Located at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Fort Collins, Colorado, Colorado State University enrolls more than 26,000 students at the undergraduate and graduate levels and offers a wide range of rigorous academic and professional programs. According to the school’s website, 30 percent of the state’s “science, math, engineering and technology majors pursue degrees at CSU.” The university ranks 60th place on U.S. News and World Report’s list of the best public universities in the country for 2014.
This university is also known for its research opportunities in atmospheric science, biomedical technology, clean energy technologies, environmental science and infectious disease. Each year, these research areas garner more than $300 million in funding. For students who want to explore a professional track, Colorado State offers nationally ranked programs in agriculture, construction management, journalism, occupational therapy and veterinary medicine. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the university’s program in veterinary medicine as tied for third place in the country and second place in terms of federal research dollars.
In addition to the academic opportunities available, students at Colorado State can enjoy a variety of options when it comes to extracurricular pursuits. Fort Collins was named as editor’s choice for “Best Town 2013” by Outside Magazine, allowing students who attend school here ample opportunities in the great outdoors. The school hosts 620 student organizations, 37 honor societies, 21 fraternities and 16 sororities.
Colorado State University Accreditation Details
Since 1925, Colorado State University has been fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Along with institutional accreditation, many of the school’s individual academic programs have received accreditation from their respective accrediting organizations. In total, 19 accrediting bodies have awarded Colorado State accreditation for specific programs, including:
- The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
- The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAFMT)
- The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
- The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
- The Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP)
These organizations accredit programs in a variety of fields, such as electrical engineering, human development and family studies, veterinary medicine, accountancy, and education and human resource studies. Students who are interested in a specific program should check out the school’s website for further details on accreditation.
Colorado State University Application Requirements
In order to apply to Colorado State University, students will fill out an online application for their specific degree program. The school notes that individual programs may have more stringent requirements than the university does in general, so prospective students should read through the program pages for more detailed guidance. Graduate students who want to enroll in an online degree program will need to do the following:
- Fill out the online application available through the school’s website
- Pay a nonrefundable graduate application fee
- Submit supporting documents, including three letters of recommendation, all official transcripts, GRE test scores and any other required information related to the applicant’s degree program
Graduate enrollees must have completed a bachelor’s program from an accredited university and must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. Professionals with more than five years of work experience and international applicants will follow a similar application process with different supporting documentation.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition rates vary at Colorado State University depending on specific programs. The 2014-2015 average cost of undergraduate tuition for Colorado residents was $9,897. Non-resident undergraduates paid just over $26,000. For graduate students, the fees are higher. Graduate students enrolled in an online program can expect to pay between $530 and $1,600 per credit. With such a wide range of tuition rates, students should speak with a financial adviser at the school to determine a more accurate cost of attendance. Fortunately, financial aid is available with online programs. Options include:
- Military discounts
- Veterans’ benefits
- Federal financial aid
Tuition assistance plans or TAPs may also be available from a student’s employer. Students are encouraged to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA to see what types of aid are available to them.
Online Degree(s) Available
Currently, there are 30 programs offered at the master’s and doctoral levels, including an M.S. in dietetics, a Ph.D. in higher education leadership, an M.S.W. in social work, and an M.T.M. in tourism management.
M.S. in Dietetics
The master’s degree in dietetics at Colorado State allows students to pursue their interests in food and nutrition in an engaging online format. As part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, the program enables students to register with a home institution but take classes from any of eight participating universities online. The degree requires 37 hours to complete.
Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership
At Colorado State, students can pursue a doctoral program in higher education leadership. This 60-hour degree program focuses on a comprehensive curriculum designed specifically for leadership at the collegiate level. It can be completed in five years, and students will start and end with the same class as part of the school’s cohort structure.
M.S.W. in Social Work
For students interested in social work, the school offers an online Master of Social Work that has been fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. With this degree, students will obtain the necessary credentials to apply for licensure within the field. This program requires on-campus commitments in addition to online courses, but it’s designed for working professionals in a part-time setting.
M.T.M. in Tourism Management
Colorado State’s tourism management program is designed for graduate students who want to “obtain the tools to lead a financially sound business, develop strong management skills, and, beyond that, gain insight into the bigger picture” according to the program website. The master’s degree requires 30 hours and can be obtained in nine months.
According to the school’s website, Colorado State’s online programs “carry the highest level of accreditation in the U.S.” Those who want to take a few courses online don’t actually have to be enrolled in a program at the university, but the school does offer a number of undergraduate and graduate programs for those hoping to advance their careers. Colorado State was founded in 1870 as an agricultural school but has since evolved into the “university of choice” among Colorado residents.