Colorado Mesa University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Colorado Mesa University
Colorado Mesa University is dedicated to providing an exceptional educational experience in a student-centered...

Colorado Mesa University

Grand Junction, Colorado

Colorado Mesa University, in Grand Junction, Colorado has always been an institution dedicated to providing an exceptional education at an affordable price. Founded in 1925, CMU has a long history of evolution, growing from a junior college to a vibrant university, which offers more than 60 undergraduate programs of study. CMU offers technical certificates, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees and a growing number of graduate programs. To accommodate a student body exceeding 9,500 students, a recent campus expansion has resulted in state-of-the-art learning facilities across 86 acres in the heart of Grand Junction.


The university’s faculty is recognized for its professional expertise and quality of instruction, offering an accessible post-secondary experience for students throughout Colorado, with an emphasis on continuous improvement. CMU administration and staff are committed to the highest quality of service to the university community. In spite of the many changes in the university’s 89-year history, its dedication to providing the highest quality education in a student-centered environment has always remained. This principle will continue to guide the momentum of Colorado Mesa University into the future.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
9,299 undergraduate students
77% of undergrad students are full time
46% male — 54% female
15% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
271 full-time faculty
279 part-time faculty
22 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

23.8% of students live in college-owned housing.

School Location

Grand Junction, Colorado

Retention Fall 2015

70% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

37% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 1%
Hispanic/Latino 17%
Black or African American 2%
White 70%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%
Asian 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 4%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 3%


Conferences: NCAA Division II and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. 
Number of Varsity Teams: 29 

Men: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field, Wrestling

Women: Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball

Mascot: Maverick  
Colors: Maroon, Black, Gold

Other Information

Colorado Mesa University was founded in 1925.

Hands-on learning experience

Ultimately, students hold the key to their own futures, and Colorado Mesa University helps them to open those doors. At CMU, students get the opportunity to learn more about their discipline through practical, applied learning experiences. Learning doesn’t solely revolve around lectures.  Students can take the reins of their own education through scenario-based projects or student-operated organizations. Whether performing on the main stage, being a team leader in a group project or managing and operating a student media outlet, CMU students step-up and do what they came to do, namely learn and grow.

Study Abroad

Colorado Mesa University is a member of the International Student Exchange Program, which allows students to pay CMU tuition while studying abroad for a semester or academic year. The program allows students to immerse themselves in a global academic experience, with locations in more than 50 countries. In addition Colorado Mesa University faculty lead students, alumni, and community members on tours and/or research opportunities around the globe. Recent trips include immersion courses in China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Japan, Germany and Spain.

Dedicated to helping students achieve their goals, CMU professors create an environment designed to foster a dynamic exchange of ideas and classroom discussion. At Colorado Mesa, professors make sure that learning goes beyond the classroom in order to provide the best level of education.


With a student-to-faculty ratio of 23:1, faculty have the ability to involve undergraduates in challenging research experiences usually found only in graduate programs. In-class instruction is supplemented by a variety of out-of-class opportunities ranging from fieldwork in Western Colorado to study groups that travel the globe.

Professor Accessibility

All classes at the university are taught by professors who put copious time and energy into the classroom. Instead of lectures by a Teacher’s Assistant in a class of hundreds, students at Colorado Mesa University know they will be in smaller classes where the professor knows their name. Faculty serve as academic advisors, allowing students close interaction with a professor in their major. Professors are more than teachers- they become mentors, advisors and partners in the success of their students.

Learning Support

Students are supported by a full range of academic services designed to help them achieve their goals. Programs and services include academic advising, career services, tutoring, and services for the disabled. They can also take advantage of the vast resources of Tomlinson Library, which is open 7 days a week, and offers additional support by a statewide online reference program.

Nestled in the beautiful Grand Valley of Western Colorado, the CMU experience includes an outdoor lifestyle that’s second to none. State-of-the-art facilities give students the chance to play and learn, and a wide variety of student clubs and organizations help contribute to cultural and community growth of the valley.

Student Life

At Colorado Mesa University, experiences outside the classroom are as valuable to a student’s growth as those in class. The university supports more than 90 different clubs and organizations to interest almost anyone. These include academic, athletic, cultural, and professional associations, media organizations and honor societies. Student organizations are operated and managed by the students themselves, giving opportunity to gain real work experience outside the classroom. No matter where a student’s interest lies, there is always a way to stay connected on campus.


Athletics play a key role in the growth of the students and are an integral part of the university experience. Students have the opportunity to attend or participate in a wide range of sports and athletic activities, including a number of varsity and intramural sports. With a strong winning tradition, Colorado Mesa University gives student-athletes the opportunity to earn a degree while competing at a top Division II institution.

Arts and Culture

CMU plays a pivotal role in the cultural life of Western Colorado. The Moss Performing Arts Center hosts an abundance of music, theatre and dance performances, while faculty and students in the fine arts produce exhibitions which are showcased in the campus art gallery throughout the year. The Cultural Diversity Board, a collection of six on-campus organizations, promotes and supports diversity initiatives while providing valuable on-campus educational services. Every week during the academic year is filled with performances, exhibitions and campus-wide events.

State-of-the-art facilities

Over the past several years, Colorado Mesa University has undergone a campus-wide expansion and renovation project. A recently expanded recreation center features the only competition 50-meter indoor swimming pool in the state. CMU’s completely rebuilt University Center houses student organizations, activity lounges and the dining hall, giving students a place to feel at home and enjoy their campus experience.

Outdoor Recreation Center:

Situated at the base of the world’s largest flat-topped mountain and surrounded by hills, canyons and mountains, Grand Junction provides more opportunity for outdoor adventure than anywhere in the country. With organizations like the CMU Outdoor Program, students can explore their own backyard throughout the year or trek around the world during winter and summer breaks. Trips and activities include ice climbing, visits to natural hot springs, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, rock climbing and skydiving. Many activities require no previous experience and involve low to moderate physical activity. As students progress, so do the opportunities for more extreme outdoor adventures.

Colorado Mesa University alumni are accomplished leaders who make a difference – in their lives, their communities and around the globe.  Alumni of Colorado Mesa University are former members of the U.S. House of Representatives, major league baseball pitchers, influential authors, state senators, television news anchors, cancer researchers, award-winning journalists, internationally known producers, acclaimed painters, and CEOs.


Colorado Mesa University lies in the heart of a growing business community. With a vibrant downtown area of small businesses, a dynamic industrial workforce and headquarters of several large companies, opportunities abound for students to gain real-world experience in their fields before graduation.


Dave Riley came to Colorado Mesa University (then Mesa State College) to major in accounting, but his love of the outdoors put the 1986 graduate in the driver’s seat at several world-class ski resorts. Today Riley is the CEO of Telluride Ski Resort in southwestern Colorado.

Looking back on his college career, Riley says that “The best part of going to Mesa was the relationship I built with my professors and their care for my success.”

These days Riley works year-round managing more than 1,000 employees, planning construction and leading Telluride through the changing economics of the industry. “It is a wonderful but challenging job and I am happy I was able to make it to this position,” Riley commented. “My career has truly taken me full circle–from Western Colorado as a college kid without real goals, to the leader of this resort. I could not have done it without my education at Mesa.”

Marilyn Ferguson - Associate of Arts, 1957

Marilyn Ferguson began her writing career as a short fiction author and poet. She attended Colorado Mesa University when it was still known as Mesa College and graduated in 1957.

Later in life, she focused on academic writing when she became publisher of the well-regarded journal Brain/Mind Bulletin. Her greatest achievement came with her book The Aquarian Conspiracy, published in 1980. The book was widely acclaimed, and its impact was powerful and lasting, eventually becoming a New York Times bestseller and translated into 16 foreign languages.

During this time Ferguson lectured worldwide and gained an international following. Eventually she befriended some of the world’s top theorists and academicians. Her diverse circle of friends included Nobel Laureate chemist Ilya Prigogine, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, physician and author Deepak Chopra, inventor Buckminster Fuller, author Arthur Koestler and commentator Arianna Huffington.

Her long-awaited final work, Aquarius Now, was published in 2005.Ferguson moved to Banning, California, where she passed away in Oct. 2008. Her work lives on as The Aquarian Conspiracy was reissued in 2009.

Michelle Ozbun, Ph.D - Associate of Science, 1985

After launching her academic career at Colorado Mesa University (then Mesa College) Dr. Ozbum pursued a career in microbiology and oncology. Aiming for success, Ozbun received several awards for her research in oncology. She completed her training at Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine, where she investigated the replication of human papillomavirus (HPV) and the causation of cervical cancer and other skin-related cancers. Ozbun became an associate professor of molecular genetics and microbiology at the University of New Mexico (UNM). Here she continues her research on HPV, in addition to teaching and training undergraduates and graduate researchers. Her research is funded through grants from the NIH, the American Cancer Society and the Komen for a Cure Foundation.  

More recently Ozbun founded a mentoring group for junior women scientists at the UNM. The group is known as WISDOM, Women in Science Dedicated to Optimize Mentoring. In addition, she spends time as a volunteer for the American Cancer Society, where she frequently speaks about her research program at fundraising events.


Admissions Fall 2015

6,670 Total Applicants 
5,540 Total Admissions 
2,120 Total Freshman Enrollment

83.06% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 430 540
SAT Math 430 540
SAT Writing    
ACT Composite 17 23
ACT Math 16 23
ACT English 16 24
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator


Expenses In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $6,706 $17,304
Fees $768 $768
Total $7,474 $18,072
Room and Board (on campus) $10,176 $10,176
Room Only $5,750 $5,750
Board Only $4,426 $4,426
Estimated Total On Campus $17,650 $28,248


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

92% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
61% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$5,379 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$8,609 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates

Special Out-of-State Tuition Programs

Freshmen and transfer students (13-90 credit hours) with a minimum 2.0 GPA and a permanent address from 25 states in the western and mid-western United States are automatically considered for reduced tuition rates upon completion of the admissions process.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming
Mountains and Plains (M&P) states: Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin


CMU provides the resources you need to make your dreams attainable. If you work hard and invest in yourself, CMU will invest in you. A wide variety of scholarships are available, including leadership scholarships, athletic scholarships, transfer scholarships, departmental scholarships and opportunity scholarships. Please keep in mind that most scholarship deadlines are March 1.


Scholarships for high-achieving freshmen are based on two of the following criteria: class rank, GPA and ACT/SAT score. All awards automatic upon completion of the admissions process and are renewable for up to 120 credit hours. To be awarded a scholarship, students are required to meet minimum ACT cut scores of: English 18, Math 19, Science/Reading 17, or SAT scores of Verbal/Reading 440, Math 460, Writing 430

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