Metropolitan State University of Denver

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Metropolitan State University of Denver
MSU Denver seal.png
Former names
Metropolitan State College
Metropolitan State College of Denver (until 2012)
MottoWe Educate Colorado
TypePublic university
Academic affiliations
Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities
EndowmentUS$8.6 million (2009)[2]
PresidentJanine A. Davidson[3]
Academic staff
540 (fulltime)
Undergraduates20,192 [4]
Location, ,
United States

39°44′38″N 105°00′41″W / 39.7440°N 105.0115°W / 39.7440; -105.0115 (Metropolitan State University of Denver)Coordinates: 39°44′38″N 105°00′41″W / 39.7440°N 105.0115°W / 39.7440; -105.0115 (Metropolitan State University of Denver)
CampusUrban,126-acre (0.5 km2)[5]
ColorsBlue & Red
AthleticsNCAA Division IIRocky Mountain
MascotRowdy the Roadrunner
Metropolitan State University of Denver PNG logo.png

Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) is a public university in Denver, Colorado. MSU Denver 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. MSU Denver had an enrollment of 20,192 students in the Fall of 2018.[6]

History and geography[edit]

The MSU Denver Jordan Student Success Building opened to students during the Spring 2012 semester

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, MSU Denver 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. Almost half of the student body are students of color.[7]

The Auraria Campus is situated between Empower Field at Mile High and Pepsi Center. During the 2008 Democratic National Convention, MSU Denver started the semester a week early, closed 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.[8]

MSU Denver was the first university to allow DREAMers to have a chance at higher education. It made national headlines.[9][10][11][12]

Name change controversy[edit]

The then-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.[13][14]

University of Denver administration and faculty publicly objected to "Denver State University" as MSU Denver's new name.[15][16][17] As a result of this, the Board of Trustees decided to cancel the planned name change. Some community members objected and viewed this change of plans as allowing a private university (University of Denver) deciding the fate of a public one (MSU Denver).[18][19]

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.

Different names[edit]

  • 1965–1990: Metropolitan State College
  • 1990–2012: Metropolitan State College of Denver
  • 2012–present: Metropolitan State University of Denver


The Auraria Campus is the main campus of MSU Denver 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. MSU Denver 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 Performing Arts Complex, Larimer Square, and the 16th Street Mall. The reclaimed Callie Maher brewery, which closed in 1969, now operates as a student union serving all 3 schools on campus.[20]

There are ongoing building renovations on campus, including the library, as well as a new aerospace building next to the Student Success building.

Light Rail




Classroom Buildings

  • Science Building (Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and Mathematics departments; Colorado Alliance for Science)
  • Central Classroom Building (Anthropology, Communication Arts, Sociology, Philosophy, Journalism, History, International Studies departments; Center for Faculty Development)
  • Plaza (Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Hospitality, Modern Languages, Psychology departments; Health care center; Center for High Risk Youth Studies)
  • Kenneth King Center (English, Native American Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Music, Theater departments; Golda Meir Center; Writing Center)
  • West Classroom Building (Criminal Justice, Gerontology, Healthcare Management, Health Education, Human Services, Nursing, Teacher Education departments; Center For Addiction Studies, )
  • Administration Building (Accounting, Business, Computer Information Science, Economics, Finance, Information Technology, Management, Marketing departments; campus police)
  • North Classroom Building (Physics and Mathematics departments)
  • South Classroom Building (Engineering departments)
  • Boulder Creek Building (Nursing; Engineering & Engineering Technology departments)
  • Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center (School of Hospitality)
  • Arts Building (Fine Arts, Music, Theater departments)
  • Seventh Street Building (Aviation/Aerospace department)
  • Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building (Engineering & Engineering Technology (civil, Electrical and mechanical engineering technology); Industrial design; Computer science; the Advanced Manufacturing Sciences Institute)

Campus Resource Buildings

  • Jordan Student Success Building (Academic Advising, Admissions, Bursar, Cashier, Center For Innovation, Financial Aid, Registrar, Student Academic Success Center, Student Intervention Services, Tutoring Center)
  • Tivoli Student Union (Alcohol Beverage Analysis and Beer Production Lab, Bookstore, Career Services, Counseling Center, Foodcourt, LGBT Services, Multicultural Lounge, Phoenix Center, Theaters, Tivoli Turnhalle, Sigi's Caberet)
  • Auraria Library
  • St. Francis Center
  • Auraria Events Center
  • St. Cajetan's Church
  • St. Elizabeth's Church and Bonfils Memorial
  • Auraria Early Learning Center

Student Housing

  • Campus Village Dorms
  • Auraria Student Lofts (located off-campus at 14th & Curtis)
  • The Inn at Auraria (located off-campus at 14th & Arapahoe)
  • The Regency (located off-campus at I-25 & Elati)

Extended Campus[edit]

Organization and administration[edit]


Janine Anne Davidson, Ph.D. became president of MSU Denver on July 24, 2017.

Board of Trustees[edit]

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 MSU Denver's Board of Trustees.[21][22]

Student government[edit]

MSU Denver's student government operates under the name "Student Government Assembly" (more commonly referred to as "SGA"), and it is composed of legislative. executive, and electoral branches. The legislative branch is the Student Senate, which is composed of up to eight 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 current SGA Constitution was placed into effect on November 3, 2017.[23]

Schools and centers[edit]

MSU Denver contains three colleges and two schools.[24]

  • College of Business
  • College of Professional Studies
  • College Letters, Arts and Sciences
  • School of Education
  • School of Hospitality, Events and Tourism

Metropolitan State University of Denver is also home to a variety of projects, research centers, and institutes.


MSU Denver is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The Department of Art is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).[25]

The College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

MSU Denver is accredited by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)[26] and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).[27]

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree program[28] is accredited by ABET, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.[29]

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems degree program[30] is accredited by ABET, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.[31]

Student life[edit]

Greek life[edit]

The institution has various fraternity and sorority chapters, including[32]

Fraternities Sororities
Phi Beta Sigma Delta Sigma Theta
Sigma Lambda Beta Lambda Theta Nu
Nu Alpha Kappa Delta Xi Nu
Chi Upsilon Sigma
Sigma Sigma Sigma
Pi Lambda Chi
Sigma Lambda Gamma
Alpha Sigma Alpha

Student media[edit]

The Office of Student Media supports four student media productions:[33]

Additional Media
  • Metro Post-Telegraph[38]

Honor societies[edit]


MSU Denver 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. MSU Denver competed as a NAIA member until 1983, when the Roadrunners jumped to the NCAA Division II ranks. Since 1998, MSU Denver 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. MSU Denver also boasts six individual national championships. Men's springboard diver Jeffrey Smith became Metro's first national champion winning the Men's NAIA national championship on the three meter spring board in 1984. Men's swimmer Darwin Strickland won national championships in the 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle in 1995, and also won the 100m freestyle in 1996. Anthony Luna won men's track championships in the 800 meters during the indoor and outdoor seasons in 2009.[39] Metro State's main rivals are Colorado School of Mines, Fort Lewis College, and Regis University.

  • Basketball/Volleyball – Auraria Events Center
  • Baseball/Soccer/Softball/Tennis – Regency Athletic Complex
  • RMLC/MLCA Men's Lacrosse - Dick's Sporting Good Park

Camps and clinics

  • MSU Denver Soccer Camps[40]

Domestic relationships[edit]

† = private ‡ = London Consortium[49]

International relationships[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Individuals of note who have attended the institution include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Member Schools". Colorado Space Grant Consortium. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
  2. ^ "Metropolitan State College of Denver Foundation Audited Financial Statements June 30, 2008" (PDF). Anton Collins Mitchell LLP. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
  3. ^ "Janine Davidson named next president of MSU Denver". MSU Denver. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Auraria Higher Education Center" (PDF). December 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 25, 2010. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  6. ^ "Metropolitan State University Common Data Sets". Metropolitan State University Denver.
  7. ^ "Viewbook". Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  8. ^ "Auraria Campus & the Democratic National Convention" (PDF). Auraria Update. Auraria Higher Education Center. Fall 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 15, 2012.
  9. ^ Frosch, Dan (August 17, 2012). "A College Lifts a Hurdle for Illegal Immigrants". The New York Times.
  10. ^ Gillette, Hope (August 21, 2012). "Metropolitan State University sets the stage with policy for DREAMers". Voxxi.
  11. ^ "Metropolitan State University Of Denver Begins Special Tuition Rate For Undocumented Students Today". The Huffington Post. August 20, 2012.
  12. ^ Cotton, Anthony (August 3, 2012). "Metro State moving ahead with tuition plan for illegal immigrants". The Denver Post.
  13. ^ "Metro State Board of Trustees selects new name for the College". Metropolitan State College of Denver. March 9, 2011. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011.
  14. ^ McGhee, Tom (March 10, 2011). "Metro State votes to close book on name". The Denver Post. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
  15. ^ Fowler, Donna (November 14, 2011). "Strategic Name Initiative: DSU off the table". This Week @ Metro. Metropolitan State College of Denver. Archived from the original on January 21, 2012.
  16. ^ Auge, Karen (November 18, 2011). "Metro State tests new names after "Denver State" idea gets booted". The Denver Post. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
  17. ^ Auge, Karen. "University of Denver fears confusion over proposed Metro State name change". The Denver Post. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
  18. ^ "12-1 Logan Show 5PM". 850 KOA. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
  19. ^ "12-2 Logan Show 6PM". 850 KOA. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
  20. ^ "Timeline". Tivoli Student Union. Archived from the original on March 20, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
  21. ^ "Budget Definitions of Terms" (PDF). Metropolitan State College of Denver. July 21, 2011. p. 3.
  22. ^ "Board of Trustees: Welcome". Metropolitan State College of Denver. Archived from the original on March 5, 2012.
  23. ^ "Governing Documents". MSU Denver Student Government Assembly. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  24. ^ "Masters, Majors, Minors, Concentrations and Licensures offered by MSU Denver". Metropolitan State University of Denver. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  26. ^ "Members by State & Territory". American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
  27. ^ a b "Metropolitan State University of Denver". The Higher Learning Commission.
  28. ^ "MSU Denver Computer Science Program Objectives & Outcomes". Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences. Metropolitan State University of Denver. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  29. ^ "Metropolitan State University of Denver". Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  30. ^ "MSU Denver Computer Information Systems". Metropolitan State University of Denver. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  31. ^ "Metropolitan State University of Denver". Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  32. ^ "Student Activities: Fraternities and Sororities". Metropolitan State University of Denver. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  33. ^ "Office of Student Media | Metropolitan State University of Denver". Retrieved February 22, 2012.
  34. ^ "The Metropolitan". Office of Student Media, Metropolitan State University of Denver. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
  35. ^ "Met Radio at MSU Denver". Metro Student Media. February 18, 2012. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
  36. ^ "The Met Report". Metro Student Media.
  37. ^ "Metrosphere: The Art & Literary Magazine of MSU Denver". Archived from the original on October 5, 2011.
  38. ^ Metro Post-Telegraph Staff (2017), "About", Metro Post-Telegraph, retrieved March 1, 2019
  39. ^ Rocky Mountain mobile : Metropolitan State University of Denver
  40. ^ "Roadrunners Soccer Camps". Archived from the original on March 31, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  41. ^ "Regional Partners". Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  42. ^ "2013 - Newsroom - MSU Denver". Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  43. ^ "MSU Denver Fast Track Admission". Fort Hays State University.
  44. ^ "Cooperative Agreement between Metropolitan State University of Denver and Fort Hays State University". Metropolitan State University of Denver.
  45. ^ "Welcome to mNET".
  46. ^ "Abstract: Project m-NET".
  47. ^ "Metro State enters community partnership to train teachers for high-need DPS classrooms". President's Message. Metropolitan State University of Denver. November 2011.
  48. ^ Foster, Cliff (August 13, 2012). "Trading talent: MSU Denver, University of Puerto Rico launch teacher exchange program". This Week@MSU Denver.
  49. ^ "AIFS Partnership - London Consortium". American Institute For Foreign Study.
  50. ^ "Confucius Institute Initiative". Metropolitan State College of Denver. July 3, 2007. Archived from the original on January 21, 2012.
  51. ^ "Introduction to Yunnan Open University". Archived from the original on September 5, 2011.
  52. ^ "Ethiopia Partnership: Aksum University". Metropolitan State University of Denver.
  53. ^ "Study-abroad opportunities continue to expand". This Week @Metro. November 19, 2003.
  54. ^ "London Semester". Metropolitan State University of Denver.
  55. ^ "MSU Denver Richard T. Castro Distinguished Visiting Professorship". Metropolitan State University of Denver.
  56. ^ Fields-Meyer, Thomas (May 27, 1996). "Fallen Captain". People. 45 (21).
  57. ^ Beaton, Gail M. (2012). Colorado Women: A History. University Press of Colorado. p. 345. ISBN 978-1457173820.

External links[edit]