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Nestled between the Rocky Mountains and Colorado’s stunning high plains, the University of Northern Colorado is a public, doctoral research and educational institution that is home to about 9,000 students and more than 200 undergraduate and graduate programs, many of which are nationally recognized. Founded as a teacher’s college in 1889, we graduated generations of educators, more than any other Colorado university. Our culture is marked by academic excellence in education, health sciences, business, the humanities and performing and visual arts.

Recognized as a top university for social mobility, UNC is proud to be an emerging Hispanic Serving Institution and to serve more than 40% of our undergraduates who are the first in their family to attend college. The university’s just-right size, expert faculty, and tradition of research and hands-on learning gives students exceptional opportunities and a personalized education. UNC graduates join a strong network of over 130,000 alumni living and working in 50 states and 90 countries who help build communities that save and transform lives. 

We acknowledge that the grounds upon which our university stands are inextricably tied to the history and culture of indigenous peoples. We pay our respect to Elders past, present, and future, and to those who have stewarded this land throughout the generations. The University of Northern Colorado occupies the lands in the territories of the Ute, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Lakota peoples. Further, we acknowledge the 48 tribes that are historically tied to the state of Colorado. We challenge ourselves to be better stewards of the land we inhabit, as well as learn the stories and practices of Indigenous people’s history and culture.

14:1 Student-to-Faculty Ratio

with 686 total faculty

(441 of which are full-time)

Student Enrollment*

total enrollment



*As reported in Fall 2021 Census

Undergraduate Snapshot


Full-time students

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Average full-time course load: 14 credit hours

Line drawing of a group of three people

42% of incoming first-year students are first generation

Colorado flag

5,962 In-state students

Graduate Snapshot

69% Masters Students

20% Doctoral Students

5% Specialist Students

4% Licensure/Certificate Students

2% Unclassified Students

  • Masters - 69%
  • Doctoral - 20%
  • Specialist - 5%
  • Licensure/Certificate - 4%
  • Unclassified - 2%

Graduate and Undergraduate Ethnicity

  • 62% White
  • 24% Latinx/Hispanic
  • <1% Not Reported/Unknown
  • 5% Multi-racial
  • 5% African American
  • <1% Temporary U.S. Resident
  • 2% Asian
  • <1% Native American
  • <1% Hawaiian

Stories from Bear Country

Leadership for a Changing World

This year marks 20 years for UNC’s Stryker Institute for Leadership Development, and it continues to give students leadership skills that help them make a difference in the lives of others.

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New Deans Join UNC

Three new academic deans joined UNC this summer and share a vision for and commitment to student success.

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Alumni Spotlight - Holding High Expectations

UNC Trustee Shashwata Prateek Dutta BS 08, EdLD, believes in the importance of education as a driver of social mobility — something he’s experienced in his own journey to success.

Read More

UNC Athletics

A member of the NCAA Division I Big Sky Conference since 2006, UNC fields 17 intercollegiate teams. Since joining the Big Sky, UNC has won three volleyball championships and a women’s soccer championship, and the women’s basketball team recently won the Big Sky championship and an NCAA berth.

Our athletes aren’t just succeeding on the playing field though – the NCAA often recognizes UNC teams for high academic performance and our student athletes have posted a cumulative GPA of 3.14.

More about Bear Athletics


of incoming first-year students are awarded grants or scholarships

*Last year, UNC students received over $30.8 million in scholarships and institutional aid 

Our People

Our alumni often say the connections they made with faculty made a huge difference not only when they were at UNC, but long after, as they traveled their career and life paths. That partnership and community is something we take great pride in – a university culture that is welcoming, collaborative, supportive and committed to student success, service and education. 

Our students are diverse and hard-working, and there’s no one “label” that defines them. More than one-third of UNC undergraduates are the first in their family to go to college and more than one-quarter are eligible for federal need-based financial aid. Of all UNC students, more than one-quarter identify as students of color.

UNC faculty are experts in their fields; they are scholars who engage their students in research and teachers who bring new knowledge to the classroom. As UNC Biology Professor Scott Franklin says, “We have our faculty teach almost all upper division labs. Because of the interaction with faculty there is a lot of research potential for undergrads. There are very high quality faculty here doing great research and teaching.”


of all UNC Students are

(which means they're among the first in their family to attend college)

Bears Go Big

UNC Bears go out into the world to do BIG and significant work. Meet Tangier Barnes Wright, BA Africana Studies, 2005 and Director of Transportation Programs at Groundwork Colorado.

[UNC] had opportunities to connect with a multicultural student body

See other Bears going big.

So that's who we are.

But we would love to meet you and show you around our campus. Schedule a visit, take a peek at our programs or request more information.

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Explore our programs

Take a peek to see what programs interest you.

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