The University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder,[8] CU, or Colorado) is a public research university in Boulder, Colorado. Founded in 1876, five months before Colorado became a state, it is the flagship university of the University of Colorado system. CU Boulder is a member of the Association of American Universities, a selective group of major research universities in North America, and is classified among R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity.[9] In 2021, the university attracted support of over $634 million for research and spent $536 million on research and development according to the National Science Foundation, ranking it 50th in the nation.[10][11]

The university consists of nine colleges and schools and offers over 150 academic programs, enrolling more than 35,000 students as of January 2022.[12]

To date, 5 Nobel Prize laureates, 10 Pulitzer Prize winners, 11 MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipients, 1 Turing Award laureate, and 20 astronauts have been affiliated with CU Boulder as alumni, researchers, or faculty.[13][14][15][16] In 2021, the university received over $634 million in sponsored research to fund programs like the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics and JILA. CU Boulder has been called a Public Ivy, a group of publicly funded universities considered to provide a quality of education comparable to those of the Ivy League.[17]

The Colorado Buffaloes compete in 17 varsity sports and are members of the NCAA Division I Pac-12 Conference. The Buffaloes have won 28 national championships: 20 in skiing, seven total in men’s and women’s cross country, and one in football. The university has produced 10 Olympic medalists. Over 1,000 students participate in over 34 intercollegiate club sports annually.