The School of Public Affairs
Established in 1934, American University's School of Public Affairs (SPA) is top-ranked by US News and World Report, offering undergraduate, graduate and executive-level programs to build and enhance careers in public service. The school offers a unique pairing of access to Washington, DC with world-renowned faculty and transformational research, driving progress in policy, politics and public administration. SPA is ranked third the US and first in the DC area for public affairs research impact, and is the only school home to three Gaus Award recipients for a lifetime of exemplary contribution to political science and public administration.
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.