Bachelor of Arts in Public Service

BA

The Bachelor of Arts in Public Service prepares students with the critical thinking and analytical skills to lead government agencies, nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations. It explores public service, management of people and resources, program design and evaluation, collaboration and communication across sectors, and ethical decision making. Students have the option to earn the Certified Nonprofit Professional credential through the nationally recognized Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.

The Program at a Glance

School: School of Public Affairs Campus: CU Denver Classroom: Online and on campus classes Credits required for completion: 45 Maximum transfer credits: 12 Application deadline: Fall: August 1; Spring: December 1; Summer: May 1

The Details

Coursework explores the history and values of public service, while building real-world capacity in areas such as managing people and resources, designing and evaluating programs, collaborating with others and across sectors, making ethical decisions and communicating effectively in diverse environments. Courses are offered in person and online, providing students with the flexibility to schedule courses around the reality of family and work demands, while also engaging both local and fully-online students in public service opportunities in their own communities.

Students who choose to focus on nonprofit management also have the option to earn the nationally recognized Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) designation through the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. As workforce demand increases in the government and nonprofit sectors, students will be ready to apply critical thinking and analytical skills to make a difference in the world.

General requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the areas below, in addition to their individual major program requirements.

Review CU Denver's Undergraduate Academic Policies.

Program requirements

  • The Bachelor's of Arts in Public Service degree requires 45 credit hours of coursework.
  • A maximum of 12 transfer credit hours may be applied to the major.
  • Students must receive a minimum C- grade in each undergraduate course applied to satisfy major degree requirements and must maintain a 2.0 GPA overall in major courses.

Required courses

Students must complete the seven required courses below, for a total of 21 credit hours. All course descriptions can be found in the Undergraduate Academic Catalog.

  • PUAD 1001 - Introduction to Leadership and Public Service (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 2001 - Management for Public Service (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 3001 - Financial Management for Public Service (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 3002 - Program Design, Evaluation, and Decision-Making (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 4001 - Ethics in Public Service (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 4002 - Leading for the Public Good (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 4003 - Effective Communication for Public Service (3 credit hours)

Elective courses

In addition to the required courses, students must complete 24 credit hours of elective courses, 12 of which must be Public Administration courses offered by CU CU Denver School of Public Affairs, and 12 of which may be taken from other departments with academic advisor approval. All Public Administration course descriptions can be found in the Undergraduate Academic Catalog.

Public Administration elective courses

  • PUAD 3003 - Introduction to Nonprofit Organizations (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 3004 - Managing Nonprofit Organizations (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 3005 - Collaboration Across Sectors (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 4004 - Building Public and Financial Support for Nonprofit Organizations (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 4006 - Organizational Development (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 4007 - Nonprofit HR: Governance, Staff, Volunteer Management (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 4008 - Current Issues in Public Sector Organizations (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 4009 - Human Service Organizations (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 4010 - Public Service in Emergency Management and Homeland Security (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 4020 - Social Entrepreneurship (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 4939* - Public Service Internship (3-6 credit hours)

*The internship course, PUAD 4939, is required as one of the electives for the major unless officially waived by the BAPS Program Director, in which case a regular elective may substitute. See CU Denver School of Public Affairs Graduation Requirements for more information.

Please consult your advisor for any other PUAD course you are considering as an elective.

Other elective courses

All courses taken from another department that you would like to have counted as an elective must be approved by your advisor. Please contact your advisor directly to discuss any class you may be considering for elective credit that is not listed above.

Areas of Concentration

Admissions Requirements

View the admissions requirements for the School of Public Affairs.