Skip to main content
Sign In
Diploma covers

Degree Programs

​The CU Denver School of Public Affairs offers multiple degrees and certificates in criminal justice, public administration and public affairs. Bachelor’s and master’s degrees are available to students on campus and online. Evening and weekend classes, executive programs and online courses allow students to study at their own pace.

This makes our degrees accessible to working professionals and full-time students alike. We also offer accelerated programs that allow full-time students to earn a Master of Public Administration degree in as little as 11 months.

Our position in the heart of a diverse and thriving city within a progressive swing state creates unique opportunities for our students to apply their skills to some of the nation’s most pressing issues from education reform, to drug sentencing, to affordable housing and gang violence, our faculty conducts research, fulfills policy advisory roles and creates opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience. At the School of Public Affairs, you won’t have to wait until you graduate to start making a difference. ​

Explore our different degree options in the left-hand menu on this page. The summaries below provide information about what you can do with a degree from one of our programs.​

What can I do with a degree in...​

 Bachelor's or Master's in Criminal Justice

As an academic discipline, Criminology and Criminal Justice explores all aspects of crime and criminal behavior by relying on interdisciplinary study within the fields of sociology, psychology, economics, political science, statistics, anthropology, and criminology, to provide students with a well-rounded liberal arts education. The course work will prepare students and professionals alike for graduate study or law school, and for careers in forensics, social work, victim advocacy, policing at the local, state and federal level, public policy, and much more! The MCJ program allows students the option of declaring program concentrations in Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Gender-Based Violence (formally known as the program on domestic violence), or students can develop an individualized focus by selecting elective courses with faculty advisement.   The program delivery works with any lifestyle and career demands.  Courses meet in a variety of formats.  SPA offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master Degree in Criminal Justice entirely online, on campus, or a combination of campus and online.​1

 Bachelor of Arts in Public Service

The BA in Public Service degree prepares the next generation of leaders and managers to govern, serve and make decisions that promote the best interests of our communities. Course work explores public service in governmental, nonprofit, and nongovernmental organizations, and topics such as financial management, fostering human capital, capacity building, program evaluation, change management, collaboration, network analysis, and leadership. Students can focus on nonprofit management and earn the Certified Nonprofit Professional certification, which provides preferential employment consideration. Emergency management and homeland security are another possible area of focus. The BA in Public Service will open the door to a variety of public service careers, such as leading a nonprofit organization; administering services in a government agency; serving as a program manager; directing domestic or international development efforts; or, coordinating emergency management programs.​​2

 Master of Public Administration

Public administration encompasses administration, policy and management in the public and nonprofit spheres, allowing students with diverse career objectives the opportunity to customize their program of courses to meet their professional needs. Public administrators effect changes for the public good at the local, state & federal levels by enhancing the management of public and nonprofit entities. Students are equipped with essential management skills, including leadership, ethical judgment, organizational management, public finance, research methods, administrative law, public policy and governance, applicable to a variety of professional sectors. SPA offers an MPA with several options for concentrations and program delivery to meet the needs of your career and lifestyle. For more information on degree types and options in public administration and public policy, visit the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration website. ​3

 Ph.D. in Public Affairs

The Ph.D. in Public Affairs at SPA emphasizes development of advanced analytical and research skills but maintains a focus on using theory to address pressing policy and management problems Graduates of SPA's PhD program go on to careers as administrators or faculty in higher education, as researchers or policy analysts for government or business, as consultants, or as high-level practitioners who often are adjunct faculty at colleges or universities. The PhD program will help you master the scholarly theory, concepts and research skills required to teach university students, and provide the expertise necessary to research and analyze complex public and nonprofit sector challenges.​4 | 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

© The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate. All rights reserved.

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. All trademarks are registered property of the University. Used by permission only.