The University of Colorado Denver, shortened as CU Denver, UC Denver, or UCD, is a public research university in the U.S. state of Colorado. It is one of three schools of the University of Colorado system. The university has two campuses — one in downtown Denver at the Auraria Campus, and the other at the Anschutz Medical Campus located in neighboring Aurora. The single university is the result of the 2004 consolidation of the "University of Colorado at Denver" and "University of Colorado Health Sciences Center". The official name of the university is University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus.
The University of Colorado Denver is located on Auraria Campus in Downtown Denver, Colorado while the University of Colorado Hospital is located on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado nearly 10 miles away. UCH is also affiliated with the neighboring Children's Hospital, and with the National Jewish Medical and Research Center and Denver Health Medical Center in Denver. There are currently more than 27,000 students at the school's two physical campuses in downtown Denver and in Aurora. The school also offers classes via CU Online.
The University of Colorado Denver is the largest research institution in Colorado, attracting more than $375 million in research grants annually, and granting more graduate degrees than any other institution in the state. UC Denver, along with University of Colorado Hospital and University Physicians, Inc., employs more than 12,200 Coloradans, making it one of the metro Denver area's top employers. The university serves more than 500,000 patients a year through its hospital and clinical services.
The University of Colorado created the Department of Medicine and Surgery in September 1883 in the Old Main building on the Boulder campus. The Department of Nursing opened in 1898.
By 1892, the last two years of classes were taught in Denver because the larger population afforded more practical experience. This practice triggered something of a turf battle with the University of Denver’s medical school and the subsequent legal battle went to the state Supreme Court. In 1897, the court found that CU’s charter restricted them to Boulder. However, in 1910, CU got an amendment to the state Constitution passed which allowed them to move back to Denver. In 1911, the School of Medicine combined with the Denver and Gross Medical College to form a larger school with a more comprehensive program, paving the way for the school's permanent move to Denver. In 1925, the School of Medicine moved to the campus on Ninth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard in Denver. This would become the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center ("UCHSC").
In 1995, the Fitzsimons Army Medical Center was officially put on the Base Realignment and Closure list, after which officials from the Health Sciences Center, University of Colorado Hospital and the City of Aurora presented a proposal to the Department of Defense in Washington, D.C. to repurpose the decommissioned base as an academic health center. In 1999, the Army base was closed under the 1995 Base Realignment and Closure action. In 2004, the first UCHSC labs moved from Denver to the research towers on the Fitzsimons campus. In 2006, the Fitzsimons campus of UCHSC was renamed the Anschutz Medical Campus in recognition of philanthropic donations from Philip and Nancy Anschutz. By the end of 2008, academic and research operations of all UC Denver health sciences schools and colleges relocated from the Ninth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard campus to the new Anschutz campus, joining the affiliated University of Colorado Hospital and Children's Hospital.
The University of Colorado at Denver began as the Extension Center of University of Colorado's Department of Correspondence and Extension, which was established in 1912. In 1938, the Extension Center acquired permanent quarters in Denver in the C.A. Johnson Building at 509 17th St., where a single, full-time faculty member ran the school with the help of part-time teachers. In 1947, the Extension Center moved into the Fraternal Building at 1405 Glenarm Place. In 1956, the University acquired the Denver Tramway Company Building at 14th and Arapahoe Streets (now the Hotel Teatro and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Tramway building). In 1964, the Extension Center was renamed the University of Colorado - Denver Center, and in 1974 it became the Denver campus of the University of Colorado, or University of Colorado at Denver. Between 1973 and 1976, the State of Colorado built the Auraria Higher Education Center (AHEC) on a 127-acre (0.51 km2) downtown campus to be shared by the University of Colorado at Denver, the Metropolitan State University of Denver and the Community College of Denver. In 1977, the Denver campus expanded to the newly opened AHEC, and later to office buildings on 14th Street and on Lawrence Street.
In the summer of 2004, the University of Colorado at Denver and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center merged to create the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center (“UCDHSC”). As a result, the University of Colorado encompasses three institutions, down from four.
On October 29, 2007, the board of regents voted to rename UCDHSC as the University of Colorado Denver, consisting of the Anschutz Medical Campus and the Downtown Campus. This has reportedly been a source of frustration for the City of Aurora, whose representatives feel slighted that the location of one of the university's two campuses is not reflected in the university's name. In 2008, lawmakers asked the CU board of regents to replace "Denver" with "Aurora" from the university's name while referring to the Anschutz Medical Campus, which the regents refused. One state senator has proposed the moniker "University of Colorado Denver/Aurora". In 2010, it was reported that CU would drop the term "Denver" from the Anschutz Medical Campus' full name, referring to it only as "University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus".
As of August 2011, after the latest rebranding, the institution should be referred to as University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus (including the vertical bar), while its legal name is University of Colorado Denver. The primary name of the Anschutz Medical Campus is University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. The primary name of the Denver Campus (previously Downtown Campus) is University of Colorado Denver and it can be referred to as CU Denver but not UC Denver. The domain name for the whole institution is ucdenver.edu, while the previous domain name cudenver.edu was turned off in July 2010.
The Denver Campus, part of the Auraria Campus, is located to the southwest of downtown Denver in the Auraria Neighborhood, on Speer Boulevard and Auraria Parkway. UC Denver shares the Auraria Campus with two additional institutes of higher education: Metropolitan State University of Denver and the Community College of Denver. Regional Transportation District's (RTD) Light Rail has two stops on the Auraria Campus: Colfax at Auraria and Auraria West Campus.
The Denver Campus features both undergraduate and graduate courses, with more than 35 percent of the students graduate students. 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, houses the student union.
The Health Sciences Campus previously had two sub-campuses, the main campus at Ninth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard ("Ninth and Colorado") in Denver, which has since been decommissioned, and a new campus in neighboring Aurora, where all activities of the former Health Sciences Center has since relocated. The latter campus, which is now called the Anschutz Medical Campus, is host to the Research Complex towers, The Barbara Davis Diabetes Center, the Nighthorse Campbell Native Health building, various centers of the University of Colorado Hospital, and the health sciences library. There are approximately 3000 students at the Anschutz Medical Campus with 1297 of these in the School of Medicine (including medical and graduate students).
The Anschutz Medical Campus is a 227-acre (0.9 km2) campus for the University and the University of Colorado Hospital. All of the facilities on the campus, with the exception of the former Fitzsimons Hospital (referred to as 500 Main, or "Building 500"), are new construction. A series of distinct quadrangular zones on the campus governs its architectural design: the research quadrangle, consisting of the three Research Complex towers, features a contemporary glass and metal design; the education quadrangle is characterized by a brick aesthetic; and the core quadrangle is located on the central axis of the campus, and anchored by Building 500. The comprehensive 116,000-square-foot (10,800 m2) medical library is located along the center quadrangle of the campus.
The combined 578-acre (2.3 km2) of the Anschutz Medical Campus and the Fitzsimons Life Science District is undergoing a $4.3 billion renovation and transformation into the largest medical-related redevelopment project in the United States. The 184-acre (0.7 km2) Colorado Science + Technology Park in Aurora is being developed directly adjacent to the health sciences areas of campus, providing opportunities to collaborate with biotechnology companies and their resources. The remaining acres of the former military facility are dedicated to commercial, hospitality, retail, and residential development.
Built as state-of-the-art, the Anschutz Medical Campus consists of three zones: an education zone with facilities for training in the medical and health-related fields, a research zone that houses the various graduate programs, and a clinical care zone with the University of Colorado Hospital and The Children's Hospital, the University of Colorado School of Medicine's primary adult and pediatric hospital partners, nearby.
University of Colorado Denver offers bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and first professional degrees. The university (including University of Colorado Hospital and University Physicians, Inc.) operates on a $1.8 billion annual economy. The University of Colorado Hospital, which is the principal teaching hospital for the University of Colorado Denver, serves more than half a million patients every year. In the 2009-10 fiscal year, UC Denver's two campuses received almost $385 million in combined research funding.
More than 29,000 students are enrolled in Denver, Aurora and online. 15,680 students enrolled in fall 2007. Among UCD students, 55% are undergraduates, 35% are pursuing graduate studies, and 10% are enrolled in first professional courses. 63% of the student population are full-time students, 9% are out-of-state residents, and international students make up for 4% of total enrollment.
12,726 students are enrolled on the Downtown Campus. Of these, 8,188 are undergraduates, and 4,538 are graduate students. 28.7% of undergraduate students and 12.5% of graduate students, on the Downtown Campus, belong to an ethnic minority. The average entering ACT score for new freshmen on the Downtown Campus is 22.0 composite, 21.7 English, and 21.6 Math. The average entering SAT scores on the Downtown campus is 540 Math and 542 Verbal. The average high school GPA for new freshmen is 3.3. The most popular undergraduate majors on the Downtown campus are biology, business and psychology. International students on the campus arrive from 125 countries.
There are 2,954 students enrolled at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Of these, 430 are undergraduate students, 1,026 are graduates, and 1,498 are enrolled in first professional courses. 17% of the student population at the Anschutz Medical Campus are an ethnic minority.
Academics and Research
University of Colorado Denver is one of the largest universities in Colorado with more than 27,000 students and awarding more than 3,400 degrees in a year. It has the largest graduate business school and graduate school of education in Colorado, and its School of Medicine is the only medical school in the state. In 2010, almost $385 million in sponsored research funding was awarded to University of Colorado Denver researchers. The vast majority of this research is dedicated to health sciences at the Anschutz Medical Campus. In 2011, more than $179,000,000 was awarded by the National Institutes of Health to UC Denver researchers. The core laboratories in the research complex, at the Anschutz Medical Campus, include mass spectrometry, X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, a 900 mega-hertz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer, DNA array and peptide protein chemistry. The university is considered by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education to have "very high research activity" with a basic classification of Research Universities (RU/VH) (very high research activity).
The University of Colorado Denver hosts two libraries, one on each of its two campuses. The Auraria library on the Downtown Campus serves the three institutions that share the campus — UC Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver and Community College of Denver. The library houses nearly 1 million print books, 130,000 e-books, 44,000 e-journals and 300 databases. The library on the Anschutz Medical Campus is the largest health sciences library in Colorado, with more than 32,000 e-journals. The health sciences library opened in late 2007 with 2 Information Commons, 30 group study rooms, and wireless internet connectivity throughout the library.
University of Colorado Denver offers more than 115 degree programs in 13 schools and colleges. The university offers degrees in a wide variety of academic fields such as engineering, business, culture, history, language, the natural sciences, the biomedical sciences and medicine. The Downtown Campus hosts 8 schools and colleges: the College of Architecture and Planning, the College of Arts & Media, The Business School, the School of Education & Human Development, the College of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Public Affairs and its Presidential Climate Action Project, and the Graduate School. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is UC Denver's largest school on the Downtown Denver Campus, offering 20 baccalaureate degrees, 17 master's degrees, and two PhD programs. The Presidential Climate Action Project is a two-year, $2 million initiative administered by the Wirth Chair, School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver, to engage the nation’s science, policy, business and civic leaders to produce a Presidential Climate Action Plan (PCAP). UC Denver sponsors the only college of architecture and planning in Colorado. The School of Architecture and Planning is located on 14th street, offering graduate degrees in architecture, urban design, and landscape architecture. In the engineering areas, the downtown campus has worked with Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. On the Anschutz Medical Campus, the university houses the School of Dental Medicine, the School of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the School of Pharmacy, Colorado School of Public Health, and the Graduate School.
The university's School of Medicine offers a four-year program leading to an MD degree, and houses various graduate programs leading to the PhD degree. The school also includes a Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant (CHAPA) degree and a doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Both are three-year programs. The Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) awards both MD and PhD degrees. There are about 600 MD students at the school, plus 352 in the Physical Assistant and Physical Therapy programs and 975 in Graduate Medical Education.
The University of Colorado's School of Pharmacy (SOP) began in 1911 as a division of the School of Medicine in Boulder. It became an independent college in 1913 and a school in 1957. It received its accreditation in 1938-1939 and awarded a B.S. in Pharmacy degree in 1995-1996 when it received a full accreditation status awarding the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree by the ACPE. In 1986, the School of Pharmacy was administratively transferred to the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. The physical transfer from Boulder and final consolidation of faculty, staff and students was completed between August and November 1992. In 2008, the school moved to the Anschutz Medical Campus, and offers medical and graduate degrees in pharmacy, the pharmaceutical sciences, molecular toxicology, and pharmaceutical outcomes research. 30% of its class is from out of state. In 2009, the NIH awarded $7,310,389 and $19,189,543 in grants towards the SOP and Pharmacology department, respectively. In 2011, the school will move into its new building, the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences which will also be located on the Anschutz Medical Campus.
The Graduate School at CU Denver awards more graduate degrees than any other institution in Colorado. The school consists of nearly 60 graduate programs. The departments running these programs are housed in the schools and colleges on both campuses of the university. These offerings include both department-based and interdisciplinary programs in architecture and planning, arts and media, biomedical sciences, business, education and human development, engineering and applied sciences, humanities, applied mathematics, nursing, public affairs, public health, chemistry, and social sciences. Graduate programs at the Anschutz Medical Campus offer MS and PhD degrees focusing on basic, clinical and translational research in the biomedical sciences.
The University of Colorado Denver Business School is accredited by AACSB International. The school is accredited at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Business School is one of only a few schools in the US to have a separate accreditation for its Accounting program. Business is one of the school's most popular majors since it is located in the heart of Downtown Denver. The Business School has worked with some of Colorado's top businesses such as Molson Coors, Wells Fargo, First Bank, and Frontier Airlines, who provide feedback on the school's Business curriculum.
The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks the university as having the top 10 Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index in the United States in the fields of biomedical sciences, developmental biology, human and medical genetics, oncology and cancer biology, structural biology and toxicology. University of Colorado Denver features in a number of rankings in U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Graduate Schools. The university ranked 5th among American medical schools for primary care in 2010, and 27th among medical schools for research. The graduate school ranked 68th in the biological sciences in 2010. UCD's School of Nursing ranked 15th in the nation in 2007, while among Nurse Practitioner programs, the university is ranked 8th, 5th, and 3rd in the areas of Adult, Family, and Pediatric, respectively. The medical school is ranked 6th in the specialty of family medicine. UCD's School of Pharmacy is ranked 23rd in the nation, and the School of Public Affairs is ranked 32nd. The Princeton Review included UC Denver in its Best Western Colleges, Best in the West in 2008. The university ranked 34th on the Forbes list of best public colleges. The Business School is the 5th Best Graduate School for Physician - Executives (2007), according to Modern Healthcare. In 2010, UC Denver ranked 7th in The Scientist's Best Places to Work for Postdocs survey.
University of Colorado Denver has over 100 student organizations, honor societies, professional organizations and faith-based groups, that offer social, service, and professional opportunities for their members within the university and community. First time freshmen and first time international students at the downtown campus are generally required to live on campus, in the Campus Village, a student housing complex at the Auraria Campus for students, faculty and staff from any of the three schools that share the campus. UCD provides a variety of sports and recreation activities to students, faculty and staff, including personal training, intramural basketball, volleyball, soccer, squash, and tennis, and sports equipment check out for on or off campus use.
The downtown campus student newspaper, the Advocate, comes out weekly during the school year. UCD's Distinguished Lecture Series hosts an array of speakers, that have included David Horowitz and Malcolm-Jamal Warner. The Tivoli Student Union serves as a student center for the Community College of Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver and University of Colorado Denver.