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Required Courses in Local Government

To complete the concentration a student must complete at least two of the following four courses. In addition a student must take three more electives related to local government. These electives can include another one of the “required” courses and it can include up to two courses from outside of SPA (e.g., a class in GIS from the Planning Department or the Geography Department).


PUAD 5503: Governmental Budgeting – This course focuses on theories and practices of government budgeting, including cycles, formats, political considerations, costs and analytical tasks. It covers both operating and capital budgets, plus fiscal management issues.


PUAD 5625: Local Government Management - The variety of local governments and the range of services that they deliver demand a unique array of managerial skills and substantive knowledge. This course introduces students to these complexities and develops subject matter expertise in federalism and intergovernmental relations, the municipal political structure, planning and economic development, analytical tools, public service delivery, managerial innovation, finance and budgeting, and human resources management.


PUAD 5626: Local Government Politics and Policy - As a policy analyst or manager, one is often taught that policy should be developed and implemented on the basis of objective criteria that identify solutions that are efficient, effective, equitable, and accountable. In practice, policies are formulated and carried out in politically charged arenas where various interest groups maneuver to maximize their advantage. The objective of this course is to help students learn to think and act more strategically about policy within a political context and to provide students with some tools to assist in this kind of thinking.


PUAD 5628: Urban Social Problems - Central cities, along with older inner-ring suburbs, are caught in a complex web of social problems ranging from homelessness and swelling indigent health care rolls, to growing crime and delinquency. This course is designed for practitioners and policy analysts who are interested in addressing urban social problems. The objective is to help you in conceptualizing the nature of these problems and in thinking in a more systematic and strategic way--from a public policy and management perspective--about how to address these challenges.


Sample of Electives in SPA

PUAD 5220 - Human Resource Management in Public Service

PUAD 5250 - Intergovernmental Management    

PUAD 5410 – Administrative Law                                                          

PUAD 5440 - Negotiation and Conflict Resolution 

PUAD 5460 – Political Advocacy                                                          

PUAD 5502 - Public Financial Management and Policy        

PUAD 5634 – Theories of Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Management


Sample of Electives Outside of SPA

URLP 6652 – Growth Management

URLP 6670 – Urban Economic development

URPL 6676 – Urban Housing                   


Students may complete more than one concentration, but they must have approval of courses from the directors of each concentration being attempted. Students with a strong interest in city planning combined with public administration may wish to consider the dual degree program consisting of a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) and the MPA.


For more information, contact:

Dr. Allan Wallis, Local Government Concentration Director

& Associate Professor

University of Colorado Denver

School of Public Affairs

Phone: (303) 315-2829

Fax: (303) 315 - 2229

E-mail: | Physical Address: 1380 Lawrence St., Ste. 500  Denver, CO  80204 | Mailing Address: University of Colorado Denver, SPA, Campus Box 142, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364 | ph: 303.315.2228 | fax: 303.315.2229 | SPA Website Feedback

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