CU Denver campus 2019

U.S. News ranks School of Public Affairs top 25 nationally

Several CU Denver programs rank among top 100 in the U.S. News 2020 Best Graduate Schools

March 12, 2019

The University of Colorado Denver’s School of Public Affairs ranks number 25 nationally in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 Best Graduate Schools Report, published March 12. CU Denver climbed in the 2020 report, overall, with several graduate programs listed among the top 10 in Colorado and top 100 in the United States.

School of Public Affairs

The perennially high-rated School of Public Affairs retained its position as number one in Colorado and ascended to the number 25 position nationally for public affairs graduate programs, overall. Several prestigious institutions tied with CU Denver for the number 25 ranking, including Duke University, Florida State University, Georgetown University, the University of Maryland and others.

Four graduate specialty programs earned a top 23 or better ranking from U.S. News in the 2020 Best Graduate School Report. Three specialties improved in the rankings over last year’s position, and one specialty, Nonprofit Management, is ranked for the first time:

  • 11th – Environmental Policy & Management
  • 17th – Public Finance & Budgeting
  • 23rd – Public Management & Leadership
  • 21st – Nonprofit Management

The School of Public Affairs is also home to Colorado’s top-ranked online Master of Criminal Justice program, which ranked as the number 19 program nationally in the U.S. News 2020 rankings of the Best Online Graduate Programs, released in January 2019.

Business School

Three MBA offerings at CU Denver’s Business School, including two programs specialized for the health sector, appear in the U.S. News 2020 Best Graduate School Report.

In the highly competitive MBA rankings, the Business School’s Part-Time Professional MBA ranks second in Colorado and number 74 in the nation.

The Health Administration MBA program ranks number 28 in the nation. And the Executive MBA in Health Administration, a program for practicing, executive-level health professionals, ranks number 23 in the nation.

Students walking downtown

The Business School possesses special health expertise as a member of the Business School Alliance for Health Management (BAHM), a small group of top-ranked institutions including Harvard, Northwestern and University of Pennsylvania-Wharton. CU Denver’s Health Administration MBA was the first in the Rocky Mountain region accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.

College of Engineering, Design and Computing

The College of Engineering, Design and Computing’s Bioengineering graduate program ranks number 69 in the nation, moving up almost 10 places from its 2019 U.S. News ranking. The Department of Bioengineering is the first of its kind in Colorado. As a dual-campus program, shared between CU Denver and the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, the bioengineering program provides unprecedented instructional resources in bioengineering and research opportunities in health sciences. Students have opportunities to interact with clinicians and engineers and to perform research or medical device design in world-class hospitals and CU School of Medicine clinical research labs.

School of Education & Human Development

The School of Education & Human Development ranks number 134 nationally for graduate education programs, overall.


The Best Graduate Schools rankings’ methodology is based on expert opinions about program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students. The data for the 2020 rankings come from statistical surveys of more than 2,000 programs and from reputation surveys sent to more than 22,000 academic professionals, conducted in fall 2018 and early 2019.