Admission & Enrollment Policies

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The College of Architecture and Planning currently offers emphases leading to specialized majors in architecture, landscape architecture, design studies, and planning/urban design within its environmental design degree program. All new students initially enter the college as environmental design majors. Completion of the 75 credit lower-division core leads to entry into one of four specialized upper-division emphases—architecture, landscape architecture, planning/urban design, and design studies. Policy questions may be directed to 303-492-7711 or

Requirements for Admission

Candidates for admission to the College of Architecture and Planning are expected to meet the general requirements for admission to the university. See Undergraduate Admission in the General Information section for specific requirements.

Transfer Students

Transfer students entering the college are admitted through the University of Colorado Boulder’s admission process directly into the ENVD degree program. Since the College of Architecture and Planning has a limited enrollment, all qualified students are not guaranteed admission. A college GPA of 2.750 or higher is required. Preference is given to students who have taken college-level courses in the areas of architecture, planning, or environmental studies. Completion of courses in related fields of social science, natural science, fine arts, or humanities is also considered in admission review. All course work except the last term, if in progress, must be completed and must be listed on the official transcript sent for admission consideration. 

Students are encouraged to transfer as early as possible in their undergraduate career due to the large amount of design- and planning-related course work required by the different ENVD curricula. All transfer students, like freshmen, enter the college as environmental design (ENVD) students into the five semester sequence of work, and then apply for admission to one of the four emphasis majors—architecture, landscape design, planning/urban design, or design studies—in the final semester of their junior year. While transfer students are admitted for the fall and spring terms each year, it is important to note that the core curriculum is a fall semester start. All transfer students are required to take a minimum of 30 semester hours in the College of Architecture and Planning. 

A maximum of 60 semester hours taken at a two-year college may be applied toward the baccalaureate degree. In general, credits in vocational-technical courses are not accepted for transfer by the college. Transfer agreements between the University of Colorado and all Colorado community colleges outline approximately one year of prescribed general education courses that may be completed as preparation for transfer into the College of Architecture and Planning. As noted above, students should plan to transfer to the University of Colorado as soon as possible to start the sequential curriculum. See Undergraduate Admission under General Information in this catalog for admission standards for transfer.

Transfer students from other universities offering pre-professional or accredited professional degree programs in one of the college’s areas of emphasis who enter CU-Boulder may be admitted to the ENVD degree program with advanced standing. A portfolio review will be required for these students. Please contact the ENVD Advising Office for information. In order for transfer credit to meet core degree requirements, a grade of B or better is required in the transferring class.

Intrauniversity Transfer (IUT)

University of Colorado students in good standing who are interested in pursuing a design education may apply for transfer into the college. IUT meetings are held for interested students several times each semester. Students should contact the college offices for the dates of meetings and deadlines for application review for specific semesters. Completion of specified introductory courses may be required before an IUT application for transfer into the college can be considered. Due to the curriculum requiring a fall semester start, prospective IUT students must complete specified courses in the fall semester. Students who apply for IUT into the college will be notified in early January, following the posting of fall semester grades.Because of the limited number of spaces available in the program, admission is competitive and grade point average plays a significant role in the application process. It may also serve as a basis for entry to introductory courses required for IUT application. All IUT students are admitted as ENVD open option students, and must select an upper-division emphasis following the processes described in the ENVD curriculum section that follows. 

Credit Policies

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement and college credit may be granted on the basis of the College Board’s Advanced Placement tests. For students who have taken Advanced Placement course work in high school and receive scores meeting university standards in the Advanced Placement examination, Advanced Placement as well as college credit is granted. Granted college credit is treated as transfer credit without a grade, but counts toward graduation and meets other specific requirements for which it is appropriate.

Incomplete Grades

The college’s faculty set their own policies for grading and for granting incompletes. Special conditions may be noted on class syllabi. In all cases, students must present evidence of circumstances beyond their control that prevent them from completing the class. The student and faculty member must complete a written agreement (form available in college offices) outlining the terms of course completion and submit this agreement to the dean’s office.

Independent Study

Ordinarily, only students at the 3000- or 4000-level of studio are permitted to obtain independent study credit. Independent study credit may not be used to substitute for any required core or design studio course.

A complete description of the scope of the independent work, a summary of how it will be carried out, and a definition of the intended outcomes must be submitted to the supervising faculty member no later than five days after the official beginning of a semester. Approval of the description must be by the faculty member and the faculty member appointed by college administration before permission is granted for enrollment in the independent study course. Students should make arrangements for the independent study course details during registration or well before the semester begins.

Typically, only students who have at least a 3.000 GPA are permitted to register for independent study. Additional requirements might be established depending on the proposed topic. Not more than 3 hours of independent study credit during one semester and not more than a total of 6 are given for the entire time the student is enrolled, unless an exception is granted by the dean.

Other Credits

Credits for teaching assistantships, research assistantships, internships, and for independent study are all guided by the same standards. Credits earned as a teaching assistant, research assistant, or intern are subject to a 3 credit-hour limitation. Teaching assistantships and internships are offered on a pass/fail basis.

Pass/Fail Credits

A student may elect to take up to 6 semester hours toward the BEnvd degree on a pass/fail basis, but these credits must fall in the category of general electives and may not include course work taught within the College of Architecture and Planning.

Students should confer with their academic advisor regarding specific academic standards for repeating laboratory, studio, and other undergraduate courses. Credits for repeated courses are not counted toward the 120 semester hours needed for graduation.

ROTC Credit

Students matriculating in the College of Architecture and Planning are eligible to participate in the ROTC programs on the Boulder campus.

Students interested in such programs should contact the professor in charge of the ROTC program of their choice (Army, Navy, Air Force) and also their academic advisor for the college for information on residence and curriculum requirements for graduation. Credit for ROTC courses may be given upon faculty recommendation to a maximum of 8 hours.

Transfer Credit

Credits transferred from other institutions are limited to the number of credit hours given for similar work in regular offerings at the University of Colorado. Exceptions to this regulation may be made by the dean upon written petition.

The college does not accept vocational/technical course work in design, graphics, or construction as meeting specific course requirements of the program; nor does it consider such course work as acceptable in fulfilling the college’s elective requirements. Only in exceptional circumstances may a student petition the dean of the college to request a transfer of such credits. 

A grade of C- or better is required in any course for which credit is granted in transfer from another institution to the university. In order for transfer credit to meet core degree requirements, a a grade of B or better is required in the transferring class. Grades earned in other institutions (excluding other campuses of the University of Colorado) are not computed with the student’s CU grade point average.

For more information on transfer credit policies, see Transfer of College-Level Credit in the Admissions section.

Residence Requirement

A student must complete a minimum of 30 course credits within the College of Architecture and Planning. Students also must complete their last semester in residence as full-time students.


Academic advising for students presently enrolled or anticipating enrollment in the college’s undergraduate program is provided in a variety of forms. High school students or prospective transfer students from other universities are encouraged to participate in “Be a CU Student for a Day” or other visitation programs co-sponsored by the college and the CU-Boulder Office of Admissions. Information on campus visitation programs may be obtained by contacting the Office of Admissions at 303-492-6301, or

Students already enrolled in Boulder campus programs who are interested in intrauniversity transfer (IUT) into the College of Architecture and Planning should contact the college office at 303-492-7711 for group meeting times focusing on the IUT transfer process.

Students enrolled in the college’s undergraduate programs receive academic advising from faculty or professional staff in the college. Information on appointments and open office hours for advising is available at the college office, ENVD 168, or by calling 303-492-7711.


In order to receive an overview of educational opportunities and the philosophy of the college, and to meet other new students and the faculty of the college, incoming freshman and transfer students are required to attend an orientation approximately one week prior to the beginning of each semester.

Retention of Student Work

The College of Architecture and Planning may, with the student’s written consent, retain student work submitted in fulfillment of class requirements for a period of time. This retained work is normally used to provide accrediting agencies with tangible evidence of performance, to serve as additional visual aid material in presentations to other students, and to contribute to possible educational exhibits and publications requested by the university community and the general public.

Computing in the College

The College of Architecture and Planning requires that all incoming undergraduate students have and use their own computers and software applications in their studies. OIT on the Boulder campus has suggested hardware and software configurations for both desktop and notebook computers on their website at Neither the Boulder campus nor the College of Architecture and Planning endorses or requires students to buy a computer from a particular manufacturer. The configurations suggested by OIT establish high performance requirements that can be found in many different computers. Specialized software requirements for different classes in the ENVD program appear on the syllabi for those classes, and that software is generally available through the bookstore at discounted student rates.