Sep 19, 2020  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Chair: Ekaterini Vlahos
Office: CU Denver Building, 330C
Telephone: 303-315-0573
Fax: 303-315-1050


Mark Gelernter, PhD, Bartlett School of Architecture, University of London
Julee Herdt, MArch, Southern California Institute of Architecture
Laurence K. Loftin III, MArch, University of Virginia
Ekaterini Vlahos, MArch, University of Colorado Denver

Associate Professors:
Amir Ameri, PhD, Cornell University
Osman Attmann, PhD, Georgia Institute of Technology
Robert H. Flanagan, MArch, University of Colorado Denver
Phillip Gallegos, DArch, University of Hawaii
Michael K. Jenson, PhD, University of Edinburgh
Christopher Koziol, PhD, University of Colorado Denver
Taisto H. Mäkelä, PhD, Princeton University
Hans R. Morgenthaler, PhD, Stanford University

Associate Professor (Clinical Teaching Track):
Barbara Ambach, MArch, Southern California Institute of Architecture

Senior Instructors:
Ranko Ruzic, MArch, University of Colorado Denver
Erik Sommerfeld, MArch, University of Colorado Denver

Amir Alrubaiy, MArch, University of Colorado Denver
Matthew Shea, MArch, University of Colorado Denver
Joan Vandenburg, MArch, University of Colorado Denver

Additional information about faculty in this department is available on the college website.

Mission, Vision and Values

Our mission is to lead in the discovery, innovation, communication and application of knowledge in the discipline of architecture. The department excels in the education of its students, research and creative endeavors of its faculty, and service to the community.

Our vision is to be a national leader in educating students to be skilled and engaged professionals in architecture through teaching, innovative research and collaboration. We will be at the forefront of emerging trends engaging research activities of the institution, the transformation of design education, and the contribution to meaningful and sustainable approaches to the development and/or preservation of the built environment in the region and beyond.

We believe in instilling a heightened understanding of the complex dialogue between architecture and culture and the spirit of:
• Exploration
• Experimentation
• Critical Engagement
• Creative Thought and Innovation

Our values are:

  • Diversity: the program should sustain diverse approaches to teaching and educational paths, research and processes in developing an understanding of architecture and proposing appropriate and sustainable design solutions.
  • Sustainability: the program should maintain an ethos that embraces a conscious approach to energy, resource efficiency, and ecological conservation in the design of the built environment; an understanding of context and culture; the impact of the built environment; and the viability of communities in the region.
  • Advocacy: the program should serve as a dynamic resource for the private and public sectors by engaging in developing innovative ideas, sustainable solutions, research and teaching that address challenges in the profession and region, while being proponents of positive change.
  • Leadership: students should be prepared to engage in leadership roles in the profession and to advocate for positive change within the profession, and built environment.
  • Critical Inquiry: students should learn to be curious, innovative thinkers, complex problem solvers, and to have the ability to respond to a diverse set of issues and situations through design.
  • Competency: students should learn the skills required to be life-long learners, technically knowledgeable, gain knowledge through theoretical exploration and practice in experiential learning, and be confident to engage in the profession.
  • Service: students should have the opportunity to learn architecture and understand the impact of their actions by interacting directly with communities and professionals to question, explore, and solve problems in the region and beyond.

What makes us unique

We deliver a course of study that encourages a holistic development of young professionals through theoretical and practicum-based learning through the following:

  • Regional Interventions: The department celebrates its place in a special environment-urbanized Denver with the Front Range and the spectacular natural landscape of the high plains and the Rocky Mountains. The architecture department focuses not only on the design of buildings, but also on the interactions between buildings and their urban and natural settings, as well as cultural landscapes that express the interaction of people and place over time. We teach our students using Colorado and the region as our classroom. We embrace opportunities to engage students in real-world, experiential learning in coursework and Design Build.
  • Sustainability in Form, Culture and Technology: The department examines the interplay among sustainability, architectural form, and the complex environmental, cultural, and technological context in which architects operate. As a result of these dominant concerns, the department has created an academic environment that is intellectually stimulating and educationally challenging and that aims to educate students who will become leaders in the discipline and profession of architecture. We advance the profession through applied research, clinical teaching, and sustainable approaches to improve the built environment.
  • Integration and Diversity: The faculty research, teach and practice ways to design environments that are meaningful and beautiful. We plan, shape and interpret those environments in ways that are collaborative, responsible, sustainable, and integrative. The faculty educate by integrating different design theories and practices into a curriculum that emphasizes their connectedness, cross-disciplinary interdependence, research application, and real-world relevance. The department collaborates to produce new knowledge while adding to the understanding of the role and identity of design and research in architecture. This collaborative and diverse approach stresses environmental, economic, social, cultural, aesthetic and ethical concerns. In this knowledge-based approach, our understanding of how design shapes environments and settings continuously evolves.
  • Critical Engagement: Students are educated in the building sciences and professional practice to gain an understanding of the business of architecture and our responsibilities to engage in the world as citizens. All can have ideological discussions. The faculty develops the critical discourse that is taught and understood by students and tested out in the world. This is accomplished through rigor, evaluation, reflection and responsiveness.



The College of Architecture and Planning offers a preprofessional bachelor of science in architecture (BSArch) and a first-professional master of architecture (MArch). The following statement from the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is responsible for accrediting all architecture programs in the United States, should help a student choose the appropriate degree program:

“In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the bachelor of architecture, the master of architecture and the doctor of architecture. A program may be granted a 6-year, 3-year or 2-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

“Master’s degree programs may consist of a preprofessional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.”

  • The preprofessional degree offered by the College of Architecture and Planning is the bachelor of science in architecture (BSArch). The professional degree offered by the college is the master of architecture (MArch), which is fully accredited by the NAAB for a six-year term.
  • The master of architecture, the college’s accredited professional degree for students intending to seek licensure as architects, is offered to students who have completed the college’s BSArch or any other preprofessional NAAB-accredited architecture degree, as well as to students who have completed an unrelated undergraduate or graduate degree or to students who hold professional architecture degrees from other countries but who seek to obtain a NAAB-accredited architecture degree. Students holding a preprofessional degree from a NAAB-accredited program or professional architecture degree from a foreign institution will be evaluated individually for advanced standing in the MArch program, commensurate with their previous educational experiences.


See the Graduate Catalog for information about graduate programs.

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