University of Northern Colorado
| Staff Writers
Are you ready to find your fit?
Find the information you need to find, get into, pay for, and thrive in the best college for you.
The University of Northern Colorado, better known as UNC, is a large college in Colorado that started out as a normal school. Normal schools served an important goal during the late 20th century. These schools trained students on the importance of working as teachers and prepared them for entering the education field. Many of the teachers trained at UNC worked in western territories before those territories became states. Founded as the Colorado State Normal School in 1890, it later became a state teaching college and then a state college before finally becoming the University of Northern Colorado in 1970. Though it now offers a range of degree options, it still has a good reputation for its teaching programs.
UNC enrolls nearly 12,000 students every year, including students from nearly 40 countries and students from every state in America. It offers more than 100 undergrad programs and around 120 graduate programs. Among the more popular programs are those with an emphasis on education, business and exercise science. UNC also has a large number of undergrad and graduate psychology students. U.S. News & World Report ranked its rehabilitation counseling as one of the top 15 programs of its type in the entire nation, and its online education programs rank among the best as well. UNC also has a strong reputation among military students because it helps students earn their degrees while living on bases around the world.
University of Northern Colorado Accreditation Details
The accreditation that UNC has includes both specialty and regional accreditation. Regional accreditation is one thing you want to focus on because this allows you to fill out the FAFSA and get the financial assistance that you need for college. Like many reputable college in the state, UNC has regional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS). As NCACS requires that colleges renew accreditation every decade, you can rest assured that the university’s accreditation is almost always in good standing. You may want to look at specialty accreditation too. The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs accredited its programs in school, marriage and family and clinical mental health counseling. UNC also has accreditation from the following groups for some of its other programs too:
Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
Council on Rehabilitation Education
American Psychological Association
Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
Council on Education for Public Health
National Association of Schools of Art and Design
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
University of Northern Colorado Application Requirements
UNC recommends that prospective students request more information before applying. You can get a copy of its catalog, which shows you the classes you must take to graduate from each program and the general education requirements too. The university also encourages students to schedule a tour of its campus before applying. There are really only a handful of requirements that you must meet to apply. You need to use the online application, which will ask about your high school grades and other background information like whether you played sports or joined clubs in school.
After completing the application, you must supply the university with proof of the information you supplied. UNC requires an official high school transcript that must come from your school and an official test score that comes from the testing board associated with the ACT or SAT. If you earned any college credits that you want to transfer, you must supply a transcript from that college too. Though UNC does charge an application fee of $45, you can request a fee waiver based on your current financial situation. If the university determines that you cannot afford that fee, it will let you apply for free.
Tuition and Financial Aid
The cost of attending the University of Northern Colorado depends on where you lived before enrolling, the number of classes you take, where you live while in college and how you take classes. Tuition rates start at right around $300 for in-state residents. If you take a full course load, you’ll pay around $3,300 a semester. The rate for residents of other states increases to more than $700 per credit, which means you’ll pay around $8,800 a semester as a full-time student. UNC takes part in the Western Undergraduate Exchange program, which allows students from western states to enroll and take advantage of lower tuition rates. Rates for these students start at a little over $500 a credit. Tuition rates at some of its extended campuses are even lower.
If you worry about how you’ll pay for college, keep in mind that more than 80% of UNC students receive at least one scholarship and that more than 90% of students receive some other type of financial aid. Financial aid packages can include state grants, federal grants, loans for students and loans for their parents. You may also earn money through a campus work-study program. To find out what aid you will receive, you must file the FAFSA and apply for scholarships from the university.
Featured Online Programs
Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.
UNC Psych and Counseling Degrees
UNC offers four different psychology and counseling degrees. As a new student with little to no experience in the field, you can enroll in its Psychology B.A. program. This program requires that students take 120 credits of courses, including 40 hours of required psych courses and a handful of courses in three key areas of psychology. You’ll take classes on experimental psychology, social psychology and the foundations of psychology. Some of the courses you might take include psychology statistics, human development, principles of learning, maturity and aging and child and adolescent psychology. UNC lets you take up to 40 credits from other departments on campus. Courses like behavioral genetics, cognitive development, educational assessment and special topics in psychology are only open to juniors and seniors who maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher. UNC also has a psychology undergraduate program that is only available online.
Once you complete the undergrad program, you can apply for a spot in one of its advanced programs. UNC offers an MA in educational psychology both online and on-campus. This program is a good option for those who want to work as school counselors. The University of Northern Colorado also has an educational psychology PhD program available for those who have both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree.
Additional Resource: The Top 10 Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Substance Abuse and Addictions Counseling
A master's in counseling online provides an affordable option for those who want to help people through challenges and difficulties.
Online clinical mental health counseling programs provide flexible and affordable options for those wanting to help people through difficulties. See our ranking of the top programs for details.
Explore our list of mental health resources, including counseling for BIPOC. Find and connect with mental health organizations that center BIPOC needs.