Dean: Mark Gelernter
Associate Deans of Academic Affairs:
Denver: Yuk Lee
Boulder: Hans Morgenthaler
UC Denver Building
1250 14th Street, 3rd floor
College of Architecture and Planning
Campus Box 126
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364
Advising and Admissions
Graduate Professional: 303-556-3382
PhD in design and planning—February 1
All professional programs—February 15
All programs—October 1
(In architecture and landscape architecture, students starting in the spring will only be able to select from a reduced set of courses and will get on track starting the next fall.)
Applications received after these dates will be considered only if space is still available.
If you’re interested in a career in architecture, urban and regional planning, landscape architecture or urban design, you’ll want to get acquainted with the College of Architecture and Planning on the Downtown Campus of UC Denver. We offer the only undergraduate and graduate education in these fields in the state of Colorado. Many students intending to enter the design and planning professions complete the college’s undergraduate degree as preparation for our graduate-level professional programs. Our graduate programs also are available for those who already hold an undergraduate degree in an unrelated field. Our graduate programs in architecture, landscape architecture, urban and regional planning and urban design, and our graduate certificates in preservation, design build and GIS, are taught on the Downtown Campus, in the heart of a vital downtown. Our undergraduate program is offered in Boulder, an environment ideally suited to the needs of undergraduates (see the University of Colorado at Boulder catalog for details). We offer a multidisciplinary PhD in design and planning based in Denver. With a diverse faculty committed to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and creative work, the college provides students with a broad range of learning opportunities.
The College’s Vision
To help students prepare for an engaging, productive career in the design and planning professions, the College of Architecture and Planning has developed a bold vision called Integrative Design. This vision directs the college to:
- Engage design and planning challenges that are significant for our society. We are not an ivory tower. Learning experiences address real issues facing designers and planners as they create healthier, more sustainable, more meaningful environments for the 21st century. In recent years, among many other socially important projects, our students have: designed alternatives to suburbia; built award-winning solar-powered homes; written new codes to encourage livelier, safer cities; discovered ecological design principles in Colorado ranches; proposed ways for neighborhoods to recover from natural disasters; and invented new ideas for affordable housing.
- Engage these challenges in partnerships among the disciplines and with our external communities. No one discipline can address these issues alone. Architects, landscape architects, planners, urban designers and developers must work together to create holistic, healthy, sustainable environments.
In our college, students have opportunities to:
- Participate in multi-disciplinary teams, modeling the practices of today’s successful design and planning firms.
- Interact with outstanding practicing designers and planners in the Denver metro area through internships, mentorships, design juries, lectures and student professional organizations.
Communities of Interest
To implement this vision, the college has organized many of its activities around “communities of interest.” These bring together faculty, students and practitioners across the disciplines who share an interest and expertise in a particular theme, building synergistic relationships as they explore new design and planning ideas.
The college’s communities of interest currently include:
- Emerging Practices in Design
Exploring how the digital design revolution and sustainable design practices are reshaping the professions. These include sustainable design and design/build practices as well as digital visualization and building information modeling (BIM) technologies.
- Sustainable Urbanism
Exploring new ideas about creating livable cities in the midst of intense pressures for growth and fragile ecosystems.
- Healthy Environments
Exploring how to build healthier buildings, cities and landscapes.
- Cultural Heritage
Understanding, interpreting and preserving our cultural heritage in design and planning, including historic buildings, landscapes and intellectual and cultural ideas.
Special Activities and Programs
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, a visiting critic series, exhibits, publications and active student organizations—the college encourages contact among students, faculty and members of the design professions. Each summer, the college offers foreign study travel programs, which in recent years have traveled to Prague, Rome, Helsinki, Paris, Beijing and Madrid. In addition, for the past seven summers the college has offered an integrated urban design studio in Turkey. The college makes available a range of scholarships and fellowships, some of which are based on need, others on performance and still others of which are specifically intended to provide enrichment opportunities. 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. Finally, the college encourages students to take control of their own education and supports, within its ability, any reasonable proposals from students that would enrich their own educational experiences.
The college’s administrative headquarters and graduate programs are located at 1250 14th Street in downtown Denver, on the northeastern edge of the Auraria Campus. This favorable location gives easy access both to the extensive campus facilities and to the urban amenities of Denver’s lively lower downtown. Most of the major professional design offices in Denver and many planning firms and agencies are within easy reach of the college. These provide 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. The college also provides a portfolio photography studio room, a model and furniture-making woodshop with laser cutters and a 3-D printer, and an extensive computer laboratory whose focus is computer aided design (CAD), computer 2-D and 3-D imaging and analytic tools for planning. The computer lab includes Windows PCs and G4 Macintoshes, 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 a secure room. Also associated with the college is a geographic information system (GIS) computer laboratory, which is open to all UC Denver students.
Students in the college have access to a number of scholarships and other financial assistance funds. Some of these funds are provided by the institution itself, while others are provided by external sources like the American Institute of Architects Education Fund, the American Planning Association, the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Rocky Mountain Masonry Institute. For further information on these scholarships and graduate tuition awards, visit the college’s Web site or request a list via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on federal and state financial aid, contact the Office of Financial Aid, University of Colorado Denver, Campus Box 125, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364, 303-556-2886 or visit their Web site.
Applicants to the College of Architecture and Planning are required to submit the following credentials:
- University of Colorado application for graduate admission form
- Two official transcripts from each institution the applicant has attended. Transcripts must be mailed by the institution directly to the college. A certified literal English translation also must be submitted for documents that are not in English.
- Letters of recommendation: U.S. residents, three letters; international applicants, four letters.
- Statement of purpose: Applicants to all programs must submit a statement summarizing career objectives and reasons for pursuing the intended program of study. Applicants to the MURP program should indicate their area of concentration. Applicants to the PhD program should discuss the intellectual and policy challenges they hope to address, methodological skills they plan to pursue, and briefly note any tentative dissertation research topics and, if possible, overlap of research interests with program faculty.
- Supporting materials for architecture and landscape architecture: Applicants to the graduate architecture and landscape architecture programs are required to submit a portfolio (6-12 bound pages, 8.5 × 11 inches). Slides are not accepted. A portfolio is an orderly presentation of one’s work. This includes examples of creative and analytical work including but not limited to essays, papers, photographs and photographic reproductions of artistic work such as sculptures, drawings, paintings, musical compositions and other fine arts. A stamped, self-addressed envelope must be included for return of the portfolio. Applicants to architecture and landscape architecture are encouraged to submit GRE scores if their GPAs are below 3.0.
- Supporting materials for urban and regional planning: Applicants to the urban and regional planning program should submit, in an 8.5 × 11-inch bound document, their statement of purpose, a resume and a copy of a student or professional paper or project. Applicants to the urban and regional planning program are encouraged to submit GRE (general) scores; those whose undergraduate GPA is below 3.0 are required to submit GRE scores.
- Supporting materials for the PhD: Applicants to the PhD program must submit a sample of written work and any other evidence relevant to admission to the program, in accordance with submission guidelines that can be obtained from the college. Applicants to the PhD program are required to submit GRE scores.
- Application fee. Nonrefundable ($50, U.S. residents; $75, international applicants).
A nonrefundable confirmation deposit of $200 is required to secure an applicant’s place in the architecture, landscape architecture and PhD programs. 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.
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. To assist students with procurement of their personal computers, the IT committee formulated performance-based computing specifications. These are listed online here. Please note that UC Denver neither endorses nor requires students to procure a machine from a particular vendor. While desktop configurations are listed, students are urged to procure laptops mainly for reasons of security and mobility in studios and classrooms. Software application (program) requirements relate to specific course curricula. In general, students widely use products such as Microsoft Office for word processing, e-mail, presentations and spreadsheet applications. Consult with instructors or refer to course syllabi regarding applications for imaging, CAD, GIS, modeling or rendering before buying them. In addition, not all programs are needed during the first semester; certain release versions may be preferable over others. The college intends to provide computer IT orientation sessions at the beginning of each semester.
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.
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 Office of Enrollment and Engagement on the Downtown Campus.
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.
Departments and Programs
Master of Urban Design
Doctor of Philosophy