Jun 20, 2024  
2010-2011 Denver Campus Catalog 
2010-2011 Denver Campus Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Administration/Economics MPA/MA

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The fields of public administration and economics are inextricably linked. Economists provide much of the theory and analytic foundation that administrators use to evaluate and implement policy. Given that the capitol of Colorado is in Denver, there is great need for administrators that fully understand methods of program evaluation and have the theoretical background needed to forecast how individuals and institutions will respond to new proposals. Similarly, good theory and practice must take into account how the proposals will be implemented and results interpreted.  Both administrators and economists need to be engaged in constructive dialogue for either to be fully effective.

Therefore the Department of Economics of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Public Affairs jointly sponsor a dual degree program. This program enables students to simultaneously earn an MA degree in economics with a master of public administration (MPA).    

The dual degree program provides students to opportunity to take the core of both programs and choose electives that suit their career and personal goals best.   Electives in one program are allowed to count as an elective in the other.  The net result is that while both degrees separately require 66 hours, the dual degree program provides a more comprehensive and effective education in 48 hours or 73 percent of the dual degree total.  

Degree Requirements 

Admission into both programs

Students must apply separately to each program, meet the admission requirements of each program and be accepted by each program. If one program accepts a student for the dual degree but the other program does not, then the student will not be accepted for the dual degree. It is possible for students currently admitted to one program to learn about the dual degree and choose to apply after admission to either economics or SPA. 

Other policies 

Minimum Grade for Graduation

Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher across all courses that are applied to the dual degree. Students who fail to maintain a GPA of 3.00 will be placed on probation for a semester, after which they may be dropped from the dual degree program if the GPA is not increased to 3.0 or above. Additionally, any core course in which a student receives a final grade lower than B- cannot be counted toward the total credits required for the dual degree; in such a case, the student must retake the course. 

Capstone Advising

All students are required to complete a capstone paper and obtain the signatures of three graduate faculty.  Every dual degree student, regardless of the capstone course they choose (ECON 6073 or PUAD 5361) must select a committee composed of faculty from both programs. 

Course Credit Transfers from Other Universities

No more than 6 hours may be transferred, and both SPA and economics program directors must approve any transfers.   

Sample Plan of Study for the MPA/MA Economics

Total: 48 semester hours with 21 in economics and 27 in public administration


(33 semester hours)

A grade of B- or better is required in all core courses, with a B average overall. No public administration course may be taken a third time.


(15 semester hours)

If the student takes PUAD 5361, then they are required to take 6 semester hours of economics electives and 9 semester hours of electives from SPA labeled 5000 or above.

If the student takes ECON 6073, then they are required to take 3 semester hours of economics electives and 12 semester hours of electives from SPA labeled 5000 or above.

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