Mar 02, 2024  
2013-2014 CU Denver Catalog 
2013-2014 CU Denver Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Public Affairs

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 Dean, Denver:
Jeanne Paradeis


Lawrence Street Center, Fifth Floor
1380 Lawrence Street
Telephone: 303-315-2228
Fax: 303-315-2229

Mailing Address
School of Public Affairs
Campus Box 142
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217


Current Student Inquiries  

General Inquiries: 303-315-2228

Graduate Students Last Name A–L:

Dawn Savage, Student Services Coordinator


Graduate Students Last Name M–Z:

Antoinette Sandoval, Student Services Coordinator


Undergraduate Students

Laura Valcore, BACJ Academic Advisor/Program Coordinator


Prospective Student Inquiries

Brendan Hardy, Director of Student Recruitment and Career Services  


Laura Valcore, BACJ Academic Advisor/Program Coordinator



Application Deadlines

Undergraduate Deadlines
For fall semester—July 22
For spring semester–December 1
For summer semester—May 3

Masters Program Deadlines

Preferred Deadline Final Deadline
Fall March 15 August 1
Spring October 15 December 1
Summer March 15 May 1


PhD Program Deadlines

Fall admission only – February 1

Please note:  deadlines for international students may vary.  Check with the Office of International Admissions for more information.


About the School of Public Affairs

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 online. The school offers four degrees: the bachelor of arts in criminal justice (BACJ), 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. SPA offers an accelerated MPA option as well as a variety of concentrations and certificates for students with diverse interests.  Dual degrees are available in law, economics, public health, and urban and regional planning. 

The School of Public Affairs is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.

The Mission of the School of Public Affairs

The School of Public Affairs prepares the next generation of leaders in public service and criminal justice professions to solve society’s most pressing problems.  Working together, faculty, staff and students also conduct research that improves the quality of life and informs policy making and management in the public and nonprofit sectors.

SPA Students

The School of Public Affairs 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, policy analysts and advocates, nonprofit and for-profit executives, school superintendents, university presidents and faculty.

A Commitment to Community, to Public Service and to Problem Solving

The School of Public Affairs seeks students committed to public service. We prepare those students through a rigorous course of study that combines scholarship and theory while building practical analytical, management and policy making skills. As a school of public affairs, we believe we have a responsibility to engage with our community and serve the public good.  SPA students have a wide variety of ways to get involved with and learn from the community, including working on community-centered research projects with faculty, learning from distinguished local practitioners in classes, serving in internships in government and nonprofit offices, working with our applied research centers, and participating in the numerous public affairs-related events SPA holds every semester.

The Buechner Institute for Governance

The Buechner Institute for Governance (BIG) was created in 2010 to strengthen the longstanding bond between the School of Public Affairs and our community.  The Institute is named for 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.  Staff and affiliated faculty are dedicated to serving the Colorado community through research, evaluation, and policy analysis.  BIG staff also provide assistance to the public and nonprofit sectors by facilitating community discussions and decision-making processes, and helping organizations improve through strategic planning and organizational evaluation and development.  The Buechner Institute improves the quality of public and nonprofit leadership 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, and Colorado’s only accredited Certified Public Manager program.  Finally, the Buechner Institute sponsors 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 of such a forum, as are the monthly Buechner Breakfasts focusing on timely issues of public importance. 

The Buechner Institute is home to four centers that provide information and services in specialized topic areas. These include the Center for Education Policy Analysis, the Center on Reinventing Public Education-Denver, the Center for Public/Private Sector Cooperation, and the Center for Local Government Research and  Training.

Other projects at SPA devoted to bridging the gap between academia and the community include the Center on Domestic Violence and The Wirth Chair in Sustainable Development.

Departments and Programs




Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Arts/Master of Criminal Justice

Bachelor of Arts/Master of Public Administration


Non Degree

Master of Criminal Justice

Master of Public Administration

Master of Public Administration/Dual Degree

Doctor of Philosophy