Apr 14, 2024  
2013-2014 CU Denver Catalog 
2013-2014 CU Denver Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Affairs BA/MPA

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The BA/MPA degree program offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Public Affairs provides students the opportunity to complete both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in five years rather than the usual six years. The program combines undergraduate general education and major studies with a specialized curriculum in public affairs and strives to develop intellectual and professional skills in a coordinated manner. The five year BA/MPA program decreases the time and number of semester hours required to earn both degrees by allowing students to count graduate level courses in the School of Public Affairs toward the bachelor’s degree requirements.  The program is designed to give students an opportunity to prepare for professional positions and advancement with federal, state or local governments, nonprofits or private sector firms concerned or involved with public affairs.

Admissions Requirements and Recommendations

Interested students should contact their CLAS advisor and the School of Public  Affairs’ MPA director as early as possible to ensure proper planning for the five year degree.  To qualify, students must have a 3.5 or higher GPA in CLAS.

Students may apply to the program during the semester in which they will successfully complete 90 semester hours, and should have most of their general education and major requirements completed by this time.  Students must complete all the required MPA application materials for the School of Public Affairs.

Program Requirements

Students must fulfill all the requirements for graduation for CLAS:

  • Total of 120 hours (includes hours in public affairs)
  • 30 hours in the core curriculum
  • 30-48 hours to satisfy major requirements
  • Writing proficiency (1 – 7 hours)
  • Mathematics proficiency (0 – 3 hours)
  • Level III foreign language (0 – 13 hours)
  • It is highly recommended that students complete a course in American government, statistics and economics before applying to the MPA program

Students must maintain a 3.5 GPA in CLAS course work.

Students may complete a maximum of 18 semester hours of SPA graduate course work while classified as an undergraduate student.

Students must fulfill all the requirements for graduation from SPA:

  • Total of 36–39 semester hours in public affairs
  • Six core courses (PUAD 5001 – PUAD 5006)
  • Five elective courses at the graduate level (5000 and 6000 level courses)
  • Nine of the 15 elective semester hours must be PUAD courses
  • An internship (3 hours) is required from those who do not have significant work experience in the field
  • Successful completion of the capstone course taken in a semester AFTER all core courses are completed. A thesis option is available. Interested students should contact their SPA faculty advisor.

Students must maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA in public affairs course work.

Program Options

BA/MPA students may choose from any CLAS major.
BA/MPA students may choose to do a general MPA or select a MPA concentration in local government, nonprofit management, environmental policy, emergency management and homeland security or domestic violence. 

Degree Confirmation

Students are eligible to receive a bachelor’s degree once they have successfully completed 120 semester hours and all CLAS requirements. The BA/MPA will be conferred once the student has completed all requirements of the master of public administration degree, including at least 36 hours of graduate level course work.


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