Undergraduate enrollment at Metropolitan State University of Denver is up nearly 3% this fall over the same time last year, thanks in large part to a sharp increase in new students, according to the University’s Fall Census, an annual measure of enrollment trends. 

New-student enrollment increased by nearly 16%, and the University continues to attract an increasingly diverse student body, according to the data. Meanwhile, the University is close to “flattening the curve” on student retention. The retention rate for this fall was about 67%, down a percentage point year over year. Keeping students enrolled, engaged and on the path to graduation is a key priority for the University this year, said President Janine Davidson, Ph.D. 

Overall, unofficial data shows MSU Denver’s undergraduate population is 16,345 students, an increase of 2.89% over last year. Official census numbers are expected to be posted on the Office of Institutional Research website next week. 

Its exciting to welcome so many new students to campus this semester, and this growth indicates we have not only recovered and stabilized from the pandemic but we are poised to launch into a new era for MSU Denver,” Davidson said. “Supporting students on their path to completion continues to be a key priority for the University.” 

Thanks to a Universitywide effort to “stop the drop,” MSU Denver’s undergraduate enrollment exceeded expectations. This time last year, enrollment was down 4%, added Long Huynh, MSU Denver’s chief enrollment officer. 

“That’s a 7% swing within one year,” Huynh said, adding that in fall 2020, enrollment was down 8%.   

“I am excited to welcome all the new students to the Roadrunners family, as well as welcome back all our continuing students,” he said. “It is truly a team effort to turn the (enrollment) ship around.”  

Undergraduate students 

Regarding undergraduate credithour production (the total of all credit hours produced in a semester), MSU Denver is up 1% in full-year full-timeequivalent students (state-funded and cash-funded combined) relative to fall 2022.

Additionally, the undergraduate student population now comprises 55.2% students of color, up from 53.8% in fall 2022. The University welcomed an additional 294 Hispanic or Latino students (+ 0.8 percentage points) and an additional 102 Black or African American students (+ 0.43 percentage points).  White undergraduates are down in both number (-10) and percentage (- 1.31 percentage points) from fall 2022.  

Fall 2023 also marked the first time in six semesters that the University has seen growth in male students. The University enrolled 261 additional men in fall 2023, bringing the undergraduate gender breakdown to 55% women and 45% men.  

Other census highlights:

  • The average undergraduate age is 24.5 years. 
  • 59.7% of undergraduates are first-generation college students. 
  • 57% of undergraduates (+879 full-time students from fall 2022) are attending full-time (at least 12 credit hours). 
  • 43% are taking 11 or fewer credits. 
    • This is the first time in at least six fall semesters that the number of full-time students has increased.
    • The average credit-hour load for all undergraduate students is 10.55. 
  • 95.5% of undergraduates are in-state residents. 

Graduate students

As of the fall census date, MSU Denver has 1,160 graduate students. This marks a 1.05% increase from fall 2022. 

Regarding graduate credit hour production, MSU Denver improved 0.44% in full-year full-time equivalent students relative to fall 2022.  

Other notable data:

  • The graduate student body comprises 37.5% students of color, up from 35.7% in fall 2022.
    • 34 additional Hispanic or Latino students enrolled in graduate programs, an increase of 2.7% 
    • 2 additional Black or African American students enrolled in graduate programs, an increase of 0.12%  
    • White graduate student enrollment dropped by 35 students, a 3.7% decrease 
  • 77% of graduate students are female, and 23% are male.  
  • The average graduate student age is 32.4 years.  
  • 86% of graduate students are attending full-time (taking at least 6 credit hours) 
  • 14% of graduate students are taking 5 credits or fewer.    
  • The average credit-hour load for graduate students is 9.06.