New Directions in Public, Non-Profit and Community Leadership, Political Science, MA
Director: Dr. Steve DelCastillo
Please click here to see Political Science department information.
The Public, Non-profit and Community Leadership track of the political science MA program is offered off-campus through the Center for New Directions. The Center for New Directions offers an MA program focused on public leadership, community labor organizing, and social economy innovations, in collaboration with community and labor organizations and local government jurisdictions across Colorado. The program seeks to develop the public leadership & community organizing capacities necessary to address challenges and leadership & community organizing capacities necessary to address challenges and opportunities within neighborhoods, communities, government jurisdictions, and non-profit entities.
In addition to their standard coursework, students in this Master's program are encouraged to be involved in experiential learning through professional internships, community-based action research opportunities, and other practicums made available to students through the program's many university-community partnerships, including the possibility of full-time, salaried internships with rural and small jurisdictions across Colorado. Through partnerships with government jurisdictions across the state, and with non-profits and community-based organizations, New Directions seeks to build community power and identify policy solutions to local challenges.
This program presents courses in an intensive weekend format, allowing students to complete their masters entirely through weekend or online courses.
These degree requirements are subject to periodic revision by the academic department, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences reserves the right to make exceptions and substitutions as judged necessary in individual cases. Therefore, the College strongly urges students to consult regularly with their New Directions faculty advisor to confirm the best plans of study before finalizing them.
The Center for New Directions MA program offers two certificate programs:
These certificate programs allow students to focus their studies in a particular direction and to note that particular focus on their transcript. Students do not have to be seeking a full Master's degree to earn a certificate of completion through the certificate program.
For more information on these graduate certificates, click the links above.
Graduate Education Policies and Procedures apply to this program.
- Students must complete a total of 33 graduate credit hours to complete the MA degree.
- Students must complete a minimum of 33 graduate level (5000-level or higher) PSCI credit hours.
- Students must earn a minimum grade of B- (2.7) in all courses applied to the degree and must achieve a minimum cumulative masters GPA of 3.0. All graded attempts in required and elective courses are calculated in the masters GPA. Courses taken using P+/P/F or S/U grading cannot apply to program requirements.
- Students must complete all coursework with CU Denver faculty.
Program Restrictions, Allowances and Recommendations
- Previously earned graduate credit may be submitted for approval to satisfy up to nine hours of the supportive elective requirement. The elective courses offered may change from time to time based on needs, interests and other factors.
All courses are offered in a weekend format that consists of three weekend sessions for a given course, spread out over a two or three month period. Weekend classes are held from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on both Saturday and Sunday of each weekend session. In most cases, a student will complete all of the weekend sessions of one course before starting the weekend sessions for the next course. There is typically a two to three week break between each weekend of class-time in a given course.
|Complete the following program requirements:||33|
|Complete the following required courses:||6|
|Research Methods in Political Science|
|Community Organizing and Community Development|
|Complete 24 graduate level PSCI elective credits. 1||24|
|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.||3|
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: Curriculum focuses on educating students who are interested in working in local and state government sectors, or with public policy research and advocacy organizations. Curriculum and community partnerships in this area focus on local government and administration, the politics of government finance, state politics and public policy challenges.
- Community and Labor Organizing: Curriculum focuses on developing diverse theoretical and practical courses in labor and community organizing politics, history and strategies. Courses focus on social movement theories, labor union politics, and community organizing strategies to help students develop theoretical foundations and practical strategies for more effective community and labor leadership.
- The Social Economy and Sustainable Development: Curriculum focuses on developing an understanding of the current political-economic systems, and on exploring alternative and diverse economic strategies that might work to the benefit of less privileged communities. Courses and community partnerships allow students to explore democratic financial systems, land trusts, and worker cooperatives, and other such innovative "social economy" practices, at the local, national and global levels. In this track, students will learn of diverse economies theory, innovative economic development strategies in both rural and urban areas, the worker cooperative movement, and innovative financial strategies that work for less privileged communities.
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.
|Below is a list of elective courses that are regularly offered in the New Directions program.|
All PSCI graduate level courses courses are available to be offered as electives in the New Directions program.
|Politics of the Budgetary Process|
|Seminar: American Politics|
|State Politics: Focus on Colorado|
|Gentrification and Social Equity|
|Local Government and Administration|
|Comparative Governance: Environment and Society|
|Social Movements, Democracy and Global Politics|
|Social Justice And Globalization|
|Conflict Resolution and Public Consent Building|
|Seminar: Environmental Politics and Policy|
|Non-Profits and Social Change|
|The Social Economy and Sustainable Development|
|The Cooperative Movement: Politics and Policy|
|American Political Thought|
|Labor Law and Collective Bargaining|
To learn more about the Student Learning Outcomes for this program, please visit our website.