Colorado State University

Oak Street Plaza

Colorado State University, the oldest public college in Colorado, was established in 1870 as a land-grant school under the Morrill Act signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862. Originally named Colorado Agricultural College it became Colorado State College of Agricultural and Mechanical Arts in 1935 after the introduction of an Engineering School, and became Colorado State University in 1957. It is currently a Carnegie Class I Research University with over $350,000,000 in annual research funding, ranking it among the top 50 public universities nationally. It currently has over 27,000 students in residence working on undergraduate degrees in over 250 majors/concentrations. Another 4,000 working professionals are enrolled in CSU Global, the nation’s first fully accredited, independent, 100% on-line state university.

City of Fort Collins

Fort Collins, Colorado, the home of CSU, is a city of about 150,000 people located along the front range of the Rocky Mountains about 60 miles north of Denver. Fort Collins is often ranked as one of the top 10 communities in which to live in the United States by many different magazines or organizations based on a number of different quality of life criteria. Its “Old Town” area is ranked as the number one Downtown by Livability.


At an elevation of 5000 feet, it has low humidity and a mild climate with average summer high temperatures in the upper 80s and summer night time low temperatures in the mid 50s. Winter high temperatures average in the low 40s with night time lows averaging in the mid-teens. Because of its location against the foothills, precipitation only averages about 15 inches per year, about 4-5 of which comes as snow.


Fort Collins has a strong commitment to a healthy lifestyle for its citizens and is among the top five healthiest mid-size cities in America. It has an excellent city parks and public recreation facilities that includes indoor pools and ice rinks. It has a strong bicycle culture, ranking as one of only four US cities earning a Platinum rating from the League of American Bicyclists.

There are over 30 miles of contiguous bike trails with underpasses at almost every busy road crossing and almost 100 miles of designated bicycle lanes as part of the city road system, making bicycling to work a very common practice (Fort Collins Trail Map). The city is quite flat making commute easy, but directly to the west are the foothills, making mountain biking a popular sport. Indeed world class cyclists often train in the hills around Fort Collins.

People riding bicycles in Fort Collins