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Collage of MSU Denver classes and students

Metropolitan State University of Denver has transformed the lives of more than 90,000 people in Denver and Colorado through affordable degree programs, innovative public-private partnerships and a commitment to diversity.

That’s why MSU Denver now stands not only as a preeminent public urban university but also a bastion of the American dream.

MSU Denver: The Model Urban University

Image of Janine Davidson, President of MSU DenverAt Metropolitan State University of Denver, we believe that every student should have an opportunity to better their life. And we know that higher education is the key factor in upward economic and social mobility. That’s why we offer high-quality education that prepares students to be well-rounded and work-ready.

Our students come from every background and experience. We have veterans looking to re-establish themselves in the workforce, first-generation college students trying to do a little better than their parents and plenty of people who want to change directions in their careers. They may have taken a zigzagging path to get to college, but they find their way here and leave as Roadrunners.

We graduate Fulbright scholars, award-winning novelists, noted academics, pioneering scientists and many others who are at the very top of their fields. And that’s further proof of why we need to give every student a fair shot, why we don’t define ourselves by who we exclude, but by who we include. Because every student has the potential to be something or someone greater, to move up the social and economic ladder; in short, to achieve the American dream.

We hope you’ll join us as we work to become the model urban university for opportunity, diversity, excellence and transformation.



Dr Davidson Signature

Janine Davidson, Ph.D.

Metropolitan State University of Denver

The Roadrunner Difference

In the early days of the University, students dubbed themselves “Roadrunners” because they sprinted across downtown Denver’s busy streets to get to classes. In 1974, students named the Roadrunner the University’s mascot. But over the years, the MSU Denver Roadrunner has come to signify more, including the fighting spirit shared by every graduate of the University.

Roadrunners are:

They come from every background imaginable and learn to be broad-minded by grappling with a variety of experiences and viewpoints. 

They are determined to succeed and achieve. If they get knocked down, they get back up.


They have job-ready skills and a deep knowledge of the issues and dynamics that shape the workforce.

They want to use their education to make change. Every degree earned has a ripple effect, spreading benefits across the metro area and beyond.

They don’t settle for walking on well-worn trails – they run their own road.


MSU Denver offers the lowest cost (tuition and fees) among the state’s largest colleges:

Metropolitan State University of Denver


University of Northern Colorado $4,776
University of Colorado Denver $4,891
Colorado State University $4,713
University of Colorado Boulder $5,364

Resident undergraduate tuition and fees for 12 credit hours/full-time student for one semester (after COF is applied).*

Figures are obtained from respective university websites.

Tuition rates above apply to 2019/20 school year. Visit the Office of the Bursar to view up-to-date tuition costs.

Fall 2018 Student Demographics

20,011 Total Degree-Seeking Undergraduate and Graduate Student Enrollment Headcount

As one of the leaders in diverse undergraduate enrollment among Colorado’s four-year universities, with 8,617 students of color, MSU Denver’s students mirror the faces of Colorado, embodying a wide array of backgrounds and cultures. The campus environment provides students the opportunity to develop multicultural awareness critical to thriving in today’s workplace while embracing each student’s individuality.

Student Diversity 2018

Fall 2018 Undergraduate Student Diversity

Located in the heart of urban Denver, MSU Denver:

  Is ranked one of the top Colorado colleges for student veterans, with 992 student veterans.
•  Has an average student age of 25.

  Has the highest number of ASSET* students, 357.

*Undocumented Colorado high school graduates can attend a state public university or college at the in-state tuition rate if they meet certain requirements, per the ASSET Senate Bill, 13-033.

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) Accreditation logo

AACSB Accredited

Only 5 percent of business schools worldwide earn this distinction.
Best For Vets 2018

Best for Vets: Colleges

Military Times ranked MSU Denver one of the top Colorado colleges for veterans and 67th in the U.S. because of our Yellow Ribbon Certified campus and programs.
Higher Learning Commission logo

Higher Learning Commission Accreditation

MSU Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency that covers 19 states in the north-central region of the United States.
Diversity Champion

Diversity Champion Award

MSU Denver is proud of its designation as a 2018 Diversity Champion by insight into diversity.

Community/Global Impact

Thanks to career- and community-minded programs, partnerships and pathways, MSU Denver is preparing students to succeed after graduation while addressing critical issues and developing workforce pipelines for high-demand industries in Colorado and beyond.


Health - More than $6.1 million in recent grants will help educate the next generation of health-care workers as part of MSU Denver’s forthcoming Health Institute. The Health Careers Opportunity Program Academy will provide students from disadvantaged backgrounds with scholarship support, job shadowing and clinical learning opportunities in the health-care field and bring much-needed diversity into one of the state’s fastest-growing job sectors. Two grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration will support the training of future behavioral-health and addictions clinicians, particularly those committed to working in medically underserved and rural communities.

Arts – MSU Denver provides an unparalleled urban learning environment for art, music and theatre students interested in pursuing a degree in a creative field. Led by regionally and nationally known faculty performers and educators, students make connections between the campus and the local Denver art scene and have access to facilities that allow numerous performance and exhibition opportunities, including the Center for Visual Art, MSU Denver at DIME and the King Center.

Tourism – Capitalizing on Denver’s tourism industry, which creates nearly 60,000 jobs and brings more than $700 million of economic impact to the community each year, the Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center at MSU Denver allows students to intern and gain hands-on experiences in their desired field. The HLC serves as a higher-education classroom, a teaching laboratory, a commercial hotel (SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown at MSU Denver), a conference space and a revenue-generating venture for the University. Students are mentored by professionals from Sage Hospitality to provide a truly unique learning environment.

Water - The One World One Water Center, a collaboration between MSU Denver and Denver Botanic Gardens, is expanding the reach and breadth of educational programs on water and environmental issues. Denver has gained a voice in the global conversation thanks to a recent invitation to join the United Nations Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture. Involvement in this elite global community of water researchers will open up new joint research opportunities for students and faculty with additional national and international partners.

Aviation - MSU Denver is working to help stem a nationwide scarcity of airline pilots. A new Aviation Academic and Flight Training Partnership with Colorado Northwestern Community College allows CNCC aviation students to transfer course credit into one of MSU Denver’s bachelor’s degree programs. The partnership aims to keep students’ costs down and get them into commercial cockpits faster by offering joint flight training in Rangely and at the Colorado Air and Space Port east of Aurora. In addition, a new partnership with United Airlines is the first to establish a direct pathway from a university aviation department to a major U.S. airline.

Cybersecurity – To help fill a global shortage of 2 million cybersecurity professionals, MSU Denver has established a bachelor’s and a master’s degree (fall 2019) in cybersecurity. The curriculum pulls together the departments of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Computer Information Systems and Business Analytics, and Mathematical and Computer Sciences.

Global Studies – The MSU Denver experience extends far beyond the city of Denver. A record-breaking 299 Roadrunners benefited last year from programs and partnerships that reached all corners of the world from yearlong, immersive programs to spring-break study trips in such countries as Mexico, Scotland, Tibet, Hungary, Peru, Ghana and beyond. The past year also saw an increase in faculty- led international courses, with more than 200 students from across the academic spectrum joining professors in 23 study-abroad experiences.





Nursing student

Student working out

music students

aerospace student


Founded: 1963
Opened Doors: 1965
Main Campus: 890 Auraria Parkway, Denver, CO 80204
President: Janine Davidson, Ph.D.
Athletics: NCAA Division II, Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference
Mascot: Rowdy the Roadrunner

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