The Metropolitan State University of Denver (colloquially known as MSU Denver or Metro State) is a public university located in Denver, in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of 2009, the institution had the second-largest enrollment of undergraduates of any college in Colorado. With 56 majors and 82 minors, the college is noted for a wide array of liberal arts and science programs as well as teacher education, business, aviation, and criminal justice programs.
In fall 2010, the university began offering master's programs in teacher education and accounting, with social work to begin in fall 2011. The college is noted for its fine athletic programs: Metro State's women's soccer team won the Division II National Championship in 2004 and 2006; the men's basketball team won the Division II National Championship in 2000 and 2002. Metro State is located on the Auraria Campus, along with the University of Colorado Denver and the Community College of Denver, in downtown Denver, adjacent to Speer Boulevard and Colfax Avenue. Metro State has an enrollment of over 23,000 students.
On April 18, 2012, Metro State achieved university status. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper approved the changing of the name of Metropolitan State College of Denver to Metropolitan State University of Denver, effective July 2012.
History and geography
The institution is located in one of the oldest areas of Denver. The campus is located at the former townsite of Auraria, which was founded in November 1858. Denver was founded three weeks later on the opposing side (east side) of Cherry Creek. Denver would soon overtake Auraria after thriving for a mere two years. For a century following, an Auraria neighborhood would remain. The boundaries of the former neighborhood were Colfax Avenue on the south, the South Platte River on the northwest and Cherry Creek on the northeast. The Auraria Campus, Pepsi Center, and Elitch Gardens now inhabit this area.
Auraria had a mix of residential areas and industrial areas through the early to mid-20th century. When the campus was built, many Aurarians, a majority of them Hispanic, were displaced and the school promised to serve the community. The historic Tivoli Brewery was a popular beer brewery on this site that was preserved and the building now serves as the Tivoli Student Union to all three schools on the campus; among other things it is noted for being the site of a stage of the now-defunct Coors Classic world-class bicycle race. Many original buildings remain on campus including a preserved street of Victorian cottages in the 9th Street Historic District. Two churches are still on the campus, St. Elizabeth's of Hungary and St. Cajetan's. The Emmanuel Gallery, which is the oldest synagogue structure in Denver, is on the campus as well and serves as a museum.
Metropolitan State University of Denver was founded in 1965 as an opportunity school. The concept was that people from all walks of life could have a chance at a college education. By design, Metro State is required to be accessible to all, which is why it consistently has some of the lowest tuitions of four-year Colorado colleges and universities. Approximately a third of the student body are students of color.
The 2008 Democratic National Convention was held in Denver. The Auraria Campus is situated between Invesco Field at Mile High and Pepsi Center. Metro State started that semester a week early, closed it for the convention, and then restarted on schedule. The campus was within the security perimeter designated by the United States Secret Service, leading to the decision to close the campus to all except essential personnel.
MSU Denver was the first university to allow DREAMers to have a chance at higher education. It made national headlines.
The Metropolitan State College of Denver Board of Trustees on March 9, 2011 approved a legislative proposal to change the institution's name to "Denver State University" following a vote among students and faculty.
University of Denver administration and faculty publicly objected to "Denver State University" as Metro State's new name. As a result of this, Metro State Board of Trustees decided to cancel the planned name change. This brought up heavy outrage in the community, with a private university (University of Denver) deciding the fate of a public one (Metro State).
On July 1, 2012, the name officially became Metropolitan State University of Denver. To coincide with the new transition from college to university status, the Student Success Building opened its doors and now houses administrative offices including admissions and financial aid, as well as state-of-the-art classrooms.
The Auraria Campus is the main campus of Metro State and is located to the southwest of downtown Denver in the Auraria Neighborhood, enclosed by Auraria Pkwy to the west and north, Speer Blvd to east, and Colfax Ave to the south. Metro State shares the campus with two other higher education institutions, the University of Colorado Denver and Community College of Denver. The traditional main entrance to campus is Speer & Lawrence between the North and Science buildings. However in recent years due to the addition of the RTD Light Rail, many students regard the Colfax At Auraria station at 10th St & Colfax to be the main entrance.
The campus is located in the heart of the central business district and is in close proximity to the Pepsi Center, Elitch Gardens, The Colorado Convention Center, The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Larimer Square, and the 16th Street Mall. The reclaimed Tivoli brewery, which closed in 1969, now operates as a student union serving all 3 schools on campus.
Campus Resource Buildings
Organization and administration
On June 7, 2002, Gov. Bill Owens signed House Bill 1165 – Concerning the Establishment of an Independent Governing Board for Metropolitan State College of Denver – and named his appointees to Metro State’s Board of Trustees.
MSU Denver's student government operates under the name "Student Government Assembly" (more commonly referred to as "SGA"), and it is composed of legislative and executive branches. The legislative branch is the Student Senate, which is composed of ten senators popularly elected each spring semester to serve one-year terms of office that begin on June 1. Senate leadership includes the Speaker, the Speaker pro-tempore, and the Parliamentarian. The Senate is the policy-making body of the SGA.
The executive branch includes the popularly elected Student Body President, Vice-President, Student Trustee, and two Representatives to a panel known as the Student Advisory Committee to the Auraria Board ("SACAB"). These five officers form the core of a group called the Executive Council, which also includes the Speaker of the Senate and the appointed principal executive officers. The President and Vice-President are elected jointly as a ticket, and each serves a one-year term of office that runs concurrently with the senators' terms of office; the Student Trustee and SACAB Representatives' terms of office (also one year in length) begin on July 1. Appointed principal executive officers are appointed by the President with the consent of the Senate, and they serve at the pleasure of the President. The President is responsible for implementing Student Senate legislation and for regularly reporting to the Senate on the affairs of the student government.
Matters of a judicial nature, such as appeals in election-related disputes, constitutional interpretation, and conflict resolution, are handled by the university's Student Engagement and Wellness Office through periodically assembled panels known as Student Review Boards.
The Student Election Commission is an autonomous agency within the executive branch, and it is responsible for administering student government elections. It is composed of a chairperson and two to four associate commissioners appointed by the President with the consent of the Senate.
The current SGA Constitution was ratified by the student body on April 14, 2013.
Metro State University contains 4 schools totaling 56 majors, 82 minors, 36 certificate programs, and individualized degree programs along with 3 Master's programs.
Metropolitan State University of Denver is also home to a variety of projects, research centers, and institutes.
Metro State is accredited by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree program is accredited by ABET, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
The institution has various fraternity and sorority chapters, including
The Office of Student Media supports four student media productions:
Metro State has produced 239 All-Americans and was one of the seven charter members of the Colorado Athletic Conference in 1989 before joining the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in 1996. Metro State competed as a NAIA member until 1983, when the Roadrunners jumped to the NCAA Division II ranks. Since 1998, Metro State has captured 32 regular season conference titles, 35 conference tournament championships, as well as the 2000 & 2002 NCAA Division II Men's Basketball National Championships and the 2004 and 2006 NCAA Division II Women's Soccer national crowns. Metro State also boasts five individual national championships. Men's swimmer Darwin Strickland won national championships in the 50 meter freestyle and 100 meter freestyle in 1995 and also won the 100 free in 1996. Anthony Luna won men's track championships in the 800 meters during the indoor and outdoor seasons in 2009. Metro State's main rivals are Colorado School of Mines, Fort Lewis College, and Regis University.
Camps and clinics
† = private ‡ = London Consortium
Individuals of note who have attended the institution include: