Why we have top academic programs

We’ve talked about why we find it tricky to define what we consider a top major at CSU. And we understand why it’s a question that comes up a lot when people are trying to decide which academic path is right for them. Deep down, we know that every program we offer at CSU is a top program for a myriad of reasons. Let us break it down for you and show just how much you can get out of your own major of choice as a student here.

students browsing a wall of books

#1. Variety of academic majors, concentrations, certificates, and specializations.

We’ve got 74 academic majors, hundreds of concentrations within those majors, and many certificates you can earn while in a major to further your interest areas. You can double major, you can double minor, and you can even explore interdisciplinary programs that bridge two totally different academic areas, like Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies in the Liberal Arts.

When we say you’ve got choices, we mean it. We like to talk about our academics as a “Choose Your Own Adventure” kind of experience. Even within a specific major, there are often several concentrations that can deepen your knowledge in one area of that program. In addition, there might be additional certificates you can earn along with your major to give you a leg up when you enter the career field. You can also choose to broaden your academic experience by adding a minor to complement your major, or choosing a minor that gives you experience in another area entirely.

an undergrad presents a research project at a symposium

#2. Access to research as an undergrad.

Academic research can often be limited to grad students, but we’re not really into academic limitations here — especially when it comes to learning by doing. Nearly every discipline at CSU offers opportunities for research, and sometimes that research even includes one-on-one mentorship with professors. In addition to being an incredible learning opportunity, undergrad research makes for a nice line on the resume. Undergraduate research at CSU is so big, in fact, that we’ve got several annual events where students can showcase, present, and win awards for their research.

a student measures the trunk of a tree in the woods

#3. Less sitting, more getting out and doing.

Getting out of the classroom, getting your hands dirty, and learning in the field is one of the things CSU does best. No matter what your major, you’ll get to take courses that take field trips, or take place entirely in the field. Plus, CSU’s location is perfectly situated between the Rocky Mountains and the plains, and at the base of some of the most-diverse natural areas in the world. Fort Collins is a technology and entrepreneurial hub, offering a variety of innovative tech businesses and startups that often recruit students for internships and jobs. Every major from art to history to natural sciences to engineering to psychology will find a variety of classes designed to enhance learning in the best way possible: by doing.

a student tutors another in the library

#4. Free tutoring, study groups, and academic clubs, oh my!

Sure, we’ve got some rigorous programs here that will challenge you … but we’re not going to leave you out there to figure it all out alone. There are so many options that help keep you on track academically at CSU. Once you select your major, you’ll get an advisor within your department to help keep you on track for graduation. But that stats class is hard! We get it. Good thing we offer free tutoring for those tough courses like math, chemistry, computer science, engineering psychology, and more. We’ve even got tutoring designed specifically for adult learners and veterans, first-generation students, and students with special needs.

If you’re not looking for class-specific tutoring, there are more than 170 academic clubs where you can find other students who are studying the same material you are. Oftentimes, these clubs will give you access to study groups within your major. Anthropology club? Chemistry club? Literary club? Math club? We’ve got those. What about Metalsmithing club? The Music Therapy Student Association? Robotics club? Check, check, check. There’s something for everyone.

Ready to discover your perfect program?

You can browse our majors or explore our academic programs by major tracks, a way we categorize our majors into similar fields of interest. Or you can start with this article to help you think about what interests you and why.


Prairie Smallwood

Prairie Smallwood is a writer and content creator for the Office of Admissions at Colorado State University. She is passionate about education and exploration, and knows that going to college can be both an adventure and an overwhelming experience. She aims to create content that helps students through that journey — the wonderful, the scary, and everything in between.