Clasroom Type: Online and on campus classes
The MPA program is for students interested in public service leadership positions and careers with public and nonprofit agencies and organizations. The program serves students new to public service, as well as those already in the field who are interested in furthering their careers.)
Interest Categories: Criminology & Law Public Administration & Policy
Campus: CU Denver
Areas of Concentration: Disasters, Hazards and Emergency Management Education Policy Emergency Management and Homeland Security Environmental Policy and Management Gender-Based Violence Local Government Nonprofit Management Public Policy Analysis
Traditional MPA program
The MPA program is offered in a traditional format, where students can choose to take their courses in person, online or both.
Accelerated MPA cohort
The accelerated MPA (AMPA) is a fast-paced, full-time option that brings academically superior students together with a dedicated research and teaching faculty in the midst of the vibrant downtown CU Denver environment. The accelerated option enables students to focus their energies in a concentrated program of study and earn a nationally accredited, 36-hour MPA in 12 months. (It is preferred that applicants have some knowledge of economics, statistics and political science.) Students are admitted to the program in cohorts of approximately 20 participants to foster a community of scholar-practitioners. Students in the AMPA program are not able to choose a concentration due to the cohort nature of the program and sequencing of classes; they can, however, pursue un-transcripted specializations. A new cohort starts each August, and the accelerated option is priced at a flat fee - regardless of in-state or out-of-state student status - providing out-of-state students with substantial savings.
Executive MPA program
The executive MPA option is targeted to senior-level professionals in the nonprofit and public sectors. The Executive MPA option requires 30 semester hours of credit. Professional experience counts for two courses, leaving 10 courses to complete, as opposed to the 12 courses of the Accelerated or Traditional MPA options. Refer to the Graduate Academic Catalog for Executive MPA requirements.
Review CU Denver's Graduate Academic Policies.
With the exception of those in the executive MPA program, students must complete the seven required courses below, for a total of 21 credit hours. All course descriptions can be found in the Graduate Academic Catalog.
In addition to the required courses, students must complete 12 credit hours of elective courses. All course descriptions can be found in the Graduate Academic Catalog.
Students who have limited experience (generally defined as less than one year of experience) in public, nonprofit or relevant private-sector service must enroll in PUAD 6910 - Public Administration Internship. The decision to require PUAD 6910 for a particular student is made by the faculty admissions committee or the student's faculty advisor upon the student's acceptance to the MPA program. A minimum of 300 hours of supervised work and study is required to earn 3 semester hours of credit. This requirement raises the total semester hours needed to earn the MPA degree to 39.
With the exception of those pursuing the thesis option, all MPA students must complete the capstone course during the last semester of their degree program. All core classes must be completed before taking the capstone.
The thesis option is available in lieu of the PUAD 5361 - Capstone Seminar for MPA students who have an interest in pursuing a topic in-depth or who are planning to pursue a career in research or academia. Students must receive approval from their faculty advisor or the MPA director to pursue the thesis option.
Recommended Completion Time:2 Years
Max Transfer Credits:9
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:36 Credits
View the admissions requirements for the School of Public Affairs.
Fall: August 1; Spring: December 1; Summer: May 1
The Master of Public Administration Program at the School of Public Affairs advances public service in Colorado and beyond through quality education, collaborative research, and strong relationships with the professional community. To advance our "Lead. Solve. Change." philosophy, we:
CU Denver School of Public Affairs' Master of Public Administration program is accredited by NASPAA, the global standard in public service education. As part of our NASPAA accreditation, we make the following information available to prospective and current students and to members of the public:
View the guide below for comparisons on time to degree, cost and more.
Assistant Professor, Clinical Teaching Track; Program Director, Master of Public Administration; Co-Director, Center on Network Science