Master of Architecture Admissions

Our Master of Architecture is a STEM-designated program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Students from a variety of academic backgrounds are eligible to apply for the M.Arch degree. Students who have completed a pre-professional architecture degree may be eligible for the four-studio track option.

Visit Us!

Each semester, we host in-person and virtual information sessions to give you an opportunity to learn more about our programs, get a tour of our facilities and labs, and help you visualize yourself as a Master of Architecture student. Attend an info session, meet with our advisors and program faculty, and get to know current students. 

Application Information

We offer two tracks for the M.Arch -- a Four Studio Track and a Six Studio Track.

Four Studio Track: This course of study is designed for students with a pre-professional degree in architecture. Applicants must hold a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, a Bachelor of Art in Architecture, or a Bachelor of Environmental Design to be considered for this track.

Six Studio Track: This course of study is designed for students with an undergraduate degree that was not a pre-professional degree in architecture. 

See curriculum for both tracks >>


Application Deadlines

Spring 2025

Applications Open:
May 1

Applications Close:
September 15 for International Applicants
October 15 for Domestic Applicants

Note: We will not be accepting late application submissions.

Fall 2025

Applications Open:
August 1

Applications Close:
December 15 for International Applicants
January 15 for Domestic Applicants 

Note: Late applications will be accepted through May 1 and will be reviewed on a space-available basis and are not eligible for scholarships.

Application Requirements

  • Online application
  • Application fee ($50 for domestic applicants, $75 for international applicants)
  • A resume that documents your educational and professional background
  • Statement of purpose: The statement of purpose should be a 750-1000 word essay that describes your interest in architecture and CU Denver as well as your academic and professional goals. Avoid clichéd statements such as "I have always wanted to be an architect" or "ever since I was a child playing with legos".
  • Three letters of recommendation: You will submit the contact information in your application for three instructors or other professionals who can attest to your potential for our M.Arch program. They will receive an email from CU Denver with a link to upload their letters directly to your application.
  • Transcript(s):
    • Domestic transcripts: Transcripts from each institution you have attended, except for study abroad courses, should be sent to the following:
      • Electronic Transcripts:
      • Mailing Address:
        College of Architecture and Planning
        University of Colorado Denver
        Campus Box 126
        P.O. Box 173364
        Denver, CO 80217-3364
    • International transcripts: An International Credential Evaluation Report is required for any applicant who attended one or more academic institution(s) located outside the United States. All international credentials from the academic institution(s) located outside the United States will need to be verified for authenticity and evaluated by CU Denver or an external evaluation provider (ECE or WES). If you have questions about international transcript reviews, please contact our International Admissions office at or visit their website for more information: CU Denver International Admissions Office.
      • Applicants for the Fall 2024 term will have the option of choosing: CU Denver to authenticate and evaluate your credentials in-house. ECE or WES to authenticate and provide a credential evaluation report directly to CU Denver. (Applicant will pay the cost of the evaluation fee. 
      • Students who are admitted and enrolled in the program will be required to subsequently submit official college transcripts to the International Admissions office at
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are not required for the Master of Architecture program. They are strongly encouraged if your undergraduate GPA was below a 3.0 on a 4-point scale.
  • International applicants must submit proof of English language proficiency. You can view the required scores on the Office of International Admissions website.
  • Portfolio of creative work: Your portfolio should demonstrate your ability to pursue architecture study at a high level. Your portfolio should demonstrate high-quality design as well as a technical understanding of architecture. You should include your best studio work and you are welcome to include other creative pursuits. If you include professional or other group work, please clearly indicate your role on the project. Your portfolio should be carefully organized to showcase your best work. Take care with how you compose each page and your image sequencing. Chronological is often not the best organizing schema. Portfolios should be designed for on-screen viewing. Avoid double-page spread layouts.
  • Students admitted into this program must have completed a Bachelor’s degree before they will be able to begin this program. An official conferred degree transcript is required by the university.

Application Consideration

The committee weighs several factors during the admissions process including the applicant’s statement of intent, letters of recommendation, portfolio, previous degrees, and GPA (Grade Point Average). If a student has a low GPA the committee tries to determine the cause by relating the statement of intent and transcripts.

Often an applicant will find themselves in a difficult life situation or a major that does not fit their interests. The committee uses this analysis to determine the potential success of the candidate by putting less emphasis on the overall GPA and more emphasis on the arch of the GPA over the course of their schooling.

GRE (Graduate Records Examination) scores are not required for admission at CU Denver, however, we accept scores as supplemental information for those students who feel they reflect their academic potential.

After Application Submission

  • Applicants will be able to log into their account to see what application materials have been submitted and what materials are missing.
  • All application materials must be received before the review committee can begin the review of the application.
  • After verification that all application materials have been received, the application will move to the department’s review committee, which includes 4 members of the architecture faculty.
  • Once the decisions have been finalized, the admission decision will be emailed to the applicant within 4-6 weeks after the application deadline.
  • If the applicant is admitted into the program, an email will follow with the next steps regarding setting up a CU Denver email account, obtaining a student ID, and steps for class enrollment.
  • If admitted into the program, the university requires that we receive official transcripts from each college/university previously attended to be submitted in the first semester of the program. Transcripts must be sent directly from the college/university attended to be considered official by CU Denver.

Did You Know?

In-State Tuition is available to Western state residents.

CAP has WICHE-WRGP (Western Regional Graduate Program) status. This means that students who are residents of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, and the U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States are granted in-state tuition.

Learn more about WICHE-WRGP for Graduate Students >>

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The College of Architecture and Planning prioritizes Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) in all facets of the student experience. Our admissions process is holistic, and our admissions committee considers many different factors when evaluating applications. Student diversity goals, articulated in CAP's JEDI Plan outline how these specific factors impact our admissions decisions.

Meet Our Students

Freedom by Design chapter with Safe Outdoor Space prototype

Photo credit: Ethan Solomon - Solodome Productions

When Richard McSwain (M.Arch 22) and the CU Denver American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) Freedom by Design Director, learned that the Denver City Council approved a measure to allow sanctioned campsites for those experiencing homelessness to be established within the city limits, he began making phone calls to see how the student organization could get involved to make the communities more dignified places to live. Using Contesoga huts for design inspiration, CAP's Freedom by Design chapter designed and built a prototype for safe outdoor spaces.

Contact Us!

Want to learn more about our Master of Architecture program, have questions about applying to our program, and/or want to visit us on campus? Meet our Advising and Admissions team.
Profile Picture Name Contact Information

Jodi Stock

Manager of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment
for Graduate Programs

College of Architecture and Planning

CU Denver

CU Denver Building

1250 14th Street


Denver, CO 80202


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