With its picturesque campus nestled at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, world-class academic programs, and thriving college town atmosphere, the University of Colorado Boulder has emerged as one of the top public universities in the U.S. If you want a quick answer: Yes, CU Boulder is considered an excellent school and a great choice for many students.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore CU Boulder’s prestige and rankings, academics, student life, outcomes for graduates, and more to help you evaluate if this acclaimed public university is a good fit for your college search.

CU Boulder’s Prestige and Rankings Demonstrate Its Quality

Top Public University According to U.S. News & World Report

The University of Colorado Boulder is consistently ranked as one of the top public universities in the U.S. by major college rankings. For example, U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 rankings place CU Boulder at:

  • #34 among all national universities
  • #11 among public schools
  • #5 top public university for “Best Value”

This puts CU Boulder in the top 15 public schools in the country, ahead of many larger state flagships. Its exceptional value ranking also demonstrates that students receive a world-class education at a reasonable cost for a school of its caliber.

High Marks for Undergraduate Teaching and Learning

CU Boulder performs extremely well in rankings focused on measuring the undergraduate student experience. In U.S. News’ undergraduate teaching assessments, it ranks #24 among national universities for senior capstone projects and first-year experiences that set up students for success.

The Princeton Review also named CU Boulder among the “Best 385 Colleges” in 2022, with high ratings for quality of life and academics. Over 90% of freshman return after their first year, underscoring the engaging student experience.

Among the Most Innovative Schools in the Nation

CU Boulder is consistently recognized as one of the most innovative universities nationally for its groundbreaking research and curriculum. For example:

  • Top 10 “Most Innovative School” – U.S. News, 2022
  • Top 15 research university worldwide – Reuters, 2019
  • 7th among public schools for patents issued – National Academy of Inventors, 2021

From aerospace to biotechnology and creative media, CU Boulder fosters an innovative culture that feeds into undergraduate education. This innovation focus equips students with real-world learning experiences.

Outstanding Academics Across Diverse Majors and Programs

The University of Colorado Boulder is renowned for its outstanding academics, offering a wide range of majors and programs to suit students’ diverse interests and career aspirations. Whether you’re interested in pursuing a degree in STEM, business, or the arts and humanities, CU Boulder has a strong reputation for excellence in all these areas.

Strong STEM Programs

For students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), CU Boulder offers a range of top-notch programs. The university’s STEM departments consistently rank among the best in the nation, attracting talented faculty and students from around the world.

From computer science to physics, students have access to cutting-edge research opportunities and state-of-the-art facilities that foster innovation and discovery.

Highly-Ranked Business School

CU Boulder’s Leeds School of Business is widely recognized as one of the top business schools in the country. With a focus on experiential learning and a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship, the Leeds School prepares students for success in the dynamic world of business.

Graduates from the Leeds School have gone on to work at prestigious companies and start their own successful ventures.

Robust Arts and Humanities

While CU Boulder is known for its strong STEM programs, the university also offers a robust range of majors and programs in the arts and humanities. From literature to music, philosophy to sociology, students have the opportunity to explore their passions and gain a deep understanding of the human experience.

The College of Arts and Sciences at CU Boulder is highly regarded for its faculty’s expertise and its commitment to fostering creativity and critical thinking skills.

Many Options for Majors and Minors

One of the great advantages of attending CU Boulder is the wide array of options for majors and minors. Whether you have a clear career path in mind or are still exploring your interests, CU Boulder offers a diverse range of academic programs to choose from.

This flexibility allows students to tailor their education to their individual goals and aspirations, ensuring that they receive a well-rounded and comprehensive education.

Vibrant and Active Student Life Anchored in Boulder

The University of Colorado Boulder offers a vibrant and active student life that is anchored in the beautiful city of Boulder, Colorado. With its stunning natural surroundings and lively atmosphere, Boulder provides the perfect backdrop for an enriching college experience.

Outdoor Adventure in a Stunning Backyard

One of the major perks of attending the University of Colorado Boulder is the access to incredible outdoor adventures right in your backyard. The city is nestled at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, offering students endless opportunities for hiking, skiing, climbing, and more.

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or just looking to try something new, Boulder provides a playground for exploration and adventure.

Big School Spirit and Traditions

The University of Colorado Boulder is known for its strong sense of school spirit and rich traditions. From cheering on the Buffaloes at football games to participating in the annual Fall Fest, there are plenty of opportunities to show your school pride.

The campus is buzzing with energy during game days, and the sense of community and camaraderie among students is truly infectious.

Diverse On-Campus Housing Choices

Living on campus at the University of Colorado Boulder offers students a wide range of housing options to choose from. Whether you prefer traditional dormitories or want a more independent living experience in an apartment-style residence hall, there is something for everyone.

The university also provides themed housing communities, allowing students with similar interests to live together and foster a sense of belonging.

Trendy Boulder Offers Urban Conveniences

Boulder is not just about its natural beauty; it also offers a trendy and vibrant urban environment. The city is home to a thriving arts and culture scene, with numerous art galleries, theaters, and music venues.

Additionally, Boulder boasts a variety of trendy shops, unique restaurants, and bustling coffee shops. Students can explore the Pearl Street Mall, a pedestrian-only shopping district, or indulge in the local farm-to-table food scene.

CU Boulder Graduates See Success in Careers and Beyond

When it comes to evaluating the quality of a university, the success of its graduates is an important factor to consider. In the case of the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder), graduates have consistently achieved remarkable success in their careers and beyond.

High Salaries Early in Graduates’ Careers

One of the key indicators of a good school is the earning potential of its graduates. CU Boulder excels in this aspect, with its alumni earning competitive salaries early in their careers. According to a recent survey conducted by the university’s Career Services, the average starting salary for CU Boulder graduates is $60,000 per year.

This statistic not only demonstrates the value of a degree from CU Boulder but also highlights the university’s commitment to providing its students with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in the job market.

Many Alumni Go On to Graduate Programs

Another measure of a university’s quality is the number of its alumni who pursue graduate education. CU Boulder boasts a high percentage of graduates who continue their studies at prestigious graduate programs.

In fact, recent data shows that over 40% of CU Boulder alumni go on to pursue advanced degrees. This impressive figure reflects the university’s dedication to academic excellence and its ability to prepare students for continued success in their chosen fields.

Powerful Network of Over 330,000 Living Alumni

A strong alumni network is invaluable for both personal and professional growth. CU Boulder is proud to have a powerful network of over 330,000 living alumni spread across various industries and locations.

This vast network provides CU Boulder graduates with access to a wide range of career opportunities, mentorship possibilities, and professional connections. Whether they are seeking advice, job leads, or simply looking to connect with fellow Buffs, CU Boulder alumni can rely on this extensive network to support them throughout their careers.

Admissions at CU Boulder

When considering whether the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) is a good school, it is important to examine the admissions process. CU Boulder has become increasingly selective for out-of-state students in recent years, making it a competitive choice for students from across the country.

This has led to a diverse student body and a vibrant campus community.

Increasingly Selective for Out-of-State Students

CU Boulder has seen a rise in the number of applications from out-of-state students, contributing to its reputation as a top-tier institution. The university’s commitment to academic excellence and its location in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, are attractive to students seeking a high-quality education and an exceptional college experience.

As a result, the university has been able to select the most qualified and motivated students from a larger pool of applicants.

According to the university’s official website, the acceptance rate for out-of-state students has dropped to X% in the past five years, indicating the university’s increased selectivity.

Consider ACT/SAT Scores, GPA, and Other Factors

Admissions at CU Boulder take into account a variety of factors, including ACT/SAT scores, GPA, extracurricular activities, personal statements, and letters of recommendation. While these factors are important, the university also considers the applicant as a whole, looking beyond just test scores and grades.

This holistic approach allows for a fair evaluation of each student’s potential and their fit within the CU Boulder community.

It is important for prospective students to note that CU Boulder is a test-optional school, meaning that applicants are not required to submit ACT or SAT scores. This provides an opportunity for students to showcase other aspects of their academic achievements and personal growth.

Strong Retention and Graduation Rates

One of the indicators of a good school is its ability to retain and graduate students. CU Boulder has an impressive retention rate, with X% of first-year students returning for their sophomore year. This speaks to the university’s ability to provide a supportive and engaging learning environment.

The graduation rate at CU Boulder is also noteworthy. X% of students who enroll at the university graduate within four years, and X% graduate within six years. These rates are above the national average and demonstrate the university’s commitment to student success.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the four-year graduation rate at CU Boulder is X%, compared to the national average of X%.


With outstanding academics, a vibrant campus culture, and success stories among its alumni, it’s clear the University of Colorado Boulder ranks among the very best public universities nationwide. For prospective students searching for a high-quality education paired with incredible mountain scenery, CU Boulder emerges as a leading choice. By weighing the factors covered here, you can determine if the University of Colorado Boulder would be a good school for you.

Similar Posts