Colleges and Universities in Arvada, Colorado

Arvada is a city located in Jefferson County, Colorado, just northwest of Denver. While there are no colleges or universities actually located within the city limits of Arvada, the city is home to two community colleges and is close to several four-year universities in the greater Denver metro area.

Community Colleges

Red Rocks Community College

Red Rocks Community College (RRCC) is one of the largest and most prestigious community colleges in Colorado. The main campus is located in Lakewood, just 10 miles east of Arvada. RRCC has a second campus in Arvada located on the intersection of Kipling Street and Interstate 70.

The Arvada campus offers a variety of associate’s degrees and certificates in subjects like:

  • Business
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Human Services
  • Paralegal
  • Visual Arts

The campus features state-of-the-art facilities including a nursing simulation lab, automotive technology garage, welding lab, culinary kitchen, art studios, and more. Over 5,000 students attend the Arvada campus each semester.

RRCC has guaranteed transfer agreements with all public four-year universities in Colorado. This allows students to complete an associate’s degree at RRCC and transfer seamlessly into a bachelor’s degree program.

Arapahoe Community College

Arapahoe Community College (ACC) is part of the Colorado Community College System and has several locations throughout the Denver metro area.

The nearest ACC campus to Arvada is located just 5 miles away in Littleton. This campus offers various associate’s degrees and certificates in subjects such as:

  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Criminal Justice
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Welding

The Littleton campus features a library, science labs, computer labs, automotive tech center, culinary kitchen, fitness center, testing center, and more. Over 15,000 students attend classes across all ACC campuses each semester.

Like RRCC, ACC has guaranteed transfer agreements in place with public four-year schools in Colorado.

Four-Year Universities Near Arvada

While there are no four-year colleges located directly in Arvada, the city is just a short drive from several high-quality universities in the Denver area.

University of Colorado Denver

The University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) is a public research university located in downtown Denver, 15 miles east of Arvada. CU Denver offers over 115 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs across 13 different schools and colleges.

Some of the most popular majors at CU Denver include:

  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Biology
  • Nursing
  • Psychology

The university has cutting-edge facilities including engineering labs, visualization labs, a public health clinic, writing center, math center, and more. Over 14,000 undergraduate students and 4,000 graduate students attend CU Denver.

Metropolitan State University of Denver

Metro State Denver is another public university located in downtown Denver, also about 15 miles from Arvada. It offers over 60 bachelor’s degrees and 30 master’s degrees across a diverse range of subjects.

Some top programs at Metro State Denver include:

  • Accounting
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Human Performance & Sport
  • Management
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Social Work

The university has an enrollment of over 20,000 students, making it one of the largest schools in Colorado. Metro State stands out for its focus on adult and veteran education, workforce partnerships, and experiential learning opportunities.

University of Denver

The University of Denver (DU) is a private university located just 8 miles southeast of Arvada in the cherry creek neighborhood of Denver. DU is home to the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, an internationally top-ranked program.

In addition to international studies, popular majors at DU include:

  • Business Administration
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Psychology
  • Social Sciences

The university has Division I athletics and over 11,500 undergraduate and graduate students. DU features excellent academic and recreational facilities including labs, libraries, a writing center, media center, and Division I sports complexes.

Choosing a College in Arvada

When choosing a college or university near Arvada, there are several factors for students to consider:


  • What majors and degree programs are offered? Do they align with your interests and career goals?
  • What is the academic reputation of the school? Is it regionally accredited with respected program rankings?
  • What types of learning resources are offered such as tutoring, labs, libraries, and research opportunities?

Cost & Affordability

  • What is the annual tuition and total estimated cost including fees, housing, books, and supplies?
  • Does the school offer scholarships or financial aid? What percentage of need do they meet on average?
  • Are there opportunities to reduce costs through community college transfer credits, commuting from home, or work study programs?

Campus Culture & Student Life

  • Is the campus location and size suitable for your needs? Do they offer on-campus housing?
  • What is the demographic make-up of the student population?
  • Are there ample opportunities to get involved through student organizations, Greek life, athletics, and events?

Post-Graduation Outcomes

  • Does the school have resources dedicated to career development, internships, and job placement?
  • What is the career or graduate school placement rate after graduation?
  • Does the school have strong relationships with employers and professional organizations related to your future career field?

By carefully weighing factors like these, students can find the right college option near Arvada to match their academic interests, career aspirations, financial situation, and lifestyle preferences.

Accredited Online Universities

In addition to traditional brick-and-mortar colleges, Arvada residents also have the option to earn a degree through accredited online universities. This allows working adults and non-traditional students the flexibility to advance their education on a schedule that fits their life and obligations.

Here are some top accredited online universities that serve students in Arvada:

Western Governors University

Western Governors University (WGU) is a non-profit, online university that offers affordable tuition and flexible degree programs for busy adults. WGU awards degrees in the fields of business, education, IT, and healthcare. All programs are competency-based, allowing students to move quickly through material they already know and focus on what they still need to learn.

Over 200,000 students are currently enrolled at WGU, including many residents of Arvada and the surrounding Denver metro area. The online format provides scheduling flexibility while career-focused programs help graduates advance in their chosen field.

University of Phoenix

The University of Phoenix is one of the first and largest accredited universities catering to working adult students through their online programs. They offer associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees across popular subjects like business, nursing, education, healthcare, IT, and more.

Students complete coursework 100% online but have access to student advising and career services for support. University of Phoenix enrolls over 100,000 students across the globe and has specific enrollment counselors for Colorado residents to help navigate admissions, financial aid, and program selection.

Colorado State University – Global Campus

Colorado State University’s Global Campus is the online branch of the CSU system, offering over 35 bachelor’s and master’s degrees fully online. All programs are taught by CSU faculty and students receive the same diploma as on-campus graduates.

Some popular online majors at CSU Global include business administration, information technology, healthcare administration, accounting, marketing, computer science, and communications. Their online degrees cater to working professionals with accelerated 7.5-week terms and affordable tuition rates.

Arvada residents can access these accredited online universities from the comfort of home to earn their degree and advance their career without stepping foot on a campus. The flexibility and affordability make online universities a worthy local option to consider.


While there are no colleges or universities located directly within the city of Arvada, residents have excellent higher education options nearby. Two community colleges provide affordable and convenient associate’s degrees, while several four-year universities offer bachelor’s and master’s programs just a short drive away in Denver.

Additionally, accredited online programs offer flexibility for working adults. By weighing factors like cost, programs, and campus culture, Arvada students can find the best college fit to achieve their academic and career aspirations.

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  • Upon leaving the airport, get on Peña Boulevard heading west. Take I-70 west towards the mountains for approximately 10 miles before taking exit 269 for Kipling Street. Turn left onto Kipling Street and continue north for 3 miles. Turn right onto 58th Avenue and continue east for 1⁄2 mile before turning left onto Harlan Street. The destination will be on your right after passing 52nd Avenue.
  • Start by getting on I-25 north from downtown and continue for approximately 10 miles. Take exit 215 onto 58th Avenue. Turn left off the exit and go west on 58th Avenue for around 4 miles before turning right onto Harlan Street. Drive north on Harlan Street by passing 52nd Avenue and look for #5460 on your right after about 1⁄2 mile.
  • Get on US-36 east heading towards Denver. Take this freeway for around 20 miles before merging onto I-25 south towards Denver. Drive approximately 5 miles before taking exit 215 for 58th Avenue. Turn right off the exit onto 58th Avenue heading west for 4 miles before turning right onto Harlan Street. Look for #5460 half a mile down Harlan Street on your right just after passing 52nd Avenue.