From the School

Deep in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Western State Colorado University delivers a full liberal arts curriculum to 2,900 undergraduate and graduate students at an affordable cost. The university’s tight-knit community ensures students receive personalized attention and gain real-world experience before graduation. Set in the unique Gunnison Valley, Western offers students endless opportunities for adventure and hands-on learning, both inside and outside the classroom.


From The School

Western carefully considers each application with the goal of adding dimension to a diverse and challenging community of scholars. The strongest applications are not always those with the greatest number of accomplishments, but those that resonate with authenticity and passion.

First-Time Freshman

  1. Complete and submit Western’s Online Application or the Common Application
  2. Send your official high school transcript to Western
  3. Send your official ACT and/or SAT test scores to Western
  • Submit the $30 application fee*

  • Western accepts Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and concurrent/dual enrollment credits.

    Transfer Students

    1. Complete and Submit Western’s online Application
    2. Send all official college transcripts to Western
    3. If you have less than 24 credit hours complete at the time of application, you must send your official high school transcript and your official ACT and/or SAT test scores to Western. Dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment and AP/IB credits taken during high school are not counted in the credit hour total.
    4. Submit the $30 application fee*

    *Access is central to Western. We accept fee waivers from the ACT, SAT and counselor statements as acceptable.

    Application Deadlines Western is on a rolling admissions cycle. Applications are accepted throughout the year until a class is full. Typically, candidates will receive an admissions decision 2-3 weeks after receipt of all application materials.

    Western recommends students apply before March 1st for the following fall semester for maximum scholarship consideration.


    Acceptance Rate
    Average HS GPA

    GPA Breakdown

    Over 3.75
    3.50 - 3.74
    3.25 - 3.49
    3.00 - 3.24
    2.50 - 2.99
    2.00 - 2.49
    1.00 - 1.99

    Need to boost your grades? We can help.

    Learn More

    SAT Reading
    25th-75th percentile
    (enrolled students)
    450 - 570
    SAT Math
    25th-75th percentile
    (enrolled students)
    440 - 550

    ACT Composite
    25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
    19 - 25

    Testing Policies

    ACT Writing Policy
    ACT with or without Writing accepted


    Regular — August 1

    Other Admission Factors


    Rigor of Secondary School Record
    Class Rank
    Academic GPA
    Standardized Test Scores

    Selectivity Rating

    Get a personalized plan for a competitive application from an admissions expert.

    Learn More


    From The School

    Academic Programs

    Western’s academic programs promote intellectual maturity and personal growth in students, who graduate as citizens prepared to assume constructive roles in local, national and global communities. The University provides students with a solid foundation of skills in written and spoken communication, problem solving, critical thinking and creativity. Programs encourage a breadth and depth of knowledge, which serve as a foundation for a professional career or graduate study, and develop an appreciation of values appropriate to a liberally educated individual.

    Majors and Degrees Offered

    Undergraduate Programs

    Bachelor of Arts
    • Art History & Theory
    • Graphic Design
    • Studio Art
    • K-12 Education

    Communication Arts
    • Communication
    • Film Studies
    • Theatre & Performance Studies
    • Strategic Communication
    • English
    • Creative Licensure
    • Secondary Licensure

    Elementary Education

    Environment & Sustainability
    • Individualized Contract
    • Water Studies

    Environmental Science (minor)

    Geography and Geospatial Analysis (minor)

    • Secondary Licensure
    • Latin American Studies (minor)

    • Music
    • Business
    • Music Technology (minor)
    • K-12 Music Education

    Philosophy (minor)

    Physics (minor)

    Politics & Government
    • Pre-Law
    • Global Studies
    • Secondary Licensure

    • Clinical, Counseling & School Psych
    • Experimental

    Recreation & Outdoor Education
    • Outdoor Environmental Education
    • Outdoor Leadership
    • Recreation

    • Criminal Justice

    • K-12 Education Licensure

    School of Business
    Business Administration
    • Latin American Business
    • Finance
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Resort Management
    • Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship (ICE)
    • Energy Management

    • Financial Analysis
    • Professional

    • Secondary Licensure

    Bachelor of Science
    • Secondary Licensure
    • Environmental Biology & Ecology
    • General Biology
    • Wildlife and Conservation
    • Pre-Nursing
    • Pre-Med/Cell & Molecular

    • Biochemistry
    • General Chemistry
    • Secondary Licensure

    Computer Science

    Exercise & Sport
    • Exercise & Sport Science
    • Sport & Fitness Management
    • Exercise Science (Clinical or Health-Fitness)
    • Sport Psychology (minor)
    • K-12 Physical Education

    • Geology
    • Geoarchaeology
    • Petroleum Geology
    • Secondary Earth Space Licensure

    • Secondary Licensure
    • Actuarial Science
    • Data Analytics (minor)

    Bachelor of Fine Arts
    • Painting
    • Printmaking
    • Photography
    • Ceramics
    • Sculpture
    • Jewelry
    • Graphic Design

    Graduate Programs

    Master of Arts in Creative Writing
    • Genre Fiction
    • Poetry with an Emphasis on Versecraft
    • Screenwriting for Feature Film and Television

    Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
    • Genre Fiction
    • Poetry with an Emphasis on Versecraft
    • Screenwriting for Feature Film and Television

    Graduate Certificate in Publishing

    Master of Science in Exercise & Sport Science: High Altitude Exercise Physiology (HAEP)

    Master of Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization

    Master of Arts in Education with Optional Teacher or Principal Licensure
    • Reading Leadership
    • Teaching Leadership
    • K-12 Online Teacher Leadership
    • Educational Administration
    • Educator Effectiveness

    Master in Environmental Management (MEM)
    • Integrative & Public Land Management
    • Sustainable & Resilient Communities
    • Global Sustainability

    3 + 2 MEM
    • Biology, Environmental Science, Politics & Government, Sociology, Recreation & Outdoor Education

    3 + 2 HAEP
    • Exercise and Sport Science

    Faculty and Class Information

    Total Faculty
    with Terminal Degree


    Most frequent class size
    10 - 19
    Most frequent lab / sub section size
    2 - 9

    Graduation Rates

    Graduate in 4 years
    Graduate in 5 years
    Graduate in 6 years


    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

    • Biochemistry
    • Biology, General
    • Biology/Biological Sciences, General
    • Environmental Biology

    • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services

    • Accounting
    • Accounting and Finance
    • Business Administration and Management, General
    • Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies
    • Hospitality and Recreation Marketing Operations
    • Management Science, General
    • Marketing/Marketing Management, General

    • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs

    • Communication and Media Studies, Other
    • Communication, General

    • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

    • Computer and Information Sciences, General
    • Computer and Information Sciences,Other

    • Education

    • Education, General
    • History Teacher Education
    • Spanish Language Teacher Education

    • English Language and Literature/Letters

    • English Language and Literature, General
    • English Language and Literature, General

    • Foreign languages, literatures, and Linguistics

    • Foreign Languages and Literatures, General
    • Spanish Language and Literature

    • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences

    • Pre-Medicine/Pre-Medical Studies

    • History

    • History, General

    • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities

    • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities

    • Mathematics and Statistics

    • Mathematics
    • Mathematics, General

    • Natural Resources and Conservation

    • Environmental Science
    • Environmental Studies

    • Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies

    • Kinesiology and Exercise Science
    • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Facilities Management
    • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies
    • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies

    • Physical Sciences

    • Chemistry, General
    • Geology/Earth Science, General
    • Physics, General

    • Psychology

    • Psychology, General

    • Social Sciences

    • Anthropology
    • Applied Economics
    • Economics, General
    • Political Science and Government, General
    • Sociology

    • Visual and Performing Arts

    • Film/Video and Photographic Arts, Other
    • Fine/Studio Arts, General
    • Graphic Design
    • Music, General
    • Visual and Performing Arts, General


    Post-Bachelor's certificate

    Career Services

    On-Campus Job Interviews Available

    Career Services

    Alumni Network
    Alumni Services
    Interest Inventory
    Regional Alumni
    Opportunities at School


    Notable Faculty

    Prominent Alumni

    Robert E. Blackburn
    United States District Court Judge

    Dr. Sean Markey
    Neurosurgeon, Children's Hospital

    Elva Dryer
    Two-time Olympian

    Paul Rady
    CEO Antero Resources

    Barry Clifford
    Undersea Explorer

    Michael Aish
    New Zealand Olympic Athlete

    Dave Wiens
    Mountain Bike Racer

    Graduation Rates

    Graduate in 4 years
    Graduate in 5 years
    Graduate in 6 years

    Career Services

    On-Campus Job Interviews Available

    Career Services

    Alumni Network
    Alumni Services
    Interest Inventory
    Regional Alumni
    Opportunities at School


    ROI & Outcomes


    From The School

    Tuition, Room, Board and Fees

    In-State Out-of-State
    Tuition $6,624* $18,096
    Double Room $5,030 $5,030
    Board (15 meals/week) $4,516 $4,516
    Required Fees $3,178.40 $3,178.40
    Student Recreation Fee (optional) $200 $200
    Renewable Energy Fee (optional) $30 $30
    Scholarly Activity Fee (optional) $20 $20
    Total Annual Cost $19.598.40 $31,070.40

    Financial Aid

    Students are automatically considered for merit scholarships and discount programs. They are awarded whichever saves them more money.

    Discount Programs
    Under the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) & Central Plains (CP) Programs, students from certain states pay just 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition.

    Students from neighboring states who demonstrate financial need are considered for an extra $1000 per year grant, totaling $4000 over four years.

    Neighboring states: Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska

    WUE states: Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.

    CP states: Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana.


    Merit Scholarships
    All merit scholarships are awarded upon acceptance. Freshmen may receive them for up to four years and transfer students may receive them for up to three years. Amounts awarded are determined by high school GPA and standardized test scores.

    Early Action Discount*
    If you are merit-aid eligible and are accepted for Fall 2018 by November 1, 2017, you will receive a $500 increase to your merit scholarship.

    Additional Aid
    Western also offers a multitude of program-specific scholarships,* work-study positions, grants and aid. For more information visit

    Raise Me
    Track your Western scholarship options and awards at

    *These scholarships are subject to Western’s scholarship policy, rules and regulations.


    Application Deadlines
    Notification Date
    Mar 15

    Required Forms


    Financial Aid Statistics

    Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid

    Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid

    Average Need-Based Loan

    Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program

    Average amount of loan debt per graduate

    Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package

    Financial aid provided to international students

    Expenses per Academic Year

    Required Fees
    Average Cost for Books and Supplies

    Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
    Board for Commuters
    Transportation for Commuters

    Available Aid

    Financial Aid Methodology

    Scholarships and Grants


    Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
    Need-Based Federal Pell
    Need-Based SEOG
    Need-Based State Scholarships

    Institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid is available

    Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
    Direct PLUS Loans
    Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
    Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

    Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
    Federal Perkins Loans

    Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)

    Direct Lender


    From The School

    Western’s 2,900 students are comfortable being themselves.

    They’re artists, athletes, musicians, ranchers and environmentalists. They come from cities, suburbs and small towns— from all 50 states and around the world. Some prefer spending their weekends outside; others enjoy the indoors. Together, they make up the supportive and inclusive Western community.

    Western offers more than 50 clubs and organizations to meet the diverse interests and talents of students. Those who want a deeper dive into their academic field can do so through the academic, professional and honor societies offered in every department. The Multicultural Center hosts organizations that promote inclusion and conversation around the numerous cultures and ethnicities on campus and in the community. The Student Government Association ensures that students’ voices are involved in institutional matters. And for every special interest in-between, there is likely a group to join.

    What distinguishes Western’s clubs and organizations is the ability for students to take initiative and make change. Western is a tight-knit community that wants to support the ideas, voices and interests of every student. Whether a freshman, recently transferred, on an exchange or about to graduate, Western’s faculty, staff and administrators are eager to help make a one-of-a kind experience.

    Student Body Profile

    Total Undergraduate Enrollment
    Foreign Countries Represented



    42% female
    58% male
    30% are out of state
    78% are full time
    22% are part time


    From The School


    Western is located in Gunnison, Colorado, a small town right in the Rocky Mountains. The campus is modern and intimate, surrounded by a vast landscape of mountains, streams and trails. Gunnison is just 30 miles from Crested Butte Mountain Resort and a 3.5-hour drive from Denver. Gunnison was named one of Outside Magazine’s 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S.— due in no small part to a yearly average of 300 days of sunshine.

    Campus Facilities & Equipment

    Western has state-of-the art facilities and equipment across all campus domains.

    Notably, the Geology Department partners with software companies to use industry-standard technology in class and for independent projects. The High Altitude Exercise Physiology Lab enables Gunnison’s rarefied air (7,700’ elevation) to be used for research few other institutions can conduct. Kelly Hall houses biofeedback equipment that enables tremendous depth of research for psychology students. Within the newly renovated Quigley Hall, fully-equipped art studios and classrooms are each dedicated to a specific discipline, and music students have access to a recording studio, expansive rehearsal rooms and the Kincaid Concert Hall. With four additional theaters throughout campus, performing artists of all kinds have a platform to suit their needs.

    The Leslie J. Savage Library offers modern study spaces for individual and collaborative work as well as a quiet study area in the historic West Wing. Beyond the library, students and community members can access the brand-new ICELab, a collaborative workspace dedicated to helping entrepreneurs. The lower level of the ICELab features a gourmet café and bar—a great place to host meetings, fill up or unwind.

    The 65,000 square foot Mountaineer Field House has the space and facilities for NCAA athletes and the greater campus community to train, compete and play. Featuring a 200-meter indoor track, in-ground trampoline, foam pit and a 44-foot climbing wall, there is ample room to promote wellness.

    Off-Campus Opportunities

    Western students embrace the vibrant culture of Gunnison and nearby Crested Butte. With local shops, art galleries, farmers markets and festivals, there are a multitude of opportunities for students to get involved with community members and organizations. Merely minutes beyond the streets of town, students can immerse themselves in the expansive mountain landscape of the West Elk and Elk Mountains, whether it be for a lab, research or recreation. With more than 400 miles of trail, countless mountain lakes, rivers and seas of sagebrush, there is an abundance of space for students to stretch their minds and legs.

    Campus Life

    Undergrads living on campus
    Help finding off-campus housing

    First-Year Students living on campus

    Campus Environment

    Housing Options

    Apartment Married
    Apartment Single
    Dorms Coed
    Dorms Female
    Dorms Male
    Theme Housing

    Special Needs Admissions

    College Entrance Tests Required

    Interview Required

    Special Need Services Offered

    Student Activities

    Registered Student Organizations
    Number of Honor Societies

    Number of Social Sororities
    Number of Religious Organizations


    Athletic Division
    Division II

    14% participate in intercollegiate sports

    Men's Sports (Mountaineers)
    6 Sports

    Cross Country
    Track Field Indoor
    Track Field Outdoor
    Women's Sports (Mountaineers)
    8 Sports

    Cross Country
    Track Field Indoor
    Track Field Outdoor

    Student Services


    An ACUPCC signatory, Western State College of Colorado is prepared to meet the challenges of energy efficiency in one of the coldest parts of the nation. The first step was to improve energy efficiency in the existing buildings on campus. Over the past few years, Western has completed energy-related retrofits or renovations on a whopping 65 percent of its buildings. The university has also embarked on a Year of Sustainability. The goal of the YOS was to increase awareness of sustainability initiatives on campus and provide opportunities for campus organizations to get on the green bandwagon. Case in point: the campus is committed to achieving a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2035. With a highly-respected petroleum geology program among its offerings, Western State has experience providing stellar training in environmentally related studies, through its Institute for Applied Sustainability. Interested students can also take advantage of a Center for Environmental Studies, an outdoor environmental education major, a coordinated environmental studies/business administration major, and the professional land and resource management program. The college is committed to having all new buildings and major renovations seek LEED Gold certification. Western State’s College Center, features natural lighting, low-flow plumbing, and ten recycling centers throughout the building. The center, which is LEED Gold-certified, diverted 60 percent of its construction waste from landfills and houses a pulper composter in its café, which will provide material for the college’s community garden.

    School Has Formal Sustainability Committee

    Sustainability-focused degree available

    School employs a sustainability officer

    Public GHG inventory plan

    % food budget spent on local/organic food

    Available Transportation Alternatives

    Bike Share

    Condensed Work Week Option For Employees

    Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle

    Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters

    Reduced Parking Fees For Car And Van Poolers

    School Offers A Telecommute Program For Employees
    Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of March, 2017.

    Campus Security Report

    Campus Security Report

    The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

    Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources:

    The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education:

    Other Information

    Campus-wide Internet Network

    Email and Web Access Available

    % of Classrooms with Wireless Internet

    Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms

    Average Number of PC's per Lab

    Network Access in Dorm Rooms

    Network Access in Dorm Lounges

    Fee for Network Use

    Student Web Pages Permitted

    Student Web Pages Provided

    Partnerships with Technology Companies

    Online Class Registration Available

    Personal computer included in tuition for each student

    Require Undergraduates to Own Computers

    Undergraduates that Own Computers

    Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors


    Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses

    Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations

    Campus Visits Contact

    Tonya VanHee
    Visit Coordinator

    600 N. Adams St.
    Gunnison, CO 81231



    Experience College Life

    Most Popular Places On Campus
    Unviersity Center--new student center
    Hurst Hall -- renovated science building
    Kelley Hall--renovated social sciences
    Mountaineer Field House -- Highest Elevation NCAA basketball Court
    Borick Business--new business building
    University Center, Borick, Business Building and Kelley Hall are either LEED certified or seeking LEED certification. Kelley also features solar panels for energy efficiency. The new College Center features campus dining and a first-run movie theatre.

    Most Popular Places Off Campus
    Archaelogical Digsite -- Oldest Anasazi site
    Gunnison Art Center
    Crested Butte Mountain Resort
    Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
    Blue Mesa Reservoir--Largest lake in Colorado

    Campus Tours

    Campus Tours
    Appointment Required: Yes
    Dates: Year-round
    Times: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
    Average Length: 1 hour

    On Campus Interview

    Campus Interviews

    Information Sessions

    11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

    Faculty and Coach Visits

    Dates/Times Available
    Academic Year

    Contact Admissions Office

    Advance Notice
    2 weeks

    Contact Email Address for Visit

    Class Visits

    Dates/Times Available
    Academic Year

    Contact Admissions Office

    Overnight Dorm Stays

    Overnight Dorm Stays

    Contact Admissions Office

    availability of student hosts


    Types of Transportation Available to Campus
    Closest airport, Gunnison/Crested Butte Regional Airport 2 miles Bus service from Denver

    Driving Instructions to Campus

    Articles & Advice