The fields of Public Administration and Economics are inextricably linked. Economists provide much of the theory and analytic foundation that administrators use to evaluate and implement policy. Given that the capital of the state of Colorado is in Denver, there is great need for administrators that fully understand methods of program evaluation and have the theoretical background needed to forecast how individuals and institutions will respond to new proposals. Similarly, good theory and practice must take into account how the proposals will be implemented and results interpreted. Both administrators and economists need to be engaged in constructive dialogue for either to be fully effective.

The Dual Degree

A “dual” degree means that students who complete the program earn two master’s degrees: MA in economics and MPA in public administration. Students interested in completing the dual degree in economics and public administration must apply separately to each program, meet the admission requirements of each program, and be accepted by each program. If one program accepts a student for the dual degree but the other program does not, then the student may not graduate under the dual degree program. Students may apply to both programs at the same time or apply to the economics program first, and then to the public administration program after their first semester, or vice versa. Both programs must be completed in the same semester to take advantage of the dual degree program. Further information about this program can be obtained from either the Department of Economics or the School of Public Affairs.

Degree Requirements

The requirements for the dual degree in Economics and Public Administration include completing 21 credit hours in ECON and 27 credit hours in GSPA (48 total credit hours) including:

Core Courses

  • Microeconomic Theory (ECON 5073) - 3 hrs.
  • Macroeconomic Theory (ECON 5083) - 3 hrs.
  • Mathematical Economics (ECON 5803) - 3 hrs.
  • Econometrics I (ECON 5813) - 3 hrs.
  • Econometrics II (ECON 5823) - 3 hrs.
  • Introduction to Public Administration and Public Service (PAUD 5001) - 3 hrs.
  • Organizational Management and Change (PAUD 5002) - 3 hrs.
  • Information and Analytic Methods (PAUD 5003) -or- Economics and Public Finance (PAUD 5004) - 3 hrs.
  • The Policy Process and Democracy (PAUD 5005) - 3 hrs.
  • Leadership and Professional Ethics (PAUD 5006) - 3 hrs.

Economics Electives (3 or 6 hours)

  • Any course numbered 5000 or higher with an ECON prefix.  Students planning on taking ECON 6073 are strongly encouraged to take 3 elective hours of ECON 6053/6054.

Public Administration Electives (6 or 9 hours)

  • Any course numbered 5000 or higher with a PUAD prefix.

Capstone Course (3 hours)

  • Either Research Seminar (ECON 6073) -or- Capstone Seminar (PAUD 5361) - 3 hrs.

If the student takes ECON 6073, then 3 hours of elective credits must come from Economics and 9 from SPA.  If the student takes PUAD 5361, then 6 hours of elective credits must come from Economics and 6 from SPA. 

Contact a graduate advisor in the Economics Department for information about Econ course requirements.
Contact a graduate advisor in the School of Public Affairs for information about public administration course requirements.

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