May 27, 2024  
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog 
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Public Affairs

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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

Prospective Student Inquiries

Brendan Hardy, Director of Student Recruitment and Career Services  

Application Deadlines

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.

The School of Public Affairs - Lead. Solve. Change.

The mission of the School of Public Affairs is to prepare 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.

Graduates of the School of Public Affairs (SPA) are prepared to lead the field, solve pressing social issues and change communities for the better. Our graduates include legislators, policy analysts and advocates, state agency directors, police chiefs, city and county managers, nonprofit leaders, and university faculty and administrators.

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.

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 and our state. SPA classrooms promote interaction among students, and the variety of backgrounds – including domestic, international, pre-career and mid-career students – enriches learning enormously.

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, named for former University of Colorado president John Buechner, was created to strengthen the longstanding bond between the School of Public Affairs and our community.  Staff and affiliated faculty are dedicated to serving the Colorado community through research, evaluation, policy analysis, leadership development programs, and specialized workforce training.  Leadership and workforce training programs include the Denver Community Leadership Forum, the Rocky Mountain Leadership Program, and Colorado’s only accredited Certified Public Manager program. 

The Buechner Institute’s specialized research programs include the Center for Education Policy Analysis, the Center on Reinventing Public Education-Denver, the Criminology and Criminal Justice Research Initiative, 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, the Wirth Chair in Sustainable Development, and HealthNewsColorado, an online health policy journalism site.

Complete Course list for the School of Public Affairs

Click here  to see a complete list of courses offered by the School of Public Affairs.

Departments and Programs



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