Business Schools in Colorado
Best known for the Rocky Mountains that rise abruptly from the Great Plains roughly in the middle of the state, Colorado is a place of great contrasts and immense natural beauty. A haven for skiers, hikers, and photographers, Colorado was named after the Colorado River, which starts in the northern part of the state and travels southwest to the Gulf of California, through the Grand Canyon and past Hoover Dam. Its nickname is the “Centennial State” because it joined the union as the 38th state in 1876. It has a diverse economy, and its capital, Denver, is one of the most important cities in the central United States.
Colorado is not a huge state in terms of population but does rank 21st in the US in that regard. Given this, it has surprisingly few business schools. The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) statistics shows only 21 public and non-profit schools that grant undergraduate and graduate business degrees in the state. Accreditation reduces these numbers further: there are just 8 accredited undergraduate schools and 9 at the graduate level. Even though it means fewer choices, we always strongly recommend choosing an accredited college wherever you go to school. This will ensure that the business degree you select has clear objectives and has proven that it produces quality outcomes while adhering to national and international standards. Accredited schools also typically offer a richer educational experience via interaction with actual businesses.
All of the schools in this article have been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and/or International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). They are all public or non-profit and regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
This article contains the essential data you need to help you choose the Colorado business school that best suits your unique needs, based on a variety of key factors, including tuition, financial aid, entrance exam scores, acceptance rates, and more. The three sections that follow describe undergraduate programs, graduate schools, and the job prospects for business school graduates in Colorado.
Undergraduate Business Schools in Colorado
The cost of undergraduate business programs in Colorado is among the lowest in the nation, so it is a good place to consider for those who love mountains and are on a budget, too! The overall average tuition for our 8 schools is just $13,800, which is already quite low. And this number is raised by the relatively high cost of the only expensive school in the state: the University of Denver, which has tuition of over $46,000. The other 7 schools average just $9,100, making them very affordable indeed. The least expensive school is Metropolitan State University of Denver, which costs just under $7,000. Average financial aid, excluding the University of Denver, is $7,900, almost the same as the average tuition.
We were able to obtain acceptance rate data for all our schools, and they are very student-friendly. The overall average is 80%, one of the highest in the country; the University of Denver has the lowest figure at 53%, and there are four schools at or above 90%.
Graduation rates for undergraduate business degrees in Colorado, however, are on the low side. The overall average is 52%, ranging from Metropolitan State University of Denver at 27% to 79% at the University of Denver. Five of the 8 schools are below 50%. The best combination of acceptance rate and graduation rate is at the University of Colorado at Boulder, with an acceptance rate of 77% and graduation rate of 70%. Colorado State University is close behind with figures of 78% and 67%, respectively.
The table below shows you all the important data you need about undergraduate business schools in Colorado, including annual in-state tuition costs, average aid per student, acceptance rates, SAT and ACT score ranges of accepted students, and graduation rates. Click any column header to sort the table based on its contents.
|School||City||Tuition||Aid||Median SAT||Median ACT||Accept. Rate||Grad. Rate|
|Colorado State University||Fort Collins||$11,052||$8,530||1020-1250||23-28||78%||67%|
|Colorado State University-Pueblo||Pueblo||$9,519||$5,228||870-1060||18-23||96%||32%|
|Fort Lewis College||Durango||$8,104||$11,713||940-1120||19-24||92%||45%|
|Metropolitan State University of Denver||Denver||$6,930||$5,487||880-1100||17-23||64%||27%|
|University of Colorado at Boulder||Boulder||$11,531||$10,760||1070-1310||25-30||77%||70%|
|University of Colorado at Colorado Springs||Colorado Springs||$8,042||$6,026||940-1190||20-26||93%||47%|
|University of Denver||Denver||$46,422||$25,427||1110-1310||26-31||53%||79%|
|University of Northern Colorado||Greeley||$8,888||$7,680||928-1150||19-25||90%||48%|
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Graduate Business Schools in Colorado
We have data on 11 accredited schools for graduate business study in Colorado. These schools are a little more expensive relative to other states than the undergraduate schools, but except for the University of Denver ($100,000) they are not exceptionally high. The overall average is $33,300, or $25,000 if the University of Denver is excluded. Five of the 9 schools are near or below $20,000.
We have average GMAT scores for 7 schools, which are all in the 500s. The percentage of faculty with doctorate degrees ranges from 68.9% at the University of Denver to 91.7% at Colorado State University-Pueblo.
There are three accredited online MBA programs in Colorado that may be good fits for those who want to keep working while they study. The highest-ranked of the three is the program at Colorado State University, which can be completed in as little as 21 months. The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has several areas of specialty, including Health Care Administration, which is only offered online. The third program is at the University of Colorado at Denver, which offers over a dozen specializations. Most online programs offer the same basic curriculum and courses as their offline equivalents and some allow students to mix in-person and online resources.
The table that follows shows graduate business school tuition costs, average accepted applicant GMAT scores, percentage of faculty with a doctorate degree, and student-to-faculty ratios. Click any column header to sort the table based on its contents.
|Colorado State University||Fort Collins||36016||569||89.1||2.01|
|Colorado State University-Pueblo||Pueblo||15699||513||91.7||1.42|
|Fort Lewis College||Durango||12700||84.2|
|Metropolitan State University of Denver||Denver||16441|
|University of Colorado at Boulder||Boulder||37232||593||78.2||3.4|
|University of Colorado at Colorado Springs||Colorado Springs||20642||548||81.8||1.01|
|University of Colorado Denver||Denver||40250||578||80.3||12.84|
|University of Denver||Denver||99918||593||68.9||3.29|
|University of Northern Colorado||Greeley||21492||535||0.66|
Job Outlook for Business School Graduates in Colorado
Over the decade spanning 2016 to 2026, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data predicts total growth of at least 5% in 32 of 37 business and management occupations across the US. The highest growth will be for market analysts and marketing specialists, at 22.8% over ten years, with financial managers coming in second at 18.7%.
Colorado’s economy has generally tracked that of the nation as a whole but has recovered faster than average since the Great Recession. Its unemployment rate currently sits at an amazingly low 2.7%, well below the US average of 4% at the time of writing. About 237,000 people were employed in the business and management sector in Colorado in 2016. The largest subgroup was general and operations managers at 41,560, followed closely by business operations specialists at 40,580.
According to BLS data, Colorado ranked 13th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia for overall average annual wage across all occupations in 2016 at $65,685, well above the national average of $57,617. Business and management occupations had a weighted average annual salary of around $98,000 that year. As in most states, chief executives were the highest-paid category at $205,000. Most management positions fell between $110,000 and $170,000. The lowest-paid of the groups for which we have data was meeting and event planners at $47,570. (An average salary figure was not available for agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes.)
|Accountants and Auditors||13-2011||34,540||$38||$79,300||10.0%|
|Administrative Services Managers||11-3011||2,250||$55||$113,740||10.1%|
|Advertising and Promotions Managers||11-2011||440||$58||$120,280||5.8%|
|Agents and Managers of Artists and Athletes||13-1011||110||*||*||4.9%|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||11-9041||3,290||$83||$171,610||5.5%|
|Business Operations Specialists||13-1199||40,580||$38||$79,880||8.8%|
|Compensation and Benefits Managers||11-3111||150||$71||$146,950||5.0%|
|Compensation, and Benefits Specialists||13-1141||1,250||$35||$72,530||8.5%|
|General and Operations Managers||11-1021||41,560||$62||$129,750||9.1%|
|Human Resources Managers||11-3121||1,550||$67||$139,850||8.9%|
|Human Resources Specialists||13-1071||11,540||$33||$68,550||7.1%|
|Information Systems Managers||11-3021||7,100||$78||$161,780||11.9%|
|Labor Relations Specialists||13-1075||490||$33||$68,110||-7.8%|
|Market Analysts and Marketing Specialists||13-1161||17,120||$35||$72,410||22.8%|
|Meeting and Event Planners||13-1121||3,350||$23||$47,570||10.2%|
|Public Relations and Fundraising Managers||11-2031||1,160||$64||$132,730||10.4%|
|Tax Examiners and Revenue Agents||13-2081||800||$30||$61,570||-0.6%|
|Training and Development Managers||11-3131||360||$61||$126,240||10.3%|
|Training and Development Specialists||13-1151||6,280||$34||$71,670||11.5%|
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1. National Center for Education Statistics:https://nces.ed.gov/
2. AACSB, Best Business Schools:https://bestbizschools.aacsb.edu/aacsb-accredited
3. ACBSP, Business Schools:https://www.acbsp.org/page/accreditation
4. IACBE, Business Schools:https://iacbe.org/accreditation/
5. US Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook Handbook, Business and Financial Occupations: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm
6. US Bureau of Labor Statistics – Employment and Wage Estimates Colorado: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ca.htm
7. US News & World Report, 2018 Best Business Schools: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools