Of the over 50 public and not-for-profit, private schools in Colorado, only six offer degree programs related to architecture. Students may opt to earn a certificate in drafting, or an associate's, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree more directly related to architecture. While a certificate in drafting or an associate's degree might be sufficient for entry-level work in the industry, a bachelor's or higher may be required for more advanced positions in the field, such as an architect. General education courses are included in undergraduate degree programs.
Arapahoe Community College
Several certificates and an associate's degree program in architecture are available in Littleton at Arapahoe Community College. In the 27-credit-hour architectural contracts and materials certificate program, students study subjects like blueprint reading, contracts, and the legal environment, surveying, construction scheduling, and technical writing. Applied structural analysis, building materials, and architectural design and modeling are covered in the 33-credit-hour architectural drafting certificate program.
The Associate of Applied Science in Architectural Engineering degree program is 64 credit hours in length and offers coursework in computer-aided drafting, architecture history, sustainable building systems, architectural design, and international building codes. The architectural education programs here are suitable for someone interested in an entry-level position in the field or who plans to pursue higher education for professional architects.
Colorado State University-Fort Collins
A Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture and a Master of Landscape Architecture can be pursued at the Fort Collins campus of Colorado State University. The undergraduate program is 125-127 credit hours in length and requires students to take classes on urban design, design and nature, landscape contract drawing and specifications, landscape ecology and environmental ethics.
The master's degree program can be completed in 2 years if the student has a landscape architecture undergraduate degree or in 3 years if the student doesn't have an educational background in the field. For the final semester of the program, students choose one of the following options: a written paper, studio work or independent work alongside a faculty member. The undergraduate program has received accreditation from the LARE. The graduate program is new and still seeking accreditation as of 2013, but the administration believes accreditation will be acquired before the first landscape architecture students graduate.
Community College of Denver
Students in Denver can pursue either a basic or an intermediate certificate in architectural technologies at this school. An associate's degree program in architectural technologies is available as well. In the basic certificate program, students learn about print reading, computer-aided drafting, technical mathematics, architectural drawing theory, and basic architectural drafting. Residential construction drawing and architectural design are introduced in the intermediate certificate program.
Credits earned in these certificate programs can be applied towards the associate's degree. This degree program requires 61 credit hours, and students take coursework similar to that in the certificate programs. The associate's program includes additional general education courses.
The school also offers programs leading to certificates in architectural technologies professional development, architectural professional studies, and architectural technologies Revit.
Pikes Peak Community College
An associate's degree in architectural engineering and construction management is available at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs. Aspiring architectural drafters can also pursue a professional CAD certificate with an emphasis on architectural design and a Revit Skills certificate. The associate's program is 67 credit hours in length, and its architectural emphasis covers the following subjects: architectural building materials, electrical and mechanical systems, applied structure analysis and architectural development. Students can also expect to study international building codes, architectural graphics, and architectural drawing theory.
University of Colorado - Boulder
Two bachelor's degree programs relevant to the study of architecture are available at the University of Colorado's campus in Boulder: a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering and a Bachelor of Environmental Design. There is also a certificate program in environmental design. These programs haven't received NAAB accreditation. The architectural engineering bachelor's program allows students to specialize in mechanical systems, electrical and lighting systems, construction engineering and management or structural systems. Students in the environmental design degree program must also pick a concentration. These options include architecture, design studies, landscape architecture, and planning. The school also offers a master's degree and a doctoral degree in architectural engineering.
University of Colorado - Denver
In addition to numerous graduate programs in architecture at the University of Colorado in Denver, the school offers a pre-professional Bachelor of Science in Architecture. This program works in close conjunction with the NAAB-accredited professional Master of Architecture program. Students who earn the school's bachelor's degree in architecture can complete the professional master's program in two years.
There are additional options at the graduate level, including a LARE-accredited Master of Landscape Architecture program, a Master of Urban Design program and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning program. For students considering the highest level of education, a Ph.D. in Design and Planning is available.
Every state requires architects to be licensed. To become an architect in Colorado, candidates must first become eligible to sit for the licensure exam. Typically, this involves earning a degree from a professional architecture program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and accumulating a certain amount of work experience. However, different amounts of education and experience may be deemed equivalent by the Colorado State Board of Licensure for Architects, Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors, which can approve candidates to take the licensure exam. A candidate who has completed a sufficient amount of work experience while supervised by a licensed architect may also be eligible for the exam, per the state board.
Landscape architects also need to be licensed. Candidates for licensure in Colorado must pass an exam to demonstrate their competence. To be eligible for this exam, they must have a degree from a program accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LARE) and a certain amount of experience, or equivalent education and experience approved by the state board of landscape architects. Candidates who have worked in the field under the supervision of a landscape architect for a period of time deemed sufficient by the state board may also be eligible to sit for the licensure exam.
None of the architecture programs at the community colleges described below have been accredited by the NAAB, but some of the architecture programs at the universities described below have received NAAB or LARE accreditation.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Architecture Degree Programs Offered||Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)*|
|Arapahoe Community College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Architectural Contracts and Materials Certificate,
Architectural Drafting Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Architectural Engineering
| $3,918 (in-state)
|Colorado State University - Fort Collins||4-year, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture,
Master of Landscape Architecture
| Undergraduate: $11,707 (in-state)
Graduate: $12,495 (in-state)
|Community College of Denver||2-year, public; large city|| Basic Architectural Technologies Certificate,
Intermediate Architectural Technologies Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Architectural Technologies
| $4,750 (in-state)
|Pikes Peak Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Professional CAD -Architectural Design Certificate,
Certificate in Revit skills,
Associate of Applied Science: Architectural Engineer/Construction Management
| $3,840 (in-state)
|University of Colorado - Boulder||4-year, public; small city||Certificate in Environmental Design,
Bachelor of Environmental Design,
Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering,
MS and Ph.D. in Architectural Engineering
| Undergraduate: $12,532 (in-state)
Graduate: $13,246 (in-state)
|University of Colorado - Denver||4-year, public; large city|| Bachelor of Science in Architecture,
Master of Architecture,
Master of Landscape Architecture,
Master of Urban and Regional Planning,
Ph.D. in Design and Planning
|Undergraduate: $9,283 (in-state)
Graduate: $8,017 (in-state)
Source: *NCES College Navigator.