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#2020APPAM Sponsor Spotlight: University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs


The #2020APPAM Fall Research Conference will take place online, but it will also have some fantastic sponsors from across the policy research spectrum. Today we're shining a spotlight on the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs,

What are the main areas of work on which you focus?

The CU Denver School of Public Affairs focuses on public policy and public administration, with 14 tenured and tenure-track faculty in this area, and on criminal justice and criminology, with six tenured and tenure-track faculty in this area.

What would you say are your school's greatest accomplishments in the last 5-10 years?

We take pride in the excellence of our faculty, who have published numerous books and articles on important topics in esteemed journals and who have been awarded impressive grants to conduct research in important and relevant areas. Their efforts have helped to elevate our position in the U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools rankings for Best Public Affairs Program to our current ranking of No. 25, with additional rankings in environmental policy and management (No. 10), public finance and budgeting (No. 11), and nonprofit management (No. 13).
Our faculty have been the recipients of a number of prestigious, national awards in recognition of excellence in their fields. Awards include the American Society for Public Administration’s (ASPA) Dwight Waldo Award, Paul Van Riper Award, and Donald C. Stone Lecture, as well as the NASPAA/ASPA Distinguished Research Award.
We launched a successful Executive Master of Public Administration cohort with mid-career students from the Shandong province of China.
The CU Denver School of Public Affairs was a proud host of the APPAM Fall Research Conference that was held in Denver in 2019. The conference theme was “Rising to the Challenge: Engaging Diverse Perspectives on Issues and Evidence.”

Why should potential students choose your school or program?

The CU Denver School of Public Affairs is a great fit for students who are motivated to create change through leadership in government, nonprofits, and the criminal justice system. Our students benefit from relevant courses taught by renown faculty and from a diverse student body at our urban, research institution. Our dedicated staff provide personalized attention to students, including academic advising and career services support. 

Our downtown Denver location and strong links to government and nonprofit agencies, coupled with our strong network of engaged and accomplished alumni, benefit students as they seek internships and capstone projects during their studies and to expand their networks and seek jobs and promotions after graduation.

As the top-ranked school of public affairs in Colorado and among the best in the nation, our tuition is extremely competitive, and our students indicate a high level of satisfaction with their experiences at the CU Denver School of Public Affairs.

Learn more at

What is your Graduate/Undergraduate divide?

Nearly the same number of credit hours are taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels. At the undergraduate level, we offer a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a relatively new Bachelor of Arts in Public Service. At the graduate level, we offer a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Criminal Justice, which are offered as dual degrees with each other and with graduate programs in other schools and colleges at CU Denver and CU Boulder. We also offer a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Affairs. Additionally, we offer 12 undergraduate and graduate certificates.

What makes your school a great place to work?

As the smallest school on the CU Denver campus, the School of Public Affairs culture is inclusive, cohesive, respectful, and supportive. On campus, our school has the reputation for having an extremely talented and hard-working faculty and staff, and many of the staff hold advanced degrees. CU Denver has a decentralized model, which means that many of the functional areas of the university, including human resources, finance, grants management, recruitment, admissions, marketing, communication, academic advising, career services support, and alumni relations, are delivered by dedicated staff at the school, so students, faculty, and staff are extremely well supported. Our Denver location offers all the amenities of an up-and-coming world-class city against the stunning backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.

What is your teaching/research divide?

Tenured and tenure-track faculty allocate 40 percent of their time to teaching four classes and 40 percent of their time to research.

What is important to know about the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs?

The CU Denver School of Public Affairs continues to build strong links to the government and nonprofit sectors in a growing, entrepreneurial city. We host several long-standing event series on current affairs in government, nonprofits, criminal justice, education policy, and more, bringing together hundreds of community members and expert panelists for lively discussions and Q&A. Learn more at

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