Colorado schools with good architecture programs

My daughter will be applying to schools this fall. She wants to be an architecture major. She plans to apply to West Coast schools with good architecture programs, however, we want her to consider schools a little outside of the West Coast. Does anyone have recommendations for Colorado schools with good architecture programs? Not sure if she could handle the heat of Arizona or New Mexico schools, but perhaps she could be persuaded. Thank you!

According to Niche - there’s only 3 schools - CU Boulder, CU Denver, and Colorado State. You might have to do more research - U of Denver, for example, to see if they offer. I don’t see it on their website.

So there’s tons of great chats on this board about architecture in the difference in school types - some lead you to a career, others not, etc. I would suggest you do a search. It’s not the type major offered everywhere - but some major in something else and do a Masters (I don’t know, just what i remember reading).

So definitely take a look for some chats - but start with those three schools.

@momrath is the resident architecture school expert around here and she has very informative posts. (Here is one from two weeks ago: Looking for colleges with architecture programs - #10 by momrath)

Depending on how sure your daughter is about wanting to become an architect and what she hopes to get out of college (i.e. just doing distribution and architecture requirements or having a bit more time to explore other areas of study?) will determine what kind of degree to look for. The schools in the western U.S. that are NAAB accredited (necessary for either the B. Arch or M. Arch) are listed below:

If you look at the full list of accredited programs you can see if a school offers a B. Arch, M. Arch, etc. My personal theory, based on not more than a hunch, is that a B.S. in Architecture from a school that offers an M. Arch might be a good option for students that are not yet ready to launch into a B. Arch in college.

Hopefully more expertise will be on its way, but this list should give you a start to explore, including several WUE options.

Does she want a 5-year BArch program, or just a strong pre-professional Arch Studies major?

The College of Environmental Design at CU Boulder offers a great undergrad program, starting with a common core and then branching into specializations in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning and Product Design. Curriculum | Environmental Design | University of Colorado Boulder

Also in the “a little outside of the West Coast but not too hot” genre is U of Utah, which has a lot in common with CU Boulder but which is much more affordable for OOS students. UofU also has an Arch Studies major with a strong studio component The Honors College at UofU is great too , with its own housing, and Praxis Labs on a variety of topics, some of which could be highly engaging for an aspiring architect.

But, if she’s certain about architecture and wants to finish a BArch in 5 years (vs. most likely 6 years total if she goes to an MArch program after a studio-based arch studies BA/BS), that’s a different filter.


As mentioned above, your daughter’s apply list will depend on the degree(s) that she’s interested in.

As far as I’m aware there no universities in Colorado offer the Bachelor Of Architecture (BArch). The BArch at U of Arizona and U of Oregon are both excellent programs.

For a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Art IN Architecture, she’ll have more choices.

I would agree that the U of Colorado Boulder’s Bachelor of Environmental Design is a terrific route to an MArch. In the west I would also look at U of Washington’s BA in Architecture.

There are also several very good BArch programs in the mid-west and Texas if she’s willing to extend her geographic reach.