CSU celebrates the largest graduating class of online learners

csu commencement wide angle photo
The 514 CSU Online students who graduated this spring are the University's largest class of distance grads, topping last year's record by 11%.

CSU Online graduates from the spring class of 2023 are the largest class of distance students in Colorado State University’s history, highlighting CSU’s commitment to academic excellence for online education and the increasing popularity of flexible degree options.

“Most undergraduate students will take at least one online course during their university experience,” said Alysha Tarantino, director of college relations and advising for CSU Online.

“The population of online learners is growing and students are finding that they can complete their entire education without having to disrupt their lives,” she continued. “CSU’s commitment to accessible education for all learners is reflected in the remarkable achievements of our spring graduates.”

Distance learners came together to celebrate their accomplishments with a graduation brunch on Friday, May 12 at Canvas Stadium before joining their college’s commencement ceremonies at Moby Arena.

Alysha Tarantino, director of college relations and advising for CSU Online, talks to graduates during their celebration brunch.
CSU Online graduates gather for a celebration brunch before walking across the stage during their colleges' commencements.

The size of this year’s graduating class represents an 11% increase over the previous largest class, which was in 2022. Of the 514 students who graduated this spring, the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences celebrated their first online graduates.

“We’re so proud to be part of our online students’ educational stories,” said Kathay Rennels, interim vice president for the Office of Engagement and Extension. “We know their futures are bright and they’ll forever be an important part of our CSU community.”

CSU Online Graduates by the Numbers


College of Business


Health and Human Sciences


Natural Resources


Liberal Arts


Agricultural Sciences


Vet Med and Biomedical Sciences


Natural Sciences



Outstanding Distance Educator: Brian Geiss, Ph.D.

Brian Geiss stands up to receive his award
Brian Geiss, Ph.D., professor and director of the Online Microbiology-Immunology Master of Science Program

Outstanding Distance Learner: Heather Alvis, M.S.

Heather Alvis,, who graduated from CSU with a Masters of Science in Microbiology-Immunology, accepts her award.

CSU Online is a division of the Office of Engagement and Extension. With more than 45 years of experience creating and delivering CSU’s exceptional academic programs through online and distance formats, CSU Online provides affordable access to a quality education from wherever students call home around the nation and world, on a schedule that fits their lives. CSU’s online students receive the same education, learn from the same faculty, and earn the same regionally accredited degree as students on campus.

Learn more at online.colostate.edu >