According to CSU’s Graduate School website, “more than 6,500 resident and distance graduate students are part of the CSU Ram Family.” Each year, CSU awards 1,600 master’s degrees, 220 doctoral degrees, and 140 doctor of veterinary medicine degrees.

Graduate students at CSU come from 90 different countries and are enrolled in more than 140 doctorate, master’s, and professional degree programs.

The College of Liberal Arts offers:

  • 2 MFA degrees (with 7 concentrations)
  • 3 professional degrees
  • 7 doctoral degrees
  • 13 master’s degrees (with 14 concentrations)

The College of Liberal Arts currently has 727 graduate students in 39 residential and online programs. And while graduate students do not make up the majority of the student population (more than 4,500 students pursuing a primary or secondary bachelor’s degree), they do make a significant contribution to the educational mission of the university. Graduate students provide teaching, research, creative artistry, and other support to our undergraduate students and to our faculty.

Graduate students are the thinkers, makers, leaders, and doers of tomorrow. When we teach and conduct research with graduate students, their creativity and new perspective makes all of our programs and faculty better.

Roze Hentschell, Associate Dean for Academic Programs

From leading a classroom as a Graduate Teaching Assistant or Graduate Teaching Instructor, to conducting research as a Graduate Research Assistant, graduate students are often able to apply the latest teaching pedagogy they are observing from their own professors into their own particular classrooms, using current and engaging teaching methodologies for undergraduate students. In the Department of Sociology, GTIs performed a critical role in the pivot from in-person to online instruction needed in the spring and fall of 2020. In both the Departments of English and Communication Studies, GTAs undergo a rigorous training period over the summer, coupled with support throughout their first semester, to ensure that they not only gain experience to benefit their own teaching career but are also providing the best in teaching to undergraduates taking composition and public speaking.

Graduate students are instrumental to the teaching mission of the university and college. Undergraduate students have access to some of the brightest minds and dedicated individuals at the university.

Roze Hentschell, Associate Dean for Academic Programs

Through the hands-on interaction that graduate students have with faculty members, they are able to grow their experience and their portfolio to take them into careers or life outside of academia. Whether that’s acting as a research fellow for a scholarly journal, researching vaccine hesitancy among certain populations, or conducting a language needs analysis of veterinary communications, the college’s graduate students are pursuing, and sometimes discovering, their passions.

In addition to gaining advanced academic credentials to better position a student for the workplace of the future and for careers in academia, graduate students participate in the enterprise of creating new knowledge rather than only understanding existing knowledge.

Through coursework, faculty mentorship, teaching opportunities, and professional development programs, graduate students are able to deepen their knowledge of a specific academic discipline and gain skills that will serve them in whatever path they choose after graduation.

Roze Hentschell, Associate Dean for Academic Programs

Read the stories about the graduate students and graduate student alumni who are making an impact in the classroom, in the field, in their research, and in their careers.


Kate Browne and Joshua Bauer

Heading off vaccine hesitancy

CSU Professor Emeritus Kate Browne recruited anthropology graduate students Joshua Bauer and Shadi Azadegan (M.A. ’21) for a FEMA-funded project focused on reducing barriers and misperceptions surrounding COVID vaccines in marginalized communities.

Vicente Delgado

Liminal Spaces: Nostalgia and the Borderland in Vicente Delgado’s Prints

Vicente Delgado is a second-year Master of Fine Art student studying printmaking. Inspired by his upbringing blending American and Mexican culture, Delgado’s work explores themes of childhood, nostalgia, consumerism, the borderland, and immigration.

Jordin Clark (L) and Hailey Otis (R) celebrating their new degrees

With a new Ph.D., three reasons to celebrate

After the program’s launch in 2017, the first three graduates of the Ph.D. in Communication earned their doctorates in 2021. The entire cohort, including two students still working on their dissertations, accepted competitive job offers inside and outside academia — everywhere from liberal arts colleges to the City of Fort Collins.

Sarah Small

Making Economics more Feminist: Spotlight on Ph.D. Candidate Sarah Small

Economics Ph.D. candidate Sarah Small was attracted to CSU’s unique coursework in feminist economics and political economy. After six years in the program, Small has thrived in policy-focused research and has enjoyed teaching economics to underrepresented students, making economics more accessible.

Kristy Ornelas wearing a Colorado State University t-shirt

Telling Untold Stories: A profile of Kristy Ornelas, first-year student in the history graduate program

Kristy Ornelas is inspired to tell the histories of diverse communities through public history. She is pursuing a master’s degree in the CSU Department of History because of the program’s emphasis on public history and established relationship with the National Parks Service.

Edward Sarasty Salazar and others working for the PetSmar Charities grant

Researching Spanish language needs at veterinary clinics

Through a grant from PetSmart Charities, Edward Sarasty Salazar is working as a graduate research assistant to improve access to veterinary care for Spanish-speaking pet owners. His work will contribute to the development of a curriculum of Spanish for Veterinarians.

Maddy Cort teaching music

The future of Emerging Music Courses in Colorado

CSU music education master’s student Maddy Cort focused her graduate research on contemporary music courses that music teachers are often requested to teach as a part of their course load in Colorado secondary schools, including guitar, piano, and electronic music.

Reyes-Illg with an animal patient

Philosophy + Medicine: Two alumni discover the prescription for a successful career

Ethical questions in the medical field have challenged practitioners since the age of Aristotle. With the focus and training in applied ethics, alumni Eli Weber and Gwendy Reyes-Illg use their graduate philosophy education in their careers as a bioethics director for Kaiser Permanente and a practicing veterinarian.

Nefratiri teaching

Graduate Teaching Instructors diversify Sociology’s classrooms

In the Department of Sociology, Graduate Teaching Instructors (GTIs) provide skilled and innovative teaching in undergraduate sociology courses. GTIs have years of training and experience, and they offer a diverse, deep pool of expertise along with an ability to connect with students in the classroom.

DeAngelo Bowden

Professional master’s programs empower grad students to work while they earn their degree

Students in the College of Liberal Arts’ professional master’s programs – Public Policy and Administration, Sport Management, and Arts Management – are using the flexibility of their programs to gain internship and work experience while they complete their degrees.

Students dig into class homework around the Eddy Building on the Colorado State University campus, September 27, 2019.

Expanding the Boundaries: Bringing science into the English classroom

Embracing interdisciplinary studies, graduate students in the Department of English are bridging divides between the humanities and sciences through coursework and research opportunities.

Julia Choolwe Munsaka

Politics and Policy: A graduate student’s approach to climate change in developing nations

Julia Choolwe Munsaka’s interest in international relations stems from her Zambian roots. She is now pursuing her Ph.D. at CSU to focus on environmental policy, particularly how climate change is considered in diplomatic discussions in the developing world.

Stephanie Scott hooked up to a Brain monitoring device while holding a painting set

JMC Ph.D. student explores brain-computer interface technologies as an art therapy resource

Ph.D. student Stephanie Scott is investigating how to integrate art therapy and other creative expression into discussions around brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies. Her research explores how BCIs can be more inclusive for neurodiverse users and communication recovery.