CU Denver’s fully online Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration program is targeted to students who are committed to serving their communities and the wider public through leadership in nonprofit management, all levels of government, emergency services, emergency management, and homeland security. The award-winning faculty of CU Denver School of Public Affairs — the top-ranked public affairs school in Colorado and among the best in the nation — will prepare you with the knowledge and skills to make an impact on public policy and public administration.
The public service sector comprises nearly one-quarter of the jobs market, and an aging workforce means that the demand for workers with a degree in public administration will only increase in the coming years. If you are ready to make a lasting impact on your community, the online BA in Public Administration is the right degree for you.
Career & Technical Education Credits
The CU Denver School of Public Affairs values the experiences of those students already working in the public service sector. This is why our BA in Public Administration is one of the first degrees in the nation to apply Career and Technical Education credits (CTE credits) toward your degree. Students working in public service professions (e.g. EMT, police, fire fighting, etc.) may be eligible to receive earned credits that can be applied toward your degree requirements.
Program at a Glance
Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration
Cost Per Credit:
* To get this rate, students must elect College Opportunity Fund (COF)
Cost Per Credit:
The Bachelor's in Public Administration from the University of Colorado Denver is exclusively offered in an online format and taught by the same award-winning faculty as the face-to-face classes at CU Denver School of Public Affairs the top-ranked public affairs school in Colorado and among the best in the nation.
Whether you’re an undergraduate student, a public service professional looking to advance in your career, or a professional seeking a career change, the online BA in Public Administration will prepare you with the communication skills, ethical decision-making, cultural awareness, and other competencies needed to excel in your career as a public administrator.
Tailor your BA in Public Administration degree with one of four career-focused specializations:
- Emergency Management — Learn how emergency management aims to reduce the harmful effects of all hazards, including disasters. Public servants respond to emergencies but also focus on preparedness, mitigation, resilience, and recovery. You will graduate from the program prepared to apply this knowledge in a career with government and nonprofit agencies.
- Environmental Policy and Management — Study the laws, regulations, and policy mechanisms that the government and organizations use to manage environmental issues. Environmental policy balances protection, conservation, and sustainability of natural resources with affordable energy and economic growth while understanding how human activities affect the environment.
- Nonprofit Management — Prepare for a wide variety of careers in the exciting world of nonprofit organizations. Throughout your degree, you will learn about the history and context of nonprofit organizations, while gaining practical skills needed to manage and lead in this sector. In addition, CU Denver School of Public Affairs' affiliation with the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance gives you the opportunity to earn the Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential through completion of the Nonprofit Management Concentration coursework and additional required extracurricular activities.
- International Development — Explore the history of international development paradigms and learn how development actors work to address persistent global problems such as poverty, human trafficking, trade, global health, and human rights. Throughout this specialization, you’ll dive into essential topics in international relations, intercultural communication, globalization, foreign policy, and more. After graduating, you’ll be able to use your in-depth knowledge of international development to make a positive impact within government or nonprofit organizations.
The Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration requires a total of 120 credits, including 45 credits earned in the major. At least 12 of those 45 credit hours must be upper-division (3000-4000 level) courses.
The credits are comprised of:
- 21 credits in core/required public service courses
- 24 credits in approved electives
- 3-credit internship required for pre-service students
These credits can be offset by your professional work experience in public service through an internship waiver. Eligibility for the waiver is determined by your BA in Public Administration Academic Advisor and the Program Director.
Full-time students can complete the program in as little as eight semesters, although you determine your own pace of completion.
Admission requirements and deadlines vary based on the program. In addition, you will have different requirements depending on if you are a first-time student, a transfer student or an international student.
Learn more about the admissions process by filling out the form above or contacting the CU Online Enrollment Team today.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the government and nonprofit sectors make up approximately 25% of all jobs in the U.S., with 30% of all government employees currently eligible to retire. This growing demand for public sector workers coupled with an aging workforce means that a degree in public administration is in high demand!
The BA in Public Administration can lead to fulfilling careers, such as:
- City or County Manager
- Management Consultant
- Homeland Security
- Nonprofit Executive Director
- Emergency Management Coordinator
- Urban Planner
Courses at CU Denver are offered three times a year — fall, spring and summer. Not all courses are available every semester. For most programs, courses last 15 weeks, plus one week for finals. This is a big commitment, but we believe the extra time you spend dedicated to your studies pays off!
PUAD 1001 — Introduction to Public Service
PUAD 2001 — Management for Public Service
|PUAD 3001 — Financial Management for Public Service
Explore topics in public financial management including budget preparation, monitoring and reporting. Learn how to build public service capacity through sound fiscal discipline and equitable allocation of resources for the public good.