Graduate School Policies and Procedures apply to this program.
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 requirements are subject to periodic revision by the academic department, and the College 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 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.
- Students must complete a total of 33 PSCI 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 masters courses taken at CU Denver 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. Students cannot complete the masters or ancillary course requirements as pass/fail.
- 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.
Required Core Courses
|Take the following||6|
|PSCI 5468||Research Methods in Political Science||3|
|PSCI 5914||Community Organizing and Community Development||3|
Elective courses in the New Directions program are offered in three different "tracks" of study, allowing students to choose their particular interest and focus their studies on that subject. The three tracks are: Local Governance, Community and Labor Organizing, and The Social Economy and Sustainable Development.
Students are encouraged to focus their studies by taking courses within a chosen track, but it is not required that students only take courses within a single track (and some courses fit in more than one track).
- 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.
|Complete 24 credits||24|
|Below is a list of some regularly offered elective courses in the New Directions program.|
|PSCI 5009||Politics of the Budgetary Process||3|
|PSCI 5014||Seminar: American Politics||3|
|PSCI 5024||State Politics: Focus on Colorado||3|
|PSCI 5075||Gentrification and Social Equity||3|
|PSCI 5084||Local Government and Administration||3|
|PSCI 5085||Comparative Governance: Environment and Society||3|
|PSCI 5206||Social Movements, Democracy and Global Politics||3|
|PSCI 5265||Social Justice And Globalization||3|
|PSCI 5274||Conflict Resolution and Public Consent Building||3|
|PSCI 5354||Seminar: Environmental Politics and Policy||3|
|PSCI 5414||Non-Profits and Social Change||3|
|PSCI 5424||The Social Economy and Sustainable Development||3|
|PSCI 5434||The Cooperative Movement: Politics and Policy||3|
|PSCI 5457||American Political Thought||3|
|PSCI 5545||Immigration Politics||3|
|PSCI 5548||Labor Law and Collective Bargaining||3|
|All courses in our graduate catalog are available to be offered as electives in the New Directions program.|
|PSCI 5000||State of the Discipline||3|
|PSCI 5008||Graduate Topics in Political Science||1-3|
|PSCI 5011||GIS in Political Science||3|
|PSCI 5013||Philosophical Problems in the Social Sciences||3|
|PSCI 5025||Local Governance and Globalization||3|
|PSCI 5044||The Presidency||3|
|PSCI 5054||The Legislative Process||3|
|PSCI 5057||Religion and Politics||3|
|PSCI 5094||Seminar: Urban Politics||3|
|PSCI 5105||Comparative Politics: Europe||3|
|PSCI 5135||Seminar: Political Economy of Latin America||3|
|PSCI 5145||Indigenous Politics||3|
|PSCI 5176||Gandhi's Legacy: Non-Violent Resistance Today||3|
|PSCI 5216||Seminar: International Relations||3|
|PSCI 5217||Human Rights in Theory and Practice||3|
|PSCI 5224||Dictatorships in 21st Century||3|
|PSCI 5225||Democracy and Democratization||3|
|PSCI 5236||Seminar: American Foreign Policy||3|
|PSCI 5238||Seminar: Comparative Foreign Policy||3|
|PSCI 5245||Gender, Globalization and Development||3|
|PSCI 5256||Seminar: National Question and Self-Determination||3|
|PSCI 5266||International Law||3|
|PSCI 5276||Conflicts and Rights in International Law||3|
|PSCI 5286||International Relations: War or Peace?||3|
|PSCI 5326||Advanced International Political Economy: Globalization||3|
|PSCI 5365||Global Ecological Crises||3|
|PSCI 5446||Advanced Indigenous Peoples' Politics||3|
|PSCI 5477||The U.S. Constitution: Law and Politics||3|
|PSCI 5535||Labor and Working Class Politics||3|
|PSCI 5550||Labor, Trade Unions and the Global Economy||3|
|PSCI 5555||International Women's Resistance||3|
|PSCI 5610||Seminar: Middle East Politics||3|
|PSCI 5615||Seminar: Chinese Development||3|
|PSCI 5726||Seminar on U.S. and China Relations||3|
|PSCI 5747||Legal Reasoning and Writing||3|
|PSCI 5807||Seminar: Conflict Behavior and the Politics of Violence||3|
|PSCI 5808||Strategies of Peacebuilding||3|
|PSCI 5837||Contemporary Issues in Civil Liberties||3|
|PSCI 5840||Independent Study: PSCI||1-3|
|PSCI 5878||War, Film, & International Law||3|
|PSCI 5880||Directed Research||1-6|
|PSCI 5944||CU in the City||3|
|All students are required to complete a 3-credit master’s project under the direction of a faculty advisor. Registration is done using the Special Processing form, rather than online.||3|
|PSCI 5960||Master's Project||3|
To learn more about the Student Learning Outcomes for this program, please visit our website.