We offer an MA in applied Political Science through the Political Science Department at the University of Colorado Denver. Our program specializes in developing informed leaders to serve within the community. Our students come from a variety of backgrounds, careers, and experiences. We value the varied experiences of our diverse student population.
Our instructors are practitioners in their respective fields.Therefore they are skilled in providing our students with opportunities to learn practical content, develop relevent tools, and apply effective strategies within their professional environment.
We deliver our courses through a weekend program format. This provides flexibility for working professionals and other non-traditional students.
Choose an Area of Specialty
Local Government: This Area of Specialty prepares students to work for local, county, and state government. Students will gain skills in government administration, politics of finance, state politics and public policy.
Labor and Community Organizing: This Area of Specialty prepares students to lead and manage within labor and community organizing politics. Students will examine different social movement theories, labor union politics, community organizing and social movements to develop practical strategies for building broad social movements.
Social Economy: This Area of Specialty prepares students to build alternative and diverse economic strategies that work for less privileged communities. Students will examine different practices and theories on diverse economies such as democratic financial systems, land trusts, and worker cooperatives at the local, national, and global level.
Students must complete a total of 33 graduate credit hours to complete the MA degree, including 6 credit hours of required courses, a 3 credit hour mater's project, and an additional 24 credit hours of elective, graduate level PSCI courses.
Research Methods in Political Science
Community Organizing and Community Development
|Complete a three credit hour master’s project under the direction of a faculty advisor.
Registration is done using the Special Processing form, rather than online.
Elective courses in the New Directions program are offered in three different "pathways" of study, allowing students to choose their particular interest and focus their studies on that subject. The three pathways are:
- Local Governance
- Community and Labor Organizing
- The Social Economy and Sustainable Development
While students are encouraged to focus their studies by taking courses within a chosen pathway, but it is not required that students only take courses within a single pathway (and some courses fit in more than one area). Students should work with the program director to learn more about which courses to complete for each focused pathway.
1 1/2 page personal statement.
Three reference letters (academic and/or professional)
*You must apply through the graduate school general application, and select the extended studies PSCI masters program to submit your application correctly.*
Our Learning Goals & Objectives
- 1. Knowledge of the role of political action and political systems in shaping human cultures and socio-economic patterns, including:
- 2. Intellectual and Practical Skills, including:
- 3. Personal and Social Responsibility, including:
- 4. Integrative/Holistic and Applied Learning, including:
- Assessing Learning Objectives
- Knowledge of the American Political System
- Knowledge of political systems across history and world region
- Knowledge of theoretical foundations of political systems and political values
- Ability to compare political systems in their differing abilities to deliver public welfare
- Knowledge of the processes, institutions and actors involved in globalization
This knowledge will be focused by engagement with the fundamental questions of political life, both contemporary and enduring. Students will place themselves in conversation with multiple political and moral perspectives, including those outside of the traditional Western canon, by developing their own positions and by seeing how their positions build from and contribute to these perspectives.
- Inquiry and analysis
- Critical thinking
- Creative thinking
- Written communication
- Oral communication
- Reading Ability
- Quantitative literacy
- Information literacy
- Problem solving
These skills will be applied to evaluate conflicting arguments, assemble and present empirical evidence using appropriate methods of research and data analysis, make reasoned conclusions from the evidence available, and prepare professional and persuasive presentations regarding those conclusions.
- Civic knowledge and engagement—local and global
- Intercultural knowledge and competence
- Ethical reasoning and action
- Foundations and skills for lifelong learning
This responsibility will be anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges (including internships, service-learning and other experiential learning opportunities) that allow students to reflect on the relationship between theory, political practice and potential career paths. In these experiences, students will apply critical thinking skills to solve collective problems in a manner that improves the public good.
- Completion of department course work across a range of political science subfields
- Application of insights from other programs of study to enhance their political understanding and practical skills
This learning will be demonstrated through the application of integrative and holistic knowledge and skills to foster purposeful civic commitments, to produce effective oral and written presentations, and to develop practical skills for continual personal and professional development.
Assessment of Learning Objectives
The Department of Political Science conducts annual assessments of student progress towards departmental learning objectives. Assessments are typically targeted towards different categories of courses in different years. For example, one year the department might assess all “experiential learning” courses, while another year we might assess our “core curriculum” courses, and in another year we might assess our study abroad courses. In some years, the department conducts a broader assessment of department-wide progress towards learning objectives across many different courses.
The specific strategies typically utilized in our annual assessment process are a mixture of the following:
- Direct Assessment of Course-Based Learning. The Political Science Department reviews student exams, written papers, oral presentations and final portfolios for targeted classes during its assessment
- Student Self-Assessment Surveys. The Political Science Department often embeds a student self-assessment survey into its assessment process. The survey collects students’ self-assessment of their own intellectual growth, knowledge gained, and level of change in political aptitudes, skills, attitudes and engagement level during their time in our classes and department. Informal assessments include a review of student FCQ comments and other informal verbal feedback from students.
- Master’s Capstone Assessment. The Political Science Department periodically assembles a team of faculty to review all master’s theses or projects submitted for oral defense in an academic year, to conduct an assessment of progress towards learning objectives among our master’s students.