Metropolitan State University of Denver

Denver CO 80217
United States

MSU Denver is a comprehensive four-year university on the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver.  Founded in 1965, MSU Denver has grown almost 24,000 students and educates more undergraduate Coloradans than any other institution in the state. One of the largest public baccalaureate universities in the country, MSU Denver has experienced steady enrollment increases in 12 of the past 13 years. The University has the second-largest undergraduate student population in Colorado and more than 317,000 Coloradans have taken classes at MSU Denver for career advancement and personal enrichment.metropolitan_state_college_of_denver1.jpg

MSU Denver empowers students to create their own success by providing relevant academic experiences through its unique attributes:

  • An individualized and relevant education in urban Denver.
  • High-quality academics and an unsurpassed faculty that add up to Colorado’s best value in education.
  • Connections and choices that only a large urban university can offer.
  • A four-year degree that impacts our students’ lives and their communities.
  • Master’s programs in Professional Accountancy, Teacher Education and Social Work.

MSU Denver boasts more than 70,000 alumni, nearly 80 percent of whom stay in Colorado after graduation. These graduates fuel Colorado’s economy as teachers, business owners, pilots, scientists, nurses and more and enter graduate school to study medicine, law and other disciplines requiring advanced degrees.

metropolitan_state_college_of_denver2.jpgA Foundation of Excellence
MSU Denver has built a solid foundation of excellence, as evidenced by its recent successes:

  • MSU Denver’s Center for Urban Education, a partnership with Denver Public Schools, is expanding the supply of well-qualified teachers for Denver’s high-need middle and high schools.
  • Students in the University’s Urban Leadership Program are training, through academic and experiential learning, to become the skilled leaders of Colorado’s future.
  • MSU Denver’s off-campus Center for Visual Art, recently relocated to 965 Santa Fe Dr. in the Santa Fe Arts District, offers exhibitions from leading-edge national, even international artists such as Christo and Jeanne-Claude. In addition, the award-winning CVA serves as an interactive art laboratory for Metro State students and the larger community.
  • Exemplifying the excellence of our faculty, three of MSU Denver’s photojournalism professors have won the Pulitzer Prize.
  • The nutrition program recently received a $260,000 USDA grant to improve the nutritional care of the Latino community.
  • The Aviation and Aerospace Program is a founding partner of the Academy for the Development of STEM-Related Careers, which is designed to position Colorado as a leader in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.
  • Since joining the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in 1996, MSU Denver has won 35 RMAC Tournament championships and 33 regular season championships.  MSU Denver has made 109 NCAA championship appearances all-time between all 15 of its current athletics teams.

A Bold Goal of Preeminence
Toward achieving its long-term goal of becoming the preeminent public urban baccalaureate university in the nation, MSU Denver is undertaking a number of new initiatives:

  • MSU Denver received authorization from the Colorado State legislature in 2009 to add master’s programs to its degree offerings. The University offers master’s degrees in accounting, teacher education and social work.
  • The University is working toward doubling its Latino enrollment to 25 percent, to attain the federal designation of Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) within the next 10 years. HSI status brings funding opportunities that benefit all students.
  • MSU Denver completed construction of two new buildings on campus: the Student Success Building and the Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center (HLC). Indicative of the MSU Denver student body’s capacity for creating its own success, students voted to increase their fees to pay for the Student Success Building, which houses all student support services in one convenient location. The HLC consists of a fully functioning, privately operated hotel, along with a learning center for students studying hospitality, tourism and events management.
  • The Center for Urban Connections is tracking the many ways in which MSU Denver is fulfilling its role as an urban land grant institution through service and outreach and exploring new ways to engage with the greater Denver community so as to provide the best in service-learning opportunities for our students.
  • The First Year Success Program places freshman who are first-generation university students in small learning communities to offer them the support they need to succeed and continue on to their sophomore year.

A Core Value: Diversity
MSU Denver attracts a diverse student body. Classrooms provide a rich mixture of age groups, socioeconomic classes, ethnic backgrounds and lifestyles. Students of all ages go to MSU Denver, from 16 to 70 and beyond. The average age is 26.

MSU Denver enrolls the highest number of students of color of all four-year universities in the state--more than 7,440 in fall 2011, nearly 32 percent of the student population. One in three African Americans and one in four Latinos seeking undergraduate degrees in Colorado are doing so at MSU Denver.

MSU Denver has been highlighted in national publications for its diversity:

  • Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education consistently ranks MSU Denver among the top 100 colleges and universities in the nation for graduating Latino students. For 2008, MSU Denver was ranked No. 86 in the country in graduating Latino students.
  • Diverse: Issues in Higher Education ranks MSU Denver among the top 100 institutions in the nation in awarding baccalaureate degrees to students of color.

MSU Denver is ranked first in the state among public four-year universities for the ethnic diversity of its faculty, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education (2009). Currently, 22 percent of full-time faculty members are people of color.

Metro State offers 55 major fields of study and 90 minors and awards bachelor of science, bachelor of music, bachelor of arts and bachelor of fine arts degrees through its three schools:

  • Business
  • Letters, Arts and Sciences
  • Professional Studies


A teaching institution, Metro State’s average class size is 22. The top 10 majors/programs by enrollment are:

  1. Management
  2. Biology
  3. Criminal Justice and Criminology
  4. Psychology
  5. Art
  6. Accounting
  7. English
  8. Marketing
  9. Human Performance and Sport
  10. History

In addition, there were 2,072 students seeking teacher licensure in spring semester 2012.

In 2011, MSU Denver's Accelerated Nursing program graduates achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the national nursing license exam, the only undergrate program in the state to do so and scores were12 poiints higher than the national average.

To best meet the needs of its students, the University holds day, night and weekend courses at the downtown Auraria Campus and at its two suburban satellite campuses, Metro South and Metro North. The University also offers an extensive number of online courses. General Studies requirements can be taken entirely online and 17 majors can be completed through a combination of online, weekend and evening courses.

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