Apr 20, 2024  
2012-2013 CU Denver Catalog 
2012-2013 CU Denver Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Affairs BA/MPA

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Public Affairs, offer 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 as early as possible to ensure proper planning for the five year degree.

Interested students should contact the MPA Director as early as possible for advising (Dr. Christine Martell, 303-315-2716 or christine.martell@ucdenver.edu).

Students may apply to the program during the semester in which they will successfully complete 90 semster hours.

To apply, students must have a 3.5 or higher GPA in CLAS.

Students who wish to apply should have most of their general education and major requirements completed by the time they have earned 90 semester hours.

Students must complete all the required application materials for the School of Public Affairs:


  • The CU Denver graduate application, parts 1 and 2
  • A declaration of program form
  • A resume highlighting work and volunteer experience, extra-curricular activities and any special skills, achievements and awards
  • Scores from the GRE, GMAT or LSAT (GRE preferred)

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 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 advanced seminar (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.


Return to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences    


Return to the School of Public Affairs 

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs