University of Colorado Colorado Springs

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Updated August 6, 2020

The history of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs begins in 1902 with Cragmor Sanatorium, a tuberculosis treatment center. It wasn't until 1945 that college classes were offered. In 1965, UCCS was officially established as a University of Colorado extension center for primarily engineering and business. Today, UCCS stands as a four-year, public state-funded research institution with over 11,100 undergraduates and 1,700 post-graduates. The University of Colorado Colorado Springs spreads across 520 urban acres at the base of Pikes Peak just 60 miles from Denver. Endowed for $1.5 billion, UCCS is split into six academic colleges holding an average retention rate of 68 percent.

According to the U.S. News, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs is the 46th best regional college, 10th top public school, and 35th top university for veterans. In particular, the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences has America's 29th best online master's in engineering programs. Forbes magazine ranked UCCS as the 104th best college in the West. Consistently, UCCS is cited among the top 40 "Best for Vets" colleges in Military Times. In 2014, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs earned first place in the Daniels Fund Ethics Consortium Case Competition. Washington Monthly also crowed UCCS the West's 161st best bang for the buck.

Accreditation Details

Set for review in 2016, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA). This regional agency accredits colleges in 19 states for the U.S. Department of Education. The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences has specialized accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Programs align with both the Engineering Accrediting Commission (EAC) and Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC). UCCS also meets the standards for the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Application Requirements

Even with an acceptance rate of 92 percent, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs holds a selective admissions process. For the online engineering programs, applicants must already possess a Bachelor of Science in a technical field. Preference is given to graduates from ABET-accredited programs. Curriculum prerequisites mandate three semesters of calculus, linear algebra, probability, and statistics. Prospective online engineering majors must hold a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Two or more years of professional work experience in engineering is also required. Engineers must score at least 148 on the GRE's quantitative section. International learners should also achieve a minimum TOEFL iBT score of 80.

To apply, interested students must submit the following to the Graduate Admissions & Records Office at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs:

  • Completed online application form
  • $60 graduate application fee
  • One official transcript from every college
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Current resume or CV of experience
  • Well-written engineering goals statement

Tuition and Financial Aid

Online students enrolling in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences will pay $800 per credit hour regardless of residence. All online engineering courses require a $100 technical fee. Graduate UCCS students may also pay the $6 learning technology fee and $14 student activity fee per credit. Online learners save green by avoiding the $11,440 on-campus housing expenses every year. It's estimated that students will pay $25,060 total for their 30-credit Master of Engineering (M.E.) degree.

The NCES reports that 71 percent of full-time UCCS students earn tuition assistance. The average financial aid package is worth $5,552. For $40 per semester, online students can enroll in interest-free payment plans. Working engineers could qualify for employer reimbursement or third party sponsor. Military veterans receive tuition benefits through the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Online students enrolled at least half-time could cautiously borrow Federal Direct Unsubsidized or Grad PLUS loans. In-state residents should apply for the Colorado Graduate Grant. There's also a UCCS Tuition Grant for full-time students to earn $4,000. Some off-campus jobs could become eligible for Federal Work-Study (FWS). Many institutional awards are offered, including the Engineering Education Scholarship and Lieutenant General Roger DeKok Scholarship.

Online Degree(s) Available

Through UCCSConnect, students can obtain the same high-quality, accredited education fully online without visiting Colorado Springs. Currently, there are five bachelor's, 12 master's, and 28 graduate certificate programs available online. Four online master's programs are centered within the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Instructor interactions are frequent with the average student-faculty ratio of 15:1. UCCS ranked 22nd nationally for student engagement in online education. Engineers may pursue the online:

M.E. in Energy Engineering

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs' M.E. in Energy Engineering program delivers practical, online training for students interested in making buildings and manufacturing processes more energy efficient. The 30-credit, systematic curriculum includes courses like energy management, automatic controls, HVAC design, and alternative energy. Instead of a thesis, M.E. students complete an applied capstone solving real-world energy usage problems.

M.E. in Engineering Management

Following the ASEM's guidelines, the M.E. in Engineering Management program allows UCCS students to build the technical and managerial capacity to organize tech-driven engineering projects. Featuring 30 credits, the online curriculum offers emphasis areas in Business or Engineering Health. Before the final capstone, M.E. students complete courses from project estimation and financial budgeting to systems engineering and leadership theory.

M.E. in Space Operations

Available 100 percent online for working engineers, the M.E. in Space Operations program is structured to provide in-depth, technical training for conducting space systems analysis in the aerospace industries. Since 1998, this UCCS program has produced over 250 engineers for NASA. The non-thesis, 30-credit curriculum has courses like astronautics, spacecraft design, remote sensing, space communications, global positioning, and mission analysis.

M.E. in Systems Engineering

Consisting of 30 total credits, the M.E. in Systems Engineering program is an ABET-accredited, interdisciplinary program building the scientific and technical skills students require for designing engineering solutions. The online curriculum includes generalist courses like system analysis, systems architecture, risk management, engineering modeling, and project management before a culminating capstone. There's also a 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Systems Engineering.

Related Resource: 30 Most Affordable Top Online Master's Degree Programs in Engineering

Other on-campus programs at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs include the B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, B.S. in Computer Engineering, M.S. in Electrical Engineering, and Ph.D. in Engineering.

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