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Metropolitan State University of Denver is reimagining what's possible as a leader and innovator in higher education, a university committed to fostering an equitable culture while offering a high-quality, accessible college experience.

As the top transfer destination among Colorado colleges and universities and the institution with the most diverse student body in the state, MSU Denver is the future of higher education, meeting students where they are and encouraging them to work and contribute to their communities while in school. We send engaged citizens into the workforce, ready to change the world. That's possible here.


Opened: 1965

University type: Public, modified open enrollment

President: Janine Davidson, Ph.D.

Provost: Alfred W. Tatum, Ph.D.

Mascot: Rowdy the Roadrunner 

Number of NCAA Division II sports teams: 16 

Conference: Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference 

Who We Are


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

MSU Denver has one of the most diverse student bodies in Colorado with 8,591 – or 48.4% – undergraduate students of color. We are a Hispanic-Serving Institution, earned in February 2019, and are committed to serving DACA and undocumented students.

The University’s Board of Trustees issued an anti-racism resolution in 2020. The board pledged to dismantle institutionalized racism and bring together civic, industry, public and nonprofit leaders, activists, academics and our community to address the most pressing issues of racial justice.




During the 2019 fiscal year, MSU Denver turned its $225 million budget (with $58.3 million in state funding) into a $703.4 million economic impact on local and statewide economies.

MSU Denver directly employs 4,315 people with an additional 2,429 jobs supported by student spending and 506 from visitor spending.

The University's faculty, staff and students make an estimated $2.4 million in charitable donations and volunteer for nearly 372,000 hours, valued at $4.1 million.

Read the full economic Impact report >


Community Impact


MSU Denver is engaged in the community, from University outreach initiatives to the personal contributions of students, faculty and staff.

  • In the wake of a deep recession, MSU Denver launched the Skills Lab in fall 2020: free, curated training courses for high-growth industries available to community members looking to land new jobs or advance their careers.

  • MSU Denver offers Displaced Worker Grants to those who lost their job or wages due to COVID-19, providing tuition assistance to those who want to finish their degrees.

  • The University’s Launch Denver initiative provides free entrepreneurship courses and small-business loans to those who want to start or grow a local business.

Health Impact


Amid a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, MSU Denver faculty, staff, alumni and students served on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.

  • Members of the MSU Denver community used campus resources to 3D-print personal protective equipment and life-saving ventilator masks.

  • Students conducted COVID-19 tests as nurses and lab technicians. Staff at the Auraria Health Center worked with state and local officials to keep the community safe.

  • MSU Denver alumna Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson commanded the U.S. Army’s pandemic response, while countless alumni worked in health care in Colorado and beyond.


Recent Recognitions

Top College for Diversity

Diversity is a core value at MSU Denver. We believe our differences make us stronger and work hard every day to make sure that our campus is a welcoming and inclusive place for all people.
Best For Vets 2020

Best for Vets

MSU Denver is regularly ranked as a top school for serving those who serve, with 1,207 current and former military members on campus.
Graphic reads,

Hispanic-Serving Institution

MSU Denver was designated as an HSI by the U.S. Department of Education for its commitment to educating Latino students, who make up 30% of the total student population.

Most Civically Engaged Students

MSU Denver had the highest undergraduate voting rate in the country in the 2016 election, and Roadrunners voted at a rate of 17 percentage points higher than the national average of participating universities between 2012-18.

Most Innovative University

MSU Denver was named the No. 5 most innovative university among regional universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report.
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) Accreditation logo

AACSB accreditation

Only 5% of business schools worldwide earn this distinction. It’s one of many reasons our College of Business is the best value in Colorado.


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 voted to make the Roadrunner the University’s official mascot. Over the years, the MSU Denver Roadrunner has come to signify more, including these five characteristics shared by every graduate of the University. 



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

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

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

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

Entrepreneurial: They don’t settle for walking on well-worn trails. They reimagine what is possible for themselves and their communities.

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