The Best Online Colleges in Colorado

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Colorado is known for amazing mountains, extreme weather (some areas receive 40+ inches of snow per year!), and an adventurous outdoor culture. Because of this, whether you want to spend time on outdoor adventures or keep up with your degree program no matter the weather, an online degree program could be the perfect fit for you if you live in Colorado. Online programs offer flexibility that allows you to create a schedule that fits you and your lifestyle. This article ranks the best 12 schools in Colorado that offer online degree programs in a variety of fields. Whether you want to study business or biology, education or engineering, criminology or computer science, one of these colleges in Colorado has a degree program for you.

Four Reasons to Find an Online College in Your State

  1. Guaranteed in–state tuition saves you money
  2. Be a part of a university or college you know and love
  3. Get a degree from a school that employers know and trust
  4. Be close enough to easily visit when desired

Ranking Guidelines for the Best Online Colleges in Colorado

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Note: In ranking the best online colleges in Colorado, giving attention to the variety of degree programs available at the institutions is of utmost importance. For this reason, a more prestigious school in Colorado may offer one, or a few online degrees, but that may not be enough for that school to rank highly among the best online colleges in the state. In this ranking, we are dedicated to showing who is leading the way in delivering quality online degrees in Colorado.

The Best Online Colleges in Colorado

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University of Denver - University College 

Denver, CO

About this school

The University of Denver, founded in 1864, is a private university with nearly 12,000 students. The university sits on a beautiful, nature–filled campus, with an arboretum housing 2,000+ trees. Presidential debates have been held at the University of Denver campus in years past. The university provides a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as professional programs. University of Denver consists of 10 schools and colleges: the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science, the Daniels College of Business, the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, the Division of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, the Morgridge College of Education, the Graduate School of Professional Psychology, the Graduate School of Social Work, the Sturm College of Law, and the University College.

The University of Denver offers its online bachelor’s, master’s and certificate programs through its University College. The University College offers career–focused online and evening educational options, designed for busy students looking to advance academically and professionally. Available online bachelor’s degrees include environmental studies and information technology. Online master’s degree options include the arts and security management. Online certificate programs include human resource management and geographic information systems.

Online resources available to students include online library services, including an academic journal article database, as well as academic advising and 24/7 technical support.


University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus 

Denver, CO

About this school

Established in 1912, the University of Colorado–Denver, is a public research university, and part of the University of Colorado System. The university serves nearly 24,000 students and offers over 140 degree programs. The university is among the largest research institutions in Colorado and has one of the most prolific graduate schools in the state. University of Colorado–Denver has a sister campus, the Anschutz Medical Campus, that offers programs for students in the medical fields and houses state–of–the–art facilities, including two new hospitals.

The University of Colorado–Denver provides bachelor’s degrees online in subjects such as nursing and writing. Graduate students can choose from a variety of online master’s degrees including a Master of Arts in Information and Learning Technologies, a Master of Criminal Justice degree, and several online certificates. Certificate programs include health care informatics and nonprofit management.

Resources available to online students at University of Colorado–Denver include a library with a scholarly article database.


Colorado Christian University 

Lakewood, CO

About this school

Colorado Christian University, a Christian liberal arts university founded in 1914, serves over 7,000 students. The university has two academic colleges: the College of Undergraduate Studies and the College of Adult and Graduate Studies. Both colleges offer numerous degree programs in a variety of fields. Each traditional student attending on–campus classes is required to sign a Lifestyle Covenant pledging that the student will commit to living by a biblical lifestyle.

Colorado Christian University offers online associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs through the College of Adult and Graduate Studies. Online associate degrees include psychology and criminal justice. Online bachelor’s degrees include accounting and business administration. Online master’s degree options include counseling and nursing. Online certificate programs include ethics and online teaching and learning.

The library at Colorado Christian University offers a variety of online services, including live chat with a librarian, an online eBook library, a scholarly article database, and an online music library.


University of Northern Colorado 

Greeley, CO

About this school

Founded in 1889 as State Normal School to train qualified teachers for Colorado’s public schools, the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) began with four instructors and 96 students. Today the public, non–profit university serves around 13,000 students and offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. In 1970, the name of the university was changed to its current title, University of Northern Colorado, to better represent its educational offerings, including, a strong education department. With five main colleges—Education and Behavioral Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, the Monfort College of Business, Natural and Health Sciences, and Performing and Visual Arts—students at University of Northern California have a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral pathways to choose from.

Through University of Northern Colorado’s Extended Campus department, students can earn UNC degrees in a convenient, accessible online format. Online bachelor’s programs offered by UNC Online include specialties in American Sign Language and interpreting, communication studies, psychology, and nursing. Online master’s degrees at University of Northern Colorado include several education programs, as well as sports administration, nursing, dietetics, and more. Students can also pursue several doctoral degrees in education through UNC Online.

Online students at Northern Colorado University receive a variety of services and support, including library access and career services.


University of Colorado - Colorado Springs 

Colorado Springs, CO

About this school

Established in 1965, University of Colorado–Colorado Springs serves more than 12,000 students. It has six academic colleges: the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences; the Beth–El College of Nursing and Health Sciences; the College of Business and Administration; the College of Education; the School of Public Affairs; and the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The University of Colorado–Colorado Springs offers many online bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and certificate programs. Online bachelor’s degrees include criminal justice and sociology. Online master’s degree options include nursing and education. Online doctoral degrees include nursing, while online certificates include instructional technology and nonprofit management.

Resources available to the online students at University of Colorado–Colorado Springs include an online library with scholarly article databases.


Adams State University 

Alamosa, CO

About this school

Adams State University, established in 1921, was originally a teacher training school to provide rural areas with qualified teachers. Since its inception, Adams State University has obtained a reputation of serving people who would otherwise remain underrepresented. It was the first university to be designated by the federal government as a Hispanic Serving Institution. Around 25% of its 3,000+ students are Hispanic.

Adams State University offers several distance programs, including mail correspondence programs for the incarcerated. Adams State University offers several online associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Available online associate degrees include business and emergency management. Online bachelor’s degrees include history and criminology. Online students at Adams State University can also pursue master’s degree programs in education.

Online student resources at Adams State University include an online library with streaming video and a scholarly article database.


Colorado Mesa University 

Grand Junction, CO

About this school

Colorado Mesa University (CMU) is a public, non–profit university, founded in 1925. CMU serves a diverse population of students, with liberal arts, professional, and technical programs at the certificate, associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels. Colorado Mesa University serves nearly 10,000 students through 13 academic departments: Art and Design; Biological Sciences; Business; Computer Science, Mathematics, and Statistics; Engineering; Health Sciences; Kinesiology; Languages, Literature, and Mass Communication; Music; Physical and Environmental Sciences; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Teacher Education; and Theatre Arts.

Colorado Mesa University offers several 100% online degree programs, all focused on offering accessible education to students who need to balance work, family, and personal commitments, in addition to pursuing a degree. Colorado Mesa University offers online associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certificate programs. Online degree programs include specialties in nursing, sport management, radiology, education, and social science.

Colorado Mesa University offers several supports and resources for students enrolled in online degree programs. This includes library, advising, and financial aid services.


University of Colorado Boulder 

Boulder, CO

About this school

Founded in 1876, University of Colorado–Boulder is the flagship institution of the University of Colorado System. Today, University of Colorado–Boulder serves nearly 34,000 students. University of Colorado–Boulder is one of 34 universities to belong to the prestigious Association of American Universities, and the only member from the Rocky Mountain region to belong to this research–focused organization. The school has nine colleges—the College of Arts and Sciences, the Leeds School of Business, the School of Education, the College of Engineering and Applied Science, the Graduate School, Continuing Education and Professional Studies, the University of Colorado Law School, the College of Media, Communication, and Information, and the School of Music—and offers 90+ academic degree programs.

In addition to a variety of on–campus degree programs, University of Colorado–Boulder offers online post–baccalaureate, master’s, and certificate programs. Most of the online offerings from University of Colorado–Boulder are master’s degree programs. Options for master’s students include degrees in business administration, education, and engineering.

Students in online programs at University of Colorado–Boulder receive support from the university, same as students enrolled in traditional, on–campus programs. Resources include financial aid, academic advising, and library services.


Western State Colorado University 

Gunnison, CO

About this school

Founded in 1901, Western State Colorado University offers a variety of bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Western State Colorado University is an open, welcoming institution, holding core values of diversity, inclusivity, scientific inquiry, and creative expression. The school serves nearly 3,000 students, and its most popular undergraduate programs include business administration, biology, and exercise and sport science, while its most popular graduate programs are education, environmental management, and creative writing.

While most degree programs at Western State Colorado University are traditional, on–campus programs, the school has several strong online offerings. Online degrees include a Masters of Arts in Education with numerous options for certification and specialization. This all–online master’s degree can be completed in as little as two years. Western State Colorado University also offers several online career development and certificate programs.

Students in online programs at Western State Colorado University receive substantial support from the university. Resources include library access, academic advising, and financial aid.


End of list, bravo!

The Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

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Colorado State University - Pueblo 

Pueblo, CO

About this school

CSU-Pueblo serves more than 4,500 students from its 275-acre campus in Pueblo, Colorado. More than 50 undergraduate, graduate, and pre-professional degrees are available from the school's eight academic departments, including online studies. For distance learners, CSU-Pueblo offers one online certificate, two online bachelor's degrees, and three online master's degrees, including:

  • Bachelor of science in nursing, RN-to-BSN
  • Bachelor of science in construction management

CSU-Pueblo faculty have more than five centuries of combined professional experience. On-campus and online students enjoy personal attention from their professors, with a 16-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and average class size numbering 25 students. The college delivers course content, classroom discussion, and assignments through the popular learning management system Blackboard. Students also receive a free Microsoft 365 email account, library research databases, one-on-one academic advising, and tech support.

As a public, nonprofit institution, tuition at CSU-Pueblo is extremely competitive. Tuition rates vary by program, but all online students pay the same low prices, regardless of state residency. Online classes last eight weeks each, with two start dates occurring each fall, spring, and summer semester.


University of Northern Colorado 

Greeley, CO

About this school

UNC is a public research university serving more than 13,000 students from Greeley, Colorado and beyond. Among the most affordable online colleges in Colorado, UNC stands out for its diverse catalog where graduate degrees are especially well-represented. The UNC extended campus offers 11 online certificates, six online bachelor's degrees, 33 online master's degrees, and five doctoral degrees, including:

  • Bachelor of science in nursing, RN-to-BSN
  • Bachelor of arts in American Sign Language interpretation
  • Bachelor of science in dietetics
  • Bachelor of arts in early childhood education, teaching emphasis

UNC utilizes the Canvas learning management system to deliver course content, facilitate communication and collaboration, and allow students to track their grades and progress. Online students can also take advantage of personalized academic advising, career services, tech support, and on-campus/off-campus library services.

To enhance affordability for all students, the extended campus charges flat-rate, per-credit tuition regardless of state residency. Online students from the U.S. are charged no additional fees for course delivery. In addition to the college's low rates, undergraduate Colorado residents may apply for the College Opportunity Fund stipend to help lower out-of-pocket costs.


End of list, bravo!

The Most Affordable Online Associate Degree Programs

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Lamar Community College 

Lamar, CO

About this school

From the southeastern plains of Colorado, LCC serves over 1,000 students. The college boasts more than 30 fields of study within their certificate and degree offerings, including specialized academic disciplines, career-oriented training, and general education options designed to transfer to four-year institutions. For distance learners, LCC offers one online certificate and eight online associate degrees, including:

  • Associate of arts in economics
  • Associate of arts in early childhood teacher education
  • Associate of arts in criminal justice
  • Associate of science in psychology
  • Accounting certificate

Hundreds of online courses are offered each semester. Students work closely with academic advisors to customize their schedules, keep up with degree requirements, and ensure they stay on track for timely graduation.

Online students also can access various resources, including one-on-one tutoring, the Library/Learning Resource Center, career and transfer advising, and tech support. LCC sets students up for success, demonstrated by a 40% three-year graduation rate. By comparison, the nationwide three-year graduation rate at community colleges is only 22%.

LCC delivers online course content through the Desire2Learn (D2L) learning management system, which allows students to access lectures and materials, take quizzes, turn in assignments, and communicate with professors and peers, all from one convenient webpage. LCC boasts extremely competitive tuition rates. Nonresident online students pay less than $50 more per credit than resident learners, and many full-time online students are eligible for $1,000 institutional scholarships.


Pueblo Community College 

Pueblo, CO

About this school

PCC serves over 7,000 students from four locations in southern Colorado: Pueblo, Cañon City, Cortez, and Durango. Access to one of the top online community colleges in Colorado also extends to students throughout the state thanks to the college's e-learning options. PCC offers three online certificates, four online associate degrees, and one online bachelor's degree, including:

  • Bachelor of applied science in dental hygiene (degree completion)
  • Associate of applied science in library technician
  • Associate of applied science in health information technology
  • Health information technology certificate

Students interested in a health information technology certificate or associate degree can select from three degree focuses in medical coding, management and support, or network security. Additional PCC programs offer hybrid completion options, consisting of primarily online study supplemented with some on-campus courses. Online students can visit campus for on-site library services, tutoring services, and guidance counseling.

Each semester, PCC makes a varying set of online courses available for registration. Students work closely with their academic advisors to select classes according to their degree plans and schedules. Most PCC online students graduate in 2-4 years, depending on whether they enroll on a part-time or full-time basis. The Desire2Learn (D2L) learning management system streamlines the education process. From a central home page, students access lectures, study materials, quizzes, discussion boards, and an internal email client.


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Additional Online Colleges in Colorado Featured on TBS

The list below includes the colleges and universities offering leading online degree programs in the state of Colorado. From small schools that serve around 1,000 students, to large institutions with tens of thousands of enrolled students, each of the schools on this list have a different student population and school culture. Some of the colleges are public, while other institutions are private; some are religiously affiliated while others are secular. We know that students are diverse in their identities, backgrounds, goals, and needs so we created a list to help you find an online degree program at a school in Colorado that perfectly suits you and your academic and professional needs and goals. Each of the schools on this list offers several strong online degree and certificate programs, so that you can find a distance learning program that’s right for you.

Colorado Mountain College

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Colorado Northwestern Community College

Rangely, Colorado

Colorado Technical University

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Denver Seminary

Littleton, Colorado

Front Range Community College

Westminster, Colorado

Iliff School of Theology

Denver, Colorado

Nazarene Bible College

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Pueblo Community College

Pueblo, Colorado

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

Lakewood, Colorado

The College for Financial Planning

Centennial, Colorado

William Howard Taft University

Lakewood, Colorado


2017 Best Online Colleges and Universities in Arizona
  1. University of Denver – University College
  2. Colorado State University – Fort Collins
  3. Colorado State University Global
  4. Regis University
  5. University of Colorado – Denver
  6. University of Colorado – Colorado Springs
  7. Adams State University
  8. Colorado Christian University


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