University of Denver College Visit Review

University of Denver #DU

University of Denver (DU) is medium sized private college in Denver, Colorado.  The campus is a mix of newer red brick buildings and mid-century western architecture.  Students are diverse, inclusive and social justice leaders. A street runs through the campus separating the academic buildings and some of the residence halls and student center.  DU has had tremendous growth on campus, constructing 30 new buildings within 15 years.


DU has top majors include biology, international relations, psychology, and finance.  They also have strong programs in Music and a new business and computer science center. The esteemed Josef Korbel School of International Studies has connections to two Secretaries of State: Madeleine Albright (the daughter of Joseph Korbel) and Condoleezza Rice (who graduated and got her PhD at DU).

DU runs on the quarter system, so the classes are fast paced.  DU offers many resources to students free of change and most students supplement their academic experiences outside of the classroom.

  • 65-70% complete at least one internship
  • 200+ do research
  • 1,000 participate in service courses
  • 70% study abroad

Campus Life/Student Body

The student body is somewhat diverse with roughly one-third of the student body hailing from Colorado and 9% are international.  We met a bevy of tour guides and they had a wide range of interests and hometowns.

Lisa’s tour guide came from Tennessee and was majoring in business and minoring in communications.  Beth’s tour guide was from Colorado, was a biology major, and he rowed club crew. The student center was long and narrow and not that conducive to hanging out and gathering.  However, it is slated to be rebuilt in the next few years.

Sports play a large role on campus as DU boasted national champions in hockey and men’s lacrosse as well as strong teams in soccer, gymnastics and swimming.  They also have an ice rink on campus.  There is no football, so the other sports generate a lot of support from students.

Admissions/Financial Aid

The average GPA of accepted students was between 3.5 and 4.0 and the mid fifty percentile SAT range was between 1140 to 1320 and 26-31 for the ACT.  However, the admissions counselor said that they did not focus too much on the testing for admissions, but would come into play for merit. They superscore both the SAT and ACT, but do not require the writing section.   85% of students receive some financial aid and 75% get merit aid ranging from $19,000 to $30,000.

The University of Denver’s overlap schools include CUBoulder and Colorado State University, other Colorado schools and Santa Clara, Texas Christian University, Southern Methodist University, Tulane, University of Vermont, BU, GW, American, Georgetown, and NYU.

DU admissions looks for students who are capable, committed, and compelling.  They   consider demonstrated interest and want to have a clear understanding of a student’s fit with DU.

 Academic Support

DU offers excellent, paid academic support for students with learning differences called the Learning Effectiveness Program.  Its mission is two-fold: to support and serve DU students and to serve as a resource for the community on campus.  There are approximately 300 students in the LEP program.

All LEP student come to campus early and get to move in before others. Students meet once a week for an hour with LEP Academic Counselor.  LEP offers a plethora of services for its students.

The Four Cornerstones of LEP are:

  • Self-awareness-who are you as a learner
  • Self Determination-discover what motivates them and what they are passionate about
  • Self Advocacy- learn how to ask for help
  • Accountability-students learn to evaluate and learn from their experiences to grow as individual learner

Students must apply separately to the LEP but simultaneously to DU.


University of Denver is a good option for student looking for a mid-sized, private university in an urban location with personalized education, competitive DI sports and excellent academic support. They offer a lot of merit money for top students and have some top notch academic programs.

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