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  • University of Colorado junior Brandon O'Neill, at right, junior Justin...

    Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    University of Colorado junior Brandon O'Neill, at right, junior Justin Rowsell and senior Brody Bilthouse study for a final exam in the Norlin Library on campus in Boulder.

  • The BioLounge in the Museum of Natural History has a...

    File photo

    The BioLounge in the Museum of Natural History has a coffee bar and rotating exhibits that will keep you motivated in a unique space.



With about 200 buildings spanning CU-Boulder’s 600-acre campus, finding the perfect study spot can be overwhelming.

Chemical Engineering junior Emily Breidt said the campus is full of nooks and crannies where students can retreat for a quick cram-session or stretch out for an all-nighter.

“There are lots of tucked away study spots on campus,” Breidt said, “so I’d encourage people to explore campus to find a study spot that works for them.”

Haley Hoffman Smith, a sophomore studying Philosophy of Law and Society, said she has been hunting for the best study spot on campus since her first semester, but has yet to find the perfect fit.

Depending on what students are looking for, the hunt can take some time — so get out there and start looking.

Here are a few spots to help narrow your search.

The UMC rooftop

Overlooking the Flatirons, the rooftop deck at the University Memorial Center provides fresh air for serious study sessions when the weather permits. Food and caffeine are easily accessible on the building’s lower levels and oodles of indoor seating provide shelter during raining or cold days. Hoffman Smith recommends the lesser-known study room on the fifth floor of the building for a quiet place to hunker down.

Norlin Library

The large building located on the Norlin Quad can be a maze for newbies, but it’s worth scouring the halls on the hunt for a good study spot. Large windows overlooking Pleasant Street make the art wing a likely contender for some right-brain stimulation. Resources are abundant throughout the library from OIT experts, to printers and reference books, to computers. The Graduate Study Suite offers private corrals that can be reserved on a first come, first served basis but is limited to graduate students.

The Center For Community

The C4C, as it’s better known, is popular for its variety of dining options, so why not bring your books along? Whether you’re brushing up over lunch or squatting for the day, endless food and drink options make the dining hall a delicious study space. Cushioned chairs and large windows in the third-floor lounge is a good option if mixing meals and math isn’t appetizing.

Museum of Natural History

Get inspired at the BioLounge in the Museum of Natural History. A coffee bar and rotating exhibits will keep you motivated in the unique space. Head to the museum in the Henderson Building west of the UMC for a change of study scenery.

Joint Institute for Lab Astrophysics

Hoffman Smith said the JILA building offers quiet rooms for serious cramming.

“I prefer a quiet study spot with close proximity to coffee,” she said. “Preferably a place with large windows and other people who are also studying.”

This secret study spot, located between Duane Physics and the Imig building, would be ideal for midterm or finals prep.

Business library

Situated on the bottom floor of the Koelbel building, the business library is conveniently located near most dorms with access to the Trep Café. The well-known study spot can get crowded and noisy, but provides space to work on team projects or host study groups. Individual study rooms can also be reserved in advance to ensure a spot to spread out.


Another beautiful view makes the library on the top floor of the Humanities building worth checking out. If you can catch it during open hours, the space is a convenient stop before or after that humanities class you’re required to take. Ask staff in the office across the hall to let you in if the doors are locked.

Kittredge Central

Outdoor seating and a serene setting are the reason to trek to Kittredge Central. The campus’ newest dorm is surrounded by picnic tables, grassy lawn and the Kittredge Pond. Bring a blanket, or perch on stone seating for a laid-back study scene.

Law library

The library in the Wolf Law building is no joke. Students come to the space to knuckle down and so some serious studying. The building is a bit out of the way, compared to the rest of campus, making it a quiet and often a less-crowded space to get work done.

“A secret study space would be the Wise Law Library in the Wolf Law Building if you’re looking for a quiet and secluded study spot during the semester,” Breidt said.

Don’t count on this spot during finals when the library is closed to non-law majors.

The music library

This small library on the second floor of the Imig building is centrally located, but not easy to find. Convenient to many dorms and a nearby bus stop, the music library is a good place to stop between classes to complete a quick assignment. Consider this spot for your next meeting with classmates.

Whitney Bryen: