Jul 13, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The University and Its Mission

Metropolitan State University of Denver is a comprehensive university offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees on the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver. Founded in 1965, MSU Denver has grown to over 20,000 students and educates more undergraduate Coloradans than anyone else in the state.

For more information on MSU Denver, click on a link to be taken to the entry below.

Role and Mission

MSU Denver is a comprehensive, baccalaureate- and master’s-degree granting urban university that offers arts and sciences, professional and business ‌courses and programs to a diverse student population in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Excellence in teaching and learning is MSU Denver’s primary objective.

MSU Denver’s mission is to provide a high-quality, accessible, enriching education that prepares students for successful careers, post-graduate education, and lifelong learning in a multicultural, global, and technological society. To fulfill its mission, MSU Denver’s diverse university community engages the community at large in scholarly inquiry, creative activity and the application of knowledge.

Undergraduate Degrees and Programs

With its modified, open admissions policy, the University welcomes students from all walks of life and circumstances, including all levels of academic preparation consistent with statutory guidelines, all conditions of economic and income status, all ages, and all ethnic and cultural backgrounds. In addition to degree-seeking students, non-degree students seeking opportunities for continuing education are welcomed.

  • MSU Denver is required to serve adult students. Students who are 20 years of age or older and hold a GED or high school diploma are automatically admitted to MSU Denver, irrespective of their academic record.
  • MSU Denver is required to serve traditional-age students of all levels of achievement and potential. As a result, the University enrolls a rich mix of recent high school graduates and transfer students, many with excellent grades and test scores and others with more modest achievements.
  • MSU Denver is required to be accessible to all citizens. That is why, with its tuition remaining among the lowest in the state, MSU Denver is Colorado’s best value in education.

The University is primarily a teaching institution in which excellence in teaching and learning is accorded the highest priority. Student success, supported in a collegial atmosphere of academic freedom, is of paramount importance, and all members of the college community seek to inspire students to strive for the highest level of achievement. The University endeavors to provide students with an education that enhances the quality of their lives and enables them to be well-educated, critically thinking citizens who contribute and participate in meaningful ways in community and civic life.

At the undergraduate level, MSU Denver awards bachelor of science, bachelor of arts, bachelor of fine arts, bachelor of music and bachelor of music education degrees. Students may choose from 73 majors, 91 minors, and 31 certificate programs offered through three colleges: Business ; Letters, Arts and Sciences ; and Professional Studies ; and the School of Education . Programs range from the traditional disciplines, such as history and biology, to contemporary fields of study, such as biochemistry, athletic training, and communication design. MSU Denver offers several bachelor’s degree programs unique in Colorado, including aviation management, health care management, meteorology, and integrative healthcare. Students may also design their own degree through the Individualized Degree Program.

Graduate Degrees

MSU Denver offers advanced degrees in five graduate programs: Master of Professional Accountancy, Master of Social Work, Master of Business Administration, Master of Health Administration, and Master of Arts in Teaching with concentrations in Elementary Education and Special Education to a diverse population in an atmosphere of mutual respect.  The master’s programs are professionally-oriented degrees that will help to prepare students for success and accommodate graduates’ increased engagement with community needs. Excellence in teaching and learning is MSU Denver’s primary objective.  Students interested in the master’s programs should refer to the Graduate Catalog for details.


As an urban university committed to serving the local community, MSU Denver attracts students from a diverse mixture of age groups, socioeconomic classes, ethnic backgrounds and lifestyles. The University’s curriculum and philosophy reflect that diversity and enrich the urban experience.

Current enrollment as of Fall 2015 is 20,105. Students range in age from 16 to 70 with an average age of 26. MSU Denver enrolls the highest number of students of color of all four-year colleges in the state.

About 60% of students are enrolled full time, with 32% percent of students being first-generation to college. Ninety-three percent of students reside in the seven county area of the Denver metropolitan area.


More than 500 full-time faculty teach for MSU Denver. Professors are recruited and evaluated for their ability to teach and engage students. All classes are taught by academic instructors. As a culturally diverse team of academicians, 49% of full-time faculty are women, and 22% represent ethnic minorities.

The University also brings real-world education into the classroom by hiring affiliate faculty who work in the Denver metropolitan community and use their expertise and experience in the arts, business, communication, law, politics, the sciences and technology in their teaching. For a complete list of faculty and their credentials, please visit the Faculty  page.