Top Public Administration Degree Programs - Denver, CO

Students interested in studying public administration in Denver, CO, have only a few schools to choose from. Read about the top schools' degree programs, tuition, and ranking info to find the right one for you.

School and Ranking Information

Denver offers a few public and private institutions with programs in public administration. The top three schools, going by such considerations as rankings, program offerings, field-specific degrees awarded, and school type, include the following:

  • Winner: University of Colorado in Denver, a public institution, secures the winning spot due to high ranking as a top public affairs graduate school, according to U.S. News & World Report, as well as its tuition rates and number of awarded degrees in the field.
  • Runner Up #1: University of Denver, situated within Denver, comes in second place as a result of its program variety in the discipline and the school's graduation rate.
  • Runner Up #2: Regis University in Denver earned third place for its regional ranking assigned in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report and for being a non-profit school.

School Comparison Table

University of Colorado Denver University of Denver Regis University
Ranking #29 among public affairs graduate schools (2012)* #91 among national universities (2014)* #27 among West regional universities (2014)*
Location Denver, CO Denver, CO Denver, CO
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for profit
Tuition and Fees (2012-2013) $7,358 (in-state, graduate),
$20,676 (out-of-state, graduate)**
$39,177 (undergraduate),
$38,526 (graduate)**
$31,800 (undergraduate)**
Public Administration Degrees Offered Master's and doctoral degrees Bachelor's and master's degrees Bachelor's degree
Public Administration Degrees Awarded (2011-2012) 151** 33** 14**
Most Popular Program (2011-2012) Master of Public Administration (142 degrees awarded)** Master of Public Policy (15 degrees awarded)** N/A
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of Normal Program Time) for 2006 Entering Class 45%** 76%** 59%**
Noteworthy Five MPA concentrations to choose from MPP program has five concentrations Combined bachelor's/master's degree program available

Sources: *US News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator

Winner: University of Colorado Denver

  • NASPAA-accredited program
  • Dual degree options for MPA program, with Juris Doctor, bachelor's degrees, and related master's degrees
  • Graduate certificates available

The University of Colorado Denver is a public institution and home to the School of Public Affairs. Graduate students can pursue a Master of Public Administration (MPA) through the state's only NASPAA-accredited program. The program is offered through either a traditional campus program, an accelerated program, or through executive or online delivery. Students can choose a concentration in emergency management and homeland security; environmental policy, management and law; domestic violence; local government; or nonprofit organizations.

Students may also choose to pursue a graduate certificate in any of these concentration areas as well as interpersonal violence and health care, homeland defense, nonprofit fund development, or security intelligence. In addition to multiple dual degree options, students may choose to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Affairs. Graduate students may participate in the Rocky Mountain Leadership Program, the Denver Community Leadership Forum, or gain professional certification through the affiliated Certified Public Manager (CPM) program, offered through the Buechner Institute for Governance.

Runner-Up #1: University of Denver

  • Accelerated bachelor's/master's option
  • Multiple dual degree opportunities for MPP students, such as Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration

The University of Denver is a private institution founded in 1864. The university is home to the Institute for Public Policy Studies, offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as an executive certificate in public policy designed to prepare students for careers in the public sector, including public management positions. The Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy program features coursework on federal budgetary policy, economic policy, and Supreme Court public policy.

Graduate students can pursue a Master of Public Policy (MPP) with emphasis options in business and government, energy and environmental policy, social policy and nonprofit management, education policy, or communications and public affairs. Core MPP courses include microeconomics, quantitative methods, cost-benefit analysis, and public management. Policy seminars cover topics such as economic development, entitlement systems, immigration, and national security. Students will complete a policy memorandum by the completion of their program, covering a specified policy issue and providing recommendations.

Runner-Up #2: Regis University

  • Accelerated or online delivery options

Regis University, founded in 1877, is the only Jesuit Catholic institution of higher learning in the Rocky Mountain region. Through the College for Professional Studies and the School of Management, students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration. Program courses cover sustainable business systems, public policy and project management.

Students may also pursue the 21-credit undergraduate certificate in public administration. Students looking to pursue a graduate degree in business can pursue a combined bachelor's/master's degree leading to a Master of Business Administration. Other graduate degree options include the Master of Nonprofit Management, with courses covering social justice, financial resource development and organizational development.

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