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Western State Colorado University

Gunnison, Colorado, United States
Western State Colorado University delivers a full liberal arts curriculum and career preparation to 2,800 intellectually adventurous students, deep in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. The university’s small size, unique setting and low-cost ensure students receive personalized attention, gain hands-on experience and graduate without taking on excessive debt.

Master's Programmes

Education & Training (1)
Engineering & Technology (1)
Hospitality, Leisure & Sports (1)
Medicine & Health (1)



Western was established in 1901. It was the first college on Colorado’s Western Slope and is the fourth-oldest public institution in the state. The school actually opened for classes in 1911 as the Colorado State Normal School. Originally a preparatory college for teachers, Western’s role changed when it became Western State College of Colorado in 1923. 


Western State Colorado University academic programs promote intellectual maturity and personal growth in its students and graduates citizens prepared to assume constructive roles in local, national, and global communities. The University provides students with a solid foundation of skills in written and spoken communication, problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity. Our programs encourage a breadth and depth of knowledge, which will serve as a foundation for a professional career or graduate study and an appreciation of values appropriate to a liberally educated individual.


Western State Colorado University fulfills its statutory mission by promoting intellectual maturity and personal growth in its students and graduates citizens prepared to assume constructive roles in local, national, and global communities. Western helps its students to develop the skills and commitments needed to continue learning for the rest of their lives and strives to elucidate the connections unifying academic domains which have traditionally existed separately: the sciences, the liberal arts, and professional programs.


All students are encouraged to attend to explore professional career opportunities as well as summer jobs and internship openings.  More than 35 employers are usually in attendance with between 200-300 students seeking employment.  Professional attire is recommended.

Global Student Satisfaction Awards 2019

GSSA 2019

The Global Student Satisfaction Awards empower students across the globe to determine the best universities of 2019. By rating institutions on a scale from 1 to 5, on multiple studies-related questions, we found the top educators in the world.

Learn more about the Global Student Satisfaction Awards


Student services

We look forward to guiding you through the admission process and invite you to contact us with any questions that may arise.  

Whether it be Facilities Services constantly improving living conditions and perfecting Western's beautiful landscaping, or Food Services working hard to provide exciting, delicious meals three times daily, the offices at this university are here to serve.

Housing services

Current students who have already registered with Disability Services do not need to re-register unless accommodation needs or your documentation has changed. Remember to stop by the Academic Resource Center at the beginning of each semester to request Resources for current students are listed below. 

Library services

The Leslie J. Savage Library is an integral part of Western State Colorado University. As a state-supported academic library, we serve the needs of students, faculty, staff, and the community by providing information resources, physical space for study and socialization, and specialized services supporting the educational missions of the library and university.

Medical services

The Western State Colorado University Health Center provides convenient, barrier-free treatment of illness and injury to the students, faculty and staff of Western State Colorado University.

Student Life

Campus life

We work hard to serve the Western campus to keep the grounds looking beautiful, the buildings in tip-top shape, the walkways cleared and safe, and so much more! 

Safety Tips - Crime is an unfortunate reality in the United States and college campuses are not immune.  Many crimes occur because an opportunity was created for them to happen.  For example, most crimes of theft and burglary are random, not calculated.  While campuses in the Rocky Mountain West may appear peaceful, they are in reality, small cities with some of the same problems of a city.  Thousands of people make safe trips across the Western State campus every day and the tips below will serve to enhance your safety whether on or off campus.  

Sports facilities

Western State Colorado University’s Club Sports Department is dedicated to providing students who have a passion for a particular sport the opportunity to participate in intercollegiate competitive sporting competitions - all while fostering leadership, creating lasting friendships, building character, and encouraging involvement in the campus and Gunnison community as a whole.

Student clubs

As the SGA, we would like to better serve the students, and make sure that all students are involved with the decisions that we make. We want your input and your suggestions. So come to meetings on Wednesdays at 7 pm in the South Conference Room to be heard! If you can't make it to meetings, the SGA website is probably the best resource you'll find.


Western State Colorado University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. 

Student Reviews

Western Colorado University Art Program
Anonymous rated 4 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed the community within the campus, the small classes and the help I received while I attended this school. My questions never went unanswered, however critiques never seemed to be as informative and useful as I would have liked. I learned a lot by process of elimination when I could have easily been shown the correct route.

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