10 Best Small Colleges in Colorado | Expert List

10 Best Small Colleges in Colorado | Expert List

Unlike most other states in the USA, finding the best small colleges in Colorado is not a herculean task. This is so because there are only a few such schools in the state.

However, to help you streamline your search, we have curated this guide to welcome you to the picturesque landscapes of Colorado, where the quest for higher education meets the charm of intimate campuses and personalized learning.

In our guide to the best small colleges in the Centennial State, we uncover the unique educational experiences that make these institutions stand out.

From the majestic Rockies to the vibrant city hubs, Colorado’s small colleges offer more than just academics—they provide a tight-knit community, fostering relationships that extend beyond the classroom.

Now, before we get to it, kindly note that if you did not find the perfect school of your choice in Colorado, check out other schools by exploring our archive of the best small colleges in other states of the US.


What kind of schools are in Colorado?

Colorado is home to a diverse array of small schools, each offering a unique educational experience.

The state is home to numerous liberal arts colleges, community colleges, and specialized institutions that cater to students seeking a more personalized and close-knit learning environment.

From the majestic mountains to urban centers, these small schools contribute to the rich educational landscape of Colorado, providing students with a range of options to suit their academic and personal goals.

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Is studying in Colorado a good choice?

Studying in Colorado is a fantastic choice, offering a blend of academic excellence, a vibrant cultural scene, and unparalleled outdoor experiences. Here are some reasons why you should probably consider Colorado as a study location:

  1. Natural Beauty: Colorado’s stunning landscapes, including iconic mountains and picturesque plains, create an inspiring and serene environment, offering students a unique backdrop for their academic journey.
  2. Outdoor Adventure: With a myriad of recreational opportunities such as hiking, skiing, and rock climbing, students in Colorado have access to unparalleled outdoor adventures, promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.
  3. Cultural Diversity: Colorado’s cities, like Denver and Boulder, celebrate cultural diversity, fostering a rich tapestry of experiences, global perspectives, and a welcoming atmosphere for students from all backgrounds.
  4. Top-Tier Universities: The state hosts renowned institutions, including the University of Colorado and Colorado State University, known for their academic excellence and research contributions across various disciplines.
  5. Thriving Arts Scene: From world-class museums and galleries to vibrant music and theater festivals, Colorado’s arts scene offers students a chance to immerse themselves in creativity and cultural expression.
  6. Innovation Hub: Colorado’s growing reputation as an innovation hub provides students with opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research, technological advancements, and entrepreneurial ventures.
  7. Quality of Life: With a high quality of life, friendly communities, and a balanced climate, Colorado offers a lifestyle that enhances well-being and contributes to a positive and fulfilling college experience.
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What are the best small colleges in Colorado?

Without further ado, we lead you to the top colleges with small class sizes and student populations in Colorado. Our job here at Ziiky is to make school searching easy and seamless for you.

Now here are the top 10 small colleges in Colorado:

1. Colorado College, Colorado Springs

  • Phone: +1 719-389-6000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,235 (2020–21)
  • Address: 14 E Cache La Poudre St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Colorado College in Colorado Springs is a private liberal arts college that stands out for its innovative Block Plan, which allows students to immerse themselves in one subject at a time.

This distinctive approach fosters deep intellectual exploration, and the breathtaking Rocky Mountain backdrop adds to the inspiring atmosphere.

With a commitment to hands-on learning and a diverse range of liberal arts programs, Colorado College provides a transformative experience for students.


2. Western Colorado University, Gunnison

  • Phone: +1 970.943.2119
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,722 (2020–21)
  • Address: 1 Western Way, Gunnison, CO 81231

Nestled in the heart of the Rockies, Western Colorado University in Gunnison offers a unique blend of academic excellence and outdoor adventure.

With small class sizes and a personalized approach, students benefit from close interactions with faculty.

The university’s emphasis on sustainability and a tight-knit community make it an ideal choice for those seeking an education that goes beyond the classroom.


3. Fort Lewis College, Durango

  • Phone: +1 877-352-2656
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 3,260 (2020–21)
  • Address: 1000 Rim Dr, Durango, CO 81301

Fort Lewis College in Durango is another public liberal arts college in Colorado. The college stands out for its immersive learning experiences and stunning mountainous surroundings.

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The college’s focus on blending traditional academics with real-world applications creates a dynamic learning environment.

With a commitment to Native American and Hispanic cultures, Fort Lewis College celebrates diversity and offers a culturally enriching educational experience.


4. Colorado Mountain College, Glenwood Springs

  • Phone: 1-970-945-8691
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,373 (2020–21)
  • Address: 802 Grand Avenue, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

Colorado Mountain College, with its campuses surrounded by the beauty of the Rockies, provides a hands-on, experiential education tailored to mountain communities.

Known for its outdoor leadership program and sustainability initiatives, CMC offers a unique academic experience that integrates classroom learning with the natural wonders of the region.

The college’s commitment to fostering environmental stewardship and community engagement sets it apart. Keep in mind that CMC Glenwood Center offers classes throughout the day and at night.


5. Adams State University, Alamosa

  • Phone: +1 719-587-7011
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,484 (2020–21)
  • Address: 208 Edgemont Blvd., Alamosa, CO 81101

Adams State University in Alamosa prides itself on its inclusive and supportive community, fostering a welcoming atmosphere for students from diverse backgrounds.

With small class sizes, personalized attention, and a commitment to experiential learning, Adams State provides students with the tools they need for academic and personal success.

The university’s emphasis on cultural diversity and community engagement contributes to a well-rounded educational experience.

Another thing to know about Adams State University is that the university’s athletic team, the Grizzlies, competes in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.


6. Pueblo Community College, Pueblo

  • Phone: 719-549-3200
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 3,291 (2020–21)
  • Address: 900 W. Orman Ave., Pueblo, CO 81004

Pueblo Community College plays a vital role in the educational landscape of Southern Colorado, offering accessible and affordable education.

With a focus on practical skills and workforce development, PCC prepares students for success in their chosen careers.

The college’s commitment to serving the local community and providing a gateway to higher education makes it an invaluable resource for students seeking a solid foundation for their future.


7. Colorado School of Mines, Golden

  • Phone: +1 303-273-3000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 5,440 (2020–21)
  • Address: 1500 Illinois St, Golden, CO 80401

The Colorado School of Mines in Golden is renowned for its focus on engineering and applied sciences, preparing students for careers in industries vital to Colorado’s economy.

The hands-on learning opportunities, cutting-edge research facilities, and collaborative atmosphere distinguish Mines as a hub for innovation.

The school’s commitment to sustainability and technological advancement positions its graduates as leaders in solving real-world challenges.


8. Naropa University, Boulder

  • Phone: +1 303-444-0202
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 317 (2020–21)
  • Address: 2130 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO 80302
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Nestled in the vibrant city of Boulder, Naropa University stands out for its contemplative approach to education, combining Eastern and Western philosophies.

With a focus on mindfulness, sustainability, and the arts, Naropa, which is a private school, provides a transformative learning experience.

The university’s commitment to fostering social justice and environmental awareness makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a holistic education that extends beyond academic boundaries.


9. Taft University System

  • Phone: 303.867.1155
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 217 (2020–21)
  • Address: 1325 S Colorado Blvd., Building B, Suite 404, Denver, CO 80222

Taft University System, with a commitment to accessible higher education, stands out for its innovative online programs that cater to non-traditional students.

Offering flexibility and personalized support, Taft University System provides opportunities for working professionals to advance their careers.

The system’s dedication to making education accessible and convenient makes it a valuable resource for those seeking a flexible and tailored learning experience.


10. Aspen University School of Nursing, Elwood Campus, Denver

  • Phone: 800.373.7814
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,772 (2020–21)
  • Address: 4615 E. Elwood St., Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ 85040

Aspen University’s School of Nursing, located in Denver, distinguishes itself for its focus on healthcare education and career advancement.

With programs designed to meet the evolving needs of the healthcare industry, Aspen University provides a flexible and supportive learning environment.

The Elwood Campus’s commitment to nursing excellence and personalized attention sets the stage for students to thrive in their nursing careers.


FAQS on the best small colleges in Colorado

What specialized programs do small colleges in Colorado excel in?

Small colleges in Colorado often stand out in specialized programs such as environmental science, outdoor leadership, and sustainability studies.

These institutions leverage their unique settings, offering students hands-on experiences and opportunities to explore fields aligned with Colorado’s diverse landscapes.

How do small colleges in Colorado foster a sense of community engagement?

Small colleges in Colorado actively involve students in community projects, service learning, and internships, fostering a strong sense of community engagement. This commitment not only enhances students’ understanding of real-world issues but also contributes positively to the local community.

What advantages do small colleges in Colorado offer in terms of specialized programs?

Small colleges in Colorado often emphasize flexibility in their academic programs, allowing students to tailor their education to their interests and career goals. This adaptability promotes a well-rounded and personalized educational experience.


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