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Master of Public Policy

Program Overview

The Master of Public Policy prepares students to design, advocate for, and evaluate public policy, increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of public policies from inside or outside of government. Students gain understanding of public policy design and analysis techniques, and the role of politics and power in influencing the making and implementation of public policy.


General requirements

Review CU Denver's Graduate Academic Policies.

Program requirements

  • The Master of Public Policy degree requires 36 credit hours of coursework. Students who have not had at least one year of professional work experience in the public or nonprofit sectors must also complete an internship through an additional 3-credit-hour course, bringing their total credit-hour requirement to 39. Students choosing a 6-credit thesis option will be required to complete 39 to 42 credits, depending on whether they are required to complete the 3-credit internship.
  • A maximum of 9 transfer credit hours may be applied to the degree requirements.
  • No more than 6 credit hours of independent study can be applied toward the degree.
  • Students at the University are expected to maintain progress in their degree program, as defined by being in "good academic standing." Good academic standing requires minimally a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on all University of Colorado course work.

Required courses

Students must complete the seven required courses below, for a total of 21 credit hours. See which courses are being offered next semester. All course descriptions can be found in the Graduate Academic Catalog.

  • PUAD 5003 – Research and Analytic Methods (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 5004 – Economics and Public Finance (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 5005 – The Policy Process and Democracy (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 5310 – Principles of Policy Design (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 5320 – Public Policy Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 5380 – Public Participation, Political Equity, and Government (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 5750 – Policy Workshop Seminar (3 credit hours) (Each seminar is 1 credit hour, and students take three seminar courses on different topics for a total of 3 credit hours.)

Elective courses

In addition to the required courses, students must complete 12 credit hours of elective courses. All course descriptions can be found in the Graduate Academic Catalog.

Internship

Students who have limited experience (generally defined as less than one year of experience) in public, nonprofit or relevant private-sector service must enroll in PUAD 6910 - Public Administration Internship. The decision to require PUAD 6910 for a particular student is made by the faculty admissions committee or the student's faculty advisor upon the student's acceptance to the MPP program. A minimum of 300 hours of supervised work and study is required to earn 3 semester hours of credit. This requirement raises the total semester hours needed to earn the MPP degree to 39.

Capstone option

All MPP students must complete the capstone course during the last semester of their degree program. All core classes must be completed before taking the capstone.

  • PUAD 5361 - Capstone Seminar (3 credit hours)

Thesis option

The thesis option is available in lieu of the PUAD 5361 - Capstone Seminar for MPP students who have an interest in pursuing a topic in-depth or who are planning to pursue a career in research or academia. Students must receive approval from their faculty advisor or the MPP director to pursue the thesis option.

  • PUAD 6950 - Master's Thesis (taken twice for a total of 6 credit hours)
Program Description


General requirements

Review CU Denver's Graduate Academic Policies.

Program requirements

  • The Master of Public Policy degree requires 36 credit hours of coursework. Students who have not had at least one year of professional work experience in the public or nonprofit sectors must also complete an internship through an additional 3-credit-hour course, bringing their total credit-hour requirement to 39. Students choosing a 6-credit thesis option will be required to complete 39 to 42 credits, depending on whether they are required to complete the 3-credit internship.
  • A maximum of 9 transfer credit hours may be applied to the degree requirements.
  • No more than 6 credit hours of independent study can be applied toward the degree.
  • Students at the University are expected to maintain progress in their degree program, as defined by being in "good academic standing." Good academic standing requires minimally a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on all University of Colorado course work.

Required courses

Students must complete the seven required courses below, for a total of 21 credit hours. See which courses are being offered next semester. All course descriptions can be found in the Graduate Academic Catalog.

  • PUAD 5003 – Research and Analytic Methods (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 5004 – Economics and Public Finance (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 5005 – The Policy Process and Democracy (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 5310 – Principles of Policy Design (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 5320 – Public Policy Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 5380 – Public Participation, Political Equity, and Government (3 credit hours)
  • PUAD 5750 – Policy Workshop Seminar (3 credit hours) (Each seminar is 1 credit hour, and students take three seminar courses on different topics for a total of 3 credit hours.)

Elective courses

In addition to the required courses, students must complete 12 credit hours of elective courses. All course descriptions can be found in the Graduate Academic Catalog.

Internship

Students who have limited experience (generally defined as less than one year of experience) in public, nonprofit or relevant private-sector service must enroll in PUAD 6910 - Public Administration Internship. The decision to require PUAD 6910 for a particular student is made by the faculty admissions committee or the student's faculty advisor upon the student's acceptance to the MPP program. A minimum of 300 hours of supervised work and study is required to earn 3 semester hours of credit. This requirement raises the total semester hours needed to earn the MPP degree to 39.

Capstone option

All MPP students must complete the capstone course during the last semester of their degree program. All core classes must be completed before taking the capstone.

  • PUAD 5361 - Capstone Seminar (3 credit hours)

Thesis option

The thesis option is available in lieu of the PUAD 5361 - Capstone Seminar for MPP students who have an interest in pursuing a topic in-depth or who are planning to pursue a career in research or academia. Students must receive approval from their faculty advisor or the MPP director to pursue the thesis option.

  • PUAD 6950 - Master's Thesis (taken twice for a total of 6 credit hours)

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