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About SPA


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SPA - Ward Building
(AU/Robb Hill)

The School of Public Affairs

Ranked among the top schools of its kind, American University’s School of Public Affairs offers education in the fields of political science, public administration, public policy, and justice. Our location in the scenic neighborhood of upper northwest Washington, D.C., our position, programs, and professors—all provide us a distinct advantage in educating and preparing leaders for careers in public service. As a graduate student here, you will benefit from a renowned and well-connected faculty, small classes, a strong curriculum, and, of course, access to institutions of power and people of influence.

You will be in good company in the School of Public Affairs. Each year we enroll an experienced, academically strong, and diverse group of master’s and doctoral students. This past year, our students stemmed from nine different countries and all parts of the United States. Most have experience in the field (either internship, co-op, or full-time professional experience) and all are committed to public service, broadly defined. The “New Public Service” includes opportunities for work in the public, private, and nonprofit sector. Throughout your career, it is possible that you will move into and out of any of these three sectors, and the School of Public Affairs at American University provides you with the skills necessary to perform these transitions with fluidity.

The school’s mostly “evening-offered” master’s curriculum allows midcareer students the opportunity to maintain employment while completing their degree and precareer students the opportunity to gain experience through internships during the day and courses in the evening. Doctoral courses are mostly offered during the day.

The School of Public Affairs is also the premier training ground for federal managers and midcareer professionals. SPA’s executive degree programs in public administration and organization development attract and educate industry leaders from across the nation. Executive program courses are offered on select weekends on an accelerated schedule.


Picture: From left: Walter Broadnax, LeoGrande, Kerwin, James Roosevelt Jr., A. Lee Fritschler, and Robert Cleary(seated).

Conference Marks SPA 75th Anniversary

Two-day event featured speech by Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s grandson.

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75th Anniversary Video

To mark SPA's 75th Anniversary, we posed the question, "What do we expect from our government?"

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SPA Scholars on the Issues

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SPA faculty and other leading experts explore the topics of the day--climate change, immigration, terrorism, oversight, regulation, and elections--at the school's 75th anniversary conference. View the video on iTunesU.

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