Graduate Student Life

The University of Colorado at Boulder is located within the heart of Boulder, nestled against the backdrop of the Flatirons, and within walking distance of downtown, which includes Pearl Street and its many eclectic and unique restaurants, shops, bookstores, and art galleries. Getting around Boulder is easy, from the miles upon miles of bike paths to the free city bus service for students.

The University Colorado lies at the heart of the Boulder community providing an intellectual atmosphere in the arts and sciences. The theater on campus includes diverse offerings such as the Summer Shakespeare Festival in an outdoor theater on campus, the world renowned Takash String Quartet that performs in our Macky Auditorium Concert Hall on the CU campus regularly, and nearly weekly performances by CU musicians and traveling theater and music troupes. The University of Colorado is also host to the annual Conference on World Affairs that brings in international authorities on a variety of topics for a weeklong meeting of performances and seminars.

Boulder is heavily oriented toward the arts especially music with regular tapings of the National Public Radio show E-Town in the Boulder Theater and a large public music and lecture series every year at the national historic site, The Chattauqua Center. Boulder has been home to several well-known music groups in the rock/blues/folk traditions including Poco/Buffalo Springfield (Joe Walsh, Stephen Stills was a volunteer fireman in Gold Hill, a foothills community overlooking Boulder!), Hot Rize (country), Big Head Todd, The Samples, and the Wood Brothers (sons of one of our very own Bill Wood in MCDB). Live Music 7 days a week can be heard in numerous clubs and road houses around town and surrounding mountain communities.

Living in Boulder and the surrounding towns offers unlimited access to outdoor activities all year-round. Many graduate students take advantage of Boulder’s beautiful weather and seasons: in the winter, one can easily go skiing, or snowboarding at one of the nearby world-class ski areas, or go snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park or in Boulder itself. Others take advantage of the warm weather and go running, hiking/backpacking, climbing, fly fishing and kayaking within Boulder, Rocky Mountain National Park or other wilderness areas.

There is a seemingly endless variety of eateries, pubs and bars in Boulder. Boulder is a mecca for food. Many of the restaurants have been featured on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” or “Man vs. Food”. Two restaurants in particular, Jax Fish House and Frasca, have head chefs who have won the Top Chef Award on the television show Top Chef on Bravo.

Approximately 80% of CU students live in Boulder, whereas the rest live in surrounding communities. While a small percentage of students drive to campus, most report biking or using the excellent local bus system that is free to students. Some students live close enough to campus to walk, and the overall average commute time is only about 15 minutes. As one might expect, the majority of students rent their places of residence, but some do own their home (usually outside of Boulder). Most students live with roommates or partners, and the average monthly housing payment is $600-$650/person. Finally, after having spent significant time together during their first year in the MCDB graduate program, each year’s class of students exhibit great camaraderie, making lifelong friendships.

Last updated: 2014-09-09