Colorado Certified Public Manager Program


The Colorado Certified Public Manager® (CPM) program is designed to offer public sector professionals an opportunity to develop and improve their management and leadership skills, while earning a nationally-recognized, professional certificate. Courses are taught by academic and practice-focused faculty to bring theory and practice together with the existing experience of attendees. Attendees come from all levels and areas of government, which offers a unique classroom experience wherein students connect with and learn from the experiences and perspectives of other professionals. The program culminates in a student-developed capstone project.

The Program at a Glance

School: School of Public Affairs Campus: CU Denver Classroom: On campus Credits required for completion: 0 Maximum transfer credits: Participants who have earned a Master of Public Administration degree from a NASPAA-accredited program within the past five years can receive a waiver for up to four individual course days. Waiver applications are considered on a case-by-case basis… Maximum credits per year: N/A Application deadline: Rolling

The Details

CU Denver School of Public Affairs offers Colorado's only Certified Public Manager® (CPM) program which confers the national Certified Public Manager® certificate. The courses in the CPM curriculum include leadership, teamwork, human resources, administrative law, finance and budgeting, ethics, public engagement, strategic planning and management, emergency and disaster management, and innovation.

Students in the full certificate program complete a capstone project to incorporate and utilize the coursework in a real-life project within their agency. Courses are provided on-campus, in CU Denver, in a two-day format (Friday - Saturday) every other month. The program involves a total of 300 hours, including approximately 80 hours on a capstone project. Each course requires some pre-reading and pre-session homework as well as post-session homework.

CPM is well suited for mid-level managers in all areas of government, high-level managers seeking a broader perspective, professionals transitioning to the public sector and aspiring government managers.

The program fee for the entire certificate is $3,300 which is typically paid on a course-by-course basis, at $500 per course plus $300 for the capstone project. Payment plans are available. Individual courses are $300 each for those not seeking the full certificate.

On occasion, the School of Public Affairs has offered the CPM program in a cohort model outside of CU Denver (recently in Durango and Vail/Glenwood Springs). For more information about bringing a cohort to your area, contact

Admissions Requirements

The Colorado Certified Public Manager Program is designed for Colorado residents who are already employed in the public or nonprofit sectors. Begin your application.


The Rocky Mountain Program is a once in a lifetime experience that lasts a lifetime. As a manager in the public sector I think it’s very important to send my staff through this program along with upper-level management.
- Greg Winkler, County Administrator
The CPM program delivers high-quality management information in a well-packaged format suitable for time-stressed government executive officers. The instructors are superbly qualified practicing managers who communicate well with those in the trenches. The class content, combined with excellent interaction among class members, does a great job of filling in the knowledge gaps that practicing managers inevitably realize they sorely need. I strongly recommend the CPM program for practicing public-sector managers.
- Daniel Hyatt, City Manager, City of Rocky Ford
I have enjoyed being part of the CPM program. The instructors are fantastic! The program provides flexibility, learning via online webinar, or in the classroom. The program is important to me as I continue to improve my knowledge and enhance my career.
- Lori Goodwin, Human Resource Manager, Garfield County