Departments and Programs
Complete course list for the School of Public Affairs
Dean: Paul Teske
Associate Dean: Kelly Hupfeld
Associate Dean, Colorado Springs: Teresa Schwartz
Assistant Deans, Denver:
Lawrence Street Center, Fifth Floor
1380 Lawrence Street
School of Public Affairs
Campus Box 142
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217
Current Student Inquiries
Graduate Students Last Name A–K:
Graduate Students Last Name L–Z:
Prospective Student Inquiries - PhD, MPA, and MCJ
Prospective Student Inquiries - BACJ
Fall admission only—Feb. 1
Graduates of the School of Public Affairs (SPA) are prepared to lead the field, solve pressing social issues and change communities for the better. Nationally ranked for excellence, SPA offers programs in multiple locations: on the CU Denver campus, at the CU Colorado Springs campus, on the Western Slope (Grand Junction) and through the nation’s oldest online MPA and brand new online MCJ. The school offers four degrees: the bachelor of arts in criminal justice, the master of public administration (MPA), the master of criminal justice (MCJ) and the PhD in public affairs. Qualified senior managers may elect to participate in the school’s executive MPA option, an innovative partnership between the school and the federal management development centers. SPA offers an accelerated MPA option as well as a variety of concentrations and dual degrees in law, economics and urban and regional planning for students with diverse interests.
The School of Public Affairs (SPA) attracts a dynamic mix of students, from undergraduates just beginning their public service careers to well-seasoned professionals already immersed in public or nonprofit management and policy. Students encompass a range of age and experience, and they represent the diversity of the Denver metropolitan area. SPA classrooms promote interaction among students, and the variety of backgrounds including domestic, international, pre-career and mid-career students enriches learning enormously.
Our graduates are leaders. They include state legislators and department heads, city managers and mayors, police chiefs and correctional administrators, nonprofit and for-profit executives, school superintendents, university presidents and faculty.
The School of Public Affairs is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration’s (NASPAA) Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation.
The Mission of SPA
The School of Public Affairs will improve the quality of public life in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West.
To achieve this mission, SPA has set the following objectives:
- build educational and research excellence, establishing the School of Public Affairs as the best school of public affairs in the Rocky Mountain West and a top-ranked national school
- focus on solving pressing public problems, both by helping students to build strong problem-solving skills and by committing the entire SPA community to participation in problem-solving efforts
- strengthen SPA’s contribution to successful student career development
- serve all of Colorado, the Mountain West and the global community
A Commitment to Community, to Public Service and to Problem Solving
The School of Public Affairs seeks students committed to public service. It prepares those students through a rigorous course of study that combines scholarship and theory while building practical analytical, management and policy making skills. SPA faculty frequently engage students in community-centered research projects, and the school offers a variety of opportunities for students to engage in the work of its centers or to participate in events featuring visiting experts.
The Buechner Institute for Governance
The Buechner Institute for Governance (BIG) was created to strengthen the longstanding bond between the School of Public Affairs and our community. Formed in 2010, the institute consolidates and builds upon several existing research centers and leadership programs at the School of Public Affairs. It honors Dr. John Buechner, a former University of Colorado president, local government scholar, faculty member in the School of Public Affairs, state legislator and holder of several local elected offices. BIG research staff and faculty routinely conduct program evaluations and policy assessments. They also provide professional development and leadership training through specialized programs to enhance knowledge, teach skills and build lasting networks. Among those leadership programs are the Denver Community Leadership Forum, the Rocky Mountain Leadership Program, professional training for the Colorado Municipal Clerks Association, and an accredited Certified Public Manager program. BIG faculty and staff provide technical assistance services by assisting with strategic planning, facilitating discussions, organizational evaluations and management improvement services. Finally, the Buechner Institute for Governance provides regular forums for civic discourse both in person and through printed material. Solutions, an online journalism initiative and a leading source for health policy information in Colorado, is one example for such forums.
- Institute for Policy Research and Implementation
- Center on Domestic Violence
- Wirth Chair in Environmental and Community Development Policy
- Center for Education Policy Analysis
- Center for Public/Private Sector Cooperation
- Center for the Improvement of Public Management
- Center on Reinventing Public Education—Denver
Departments and Programs
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts/Master of Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Arts/Master of Public Administration
Master of Criminal Justice
Master of Public Administration
Master of Public Administration/Dual Degree
Doctor of Philosophy