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Even on a rare overcast day in the normally sunny Mile-High City, a recent tour of the University of Denver was full of bright spots. This mid-sized, private university offers a “four-dimensional experience” that promotes “intellectual growth, well-being, character development and a career and life of purpose.”

DU enrolls about 5,800 undergraduates and over 8,200 graduate students. Undergraduates can enroll in one of five colleges: The Daniels College of Business; the College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics; the Joseph Korbel School of International Studies; the Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science; or the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, which also encompasses the Lamont School of Music. Music is DU’s only direct-admit major. There are also 18 selective, dual-degree programs that enable five-year Bachelor’s/Master’s degrees, or a six-year Bachelor’s/Juris Doctorate. 

On the fast-paced quarter system, DU students typically take four classes every 10 weeks, with a six-week winter break that begins at Thanksgiving and another week-long break in late March. 

More than 70% of students take advantage of DU’s robust study-abroad program, which enables students with a 3.0 GPA or higher to study overseas at no additional cost, choosing from among over 100 partner programs in 40 countries. Typically, students go abroad first quarter of their junior year, and all take a two-credit course beforehand to prepare them for the experience.

Admissions officers were proud to tell us that 95.5% of 2022 graduates completed their degrees in four years or less, 92% of 2021 grads were employed or in graduate school within six months of graduating, and that last year, EVERY student who was offered admission was offered a merit scholarship to offset DU’s admittedly steep sticker price.

DU’s location is attractive to outdoor enthusiasts and big-city lovers alike! The main campus in a residential Denver neighborhood is 125 acres, built on the site of a former arboretum, so it’s lush with trees and beautifully landscaped. DU has its own light-rail stop, free for students who want to explore Denver’s vibrant culture and handy for trips to the airport (about ⅔ of DU students are from out of state). Proximity to skiing/snowboarding, hiking, rock-climbing, etc., is a draw for many, and the school’s most popular club, the Alpine Club, consistently organizes cost-effective options to encourage students to get out and explore.

DU recently established its  Kennedy Mountain Campus. Located about two hours from Denver, the Mountain campus provides students the opportunity to retreat to a wilderness setting and stay in winterized cabins to enjoy unique programming. All first-year DU students take a First Ascent trip to this campus together with their small freshman seminar groups.

Our student panelists and tour guides singled out some additional, distinctive aspects that attracted them to DU, including the Pioneer Leadership Program, to which 88 incoming students are selected each year. This unique, interdisciplinary program combines course work, a living/learning community, civic engagement and professional networks to help develop leaders for the 21st century. “Employers love it!” raved one student.

Students who love the outdoors, enjoy fast-paced academics, know they want to study abroad and want to be in a vibrant city with strong internship and career opportunities might want to take a deeper dive into DU!

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