Which College is Right for the Architecture Student in the Denver Metro Area? Architecture School Choices in the Denver Metro Area.
The Denver Metro area has long been an exciting, dynamic area in which to live and to study. Future job opportunities for persons with a degree in architecture are good, and expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. The median income for an architect in 2006 was $64,150. A brief search on the internet lists a handful of schools available to Denver residents in this field, including, but not limited to Penn Foster College, Ashworth College, I.T.T. Technical Institute, Stratford Career Institute, Westwood College, and University of Colorado. This article will focus on two of those choices; Westwood College, a smaller, more intimate school, and the University of Colorado, with its larger and more diverse population.
Westwood College – Nationally accredited, Westwood College offers the opportunity to receive a degree in three years, due to their year-round course offerings, all centered on acquiring the skills needed for a comprehensive degree in architectural design and drafting. Smaller class sizes offer one-on-one interaction with instructors. The opportunity to meet and work with professionals already in the field, giving “real world” experience is another plus offered by this school. The school features daytime, evening, or online classes and offers tutoring at no charge to current students as well as graduates, enabling participants to stay current on the changes in tools and technology as they emerge.
University of Colorado at Denver – This great university offers both Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in the field of Architecture. In the undergraduate area, the University offers a Bachelor’s Degree program in Environmental Design offering a broad view of the field, including both the opportunities and challenges facing professionals in the areas of Architecture, Design, Planning, and environmental issues. These students are also offered hands on training, giving the opportunity to take theoretical knowledge learned in the classroom and apply it in practical ways, thereby solidifying the knowledge on a more permanent basis. There are also opportunities to work and collaborate with leading professionals in the field offering even further enhancement of an already solid education. Specialized areas of study in this program include not only Architecture, but also Urban Planning and Design, and Design studies. These particular studies are designed with an eye on current best practices, always watching for changes and evolutions of the field as they emerge.
The Master’s Programs available at University of Colorado at Denver, are Architecture, Urban Design, Landscape Architecture, and Urban & Regional Planning. A breakdown of these four specialties would show the first, 1) Architecture, as with any textbook definition, consists of the art and science of designing structures; 2) Urban Design specializes in the areas of physical appearance of structures as well as utilization and functionality. Local political, economic and sociology concerns are also covered; 3) Landscape Architecture is for those who are more focused on the natural environments from parks, freeways, and office parks. This field also can be involved in planning for wilderness areas and reclaiming deteriorated landscapes and their futures; 4) Urban and Regional Planning is a more “future-focused” specialty, anticipating future needs of communities.