Bachelor of Science in Architecture

The Department of Architecture at the University of Colorado Denver offers a STEM-designated Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree (BS Arch) on the downtown Denver campus. The program’s design studio-based curriculum combines critical thinking with active making in pursuit of creative solutions to contemporary design problems. 

Program Information

In your first three years of study in the Bachelor of Science in Architecture (BS Arch) program, students learn the fundamentals of design; how to apply them to the design of buildings, neighborhoods, and cities; and how to graphically communicate a design solution. 

Before their final two semesters of the program, students have the option to choose to continue on the Architectural Studies track or move to the Architectural Design track. Both tracks allow students to pursue a four-studio track professional Master of Architecture degree (M.Arch) at CU Denver as well as a professional career in architecture. In addition to offering a strong foundation in architecture, both the Architectural Design and the Architectural Studies tracks prepare students to pursue graduate studies and future careers in allied design disciplines, including digital design (games and animation), industrial design, graphic design, landscape architecture, urban design, and real estate development, among others.  

The Architectural Studies track offers students a less prescribed path with greater freedom to shape the direction of their studies in the final two semesters. Based on individual interests and projected career paths, students who choose this track will have the opportunity to focus on one or more areas of study in architecture and allied disciplines, including architectural history, theory, technology, and visualization, among other options. 

The Architectural Design track is for students who desire additional design studios to hone their design skills. This track also prescribes additional history and technical coursework to support design thinking and application. 

Both tracks prepare students for admission to a two-year (minimum) accredited graduate architecture degree program in the United States or Canada, as well as compatible degree programs internationally. Advance standing in a Master of Architecture program can be maximized in either track by selecting elective courses in technical studies and professional practice typically recognized by accredited graduate architecture degree programs.  

Architecture Contacts

Marc Swackhamer headshot

Marc Swackhamer

Professor and Chair of the Architecture Department
Jo VandenBurg portrait

Jo VandenBurg

Instructor and Associate Chair of Architecture
Krista Busch

Krista Busch

Senior Undergrad Academic Advisor
Kyle Danforth

Kyle Danforth

Senior Academic Advisor for Graduate Architecture
Jeana Delamarter photo

Jeana Delamarter

BS Arch Admissions Counselor, Summer Camp Manager, and Study Abroad

*Please contact Program Coordinator Jeana Delamarter first with any questions about the B.S. in Architecture program or the College of Architecture and Planning. 

Schedule an Appointment with Jeana


Travel Study Opportunities

Travel allows us to see and experience design perspectives from around the world. The College of Architecture and Planning offers a variety of study abroad opportunities each year. Additionally, CU Denver offers study abroad opportunities to students of all majors. 

Tuition, Fees, & Scholarships

The University of Colorado Denver has one of the most affordable tuition rates in Colorado.  Our tuition and fees are set by the Board of Regents, the governing body of the University of Colorado.  Tuition is based on student classification (undergraduate, graduate, academic program, resident or nonresident) and you can find out what rates will apply to your situation here.
Undergraduate students who are residents of WICHE states are eligible to request a reduced tuition rate of 150% of resident tuition at participating two- and four-year college programs outside of their home state through the Western Undergraduate Education (WUE) program.

CAP Concierge

Are you new to CAP? Download a copy of the CAP Concierge to get a quick guide to moving to Denver, finding housing, reviewing studio supplies, and learning about other CU Denver campus resources.


Declaring this Major

General Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the areas below in addition to their individual major requirements.

Information about Academic Policies

Program Requirements

Students must earn at least a C- grade in required architecture and math courses. Architecture and math courses must be repeated if the student earns less than a C- grade.
Course #Course Title# Credits
ARCH 1711Architectural Visualization I 
ARCH 1721Architectural Visualization II 
Take all of the following required Design Studies courses in the order indicated
ARCH 2111Design Studio I (co-rec or pre-rec ARCH 1711) 
ARCH 2121Design Studio II (co-rec or pre-rec ARCH 1721 and ARCH 1711) 
ARCH 3111Design Studio III (pre-rec ARCH 2121) 
ARCH 3121Design Studio IV (pre-rec ARCH 3111) 
Take all of the following Cultural Studies courses in the order indicated
ARCH 1110Introduction to Architecture 
ARCH 2230Architectural History I 
ARCH 3230Architectural History II 
Take both of the following Technical Studies courses
ARCH 3130Construction Practices: Material and Structural Systems 
ARCH 3430Construction Practices: Building Envelope 
Take one of the following Math courses/sets:
MATH 1110 & MA1120College Algebra, College Trigonometry 
or one of the following
MATH 1130Precalculus Mathematics 
MATH 1401Calculus I 
MATH 2411Calculus II 
MATH 2421Calculus III 
Note: also applies to the CORE Math requirement
Take both of the following Physics courses
PHYS 2010College Physics I 
PHYS 2030College Physics Lab I 

Two Tracks

Students in the BS Arch program have the option to choose one of two tracks with different course requirements. All students are enrolled in the Architectural Studies track when declaring the BS Arch major. Before the final two semesters in the program, students must choose to either stay in the Architectural Studies track or opt-in to the Architectural Design track instead. Each track has 27 credits of specified coursework to complete the degree. The Architectural Studies track allows more flexibility in course selection; the Architectural Design sub-plan is more structured. Prior to selecting a track, students should meet with an academic advisor to discuss the impact each track could have on their intended career path after graduation.
BS Arch Architecture Studies Track graphic


Complete 27 credits specific to Architectural Studies ONLY:

  • Take 15 hours of Architecture electives (prefix ARCH) 
  • Take 12 hours of CAP electives (may be any prefix used in the College of Architecture and Planning)

NOTE: Any of the specific courses listed in the Architectural Design track may be taken and will count as ARCH electives.

Take the additional required elective:

  • ARCH 36xx – any History/Cultural Architecture elective

Take both of the following additional Technical Studies courses:

  • ARCH 3330 – Building Systems I
  • ARCH 3340 – Theory of Structures I

Take 6 hours of CAP electives (any prefix used in the College of Architecture and Planning)

Note: Additional general elective hours may be needed to reach the required 120 hours for the B.S. Arch degree.

Note: Required math and physics courses may apply toward general electives if not already applied toward core math or biological and physical sciences requirements.

Living in Denver

Student Work Gallery

Urban Works​

Date: 1/23/2017
Student Researchers: Elizabeth Fulster & Meryl Smith Faculty Advisor: Amir Alrubaiy

Urban Works is a flexible and creative environment equipped with apartments, studios and a marketplace, allowing the artist, creator or small business owner to live, work and sell all under one roof. Geared towards the creative class, this proposal combines the popular co-working model with residential and commercial space. 

A lot on the corner of 26th and Lawrence Streets was chosen as the location. This site is on the border of the residential Five Points and the industrial RiNo neighborhoods, and sits right in the middle of the various co-work spaces popping up throughout the area. Mindful of these conditions, we decided to stitch the two urban fabrics together by creating a live/work community nested in a modest warehouse

By stacking our three major programmatic elements – retail, working and residential – we addressed the three-story building maximum per the zoning code. Four light wells puncture vertically through the building to allow ample light and exterior windows for all apartments on the third floor. Ground-level glazing and a grand entryway give the building a strong street presence. Up above, balconies enable residents and office workers to enjoy the city's great climate and to feel connected to the lively urban environment.

Urban Works