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Updated: 11/21/2014

Colorado’s colleges and universities are set amid stunning mountain scenery, perfect for world-class skiing, hiking, mountain biking and more — all under 300 annual days of sunshine. Combine that with friendly people, a diverse population and great college towns, and it’s hard to imagine a more well-rounded college experience.

Learn about Colorado’s universities and colleges:

Adams State University
Adams State in Alamosa, just down the way from Great Sand Dunes National Park, was founded as a teachers college that has grown to a university offering 16 undergraduate majors, 28 minors and eight master's degree programs on a tree-lined campus with state-of-the-art classrooms and labs.

The University of Colorado - Boulder's amazingly scenic foothills campus
Colorado State University in Fort Collins sits at the foothills of the Front Range mountains
A scenic spot on the University of Denver's urban campus
The iconic mountainside M above the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO

Aims Community College
Aims Community College has campuses in three northern Colorado towns: GreeleyLoveland and Fort Lupton. Despite being one of the smaller colleges on this list, it boasts 160 degree and certificate programs as well as a flexible class schedule.

Colorado College
CC, as the locals call the private school, boasts of its average class size of 16, a focus on independent study, more than 100 student clubs and organizations and a location in Colorado Springs, one of the state's most popular cities to visit thanks to its beautiful location and proximity to many tourist attractions.

Colorado Community College System
Colorado's largest system of higher education, Colorado Community Colleges serve more than 160,000 students a year on 34 campuses all over the state. These accessible locations offer postsecondary career and technical programs.

Colorado Mesa University
Western Colorado's Mesa University, in Grand Junction, offers liberal arts, professional and technical programs at the master's, bachelor's, associate and certificate levels in a city surrounded by lakes, forests and red-rock canyons.

Colorado School of Mines
This public engineering and applied sciences university in scenic Golden, just a short drive from Denver, is one of a very few institutions in the world with broad expertise in resource exploration, extraction, production and utilization.

Colorado State University
Colorado State is among the nation's leading research universities, world-class research in infectious disease, atmospheric science, clean energy technologies, environmental science and biomedical technology. Fort Collins is one of the state's most beloved college towns for its access to outdoor activities and a vibrant downtown.

Colorado State University – Pueblo
Nestled in the historically and culturally rich community of Pueblo near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, CSU – Pueblo educates its students in five areas of professional focus: business and technology, education, health and science, public service and quality of life — all designed around small class sizes with one-on-one teacher interaction.

Fort Lewis College
This selective public liberal arts college features nationally recognized academic programs and a physically active campus that takes full advantage of its beautiful mountain setting in the southwest Colorado town of Durango, which was named among the top 40 best college towns by Outside Magazine.

Metropolitan State University of Denver
A comprehensive university offering bachelor's and master's degrees in downtown Denver, MSU Denver provides an wide selection of majors, minors, certificate programs and even custom-degree options with the flexibility of evening, weekend and online courses to fit even the busiest schedules.

Regis University
Regis University in Denver is a Jesuit institution where the goal is to produce "men and women as leaders in service to others." Regis is comprised of three schools: The traditional liberal arts Regis College, the Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions and the College for Professional Studies.

University of Colorado – Boulder
The University of Colorado's flagship Boulder campus is the only U.S. public institution in the prestigious Association of American Universities in the Rocky Mountain region. The public research university has built strong programs in the sciences, engineering, business, law, arts, humanities, education, music and much more on a spectacular campus.

University of Colorado – Colorado Springs
This University of Colorado campus south of Denver in Colorado Springs offers unique and high-need programs, including 36 bachelor's degrees, 19 master's and give doctoral degrees. It's one of the fastest growing universities in the state and nation, in a city that balances large city life with a small-town feel.

University of Colorado – Denver
One of the nation’s top public urban research universities, CU – Denver offers more than 130 programs in 13 schools and colleges, educating more than 14,000 students in downtown Denver and 3,000 more in research and advanced healthcare programs at the Anschutz Medical Campus.

University of Denver
Founded in 1864, the University of Denver is one of the country's premier private universities. The campus, a few miles south of downtown Denver, is home to more than 11,000 students from all over the U.S. and 93 other countries who study 170-plus undergraduate and 120+ graduate and professional programs.

University of Northern Colorado
Located in the friendly northern Colorado city of Greeley, UNC offers more than 100 undergraduate and 100 graduate programs, a nationally recognized business school, innovative health and human science programs and award-winning theater arts and teacher education programs.

Western State Colorado University
Nestled in the mountain town of Gunnison, Western State was the first public liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River. More than 100 years later, students choose it for its  location near two ski resorts and thousands of acres public lands, as well as quality education in the classroom enriched by hands-on learning experiences.

Photos: Courtesy of the University of Colorado – Boulder/Glenn J. Asakawacourtesy of Colorado State University; University of Denver, copyright flickr/greatdegree; courtesy of Colorado School of Mines.