…whether you are looking to start a degree, finish a degree, work on a certificate, or just take a course or two”, with options for both self-based (though with a 6 month time limit) and semester schedules.
Boulder’s Independent Learning program offers both online and a correspondence option (snail mail) for those seeking to learn at a pace that allows for “more time to reflect on discussion questions and assignments”, though semester based classes are offered as well. There is also a distance learning arm of the College of Engineering/Applied Sciences (the Center for Advanced Engineering and Technology Education) offering both streaming/online Internet courses and hybrids that offer “flexible/convenient access to graduate courses, certificate programs, advanced degrees, and professional development” specifically for engineering, technology, and management students.
There are hundreds of online classes for both students and those simply hungry for knowledge. Boulder evening and weekend offerings can also help those looking to work towards a degree, or see if college is right for them, with off hours programs in most academic areas that can help start or finish a degree.
A university that both “values the unique strength and character research achievements bring” and recognizes the “benefit from the comprehensive mix of programs and research excellence”, the University of Colorado-Boulder stands by its motto of “let your light shine” by offering every opportunity for a student to do just that, whether online, in the classroom, or in the real world.