Best Study Spots: CU Boulder

Finding the perfect study spot at CU Boulder can make a big difference in your academic experience. Whether you’re seeking a quiet focused space, a collaborative atmosphere, or just need to get off campus to focus, there’s a spot for you. 

Before we dive into the specifics, it’s important to understand your personal studying preferences. 

  • Do I focus better in a loud or quiet environment? 
  • Do I prefer to be in a bustling atmosphere or do I need minimal visual and auditory distractions?
  • Am I more productive in the morning or evening? 
  • Do I need to bribe myself with a treat to work? (Sometimes we need that extra boost!)

By identifying your ideal study conditions, you can choose a location that matches your learning style. Let’s dive into the recommendations from our CU Graduates on staff:

On-Campus Study Spots

1. Norlin Library: The main library on campus offers a variety of study environments catering to different focus levels. The first floor is perfect for those who prefer background noise, while the upper levels get progressively quieter, with the top floor being the most silent. With plenty of seating, private group study rooms to rent, and a cafe, Norlin Library is a top choice for all types of learners.

2. UMC 5th Floor Lounges: The University Memorial Center’s 5th floor is a hidden gem. It provides a peaceful atmosphere with comfortable seating and amazing views of the Flatirons. This was the top recommendation from many CU-alum Untapped coaches. 

3. Engineering Center: The Engineering Center is obviously a prime study location for engineering students, but it’s open to everyone! With dedicated study lounges and easy access to resources, this building is perfect for tackling complex projects and assignments. It is also a great location for group projects. 

4. C4C 3rd Floor: The Center for Community (C4C) offers a large study area on its 3rd floor, ideal for independent and group work. We love the natural light and food options within the building.

5. Wolf Law Library: If Norlin Library and the UMC are too busy, the Wolf Law Library is a great backup location. This quieter alternative has many study spaces.

Off-Campus Study Spots

1. Local Coffee Shops: Boulder has many coffee shops, such as Ozo Coffee, Boxcar Coffee Roasters, and Trident Booksellers and Cafe. These spots offer a change of scenery while hitting the books. Off-campus coffee shops will have fewer CU students, which is ideal if you’re easily distracted! 

2. Boulder Public Library: The library is great for a quieter off-campus alternative. With multiple floors and study rooms, you can find a space that suits your learning style and enjoy a break from the campus.

Best Study Spots by Major

We interviewed our students and CU-grad employees at Untapped Learning to discover their favorite study locations on campus.

While exploring different locations is encouraged, studying in the building where your professors and peers in your major are located can be particularly helpful.

Here is a breakdown of the best places to study by major: 

Physiology and Biology Majors:

  • Gemmill Library: Located in the Math Building, it provides a focused environment for science students.

Psychology Majors:

  • Roser ATLAS Building: ATLAS has dedicated study spaces for psychology and other social science majors.
  • 2nd Floor of Norlin Library: This floor is home to the psychology collection, making it a convenient spot for research and studying.

Engineering Majors: 

  • Idea Forge in the Fleming Building: The Idea Forge has a collaborative workspace where engineering students can work on projects and study together.
  • Gemmill Engineering Library: Located within the Mathematics Building, it offers engineering students a specialized collection and study spaces.
  • Williams Village: In recent years, CU Boulder has relocated the dorms for engineering students to Williams Village. CU transformed the lobby and breakout rooms into popular study spots for engineering students. The convenience of having study spaces within the same building as your living space is convenient and creates more free time. 

Business Majors

  • Koelbel Building: Home to the Leeds School of Business, it features dedicated study spaces and the Business Library for both independent and group study sessions. 
  • Guggenheim Building: Its open layout and lots of natural light provide a modern study environment for business students.

Computer Science Majors

  • ECCS Building: The ECCS has numerous study areas and labs specifically designed for computer science students.
  • CSEL Lab: Located in the ATLAS building, tutoring, and collaborative workspaces are another great option.

Where Not to Study:

Although studying in the comfort of your dorm room may seem appealing—don’t do it. It’s so helpful to separate your living space from your study environment. When you study in your room, all of your typical distractions and temptations are magnified and easily accessible. 

Establishing a clear boundary between your living space and productivity area improves attention and efficiency. If you can remain disciplined and use your study location solely for school work (and not check social media), you will complete assignments so much faster and have more free time to get out and enjoy Boulder and time with friends. 

Seeking Additional Support: 

Remember that you’re not alone if you struggle to focus or manage your time effectively while studying. Untapped Learning is here to help. Our team has many CU graduates and experienced coaches who can provide personalized strategies to improve productivity and study habits while minimizing procrastination. 

Happy studying, Buffs!

Parenting a child who struggles with executive function can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to navigate this journey alone. Let Untapped help!

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