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Learning Opportunities

Explore and Engage

In today's competitive job market, being able to say you've actually done something matters.

To give you that experience, a University of Denver education goes well beyond books and exams. Experiential learning opportunities enrich classroom learning and prepare you for the future by taking you into the field, laboratory, community, and professional world - before you graduate. Whether it's studying abroad, conducting fieldwork, leading a community organization, or applying research to a business plan, students are challenged to get out of the classroom and into the world.

The result? You will graduate from DU with a wide array of exceptional learning experiences, a healthy list of accomplishments, and the confidence to apply your knowledge in real-world settings.

The Facts and Figures


Research opportunities aren't limited to graduate students at the University of Denver. Through collaborative efforts with faculty members, undergraduate students can participate in important endeavors with wide-ranging impact. The Undergraduate Research Center provides students with opportunities to apply for funding, connect with faculty partners and present at an annual symposium.

research funds

Community Engagement and Service Learning

Students put the University's vision to be "a great private university dedicated to the public good" into motion by accomplishing tangible public work that improves the lives of others.

Part academics and part community action, service learning is designed to deepen and expand classroom experience and develop civic engagement through meaningful service opportunities.

service learning numbers

DU was named to the 2014 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, recognizing its commitment to volunteering, service learning and civic engagement. Each year students contribute more than 400,000 hours toward service in the community.

NSSE volunteering data

The above data is from the 2012 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).

Service learning at DU will give you a head start toward a life of self-fulfillment, as well as a framework for making ethical decisions and meaningful contributions to society.

Global Perspectives

Developing an international outlook is the foundation for preparing to live and work in a global society. This means graduates who are aware of global issues, familiar with different cultures and can work with highly diverse groups of people are in high demand.

international experience quote

Through the Cherrington Global Scholars program, DU students gain international perspectives by living and learning in another country for an extended period of time. DU offers more than 150 programs in over 55 countries to allow students to take academic coursework and explore local cultures while paying the equivalent cost of a traditional quarter spent on campus (this allows students to continue receiving merit and need-based aid even while attending a university abroad).

The following compares the percent of DU students studying abroad to the national average based upon all U.S. undergraduates pursuing bachelor's degrees.

study abroad data

These numbers, along with additional information, can be found through Open Doors Data.

Even without ever leaving campus, a DU education will inform your understanding of current events, historical moments and the global challenges we share worldwide with:

  • One third of coursework containing an international component
  • Global themes featured in numerous majors and interdisciplinary programs
  • Ten languages offered as majors or minors with additional opportunities to learn a language through the Center for World Languages
  • Over 1,000 international students from 61 countries
  • Visiting international scholars, executives and world leaders who address topics of international importance

Outside the classroom, DU students have plenty of opportunities to put ideas and ideals into action through various clubs and organizations. We have a very active Undergraduate Student Government, Latino Student Alliance, Sustainability Council, Alpine Club and DU Grilling Society - just to name a few. These groups are a great way to meet other students, explore new interests and get involved on campus. Many students also choose to enhance their first-year experience by getting involved in one of the Living and Learning Communities, Pioneer Leadership Program or Honors Program.

DU boasts one of the most active student populations in the country with students involved in athletics, giving back to the community and taking on leadership roles on campus. With a vibrant downtown seven miles north and world class mountain activities just 90 minutes away, the recreational opportunities are endless!

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

In the 2012 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), first-year students and seniors at 546 participating U.S. colleges and universities reported their satisfaction with their own campus. The following is specific to DU students.

du nsse data

National results revealed that DU students reported significantly higher levels of satisfaction than the average of students at all other participating doctoral-extensive schools for level of academic challenge, involvement in active and collaborative learning, interaction with faculty members, and enriched educational experiences.

NSSE chart

Small Classes

Undergraduate programs at the University emphasize experiential, dynamic, and cross-disciplinary learning. First-year seminars allow students to connect with a professor who will mentor a group of 20 students, introducing the class to university-level work and advising students on everything from time management to selecting a field of interest. That level of personal attention continues throughout a student's career at DU, with an average class size of 21 students who are learning from internationally competitive scholars passionate about teaching.

The University's emphasis on writing trains students to conduct research, construct arguments, and write persuasively. Undergraduate students also complete courses in mathematics and computer science, the arts and humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences, ensuring that upon graduation students have a wide base of knowledge as well as the tangible skills essential for career success.

small class image

The Quarter System

Our quarter system is a fast-paced, academically-focused structure that pairs well with the University's interdisciplinary approach; students are not only permitted, but encouraged, to focus on more than one major or minor. As a student, you will complete three unique terms in the same amount of time as a two-semester system, allowing for greater retention of knowledge, expanded learning opportunities, flexibility in class scheduling, and exposure to a broader spectrum of fellow students and faculty members. In addition, within your major and minor classes you will frequently participate in sequencing courses, where topics build upon each other each term. And, a major bonus of the quarter system - a six-week winter break every year!

Here is a basic outline of the quarter system:

  • Fall Quarter- Labor Day to Thanksgiving
  • Winter Quarter- New Years to mid-March
  • Spring Quarter- Mid-March to beginning of June
  • Summer Quarter- Mid-June to mid-August (optional and additional)
  • View the 2014-2015 calendar
Exposure to Ideas

DU is committed to fostering and developing both the minds and hearts of our students. That maturation process is not only integral to creating a successful graduate, but world citizen who will make a positive impact. Our campus climate prepares students for living and working in an increasingly diverse and global society. We recognize and value the rich experiences and world views of individuals and groups. In an effort to expose students to a balances array of perspectives, each year the University hosts over 100 speakers and events, most of which are free and easily accessible to students.

chancellor quote

Quality of Life

Students frequently cite the "ability to have it all" as one of the reasons they chose to attend the University of Denver. With easy access to downtown for internships and cultural events, as well as a short drive to the Rocky Mountains for outdoor recreation and research, students don't have to choose between urban and rural pursuits. Denver's 300 days of sunshine each year, 800 miles of bike trails and the largest park system in the country, inspire students to develop a healthy work-life balance. Our culture of opportunity allows students to challenge themselves academically, gain real-life experience, and develop personally and intellectually, all while living in a setting of great natural beauty.


Success Stories

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