Study a graduate program in Colorado
Colorado is best known for its scenery – from the Rocky Mountains to its forests, canyons and the famous Colorado River, after which it was named by its earliest settlers. Its geography makes it a popular location for snow sports, and skiing is one of the many reasons why huge numbers of people make the decision to visit Colorado every year.
Perhaps unexpectedly, Colorado is also known for its food culture – locations such as Aspen and Denver are famous for their exclusive restaurants, and the city of Boulder has previously been named as the ‘foodiest’ location in the whole of the USA. The cuisine is diverse, reflecting various different cultures.
The largest city and state capital is Denver, situated just east of the Rocky Mountains, which is full of bustling, vibrant neighbourhoods – the perfect location in which to take up a graduate program.
There are a very large number of universities in Colorado – around 150. Some of these offer postgraduate courses, whilst others are purely for undergraduates. Others may have a religious base.
The most highly performing institutions are part of the University of Colorado System, which encompasses:
- The University of Colorado at Boulder
- The University of Colorado at Denver
- The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
There is also the Colorado State University system, which has various campuses throughout the state.
Academic masters at these institutions are generally designed to lead the way into doctorate/PhD study, and last between one and three years, depending on the subject.
Doctoral degrees (also called PhDs) are the most advanced level of higher education, and usually take between four and eight years to complete, which includes the time it takes to write and present a dissertation.
Immigration and visas
Before travelling to the USA to study in Colorado, you will need to apply for a non-immigrant visa.
The most common kind of student visa is the F-1 visa, which entitles the holder to study at any US accredited college or university.
To apply for a student visa for a graduate program in Colorado, you will need to fill out an application form (found on the US Embassy website) and send appropriate documentation, such as evidence of financial standing and proof of university acceptance and academic qualifications, as well as possibly attending a visa interview at the US Embassy in your home country.
Life in Colorado
With natural beauty that is barely rivalled by anywhere else in the USA, it is clear that life in Colorado offers a great opportunity to spend time out of doors. Popular holiday destinations such as Aspen and Boulder are famous for snow sports, and the Rocky Mountains (or ‘Rockies’) mean that hiking is also a popular pastime for residents and those visiting.
Colorado is also home to four National Parks – Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes and Black Canyon of the Gunnison. As Colorado’s official tourism website declares: “We were not born to stay inside.”
If you do want to be entertained indoors, though, Colorado’s cities have various arts venues. In Denver they include The Denver Pavilion and Denver Performing Arts Complex.
Interestingly, the city is also the top beer brewery in the country and is home to the annual Great American Beer Festival, amongst various other festivals.
Working in Colorado
There is no doubt that Colorado is a good place to work if you decide to stay in the US after the completion of your postgraduate course – in 2010 it was named by CNBC as the third best state in the country for business.
Because of its proximity to the Rockies and its reputation as an international holiday hotspot, the tourism industry in Colorado is booming. Other top industries include finance (particularly in Denver), scientific research and machinery.
Most of those coming to study postgraduate courses in Colorado stay in university accommodation, which allows you to meet fellow students and settle into campus life. Many halls of residence include gym facilities and recreational areas.
In order to sustain their independence, however, students may choose to live in private accommodation. This means you will rent from a landlord and will probably be responsible for paying for utilities such as water and electricity. Your chosen university should be able to advise you on how to rent a private flat.
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