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College of Architecture and Planning

Applicants admitted to the PhD Program normally will have completed the requirements for the Master of Architecture, Master of Planning, Master of Landscape Architecture, or a related master’s degree program. Students from allied fields are also encouraged to apply. Field specialization and background are open. However, students will preferably have completed a program in planning or a design-related field, such as: 

Architectural Engineering
City and Regional Planning
Landscape Architecture
Urban Design
Environmental Studies
Consistent with the University requirements, applications are evaluated based on Grade Point Average (GPA) scores, Graduate Record of Examination (GRE) scores, and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores (where applicable). All exams must have been taken within a year before applying to the program:

  • Academic achievement as evidenced by an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or better, and a graduate grade point average of 3.5 or better.
  • The program looks for GRE scores of 158 or better on each of verbal and quantitative reasoning tests and for a minimum of a 4.00 score on analytical writing, unless a student’s record documents substantial professional or scholarly achievement as evidence of exceptional ability.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam, or have a graduate degree from a university in the U.S. or another English-speaking country. The minimum TOEFL score required for acceptance by the University of Colorado at Denver is 80 or higher on the TOEFL (sub-scores of 20 in Reading, Listening, and Speaking, and 24 in Writing) or 6.5 on the IELTS (sub-scores of 5.5 in each area). However, the PhD program typically does not accept a student with a score lower than 85 on the TOEFL and 6.8 on the IELTS. 

The following documents must be submitted before an application will be considered:
  • Application Forms - Apply online
  • Application Fee 
  • Three Letters of Recommendation 
  • Examples of previous research and written works 
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended institutions of higher learning 
  • Statement of Personal and Professional Goals 
  • Scores of Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for non-U.S. residents whose native language is other than English 
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score 
  • Financial Statement (for non-U.S. residents/citizens)


February 2


Kelly Santa Maria
Graduate School Admissions
1380 Lawrence Street, Suite 1250

Mail: Campus Box 163
PO Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Phone: 303-315-0049


Jody Beck
Director of PhD Program and Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture

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