Top 25 Best Rocky Mountain Colleges in the US | 2023 Rankings

top rocky mountain colleges 2023 badge.The Rocky Mountains are as impressive as the states they span. Also known as the Rockies, this range offer beautiful vistas, unique wildlife, challenging hikes, and great skiing, but the states also offer amazing schools and educational opportunities.

For this list, we’re including the following states in the Rocky Mountain region: Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming.

Ready to see some colleges as mighty as the mountains? Check out the best Rocky Mountain colleges below.

Top 25 Best Rocky Mountain Colleges

The programs offered at Colorado School of Mines are all focused on energy and environment, so all available majors are in STEM fields. The Orediggers are led on by their mascots Marvin the Miner and Blaster the Burro. Wearing blue and silver, they compete in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference of the NCAA Division II.
Location Golden, CO
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 6,744
“Scientia et disciplina'' is the Latin motto of Colorado College which means “knowledge and skill.” Today, the school has 42 majors, 33 minors, and sits on a 90 acre campus. The college is highly selective – only 13.6% of applicants will receive acceptance letters. The master’s degree is the highest level of education offered by Colorado College.
Location Colorado Springs, CO
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,050
The University of Denver is the oldest independent private university in the Rocky Mountain Region. The 125-acre campus is host to an arboretum, historic buildings, and Evans Memorial Chapel. The university accepts just under 61% of applicants and many will go on to major in Finance. Other popular majors include Psychology, Marketing, and International Relations and Affairs.
Location Denver, CO
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 13,856
The Boulder campus is the flagship school of the University of Colorado system. It was actually founded a few months before Colorado became a state in 1876. Athletes, called the Buffaloes, are part of the Pacific-12 Conference. They’ve won 28 national championships (a majority in skiing) and 10 athletes have gone on to be Olympic medalists.
Location Boulder, CO
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 37,437
The University of Utah’s campus is nestled between the mountains and the Great Salt Lake. Of all students on campus, 74.5% study at the undergraduate level and the remaining 25.5% are graduate students. About 63% of the current first-year class calls Utah home, though many other students come from California, Colorado, and Idaho.
Location Salt Lake City, UT
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 33,081
The flagship university of Colorado, CSU’s mascot is Cam the Ram. Popular sports on campus include track, basketball, and football, among others. Business Administration is by far the most popular major at the school. There is a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio and an acceptance rate of 83.5%.
Location Fort Collins, CO
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 32,428
Psychology, Exercise Physiology, and Accounting are the top three most popular majors at BYU Provo. Though the Provo campus is the main location for the university, there are two additional satellite campuses - one in Salt Lake City and one in Jerusalem, Israel. There is a 21:1 student-to-faculty ratio at BYU Provo.
Location Provo, UT
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 36,461
Though the school seal features two lions, Carroll College’s mascot is actually a St. Bernard named Halo. Student athletes compete as the Fighting Saints in sports like track, basketball, and soccer. The campus is located near Mt. Helena. Registered Nursing is the most popular major, followed by Business Administration and Management and Biology.
Location Helena, MT
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,108
The University of Wyoming is one of the rare schools that features a live animal mascot - a horse named Cowboy Joe. Another mascot, Pistol Pete, is played by a student in costume. Brown and gold are the official school colors. Also known as UW, the university is a land-grant, space-grant, and public flagship school.
Location Laramie, WY
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 11,829
Colorado Christian University has an incredibly high acceptance rate - 97.6%! Unlike many schools who use Latin in their school mottos, CCU takes inspiration from the Greeks; “χαρις και αληθεια” translates to mean “Grace and Truth.” Psychology is the most popular major, followed by Business Administration and Nursing.
Location Lakewood, CO
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 7,839
A doctor’s degree is the highest level of education offered at Westminster College. That said, only 23% of students on campus study at the graduate level. They have a good student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1 and a first-year retention rate of 71%. Students come from all over the country to attend Westminster. In fact, only 43% of freshmen are Utah natives.
Location Salt Lake City, UT
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,849
Did you know the College of Idaho is the oldest private liberal arts college in the state? The school offers up to a master’s degree. Graduates of the College of Idaho have gone into impressive careers in business, politics, law, and sports. The acceptance rate is just below 50% and the school does not charge students to apply.
Location Caldwell, ID
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,114
Montana Technological University’s motto of “De Re Metallica” (“Of the metals”) pays homage to the school’s original name - the Montana School of Mines. In fact, the school’s seal features mining tools as well. Green and copper are the official school colors of the Montana Tech Orediggers.
Location Butte, MT
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 1,650
“A Legacy of Leading” is the motto of the University of Idaho. The athletic teams are known as the Vandals and they compete in sports such as tennis, golf, football, and basketball. 68.5% of incoming students call Idaho home, though many other students come from nearby Washington, California, and Oregon.
Location Moscow, ID
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 10,791
Though presently located in Denver, this school actually started over in Las Vegas, Nevada. It also went through quite a few name changes before settling on Regis University. Nowadays, there is a near 50/50 split between undergraduate and graduate students studying on campus. Blue and gold are the official school colors.
Location Denver, CO
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 6,310
“Mountains and Mines” is the motto of this university; an apt phrase for a school located near several mountain peaks. Marketing, Registered Nursing, Family and Consumer Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, and Psychology are the top five most popular majors. The school receives just under 19,000 applications a year and accepts about 81% of students.
Location Bozeman, MT
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 16,218
Utah State University is both a land-grant and space-grant school. Economics, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies, Human Development and Family Studies, and Psychology are the top five most popular majors at USU. 67.5% of the incoming class call Utah home.
Location Logan, UT
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 27,691
Boise State University’s campus is located on the Boise River. A whopping 86.3% of students on campus study at the undergraduate level, though the school offers up to the doctor’s degree. Registered Nursing is by far the most popular major, followed by Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences and Business.
Location Boise, ID
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 24,069
Red and black are the colors of the Northwest Nazarene University Nighthawks sports teams. Track, basketball, soccer, and golf are popular sports on campus. The school has a 77% acceptance rate and does not charge students to apply. Also known as NNU, the university has an 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Location Nampa, ID
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,109
One of the youngest colleges in America, the Neumont College of Computer Science was founded in 2003. The school offers 5 total undergraduate majors: Computer Programming, Network and System Administration, Information Technology Project Manager, Digital Web Page Design, and Virtual Environment and Simulation Modeling.
Location Salt Lake City, UT
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 529
The University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus is home to the University of Colorado's health sciences related schools. Their Department of Medicine and Surgery dates back to 1883. Common majors today include Business Administration and Management, Registered Nursing, Biology, and Psychology.
Location Denver, CO
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 24,723
Located along the Clark Fork River, the University of Montana’s student body is 71% undergraduates and 29% graduate students. The school has an incredibly high acceptance rate of 96%. Exercise Physiology and Psychology are the most popular majors at UM. “Lux et Veritas” is the school motto, which translates to mean “Light and Truth.”
Location Missoula, MT
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 9,808
Also known as UNC, the university’s logo is “Sapientia in aeternum est” or “Wisdom is eternal.” 96% of the students at UNC receive institutional aid to pay for their tuition costs. Klawz the Bear is the school's mascot, and their colors are navy blue and gold. Notable alumni of UNC include musicians, champion athletes, politicians, and more.
Location Greeley, CO
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 11,460
Originally known as Mesa State College, the school became a university in 2011. Taking part in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, athletes known as the Mavericks are cheered on by students known as “The Herd” wearing maroon, white, and gold and their mascot, a bull’s head. Colorado Mesa University has 28 varsity teams participating in the NCAA Division II.
Location Grand Junction, CO
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 9,110
Over 89% of the students at Southern Utah University are studying for their bachelor’s degree, though the school offers up to master’s. Of the incoming class, nearly 74% call Utah their home state. Many other students come from nearby California and Nevada. Student athletes are nicknamed the Thunderbirds and compete in the Big Sky Conference for football.
Location Cedar City, UT
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 12,582

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Methodology

Colleges are ranked based on a combination of factors, including graduation rates, campus diversity, endowment per student, and other data as reported via the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for the most recently-available enrollment year. Some colleges may have been excluded from rankings based on certain criteria, including specialization and classification. Learn about our full methodology.

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