Oct 26, 2020  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Architecture and Planning

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Graduate Programs Departments and Programs
Computing in the College Complete course list for the College of Architecture and Planning

Nan Ellin

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Jody Beck

Fax: 303-315-1050

Mailing Address
Campus Box 126
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

CU Denver Building
1250 14th Street, Suite 2000
Denver, CO 80202


The College of Architecture and Planning offers the only accredited degrees in architecture, urban and regional planning, and landscape architecture in the State of Colorado as well as the only master’s degrees in historic preservation and urban design, and the only doctoral degree in design and planning. The college offers a Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree and graduate programs for over 700 students. Programs are accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB), National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and Planning Accreditation Board (PAB). Many students intending to enter the design and planning professions complete the college’s undergraduate degree as preparation for our graduate-level professional programs. Those who already hold an undergraduate degree in an unrelated field are also eligible for admission into our graduate programs. We offer graduate certificates in Design Build, Historic Preservation (with History), Integrated Construction Management and Leadership (with Business and Engineering) and Geospatial Information Science, as well as ten options for earning dual graduate degrees. In addition, students can earn a certificate from the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, by taking focused courses in this area. With an outstanding faculty committed to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and creative work, the college provides students with opportunities beyond the classroom including study abroad, internships, mentorships, and participation in design and planning competitions. The College of Architecture and Planning ignites evolution that enriches places for people and the planet through learning by doing, practicing co-creation, and valuing the unique spark of each person as well as the full range of professional and historical traditions.

College Facilities

The college is located at 1250 14th Street in downtown Denver, on the northeastern edge of the Auraria Campus on Larimer Square. This favorable location gives easy access both to the extensive campus facilities and the urban dynamism of Denver’s lively lower downtown. Most of the major professional design offices in Denver and many planning firms and agencies are nearby, offering many opportunities for contact between students and practitioners. College facilities include studio spaces for students, lecture and seminar rooms, design jury spaces, exhibition spaces and faculty offices. Students have access to our well-equipped and well-maintained 3,000-square-foot Design Fabrication Lab that houses a full-scale furniture-making shop, model-making tools, a large spray booth and four laser cutters. An annex adjacent to the building provides additional shop space and a 5-AXIS CNC Router. The Visual Resource Center (VRC) provides access to a variety of photographic and audiovisual equipment, two portfolio photography studio rooms, and digital image collections. There are two computer labs focused on computer aided design (CAD), computer 2-D and 3-D imaging and analytic tools for planning. These computer labs include Windows PCs and Macs, small and large format scanners, large format plotters, laser printers and computer data projection devices. All systems are 100base T Ethernet / Internet savvy and accessible 24 hours a day in secure rooms. Find more details about college facilities on the website. Also associated with the college is a geographic information systems (GIS) computer laboratory, open to all CU Denver students.

Computing in the College

The College of Architecture and Planning requires all incoming graduate students to acquire and use their own computers and software applications in their studies. Neither the College nor the University endorses or requires you to buy a computer from a particular vendor or manufacturer. In general, students widely use products like Microsoft Office for word processing, e-mail, presentations and spreadsheet applications. Consult with instructors or view course syllabi regarding specific software application (program) requirements for imaging, CAD, GIS, modeling or rendering before you buy them. Software requirements for incoming students in all masters programs are per department recommendation, and otherwise stipulated by the course syllabus. For further information, consult the college website.

Graduate Programs

Learning Experiences

Learning experiences address real issues facing designers and planners as they create healthier, more sustainable, more meaningful environments. Through hands-on education, CAP students learn how to apply knowledge to real-world projects. The faculty and students are extensively engaged with Colorado communities, in service learning and applied research. Students have built award-winning solar-powered homes; discovered ecological design principles in Colorado ranches; helped re-envision the I-70 corridor through north Denver; proposed ways for communities to recover from natural disasters; and designed learning landscapes for all 96 Denver elementary school playgrounds. The award-winning Design Build program has developed projects as varied as micro cabins for the Colorado Outward Bound School, environmentally sustainable homes in the Navajo Nation, schools in Guatemala and Nicaragua, a performing arts stage for a mountain community, and outdoor classrooms for urban farming education and environmental groups. 

Special Activities

The college provides a diverse range of opportunities that enrich and enhance the education of its students. Through activities and functions - including a lecture series, design juries, exhibitions, publications and active student organizations - the college encourages contact among students, faculty and members of the design professions. The college is a leader in providing international study opportunities. In addition to numerous study abroad courses, there are collaborative design studios with Dar Al-Hekma University in Saudi Arabia, and a summer urban design studio that has been held in Copenhagen, China’s Shanghai-Nanjing corridor, and Greece. The Bixler International Initiatives encompass travel opportunities, scholarships, lectures, and exhibitions. The college supports an active and focused internship program for its students, giving them access to elective internship opportunities in the Denver metropolitan area and beyond. There are extensive opportunities for civic engagement, including through paid internships at the college’s Colorado Center for Community Development (CCCD), Center of Preservation Research (CoPR), and Colorado Center for Sustainable Urbanism (CCSU).

Scholarships/Financial Aid

Graduate students in the college have access to a number of scholarships and other financial assistance funds. Some are based on need, others on performance and still others are specifically intended to provide enrichment opportunities. Some of these funds are provided by the institution itself, while others are provided by external sources like the American Institute of Architects Architectural Education Foundation, the American Planning Association and the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. For further information on scholarships and graduate tuition awards, visit the college’s website. For information on federal and state financial aid, contact the Office of Financial Aid at the University of Colorado Denver or visit its website.

Admissions for Graduate Programs

Application Deadlines

For Fall Semester:

• Master of Architecture Program (MArch): January 15
• Master of Landscape Architecture Program (MLA): February 1
• Master of Urban and Regional Planning Program (MURP): January 15
• Master of Science in Historic Preservation Program (MSHP): Priority Deadline March 15
• Master of Urban Design Program (MUD): Priority Deadline February 15, Final Deadline March 15
• PhD in Design and Planning Program (PhD): February 1

Decision notification dates vary by program.

For Spring Semester:

• We do not offer spring admissions for any graduate programs.

General Requirements

The college periodically updates admissions deadlines and application procedures. Please visit the college website to view current deadlines, application procedures and required materials.

Applicants to the College of Architecture and Planning graduate programs are required to submit the following credentials: 

  • University of Colorado Denver online application.
  • Official transcripts from each institution the applicant has attended excluding study abroad institutions where the courses are included on the home institution transcripts.
  • A statement of purpose that addresses career objectives and reasons for pursuing the intended program of study.
  • A portfolio of creative work - required for Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design. Suggested for Historic Preservation for students with prior design experience.
  • A sample of writing or a work project - required for Urban and Regional Planning.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are encouraged for the Urban and Regional Planning program.
    • However, if you are applying to the Urban and Regional Planning program and your GPA is below 3.0, you must submit GRE scores.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are highly advised if your GPA is below 3.0 and you are applying for the Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Historic Preservation or Urban Design programs.
  • GRE scores are strongly encouraged for applicants to the PhD program.
  • You must hold at least a bachelor’s degree for admission to all professional master’s programs. For admission to the Master of Urban Design program, a prior professional degree - normally the master’s - is required in addition to a bachelor’s degree.
  • Application fee. Nonrefundable ($50, U.S. residents; $75, International applicants).
  • English language proficiency scores are required for international applicants when English is not their first language. Please see the International Admissions website for current minimum score requirements.   

Confirmation Deposit

A nonrefundable confirmation deposit of $150 is required to secure an applicant’s place in the college. The deposit is due at the time the applicant accepts the program’s offer of admission. The deposit will be applied to the first semester’s tuition when the student registers for classes. This deposit is in addition to the $150 Registration Advanced Deposit that all students are required to pay to the Bursar’s Office before the first semester that they register.

Academic Policies for Graduate Programs

Academic Standing

Students must maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 in the graduate programs to remain in good standing and to graduate. If a student’s GPA falls below a 3.0, then he or she will be placed on academic probation beginning the following semester. If the GPA remains below a 3.0 after the probationary semester, then he or she may be dismissed from the college.

Grade Policy

In addition to maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or above, each program requires specific minimum grades which a student must earn in order to count a class towards their degree. Students should meet with their academic advisor or reference the student handbook to learn more about the minimum passing grades. 

Grade Appeals

Any student may appeal the grade he or she receives in a class within 30 days from the issuance of the grade. The student should first discuss the issue and adjustment sought with the relevant course instructor. If the course instructor does not reply within 30 days, the student submits a written appeal to the department chair. Within 30 days, the department chair shall process the appeal and prepare a written report explaining the reason(s) for the department recommendation. If the grade appeal still remains unresolved at the department level, the student submits a written request to the associate dean of academic affairs, who will direct the Academic Affairs Committee to review the appeal. If the grade appeal remains unresolved at the college level, the student may appeal to the dean.

Attendance and Timeliness of Work

Students are expected to attend all meetings of classes. Excessive unexcused absences may result in a grade reduction at the discretion of the instructor. Absence from a class will be excused for verified medical reasons, religious obligations or for extreme personal emergencies. The student may be required to furnish evidence.

Students’ assignments are to be completed in a timely manner. Any assignment turned in late may have its grade reduced by an amount set at the discretion of the instructor. An assignment may be turned in late without penalty for verified medical reasons, religious obligations or for extreme personal emergencies. Students must have their instructor’s written permission to turn an assignment in late. Students with excused late work may turn in the assignment by the end of finals week without penalty. Otherwise, the grade “I” will be assigned at the discretion of the faculty.

Course Sequencing and Advancement

Programs in the college are structured so that certain courses must be taken concurrently, others sequentially. Students will not be allowed to enroll in a course if its co-requisites or prerequisites have not been satisfied.

Originality of Work

Students must submit their own work. Where other sources are used in a student submission, they are to be clearly identified and referenced. The university considers plagiarism and similar acts of falsification to be a serious matter that may result in suspension or expulsion. Information on codes of conduct and grievance procedures are available from the university’s Office of Community Standards and Wellness.

Retention of Student Work

The College of Architecture and Planning may, with a student’s written permission, retain student work submitted in fulfillment of class requirements for a period of time. This retained work is normally used to provide accrediting agencies with tangible evidence of performance, to serve as additional visual aid material in presentations to other students and to contribute to possible educational exhibits requested by the university community and the general public.

College of Architecture and Planning Courses

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Departments and Programs 



Doctor of Philosophy

Master of Science

Master of Urban Design


Go to information for Architecture.


Master of Architecture

Landscape Architecture

Go to information for Landscape Architecture.


Master of Landscape Architecture

Urban and Regional Planning

Go to information for Urban and Regional Planning.


Master of Urban and Regional Planning