Jul 21, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

About CU Denver

Click on any of the following links to go quickly to that information:

Welcome to Colorado’s public urban research university,

where a diverse student body through quality academics, ambitious research and creative work, and community engagement in the city we call home. We are CU in the city.

Your success is our #1 priority. At CU Denver, you will benefit from:

Academic choices: More than 100 high-quality, in-demand degree programs in seven schools and colleges, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees; hands-on learning opportunities, including work in research labs, service learning, study abroad and work-study;

Powerful connections: To partnerships, projects, internships and career opportunities in downtown Denver; to the vibrant arts and culture scene at our front door; and to a network of influential alumni who are leaders in Denver’s civic, nonprofit and business communities;

Outstanding location: Access to a vibrant, safe urban lifestyle; resources and support to develop innovative solutions to complex local and global issues; and opportunities to build your skills in the city ranked by Forbes as the #1 Best Place for Business and Careers.

CU Denver is a place of academic excellence, where you will gain the powerful combination of immersive classroom and project-based experiences that are in demand today. Here you will meet gifted faculty, experts in their field, dedicated to student success, academic excellence and the real-world applications of their research and creative work. You’ll interact with fellow students who are diverse, goal-oriented and energetic. Whether you engage in undergraduate or graduate studies, the University of Colorado Denver degree earns global respect and you can be confident that you will have been well-prepared for the next stage of your work or academic life.

We’re delighted you’ve chosen CU Denver!

Dorothy A. Horrell, PhD


Executive Team

Dorothy A. Horrell, PhD
Chancellor, University of Colorado Denver
BS, Colorado State University
M.Ed, Colorado State University
PhD, Colorado State University

Roderick Nairn, PhD
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs
BSc, University of Strathclyde (Scotland)
PhD, University of London (England)

Brenda Allen, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion
BA, Case Western Reserve University
MA, Howard University
PhD, Howard University

Raul Cardenas, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Student Development
BA, Pepperdine University
MA, Northern Arizona University
PhD, Arizona State University

Leanna Clark
Vice Chancellor for University Communications
BS, University of Colorado Boulder

Robert Eckel, MD
Vice Chancellor for Research (Interim)
BS and MD, University of Cincinnati

Jennifer Sobanet
Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, CU Denver
BS, Marshall University
MA and MBA, University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School

Melisa Baldwin
Vice Chancellor for Advancement, CU Denver
BA, University of West Florida
M.Ed., University of West Florida

University of Colorado Denver

The University of Colorado Denver was formed on January 11, 1973, lawmakers, upon proclamation of the governor, amend that state constitution to establish additional CU campuses, transforming the University of Colorado - Denver Center into the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver). In 1977, CU Denver students began taking classes on the Auraria campus. Today, CU Denver educates more than 15,000 students and is the only public urban research institution in the state of Colorado.

The University of Colorado Denver offers a unique academic experience for students. Conveniently located in the heart of Denver, our students have unparalleled access to the business, cultural and political capital of the West.  CU Denver is where academic rigor meets city vigor.

More and more undergraduates are discovering the value of classes in the city taught by professors who are connected to local companies and organizations. New housing adjacent to campus, easy commuting by RTD Light Rail and discounts to cultural and sporting events give students many options for immersion in vibrant city life. In addition, affiliations with research labs and hospitals at CU Anschutz make CU Denver an excellent place to start a health care career.

The University of Colorado Denver enrolls students from 46 different states and countries, and awards over 3,800 undergraduate and graduate degrees every year. It is known for its programs in urban sustainability, criminal justice, business, education, applied science and engineering, film and music industry as well as a full array of professional health programs. The graduate student population is a diverse mix of ages and ethnicities, creating a rich environment for learning and networking.

Other reasons why students choose the University of Colorado Denver:

Small class sizes: average undergraduate student-to-teacher ratio is 17:1.

The Denver vibe: Colorado has always attracted the adventurous. Denver ranks as #1 Best Place to Live (U.S. News & World Report), with an extensive network of bike trails and quick access to mountain sports. CU Denver is adjacent to a thriving arts district.

Collaborative culture: Cross-disciplinary learning and research is a core value: programs blend technology with health care, business with public policy, and behavioral health with architecture.

Choices: With seven schools and colleges offering more than 100 degree programs, the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medial Campus is a major university for the coming century.


CU Denver

Colorado’s only public urban research university, CU Denver offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in the heart of the city through seven distinct academic units:

College of Architecture and Planning 
College of Arts & Media 
Business School 
School of Education & Human Development 
College of Engineering, Design and Computing Course 
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 
School of Public Affairs  



Strategic Priorities


To be a university greater than the sum of its parts, Chancellor Dorothy Horrell has established five strategic priorities to guide CU Denver’s ongoing success. Through these priorities, CU Denver aims to be widely recognized as a distinctive asset in the Denver-metro region based on quality assets, highly recognized research and creative work, a diverse and inclusive culture, and impactful civic engagement. The five strategic priorities are as follows:

  1. Student Success. Our goal is to elevate student success through increased enrollment, retention and graduation rates.
  2. Scholarly Excellence. We are focused on advancing scholarly excellence and innovation in teaching, research and creative work.
  3. Community Asset. We are working towards strengthening our position as a vital community asset
  4. Inclusive Culture. We are committed to creating a more cohesive, collaborative and inclusive culture.
  5. Financial Sustainability. Our objective is to achieve long-term financial sustainability and stability.

These five strategic priorities are an expression of our values - the things we care about and hold ourselves accountable for. While these serve as the pillars for achieving our goals, CU Denver has also defined the components that power our university. We call this the flywheel. Our flywheel represents the major levers that will lead CU Denver to long-term, sustainable impact and success.

First, we invest in top-notch faculty, staff and facilities and cultivate a student centered, collaborative, inclusive culture. This enables us to deliver exceptional teaching, research and service.

As a result, we attract and graduate purposeful, high potential diverse students. They in turn fuel the region’s economic, social and cultural prosperity.

This allows us to grow a multifaceted resource base, which brings us right back to the top of the loop where we invest more in our people and infrastructure.


University of Colorado System

The University of Colorado is a system of four campuses located in Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver and Aurora. With combined total enrollments of over 60,000 students, the University of Colorado system consistently ranks in the top 15 among public universities and colleges in overall research expenditures and seventh among public universities in federally funded research. Awards for research within the system total more than $920 million, with funding provided by federal agencies, appropriations from the state of Colorado and private foundations and donors.

Board of Regents

John Carson
District 6
term expires 2021

Glen Gallegos
District 3
term expires 2025

Heidi Ganahl
At Large
term expires 2023

Irene C. Griego
District 7
term expires 2021

Chance Hill
District 5
term expires 2025

Jack Kroll, Vice Chair
District 1
term expires 2023

Lesley Smith
At Large
term expires 2025

Sue Sharkey, Chair
District 4
term expires 2023

Linda Shoemaker
District 2
term expires 2021

History and Evolution of the University of Colorado Denver

1876 Legislature founds the University of Colorado
1883 Medical department opens with two students
1898 CU establishes School of Nursing
1912 CU organizes the Department of Correspondence and Extension in Denver
1913 CU establishes School of Pharmacy
1925 CU dedicates 9th and Colorado Blvd. medical center
1956 Regents purchase Tramway Building for Extension Division
1965 Regents change extension name to University of Colorado-Denver Center
1972 CU-Denver Center changes name to University of Colorado at Denver
1973 School of Dentistry enrolls its first class; state begins building Auraria Campus
1974 CU reorganizes as a four-campus system
1988 CU-Denver moves into the 257,000 square-foot North Classroom Building on the Auraria Campus
1992 School of Pharmacy moves from Boulder to Health Sciences Center
1995 Government conveys 217 acres at the Fitzsimons Army Base to CU for modern health sciences facility
2000 First new and remodeled facilities open at Fitzsimons
2004 Regents consolidate CU Denver and Health Sciences Center to form the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center
2006 Fitzsimons campus renamed Anschutz Medical Campus
2007 Regents approve shortened version of the name: University of Colorado Denver
Medical, dental, pharmacy and nursing students start classes, Colorado School of Public Health enrolls first students on the Anschutz Medical Campus
2011 Regents approve name change, to University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus



The University of Colorado Denver is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The commission can be contacted at:

230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604
Telephone: 1-800-621-7440

Many professional organizations have also granted accreditation to specific academic programs, colleges and schools at the Denver Campus, including:

  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
  • Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business-International
  • Colorado State Board of Education
  • Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education
  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Council for the Accreditation for Educator Preparation
  • Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board
  • National Architectural Accrediting Board
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
  • Planning Accreditation Board

Academic Programs

CU Denver is devoted to the needs of the residents of the city and the region. A solid foundation of academic and general education is assured through a comprehensive core curriculum. Students may pursue graduate education through all of the campus’ colleges and schools. Pre-professional training in the fields of education, architecture, law, journalism and health careers is also available. Complete listings of areas of study available on the Denver Campus are available in the Programs  section of the catalog.

The colleges and schools sections of this catalog provide information on bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs, policies on requirements for graduation, course requirements, course-load policies, course descriptions and similar information.

Continuing and Professional Education

The Division of Continuing and Professional Education offers certificate/certification courses, professional development programs, precollegiate outreach programs and personal enrichment courses across the state of Colorado. Courses are offered in a variety of formats, including traditional on-campus, off-campus, online, hybrid, weekend, evening, short and condensed courses and many others.

Registration and tuition vary by school or college. Contact the specific school or college to learn about current program and course offerings or send an inquiry to continuingeducation@ucdenver.edu.

About Our Students

The diversity of our student body is a source of deep pride. With students of color making up 40 percent of the student body, CU Denver is the most diverse research university in Colorado. Classes are filled with traditional students who enrolled after high school as well as transfer students and those who delayed college entry. Many professionals enroll mid-career to retool and strengthen their skills. The average age of an undergraduate student is 23 years while the average graduate student is 31 years old.

Bringing a rich mix of backgrounds, students travel across the country and the world to attend CU Denver. Domestic students come from 48 states and international students from 68 countries. All take advantage of convenient courses at times that meet their schedules. An enviable student-to-faculty ratio of 17:1 and a high-tech advising platform means students receive focused attention from professors and a clear path to graduation. 

Related Organizations

CU Denver Alumni

Mailing Address: 1380 Lawrence Street Center, Suite 1201, Denver, CO 80204 (mailing and physical)
Telephone: 303-315-2333
E-mail: alumni@ucdenver.edu 

CU Denver Alumni is the formal name for our community of former students including over 92,600 graduates from any of the University’s undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. While 71% of our graduates stay in Colorado, our global community stretches across 103 countries. 

CU Denver Alumni contributes to the vitality of the University and connects alumni to campus and with each other through advocacy, philanthropy, career networking, and lifelong learning. CU Denver Alumni is proud to be part of Colorado’s leading public urban research university.​

CU Denver Alumni Relations sponsors activities and programs to benefit and engage alumni, current students, and friends of the university. By fostering loyalty among our alumni and providing opportunities for involvement, CU Denver Alumni Relations facilitates an environment in which alumni can establish life-long contact with their alma mater.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

University of Colorado Denver - Office of University Advancement

Mailing Address: 1380 Lawrence Street, Suite 1201, Denver, CO 80204
Telephone: 303-315-3601
Fax: 303-315-2063
Email: advancement@ucdenver.edu

The University of Colorado Denver Office of Advancement collaborates with faculty, staff, donors, alumni, and friends to raise private support for the university.

CU Denver academic leadership establishes priorities for private support, and gifts are directed to the specific schools, program, or purpose that the donor designates. CU Denver Advancement staff identify and/or generate interest in the university, assist donors in gift planning, solicit gifts in collaboration with academic partners and leaders, and establish and maintain relations with alumni. (Gift funds are managed and invested by the partner University of Colorado Foundation, which also manages the university endowment).

These gifts endow scholarships and professorships, further research, enrich academic programs, upgrade and construct facilities, and support projects and programs in all areas of the university.


University Quick Facts

CU Denver Quick Facts

  • 15,232 students
  • 54% are female; 46% are male
  • 73% undergraduate
  • 85% from Colorado
  • International students come from 65 different countries
  • 39% of all enrolled students are 21 years or younger; 78% are 29 years or younger
  • 39% enrolled in at least one online class
Student-to-Faculty Ratio:
  • 17:1
Diverse Population:
  • 40% of undergraduates are students of color
  • 44% of all new enrolled students are students of color
  • Average age of undergraduate students: 23
  • Average age of graduate students: 31
  • Students from 46 states and DC and 46 countries
Average entering ACT score:
  • 23.2 Composite
Average entering SAT score:
  • 554 Math
  • 560 Verbal
Average high school GPA:
  • 3.5
Schools and Colleges on the CU Denver Campus

College of Architecture and Planning  
College of Arts & Media  
Business School  
School of Education & Human Development  
College of Engineering, Design and Computing     
Graduate School
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  
School of Public Affairs  


More than 100 degrees and programs across seven schools and colleges

  • Bachelor’s
  • Master’s
  • Doctoral
  • First professional
Most-enrolled Undergraduate Degree Programs:
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Music
  • Fine Arts
  • Architecture
Most-enrolled Graduate Degree Programs:
  • Business Administration
  • Public Administration
  • Counseling
  • Education and Human Development
  • Information Systems
Research Funding

More than $400 million in sponsored research annually

  • 96,484 alumni
  • 71% live in Colorado
Rankings for US News Graduate Programs 2019:
  • Best MBA Part-Time Programs - 78
  • Best Graduate Schools, Engineering - 140
  • School of Public Affairs, Top Schools - 34
  • Environmental Policy and Management - 12
  • Nonprofit Management - 29
  • Public Administration - 24
  • The Sciences
  • Biological science - 98
  • Math - 117
  • Statistics - 74

**For the most up to date information, visit the following website: http://www.ucdenver.edu/about-us/facts/