Apr 20, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Service BA/MPA

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The Pathways Bachelor of Arts in Public Service/Master of Public Administration degree allows high-performing students to earn both degrees in an accelerated timeframe, saving students both time and money. Students graduating with the Pathways BAPS/MPA degree are prepared for leadership and management roles in public service, including local, state, and federal governmental agencies and in nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations. Both the BAPS and the MPA degrees are offered fully online, providing students with the flexibility to schedule courses around the reality of family and work demands while also engaging both local and fully online students in public service opportunities in their own communities.  

The BAPS/MPA degree program offered by the School of Public Affairs allows high-performing students to count 12 credit hours towards both the BAPS and the MPA degrees. Eligible students are those who have completed at least 75 credits with a minimum 3.5 GPA in the BAPS major and a 3.0 overall GPA, completed the undergraduate Core Curriculum, and who meet the other requirements listed below.

Admissions Requirements and Process

Interested students should contact their BAPS academic advisor as early as possible to ensure proper planning for the Pathway’s program.

There are two applications. The first application is seeking approval to begin taking MPA level courses as a BAPS student. The second application is seeking full admission to the MPA program

Please note: Acceptance into the BAPS/MPA program does not guarantee acceptance into the MPA program.

Eligibility Requirements

Both current CU Denver students and new transfer students are eligible to apply after meeting the following:

  • Currently enrolled in the School of Public Affairs as a Bachelor of Arts in Public Service major
  • Completed the University of Colorado Denver’s undergraduate core curriculum
  • Completed 75 semester credit hours
  • Completed the following 15 semester credit hours in Public Service:
    • PUAD 1001 - Introduction to Public Service
    • PUAD 2001 - Management for Public Service
    • PUAD 3001 - Financial Management for Public Service
    • PUAD 3002 - Program Design, Evaluation, and Decision-Making
    • PUAD 4001 - Ethics and Public Service
    • Transfer Public Service courses must have been approved and accepted toward the major
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA in Public Service courses

Application Process

Students must apply no later than the semester in which they first earn 20 credits toward the BAPS degree, most likely the second semester of their junior year. For full consideration, students must submit all application materials by Oct. 15 for admission to the following spring semester and by March 15 for admission to the fall semester. The following steps should help in the application process:

  1. Plan ahead when scheduling courses through the junior year. The five required public service courses listed above and all of the student’s core education requirements must be completed by the end of the student’s junior year.
  2. At the beginning of the semester in which the student is applying to the program, the student should approach a School of Public Affairs faculty member about writing a letter of recommendation. The student should also begin working on a personal statement of purpose. The following guidelines should help with writing the statement.
    1. Length: 1 to 2 pages
    2. The statement should describe:
      1. Applicant’s reasons for undertaking graduate study in Public Administration
      2. Applicant’s future career plans
      3. Planned area of concentration, if any, within Public Administration
  3. By Oct 15 of the fall semester or March 15 of the spring semester the student must submit the following items to the undergraduate coordinator:
    1. Personal statement of purpose
    2. One letter of recommendation from a School of Public Affairs faculty member
    3. School of Public Affairs’ BAPS/MPA application form

Admission Criteria

Admission to the BAPS/MPA program is competitive. Applicants will be evaluated on the following:

  1. Grade point average (overall and in public service coursework)
  2. Grade trend (improving, consistent, or declining)
  3. Total number of credit hours completed
  4. Likelihood of success and persistence based on the Statement of Purpose and Reference Letter

Students who are not admitted to the BAPS/MPA program are eligible to reapply after completing an additional 12 semester credit hours. Students can apply and be considered for admission to the BAPS/MPA program a maximum of two times.

BAPS/MPA Program Matriculation

Students must successfully complete a minimum of 3 semester credit hours of graduate public administration course work each semester following admission to the BAPS/MPA program. A maximum of 12 graduate semester credits can be completed as an undergraduate BAPS/MPA student.

Students in the Pathways BA/MPA program may be eligible to complete the MPA level internship only after successfully passing two MPA level courses. The MPA level internship may fulfill both the BAPS and MPA internship requirement. The BAPS level internship will not fulfill the MPA level internship.

Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average for all course work and a 3.5 grade point average for the BAPS major.

The School of Public Affairs reserves the right to rescind a BAPS/MPA student’s admittance to the Pathway’s program if at any point the students’ grade point average falls below the requirements listed above.

Tuition and Fees

Graduate level tuition is more expensive than undergraduate tuition. Students are assessed tuition at the class level.

Second Application

Students will submit the second application, seeking full admission to the MPA program, during the final semester of their undergraduate senior year. The application can be found online. The following are waived for students in the BA/MPA program:

  • GRE or LSAT scores   
  • $50 application fee  
  • Official transcripts   
  • Two additional letters of recommendation are required. The third letter of recommendation will be the letter used as part of the first application.

While submitting the second application, seeking full admission to the MPA program, students should work directly with their Graduate level Student Services Coordinator.

Students in the Pathways BA/MPA program must enroll in the MPA program the semester immediately following completion of their BAPS degree.

General Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the three areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements.

Program Requirements

  1. 141 total semester credit hours successfully completed
  2. 37-38 semester credit hours in the general education core curriculum
  3. 46-48 semester credit hours in general electives
  4. 15 semester hours of undergraduate public service coursework
  5. 45 total semester hours of upper-division course work (3000 and above)
  6. Minimum 3.0 CU cumulative grade point average in undergraduate public service courses
  7. Full acceptance to the Graduate School and the Master of Public Administration program
  8. Minimum 36 semester hours of graduate-level course work (5000 and above)
  9. Minimum of 30 hours of resident credit; 21 out of the last 30 hours in resident course work
  10. Minimum of a B- (3.0 GPA) in each required core MPA course
  11. Minimum of 3.0 CU cumulative grade point average in all graduate level courses
  12. Successful completion of Master of Public Administration capstone or thesis
  13. Fulfillment of all college and major requirements

Degree Confirmation

Students are eligible to receive the BA in Public Service degree once they have successfully completed 120 semester hours and all CU Denver undergraduate degree requirements. The MPA will be conferred once the student has completed all requirements of the Master of Public Administration degree.

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