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Waterloo MPS
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Western LGP
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Carleton Paterson
Columbia SIPA
Toronto Munk
NYU Wagner MPA with Int Spec'n
Rutgers (Bloustein)


MPP and MPA Programs

University of Colorado Denver, School of Public Affairs (SPA) - MPA

Program Comparison Highlights

Institutional Structure: TO COME

Curriculum Design: TO COME

Professional Program Features: TO COME

Program Summary


University: University of Colorado Denver

Location: Denver, Colorado

Degree: Master of Public Administration in five variations: Traditional MPA (TMPA), Accelerated MPA (AMPA), Executive MPA (EMPA), Online MPA, Western Slope MPA (for those living in Colorado’s Western slope).

Marketing Approach: "The Master of Public Administration Program at the School of Public Affairs advances public service in Colorado and beyond through quality education, collaborative research, and strong relationships with the professional community. To advance our ‘Lead, Solve, Change’ philosophy, we: Provide students with knowledge, skills, experiences, and ethical standards to be innovative leaders in public and nonprofit organizations; Support faculty and students in conducting rigorous empirical research and disseminating findings to advance the study and practice of public and nonprofit management and policy; and Work with practitioners to enhance the public sector’s ability to make evidence-based management decisions and policy improvements."
(At, accessed 30 April 2014)

Degrees Awarded per Year: TBD [Information will be requested from the School]

Academic Unit within University: School of Public Affairs (SPA)

Related Academic Units and Degrees: The SPA's graduate programs are listed, by graduate unit, at  The units providing the degrees most closely related to the MPP include: Master’s of Criminal Justice, Ph.D. in Public Affairs.

Posted Tuition: TMPA resident: $14,168; TMPA non-resident: $33,458; EMPA: $25,000; AMPA: $24,000 entering in 2013 (at, accessed 30 April 2014).

Concentration/Curriculum Overview

There are five MPA Concentrations: Gender-Based Violence; Emergency Management and Homeland Security; Environmental Policy, Management, and Law; Local Government; and Nonprofit Organizations (Denver and online).

Degree Requirements


Traditional MPA (applies to Online MPA as well): Students must take six common core courses (18 credits), five elective courses (15 credits) and a final capstone course (3 credits). Students wishing to concentrate in a certain area must take the ascribed elective courses listed for the concentration. Requirements for concentrations vary between 2-4 required elective courses. To graduate the MPA, students must complete a minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate work with a total grade-point average of B or better;

Accelerated MPA: The degree requirements for the Accelerated MPA are identical to the Traditional MPA. This option is distinguished from the Traditional MPA by its compressed time frame, which also results in limited class options for many students. Students in the Accelerated MPA program take all 12 MPA courses with their same cohort.

Executive MPA: All students are required to complete two core courses (6 credits) held on the Denver campus in an intensive format (1-2 weeks). Students complete two additional core courses (6 credits) in either an online, weekend intensive, or through the traditional campus based classroom setting. Students then complete either the Rocky Mountain Program or the Western Management Development Center program (3 credits). Students also complete four electives (12 credits). All students complete their program with a capstone project (3 credits). The capstone project allows students to synthesize the information learned during the program and put it into practice within a professional setting. The Executive MPA option requires 30 semester hours of credit: Initial Leadership Experience (3 credit hours); Required Courses (15 credit hours); Elective Courses (12 credit hours)

Duration:  Traditional, Online, Executive: between 1-6 years. Accelerated MPA: 1 year.

Academic Prerequisite: A baccalaureate degree from a college or university of accredited standing, with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Two sets of official transcripts are required from all higher education institutions attended.

Number of One-Semester-Equivalent Courses Required for Completion: Traditional MPA 13 (12 for students with at least one year professional experience), Executive MPA 10, Accelerated MPA: 12

Number of Required Courses: Traditional MPA: 7 (for students with less than one year of professional experience), Executive MPA: 6, Accelerated MPA: 12

Number of Electives Typically Taken (difference between above two entries): Traditional MPA: 6, Executive MPA: 4, Accelerated MPA: 0 

Number of Electives Offered within Program: 62. 

Comprehensive Examination: No

Thesis Required: No

Internship Required: Yes, a one-course equivalent is required for students with less than one year of professional experience

International Study Required: No

Co-curricular Activities Supportive to Degree

Professional Development and Career Support: Yes

Student-run Journal: No

Applied Projects: No

Pro Bono Consulting: No

Courses Offered: The full list of 2013-2014 SPA courses is found at: In the Course Map below, required courses are indicated by (R).

Course Material Online: Short course descriptions for all courses and most have syllabi available to the public online,. See see

Instructional Distribution (PEACO Profile): The distribution of instruction offered for the Traditional MPA, based on the course assignments to subjects in the  Course Map below, weighted by estimated enrolment based on the number of elective sections offered (60) and number of electives typically taken (6), is displayed below. [See note on PEACO Algorithm.] 


I. Courses Required and Offered

a. Number of one-semester courses required for degree


b. Number of required courses


c. Number of elective courses taken (a - b)


d. Number of elective courses offered


e. Enrolment weight of elective courses (c/d)


Number of weeks (classes) per semester


II. Distribution of Courses (Enrolment-Adjusted) among Atlas

     Domains and Subjects

Tools and Skills


  - Strategy and Structure


  - Economic Analysis



  - Quantitative Methods and Management Sciences


  - Leadership, Communication, Professional Practice


Institutions and Context


  - Democratic Institutions and Policy Process


  - Ethics and Accountability


  - Social, Political, Global and Local Contexts


Management Functions


  - Public Financial Management


  - Evaluation and Performance Measurement


  - Other Management Functions


Policy Sectors


  - Fiscal, Monetary and Tax Policy


  - International Development


  - Health


  - Other Policy Sectors




III. Number of Courses in "NASPAA-required Subjects" taken by

      Typical Student in NASPAA Required Competency Domains

Lead and Manage in Public Governance


Participate and Contribute to the Policy Process


Analyze, Synthesize, Solve Problems and Make Decisions


Articulate and Apply Public Service Perspectives


Communicate and Interact with Workforce and Citizenry


Total Course Equivalents taken in Required Competencies


IV. Ratio of Courses in "NASPAA-required Subjects" taken by

      Typical Student to Estimated Requirement for Competency

Lead and Manage in Public Governance


Participate and Contribute to the Policy Process


Analyze, Synthesize, Solve Problems and Make Decisions


Articulate and Apply Public Service Perspectives


Communicate and Interact with Workforce and Citizenry


Ratio of Total Instruction in Competencies to Amount Needed


Source: At and and and and and and and  (accessed 30 April 2014).

Page Created By: Kyle Richardson on 30 April 2014 and updated by Ian Clark on 8 June 2014 and by Dave Marshall on 3 April 2015. Updating and editing may consist of substantive and/or formatting changes. Unless otherwise noted, however, information regarding a program's structure, curricular offerings and PEACO score is based on the program as it was on the date of page creation. The content presented on this page, except for the assignments of courses to Atlas subjects, the Instructional Distribution analysis, and the Commentary is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases.

Denver SPA MPA Course Map
 C o u r s e s  O f f e r e d,  l i s t e d  b y  P u b l i c  P o l i c y  a n d  M a n a g e m e n t  S u b j e c t

Analysis and Skills

 Policy and Management Analysis

  PUAD 5002: Organizational Management and Behavior (TMPA: R, EMPA: R, AMPA: R)
  PUAD 5110: Seminar in Nonprofit Management
  PUAD 5130: Collaboration Across Sectors
  PUAD 5170: Strategic Management for Nonprofit and Public Managers
  PUAD 5310: Policy Formulation & Implementation
  PUAD 5320: Public Policy Analysis
  PUAD 5540: Organization Development
  PUAD 5625: Local Government Management
  PUAD 6600: Special Topics: Public Administration
  PUAD 8020: Seminar in Public Management
  PUAD 8030: Seminar in Public Policy

 Economic Analysis

  PUAD 5004: Economics and Public Finance (TMPA: R, EMPA: R/2, AMPA: R)

 Quantitative Methods

  PUAD 5003: Research and Analytic Methods (TMPA: R, EMPA: R/2, AMPA: R)
  PUAD 5330: Intermediate Statistical Analysis
  PUAD 7007: Qualitative Research Methods
  PUAD 8050: Quantitative Methods I
  PUAD 8060: Seminar On The Conduct Of Empirical Inquiry
  PUAD 8070: Quantitative Methods II

 Analytic Methods

  PUAD 5271: Managing Conflict and Change
  PUAD 5440: Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
  PUAD 8010: Historical and Comparative Foundations of Public Administration

 Leadership Skills

  PUAD 5030: Denver Community Leadership Forum
  PUAD 5160: Nonprofit Boards and Executive Leadership
  PUAD 5180: Social Entrepreneurship

 Communication Skills

 Professional Practice

  PUAD 5361: Capstone Seminar
  PUAD 6910: Field Study in Public Administration (TMPA: R, for students with less than 1 year professional experience)

Institutions and Context

 Democratic Institutions and Policy Process

  PUAD 5001: Introduction to Public Administration and Public Service (TMPA: R, EMPA: R, AMPA: R)
  PUAD 5005: The Policy Process and Democracy (TMPA: R, EMPA: R, AMPA: R)
  PUAD 5280: American Public Service Environment
  PUAD 5410: Administrative Law
  PUAD 5420: Law and Public Policy
  PUAD 5430: Seminar in Legal Research Methods and Public Law Scholarship
  PUAD 8040: Seminar In Economic and Institutional Foundations of Public Affairs

 Social and Political Context

  PUAD 5260: Managing in a Multicultural Society
  PUAD 5370: Media and Public Policy

 Ethics, Rights and Accountability

  PUAD 5006: Leadership and Professional Ethics (TMPA: R, AMPA: R)

 Intergovernmental and Global Context

  PUAD 5250: Intergovernmental Management

Management Functions

 Public Financial Management

  PUAD 5140: Nonprofit Financial Management
  PUAD 5501: Contemporary Issues in Revenue and Tax Administration and Policy
  PUAD 5502: Public Financial Management and Policy
  PUAD 5503: Governmental Budgeting

 Evaluation and Performance Measurement

  PUAD 5350: Program Evaluation

 Human Resource Management

  PUAD 5220: Human Resource Management
  PUAD 7220: Managing People in Public and Nonprofit Organizations

 Information Management and Technology

  PUAD 5710: Public Sector Technology

 Program and Service Delivery

 Regulatory Policy and Management

 Nonprofit Management and Advocacy

  PUAD 5115: Effective Grant Writing for Nonprofit and Public Sector Managers
  PUAD 5120: Nonprofits and Public Policy
  PUAD 5125: Civil Society and Nongovernmental Organizations
  PUAD 5150: Fundraising & Financial Resource Development
  PUAD 5380: Citizen Participation: Theory and Practice
  PUAD 5460: Political Advocacy
  PUAD 5940: Domestic Violence Social Change and Advocacy

Policy Sectors

 Macroeconomic Policy

 International Development

 Social Policy and Welfare

  PUAD 5910: Women and Violence: A Sociological Perspective
  PUAD 5920: Psychology of Violence Against Women
  PUAD 5930: Battered Women and the Legal System


  PUAD 5615: Health Policy
  PUAD 5960: Interpersonal Violence and Health
  PUAD 5961: Interpersonal Violence, Health Advocacy and Systems Change


 Employment, Labour and Immigration

 Cities, Urban and Regional Development

  PUAD 5628: Urban Social Problems
  PUAD 5626: Local Government Politics and Policy

 Environment Sustainability

  PUAD 5631: Seminar in Environmental Politics and Policy
  PUAD 5632: Seminar in Environmental Management
  PUAD 5633: Seminar in Natural Resource and Environmental Health Law

 Agriculture and Resources

 Science, Technology and Innovation

 Industry, Trade and Investment

 Energy, Transport and Infrastructure

  PUAD 5634: Theories of Sustainable Infrastructure Management

 Defence, Security and Foreign Relations

  PUAD 5450: Law of All-Hazards Management
  PUAD 5650: Disaster and Emergency Management Policies
  PUAD 5655: Principles of Emergency Management

 Policing and Justice Administration

 Arts and Culture

 Financial Market

 Other Policy Sectors

Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance