Apr 13, 2024  
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog 
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

New Directions, Political Science MA

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►  Graduate School Rules  apply to this program.

Director:  Kathryn Cheever
Telephone: 303-556-5950
E-mail: kathryn.cheever@ucdenver.edu

An alternative track of the political science MA program (Plan II) is offered off-campus through the Center for New Directions in Politics and Public Policy at Chaparral in Douglas County and on the Fort Lewis College campus in Durango. This politics and public policy track presents courses in an intensive weekend format. The emphasis on politics and the policy-making process relates to the ability of leaders to mobilize resources and achieve constituent goals consistent with the public interest. In this context, politics entails communication, and effective politics requires communication. In short, this emphasis on political awareness seeks to help participants utilize the political process as the “art of making what appears to be impossible, possible.”

Degree Requirements

Students must complete a total of 30 graduate credit hours to complete the MA degree. 

Total: 15 Hours


In addition to the required core courses, students must take 15 credit hours of political science electives.

[Note: Previously earned graduate credit may be submitted for approval to satisfy up to nine hours of the supportive elective requirement. The elective courses offered may change from time to time based on needs, interests and other factors.]

Below are examples of electives taken by New Directions students:

Total: 15 Hours

Project Requirement

All students are required to complete a 3-credit master’s project under the direction of a faculty advisor. Registration is done using the Special Processing form, rather than online.

Total: 3 Hours

Major Total: 33 Hours

Common Course Outcomes

In addition to clearly stated subject outcomes, all courses will have a common set of outcomes related to the following areas which are considered critical in developing leadership capacities necessary to address the changing public priorities for the 21st century:

  •     Creativity and innovation
  •     Changing public priorities
  •     Political and social diversity
  •     Ethical accountability
  •     Deductive and inductive reasoning
  •     Applied use of appropriate technology
  •     Strategic planning and decision making
  •     Resolution of conflicts and public consent building
  •     Individual, organizational and cultural communication effectiveness


All of the courses for the Denver-based programs are currently offered at the University Center at Chaparral, 20 miles south of downtown Denver. The University Center is located next to the Chaparral High School, just north of Lincoln Avenue at Chambers Road in Douglas County (15653 Brookstone Drive).

Courses for the Durango-based program are currently offered on the campus of Fort Lewis College

Course Format

All courses are offered in a weekend format that consists of two or three weekend sessions for a given course spread out over a two-month period. Three-weekend classes are held from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on both Saturday and Sunday of each weekend session. Two-weekend classes meet from 5:00 until 9:00 p.m. on Friday evening and from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. In most cases, a student will complete all of the two or three weekend sessions of one course before starting the weekend sessions for the next course. There is typically a 2-3 week break between semesters.

Certificate Program

The Center for New Directions MA program offers a certificate program as well, allowing students to focus their studies in a particular direction and to note that particular focus on their transcript.  Students do not have to be seeking a full Master’s degree to earn a certificate of completion through the certificate program.

For more information on the graduate certificate in Community Leadership, click here .

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