What is the Institute?

The MSU Denver Institute for Public Service has absorbed the work of the Hart Center for Public Service. The merger, supported by the Hart Center for Public Service Board and President Davidson, offers MSU Denver a unique opportunity to prepare MSU Denver students to enter the public service sphere, providing unique, diverse, and representative voices into decision making spaces.

The Institute provides a public-service curriculum; coursework; high-profile speakers and guest instructors; significant public events, and paid internships for our students in a variety of sectors through individual or cohort-based programming. The aim is to have representation at the local, state, and national levels.

Students are exposed to the diversity of opportunities available in public service, regardless of their disciplinary focus or major, through an interdisciplinary approach. The Institute supports and guides initiatives, both in and and out of the classroom, for students to gain practical skills that serve them in public spheres though academic programming, internships, exposure to career opportunities in public service, a network of high-profile public servants, and high-profile public events.


Legislative session at the state capitol.


Through access to internship opportunities, scholarships, academic credentials, sponsored speakers, events, & guest faculty fellowships, MSU Denver students will be introduced to national, state, and local figures that have made public service their life’s work. This will provide them a roadmap to pursue their own public service passions and paths.

MSU Denver student watching a legislative session at the state capitol.


Provide our students public service opportunities incorporating social-economic mobility goals and credentials. Public service (especially in government) provides great jobs, great benefits, and high impact.

Six students walk across campus.

Social Impact

Our higher-level mission as an anchor institution is to “democratize” our democracy by getting more of OUR students (high percentages of low income, minoritized, and first-generation) into the halls of government at all levels (local, state, federal) where policy is shaped and created.

Goals and Objectives

1. Provide students an academic foundation for personal, meaningful engagement in public service, democracy, and citizenry.

2. Expose students to high-profile leaders and decision-makers in sectors that fulfill public service needs, such as: government, non-profits, community-based organizations, environmental sectors, education, public infrastructure, etc.

3. Funding student internships at all levels: local, state, and national, providing access for diverse and underrepresented voices into historically exclusive organizations and spaces.

4. Provide a pathway to careers in public service, regardless of major or disciplinary focus.

5. Demonstrate a crucial connection between public service organizations/systems and the need to engage the current generation of college students who will be embarking on careers in public service.

Institute for Public Service

Contact Us

For questions or more information


Shaun LaBarre, Director, Institute for Public Service


[email protected]

Campus Location:

Central Classroom 314

Mailing Address:

Metropolitan State University of Denver
Campus Box 37
P.O. Box 173362
Denver, CO 80217-3362