CU Denver sees record-breaking enrollment

New programs directed at incoming Millennial and Gen Z students

September 13, 2016

This year’s enrollment at the University of Colorado Denver is the largest and most diverse in its history, reflecting the university’s growing academic reputation and coveted location in the heart of the city.

The freshmen class tops out at 1,474, representing a 7 percent increase over last year and CU Denver’s fourth consecutive year to herald its largest incoming class ever. Total undergraduate enrollment is 10,493, up 5 percent from 2015; 4,277 students are enrolled in graduate programs at the university, contributing to CU Denver’s total enrollment of 14,770.

These numbers are higher than what was initially reported at the CU Regents Meeting last week.

“As Colorado’s public urban research university, these outstanding enrollment numbers reflect the high quality of our academic offerings, from the baccalaureate through doctoral levels,” said Chancellor Dorothy Horrell. “Our location in the heart of downtown affords our students opportunities for real-world learning and makes us a vital asset to the city of Denver and to the community beyond.”

The university’s growing diversity was evident again this year with students of color making up over 57 percent of incoming freshman. That’s not only the largest but the most diverse class ever at CU Denver. Overall, 43 percent of undergraduates are students of color, up two percentage points from the prior year.

“We are thrillcud_students_uhl_0840ed to see enrollment rise and are especially proud that nearly half of our undergraduate student body is now comprised of students of color,” said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Raul Cardenas. “We work hard to ensure our student body reflects our surroundings and to ensure high-quality education is accessible and welcoming to students of all backgrounds.”

The enrollment numbers come on the heels of the latest US News & World Report rankings, released on Tuesday. CU Denver is ranked 106 among public, national universities. The CU Denver Business School is ranked 58th among public universities.

About 36 percent of students enrolled at CU Denver this year are 21 or younger, or so called “Generation Z.”  The university is now offering programs targeted to meet the growing and unique needs of this generation.

One of those programs is the new Bachelor of Arts in Public Service (BAPS) which prepares students to work in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, and the emerging fourth sector that blends social and environmental concerns with business approaches. The BAPS degree can be earned entirely online, providing students the flexibility to schedule course work around the reality of job and family demands.

Students in the School of Education & Human Development will also have additional training resources to serve English-Language learners in the Denver area and beyond. The new Bilingual Education Specialist Endorsement is designed to give future teachers the multicultural training to teach all subjects in Spanish-English bilingual settings.

Another is a new certificate program in Cyber Security offered by the Business School. This is designed to teach entrepreneurs the basics of how to protect their businesses from cyber threats.

These are just a few examples of the courses CU Denver has created to prepare its students for a rapidly changing world, where their skills can translate into jobs.

“We are proud to provide students with future-oriented programs, experiential learning opportunities and quality academics to prepare them not only for their professional pursuits but also to become leaders and effect positive change in the Denver community and beyond,” said Horrell.