Apr 15, 2024  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Public Affairs

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Dean: Paul Teske

Associate Dean: Callie Rennison

Associate Dean: Kelly Hupfeld        

Assistant Dean: Kathy Kilpatrick


Lawrence Street Center, 5th Floor
1380 Lawrence Street
Telephone: 303-315-2228
Fax: 303-315-2229
E-mail: spa@ucdenver.edu
Website:  www.spa.ucdenver.edu

Mailing Address:
University of Colorado Denver
School of Public Affairs
Campus Box 142
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

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

International Graduate Students Last Name A-Z:

Scott Steinbrecher, Coordinator of International Student Programs

Prospective Student Inquiries

Brendan Hardy, Director of Student Recruitment and Career Services  

Application Deadlines

Masters Program Deadlines

Preferred Deadline

Fall - March 1
Spring - October 15
Summer - March 1

Final Deadline

Fall - August 1
Spring - December 1
Summer - 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 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. All degrees except the PhD are offered online as well as in person.  The MPA program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, and is ranked #29 by U.S. News and World Report.  The online MCJ program is ranked #9 by U.S. News and World Report, and 5th among all programs in public universities.

Faculty at the School of Public Affairs are known for their rigorous scholarship and their dedication to public affairs, and regularly win awards for research and teaching.  Our online classes are taught by the same faculty who teach in our classrooms - same content, same instructors, same high quality.

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, the Research Program on Collaborative Governance, 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