Colorado Teacher Colleges and Degrees Online Guide

The state of Colorado requires that all aspiring teachers complete an approved teacher preparation program and earn a teaching certificate in order to be eligible to work in the state’s public education system. There are many teaching schools in Colorado that offer degree programs designed to prepare future teachers for a career in the classroom or further an established teaching career. For useful information on teaching degrees in Colorado, take a look at our lists of top-rated teaching programs, table of accredited, state-approved teacher preparation programs, and student reviews. For anyone looking for information on teaching degrees in Colorado, this guide should help you find the right program for your career goals.

Quick Facts

  • There are 32 colleges and universities with teacher degree programs in Colorado.1
  • 13 colleges and universities offer an associate’s degree in education.*1
  • 16 colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree in education.*1
  • 18 colleges and universities offer a master’s or advanced degree in education.*1
  • 3 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019.2
  • No schools ranked in Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Education Majors 2020.3
  • 6 schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Graduate Education Programs 2019.4
  • 7 schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Online Graduate Education Programs 2019.5
  • 4 not-for-profit teacher programs are accredited by the NCATE, TEAC, or CAEP.

*For not-for-profit colleges and universities with teacher degree programs.

Top-Ranked Schools with Education Programs in Colorado

Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019*

  • Colorado College (#28)
  • University of Denver (#202)
  • University of Colorado-Boulder (#284)

*Institution-wide ranking.

US News & World Report’s Best Graduate Education Programs 2019

  • University of Colorado-Boulder (#29)
  • Colorado State University (#110 tie)
  • University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (#118 tie)
  • University of Northern Colorado (#118 tie)
  • University of Colorado-Denver (#134 tie)
  • University of Denver (#134 tie)

US News & World Report’s Best Online Graduate Education Programs 2019

  • University of Northern Colorado (#46 tie)
  • University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (#100 tie)
  • Colorado State University (#115 tie)
  • University of Colorado-Denver (#126 tie)
  • Colorado Christian University (#139 tie)
  • Regis University (#194 tie)
  • Western Colorado University (#222 tie)

Comparison of Teacher Preparation Programs

We have designed the following table to help you compare teacher preparation programs in Colorado according to various factors. All of the schools included are not-for-profit institutions approved by the Colorado Department of Education for the preparation of teachers. Completing a state-approved teacher preparation program is an important step towards earning licensure.

While accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is not a requirement for licensure, it is included in the following table as CAEP provides a highly-regarded accreditation that is accepted in many states. Read more about the CAEP, NCATE, and TEAC accrediting bodies. We have also included rankings from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a research and policy group that scores teacher preparation programs at the national level using key standards chosen to measure students’ preparation for success in teaching. For further information on the NCTQ’s program rankings, please see the notes below the table.

You will also find data on teacher preparation program enrollment, completion, and licensing exam pass rates by institution for the 2017-2018 academic year in this table. These data points are collected from annual US Department of Education records under Title II (Teacher Quality) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which provides for reporting that holds institutions and state departments of education accountable for increasing academic achievement through improvements in teacher quality.

Programs that are not ranked, or for which data is not available, in a given category are denoted as “-“.

State-Approved SchoolCAEP Accred.?6NCTQ Undergrad Elementary Prog. % (2016)**7NCTQ Undergrad Secondary Prog. % (2017)**7Teacher Prep Prog. Enrollment8Teacher Prep Prog. Completers8Licensing Exams Pass Rate8Net Price***1
Adams State UniversityNo17%7%893293%$12,989
Colorado Christian UniversityNo98%98%16349100%$25,198
Colorado CollegeNo1214100%$29,528
Colorado Mesa UniversityNo44%1328494%$14,309
Colorado Mountain CollegeNo188$7,229
Colorado State University-Fort CollinsYes34%92%37516499%$17,191
Colorado State University-Global CampusNo61
Colorado State University-PuebloYes88%74%28887100%$14,988
Fort Lewis CollegeYes74%1174490%$18,208
Metropolitan State University of DenverNo34%81129699%$12,175
Naropa UniversityNo$24,823
Regis UniversityNo8838394%$25,615
University of Colorado-BoulderYes86%230106100%$20,323
University of Colorado-Colorado SpringsYes66%6387198%$15,427
University of Colorado-DenverYes67%441112100%$14,586
University of DenverNo349593%$35,163
University of Northern ColoradoNo89%30%1,90743798%$15,003
Western State Colorado UniversityNo72%64%67498%$16,790

*The NCTQ rated undergraduate elementary teaching programs in 2016 and undergraduate secondary teaching programs in 2017 by national percentile based on their overall scores on the NCTQ’s standards for teacher education. Schools that do not provide data on all key standards or that fall below the top 50% of schools nationally are not included by the NCTQ in their ratings. Visit the NCTQ website for more information on its standards and methodologies.
**Net price is per year for undergraduate tuition as calculated by the National Center for Education Statistics based on the cost of attendance (tuition, books, room and board, and related expenses) for students who qualify for in-state tuition and fees, less the average financial aid award (including grants and scholarships).

Profiles of Well-Known Schools

University of Colorado: The University of Colorado is the flagship institution for the state of Colorado and is home to the nationally recognized UC School of Education. The School of Education is one of the largest on campus and specializes in preparing teachers, administrators and other education professionals within K-20 education. Recently, the School of Education was selected to become a partner in Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate, which is a multi-year project aimed at advancing doctoral education at US-based universities. The school was selected as one of just 32 programs to participate. The mission of the UC School of Education involves conducting intensive research into innovative and effective teaching practices as well as preparing students to be passionate and professional educators that influence their communities and beyond.

University of Northern Colorado: The University of Northern Colorado is home to the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences that has a longstanding reputation for excellent research and scholarship. The College recently was the recipient of the prestigious Christa McAuliffe Award for Exemplary Programs in Teacher Education, which is named after teacher Christa McAuliffe who was tragically killed aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. The College is made up of three schools including the Schools of Psychological Sciences, Special Education, and Teacher Education. The programs are accredited by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, Colorado Department of Education, Council for Exceptional Children, and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. UNC faculty and administration within the three schools have recently infused the curriculum with diverse topics that are critical in providing students with an expanded worldview in order to effectively teach in a global classroom.

Schools with Teaching Degree Programs in Colorado

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

Adams State College
208 Edgemont Blvd
Alamosa, CO 81102
(719) 587-7011

Colorado Christian University
8787 West Alameda Ave
Lakewood, CO 80226
(303) 963-3000

Colorado College
14 E Cache La Poudre St
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
(719) 389-6000

Colorado Mountain College
802 Grand Ave
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
(970) 945-8691

Colorado State University
102 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523-0100
(970) 491-1101

Front Range Community College*
3645 W 112th Ave
Westminster, CO 80031
(303) 466-8811

Metropolitan State College of Denver
Speer Blvd and Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80217-3362
(303) 556-3876

University of Colorado at Boulder
Regent Drive at Broadway
Boulder, CO 80309-0017
(303) 492-1411

University of Colorado at Denver
1201 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 556-2400

Student Review: “I got my elementary education teaching license from a teacher preparation program at the University of Colorado at Denver. My professors were amazing, and most of them had high standards for research writing, which I feel is important for a program educating future teachers. I learned a lot from my professors about child development and the way children learn. My professors were philosophically aligned with my beliefs about how children learn best and that made my coursework feel very relevant. I had a teaching internship and continue to teach in a Title I (high poverty) school. I feel like my professors and classmates were not as familiar with teaching children of poverty as I would have liked. I have learned far more from my colleagues and mentor teachers about the unique needs of children living in urban poverty than I did from my courses. UCD’s website is not very user-friendly. Registering for and paying for classes online is a pain. The administration was not very responsive to questions when problems arose. My advisor seemed like a great guy, but he seemed overworked. They either need more staff to support student registration or they need to improve the registration process.” -Student at University of Colorado at Denver

University of Denver
2199 S University Blvd
Denver, CO 80208
(303) 871-2000

Student Review: “The University of Denver’s, Denver Teacher Residency program prepared me to be a leader in the teaching profession. It did this by providing me with a full year of hands on experience in a classroom within Denver Public Schools as part of my residency. The classes for the program were taught by both University professors and Denver Public Schools teachers and staff. This model allowed me to see the practical hands on approaches to teaching that worked and to become a part of the teaching staff at a school prior to graduating with my license. The staff of the Denver Teacher Residency ensured that I was prepared by doing frequent observations and check ins, they helped to create a safe environment that was also rigorous to ensure the best teachers came from this program. I felt prepared to not only obtain a job but maintain a long term teaching career from this program.” -Student at University of Denver

University of Northern Colorado
Carter Hall – Rm 4000
Greeley, CO 80639
(970) 351-1890

Student Review: “I really enjoyed how structured and explicit the steps in attaining a teaching degree were at UNC. Each semester, you met with your advisor and they would go over a ‘4-year plan’ with you to make sure you were on track to graduate when you planned. It was really nice to get that one on one attention with faculty. Additionally, UNC has great connections with schools in the area, the state and across the nation to make student teaching placement simple and convenient. Staff members work hard to place you in your first or second preferences, which is phenomenal. What I did not like however was how long it took my program to actually get me into a classroom for the first time. Per the degree, most students do not set foot into a K-12 classroom until the second semester of their sophomore year. I think that it is important that students have the opportunity to be exposed to a K-12 classroom earlier in their college career to allow them to decide if this is something that they truly want to pursue. If not, they can change majors without already being halfway done with one.” -Mary C., student at University of Northern Colorado

An asterisk (*) denotes a two-year or certificate program in education. While a two-year degree will not qualify graduates for teacher certification, it can be a good starting point for a teaching career. To learn more about what you can do with this degree, see our guide to associate’s degrees in education.

1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Kiplinger’s Best College Values: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-best-college-values-college-finder/index.php#Tile
3. The Princeton Review. The Best 385 Colleges, 2020 Edition. The Princeton Review, 2019.
4. US News & World Report Best Graduate Education Schools 2019: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/edu-rankings
5. US News & World Report Best Online Graduate Education Schools 2019: https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/education/rankings
6. Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP): http://caepnet.org/provider-search
7. National Council on Teacher Quality Teacher Preparation Program Review: https://www.nctq.org/review/home
8. US Department of Education 2018 Title II Reports: https://title2.ed.gov/Public/Home.aspx