Historic home on 7th Avenue

A Certificate in Classical Studies Enhances Professional Readiness

August 29, 2023

In collaboration with the Institute for Classical Architecture and Arts (ICAA), the College of Architecture and Planning offers a graduate certificate in classical studies. Upon completion of a sequence of elective courses founded on the Beaux Arts paradigm, students qualify for a Classical Studies Certificate and may apply for ICCA’s Certificate of Classical Design. Classical studies complement modernist studies, providing students with an overall set of design skills to face the diverse design challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

Greek Amphitheater at Civic Center Park, Denver, CO
Greek Amphitheater at Civic Center Park, Denver, CO

An Evolving Tradition

Throughout history and around the world, classical architecture has been integrated with urban city planning, setting buildings within a grid system of streets, squares, and piazzas.  “Classical and traditional design is an accumulated series of geometric innovations that societies have found to be pleasurable for thousands of years,” explains Director of Classical Studies Donald Ruggles. In recent years, the importance of pedestrian-friendly streets and public spaces has been recognized as essential for civic life.

A Remarkable Time to Study Classical Design

“Classical design endures because the pleasure response leads to improved health and well-being,” Ruggles expounds. “This is a remarkable time to be a student of architecture as the convergence of science and design is heralding a new model for understanding how the built environment affects our health and well-being.”

Donald H. Ruggles, Director

Donald Ruggles

Donald H. Ruggles, AIA, NCARB, ICAA, ANFA is CEO Emeritus of Ruggles Mabe Studio, a boutique residential architecture and interior design firm based in Denver, Colorado. Founded in 1970, the firm is dedicated to the idea that beauty can improve the lives of its clients. Their award-winning projects have been featured in publications world-wide.  Ruggles lectures extensively on the importance of connecting architectural design with our health and well-being, wrote the book Beauty, Neuroscience & Architecture (2017), executive produced the full-length documentary movie Built Beautiful (2020), and is currently working on two new books to be issued in 2024. He serves on the  Advisory Board for the College of Architecture at Planning at the University of Colorado at Denver, the Board of Directors for the Human Architecture & Planning Institute (Hapi), the Advisory Board of the Building Beauty Institute in Sorrento, Italy, and is Board Emeritus for the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art Rocky Mountain Chapter.