Creating Community Leaders That Cities & Societies Need

Explore Our Programs

Trent T. | BS Architecture (‘22)
As a first-generation college student, Trent's goal as an architect is to preserve his community and the planet, building not only for now but also for tomorrow.

Rey H. | Master of Urban and Regional Planning (‘22)
Rey was able to land an impactful position with Denver's Department of Transportation & Infrastructure, which works closely with programs that make it safer for children to walk and bike to school.

Tatum W. | BA Public Administration (‘21)
Tatum attended seminars, made connections in her field, got a campus job, and even helped found Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity. The connections and experiences she gained at CU Denver have opened doors for the future.

Your Path, Your Community

At CU Denver, we are dedicated to fostering inclusive communities, nurturing leaders for tomorrow’s challenges, and driving positive change on local, regional, and global scales. Based in principles of equity, diversity, and social justice, our interdisciplinary programs allow students to understand and address complex urban issues, shape sustainable environments, and lead initiatives in public administration, education, community development, and beyond.

Professor giving lecture to students

Be the Change

Be at the forefront in addressing complex urban challenges and the many issues confronting communities around the country. Our interdisciplinary approach, showcased in programs like the Graduate Certificate in Smart Cities, gives students the tools to leverage data, technology, and partnerships for transformative change.

Human Centered Learning

Join a community dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and social justice in urban and other settings. Through programs like Public Administration, Human Development and Family Relations, Urban and Regional Planning and Leadership for Educational Organizations, students learn to lead with empathy, inclusivity, and cultural competence.

Three CU Denver students talking outside
Group of CU Denver students sitting in grass

Build the Future

Gain the expertise to design, manage, and advocate for vibrant and sustainable urban spaces across distinct communities. Degree paths in architecture, urban planning, and public administration empower students to understand the complexities of city-building, addressing equity issues, sustainability, and community well-being. 

Select Programs to Enhance Your Career

Be part of the next generation of business leaders.

BS Architecture

College of Architecture & Planning

The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Architecture program is rooted in dynamic, design studio-based work, fostering innovative thought and creativity. The BS Architecture program helps students to be agile, flexible, visually adept thinkers and makers who contribute to addressing global challenges over a lifetime of active, inquisitive learning. 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.

  • 120 credit hours, with fall, spring, or summer starting semesters.
  • 4–5-year program duration.
  • STEM designation offers international students up to 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) in the U.S.
  • Two tracks for flexible course selection or a more structured plan: Architectural Studies track and Architectural Design track.
Angie C

“With my time in the architecture program at CU Denver, I most enjoyed working in the CAP Fabrication Labs learning how to use the CNC machines. That experience guided my interest toward continuing my education to pursue a Master of Architecture with a focus in Digital Fabrication.”

– Angie C., BS Architecture, ’22

BA Public Administration

School of Public Affairs

The BA Public Administration prepares visionary leaders to navigate the complexities of government agencies, nonprofits, and NGOs. Based in a commitment to social change and ethical decision-making, our program encourages students to champion the common good and drive meaningful change in their communities and beyond.

  • 120 credit hours, with start terms in the fall, spring, and summer.
  • Online, with flexible scheduling options.
  • Ranked #9 overall by SR Education Group’s 2018 Best and Most Affordable Online Colleges.
  • Focus your degree on Nonprofit Management, preparing you for careers in the nonprofit sector.
Chris Weible

“SPA curriculum has a normative foundation of democracy element, asking the question: ‘How do we maintain and support our democratic system?”

– Chris Weible, PhD, Professor, School of Public Affairs

Master of Urban and Regional Planning

College of Architecture & Planning

The Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program is built on the pillars of healthy communities, equitable urbanism, and regional sustainability, which are the basis for our research, instruction, and community outreach. Grounded in the heart of Denver, our program uses Colorado as our classroom to engage students in real-world, experiential learning—students learn to advance the field of planning through insightful, relevant research that directly informs policy and design and improves our built, natural, and social environments.

  • 54 credit hours, GRE optional.
  • Fall and spring starting semesters, 2-year program duration if full time, with 3 to 4-year part time options.
  • Bridge theory with practice, from studio projects with top professionals and clients to community-driven initiatives.
  • Hone key planning technologies such as spatial analysis and mapping, 3D modeling, and data visualization.
Megan Y

“Ken Schroeppel [Director of the Urban Design program and Assistant Professor CTT of Urban and Regional Planning] made a comment in our first professions class that was really impactful to me, which is to have all the coffees you can and have all the meetups that you can. One thing that is really unique about being a grad student is that people in the Denver Metro and Colorado are very generous with their time. My first internships were with Sue Powers [President of Urban Ventures, LLC], who I met through the professions class, and then through coffee. And then also Megan Devenport, with ULC and the Denver shared spaces program.”

– Megan Y. (MURP ’17), Senior Policy Advisor for Governor Polis' Administration

Graduate Certificate in Smart Cities

College of Engineering, Design and Computing

Urbanization continues as a predominate global trend; to meet this, the multidisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Smart Cities offers a series of four badges to equip students with the knowledge and skills to become change agents in urban environments. As cities evolve, understanding and acting at the intersection of technology, data science, sustainability, and governance becomes paramount. Whether you're a public sector professional seeking to leverage data-driven insights, a technologist envisioning the urban landscape of tomorrow, or an architect integrating technology into urban design, our program offers specialized pathways to success.

  • Online-only, asynchronous, four-week installments, with spring, summer, and fall start terms.
  • Available to non-degree or degree-seeking students, each module is a flat rate of $400.
  • Examine key drivers of urban change, including energy sustainability, resiliency, public health, and safety.
  • Engage with topics such as machine learning, economics/financing, public health, personal privacy.
Tyler S

“Our partnership with CU Denver is incredibly important because the issues cities are trying to solve can’t be solved by cities alone. Having research partners at the table helps us evaluate success and ensure that we are moving the needle forward.”

– Tyler S., Executive Director Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, ’12, GES

Doctor of Education in Leadership for Educational Equity

School of Education & Human Development

The EdD program is designed for seasoned educators and human service professionals seeking to lead change in schools, colleges, agencies, and communities. Grounded in principles of equity and evidence-based practice, our program equips leaders with the tools and knowledge to drive meaningful improvement and reform in educational settings.

  • Cohort-based 3- or 5-year plan–coursework completed in 2 or 4 years followed by doctoral research.
  • Fully online or evening classes available in select concentrations, great for working professionals' schedules.
  • Develop skills in data analysis for informed decision-making and strategic planning.
  • Conclude with a practical dissertation integrating theory and practice.

Program concentrations include Designing for Professional Learning; Early Childhood Education; Executive Leadership; Higher Education Leadership; Justice Equity, and Diverse Identities; Mathematics Education; Research Leadership; and Science Education.

We offer virtual information sessions so you can meet our faculty and ask questions prior to submitting an application.

Tamara B

“The EdD program has allowed me to explore my growth-edge as I work toward understanding and building equitable possibilities for students in the science arena. During my time at CU Denver, I have had the chance to connect with colleagues, professors, and students in unique and thoughtful ways.”

– Tamara B., EdD in Science Education '24

BS Human Development and Family Relations

School of Education & Human Development

The Human Development and Family Relations program prepares students to serve culturally and linguistically diverse families and individuals in various community, school, and social service settings. With a curriculum grounded in diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice principles, students engage in experiential learning opportunities locally and internationally. Faculty mentorship is a cornerstone of the program, fostering academic and personal development throughout the student’s journey.

  • 120 credit hours, with fall, spring, and summer starting semesters.
  • Online and on-campus classes available, transfer friendly, with classes taught in English and Spanish.
  • Top 50 bachelor's degrees in human development and family studies in the nation, Best Accredited College rankings.
  • The only Certified Family Life Educator approved program in Colorado.
Xochitl M

“This program offers a variety of inspirational courses focused on improving the lives of diverse families and communities, it is a very supportive atmosphere where everyone learns from one another. I am so happy I was able to find a community that took me in with open arms and guided me to find my passions in life.”

– Xochitl M., BS Human Development and Family Relations

MA, Leadership for Educational Orgs, Leading Change for Student Success in Higher Education

School of Education & Human Development

The MA in Leadership for Educational Organizations with a concentration in leading change for student success prepares emerging to mid-level professionals from higher education institutions, policy and research organizations, and governmental and non-profit entities desiring to learn more about the overall connections of higher education to students, faculty, administration, and other educational partners, and situates them to transition into roles of increasing responsibility within the fast-changing field of higher education.

The 30-hour degree program is delivered in an 8-week online class format with optional synchronous activities. It includes a capstone course with an applied focus on learning delivered in the 8-week online format. Students may complete the degree in two years alongside internationally recognized faculty, and with opportunities to connect with some of the nation’s leading higher education experts and organizations through courses, engagements and case studies.

Programmatic Benefits:

  • Offered in a fully online format
  • Ideal for working professionals
  • Strong focus on equity and social justice, change leadership, and student success
  • A competitive online tuition rate makes it attractive to Colorado residents and non-residents
Camden F

“The MA in Leadership for Educational Organizations program has allowed me to strengthen my experience as a higher education administrator. The coursework applies directly to my daily work serving students in a Registrar’s Office. The projects, readings, and discussions are directly applicable to my work.”

– Camden F., MA Leadership for Educational Organizations, Leading Change for Student Success in Higher Education

Empowering Urban Visionaries

Through CU Denver, students strive to build inclusive communities, nurturing leaders for tomorrow’s challenges. Based in principles of equity, our programs give power to students who want to address complex urban issues, shape sustainable urban environments, and lead transformative initiatives in public administration, education, community development, and beyond. By blending theory with practice and embracing interdisciplinary approaches, we prepare graduates to navigate the burgeoning landscape of cities and societies. Join us in building resilient communities, shaping vibrant urban spaces, and imagining the future of our interconnected world.  

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