Dual Master of Public Administration - Master of Arts in Applied Geography and Geospatial Sciences

School of Public Affairs


Degree: MA MPA

Classroom Type: Online and on campus classes

The dual-degree offers students interested in working in the government or nonprofit sectors an opportunity to combine management and leadership training with skills in geospatial sciences, including geographic information systems, remote sensing, computer cartography, and spatial statistics.

Application deadlines

Fall: August 1; Spring: December 1; Summer: May 1

Program Details

Interest Categories: Public Administration & Policy Science & Technology Social & Behavioral Sciences

Campus: CU Denver

This dual-degree may be particularly appealing for students interested in working in areas such as environmental management, disasters and hazards mitigation and emergency management, urban affairs, and public health. The structure of the degree allows students to complete both programs in less time and for less money.

General requirements

Review CU Denver's Graduate Academic Policies.

Program requirements

  • The dual degree program requires 57 credit hours of graduate coursework.
  • A maximum of 6 transfer credit hours may be applied to the degree requirements.
  • Students at the University are expected to maintain progress in their degree program, as defined by being in "good academic standing." Good academic standing requires minimally a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on all University of Colorado course work.

Required courses

Students must complete the 9 required courses below, for a total of 27 credit hours. All course descriptions can be found in the Graduate Academic Catalog.

  • GEOG 5050: Applied Spatial Statistics (3 credit hours)
  • GEOG 6300: Foundations Seminar in Human-Environmental Interaction (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 5001: Introduction to Public Administration & Public Service (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 5002: Organizational Management & Behavior (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 5003: Research & Analytic Methods (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 5004: Economics & Public Finance -OR- PUAD 5503 - Public Budgeting & Finance (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 5005: The Policy Process & Democracy (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 5006: Leadership & Professional Ethics (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 5008: Evidence-Based Decision-Making (3 credit hours)

Elective courses

In addition to the required courses, students must complete 4 Geospatial Science and Methods elective courses from the list below, for a total of 12 credits. All course descriptions can be found in the Graduate Academic Catalog.

  • CSCI 5559: Database Systems (3 credit hours)
  • CVEN 5382: GIS Spatial Database Development (3 credit hours)
  • CVEN 5383: GIS Analysis – Theory & Practice (3 credit hours)
  • CVEN 5385: GIS Relational Database Systems (3 credit hours)
  • ENVS 6200: Risk Assessment (3 credit hours)
  • ENVS 6220: Toxicology (3 credit hours)
  • ENVS 6230: Environmental Epidemiology (3 credit hours)
  • GEOG 5060: Remote Sensing I – Introduction to Environmental Remote Sensing (3 credit hours)
  • GEOG 5070: Remote Sensing II – Advanced Remote Sensing (3 credit hours)
  • GEOG 5081: Cartography & Computer Mapping (3 credit hours)
  • GEOG 5085: GIS Applications for the Urban Environment (3 credit hours)
  • GEOG 5090: Environmental Modeling with Geographic Information Systems (3 credit hours)
  • GEOG 5091: Free & Open Source Software for Geospatial Applications (3 credit hours)
  • GEOG 5092: GIS Programming & Automation (3 credit hours)
  • GEOG 5095: Deploying GIS Functionality on the Web (3 credit hours)
  • GEOG 5235: GIS Applications in the Health Sciences (3 credit hours)

Additionally, students must take three Geography elective courses for a total of 9 credit, including at least one graduate-level Human Geography elective and at least one graduate-level Physical Geography elective, plus 2 graduate-level Public Administration electives for a total of 6 credits.


All students must take PUAD 6910 - Internship (3 hours), unless this requirement is waived by the program director because the student has more than one year of professional work experience in government or nonprofit organizations.


All students must take either PUAD 5361 - Capstone Seminar -OR- GEOG 6800 - Community-Based Research Studio (3 hours).

All course descriptions can be found in the Graduate Academic Catalog.

Recommended Completion Time:3 Years

Max Credits Per Year:In most cases, students wishing to take more than 18 credit hours per semester (12 in the summer session) must have the overload approved by the dean.

Required Credits for Completion:57 Credits

Admission Requirements

View the admissions requirements for the School of Public Affairs.

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