School of Public Affairs

School of Public Affairs

Alum Receives Critical Acclaim for Debut Novel

During her time at American University's School of Public Affairs, Lara Prescott, SPA/BA ’04, knew she wanted to be a writer. After years of working on political campaigns after graduation, she took a risk, quit her “day job” and devoted herself to blending her love of politics with her love of writing fiction. Flash forward to the present day and her new book, The Secrets We Kept, has sold for $2 million at auction and has been optioned to be made into a movie.

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Discover Your Higher Purpose with SPA

The School of Public Affairs at American University is home to leading scholars in the fields of American politics, comparative politics, public administration, public policy, justice law and criminology, data science, and terrorism and homeland security. Come to a place where the faculty, staff, and other students are all committed to helping you reach your higher purpose.

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U.S. News & World Report Rankings

Announcement ·

AU SPA Ranked Tenth Overall, Remains Top Ranked in D.C., in New U.S. News & World Report Rankings

AU's School of Public Affairs is ranked No. 10 overall among all public affairs institutions in the U.S.
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SPA Highlights

School of Public Affairs American University. SPA Super Squads.

SPA Super Squads

Using our powers of research and analysis to lead the way in public affairs and administration, political science and politics, and criminology.

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Front of Kerwin Hall

Graduate Recruitment Events

Browse our graduate recruitment events to meet SPA on campus, on the road, or through one of our virtual sessions!

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#SPACyber: Policy Studies in Cybersecurity

#SPACyber is a practioner informed, research driven hub of cyber curriculum, thought leadership, and engagement.

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Discover your future with AU

Six months after graduation,
AU
in
in

% of Graduates are now Working, Grad School, or Both

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Featured News

Administratively Adrift book cover

Achievements ·

Administratively Adrift: Overcoming Institutional Barriers for College Student Success

New book by Provost Emeritus and SPA Professor Scott Bass recommends organizational reform for higher education institutions.
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Taryn Morrissey

Research ·

The Vital Role of Early Care and Education (ECE) Programs in Rural Areas

SPA professor demonstrates the need for public investment in programs like Head Start in non-metropolitan areas.
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The 2022 US midterm elections will be held on November 8.

Government & Politics ·

Sine Institute Fellows Look Ahead at the 2022 Midterms with “Policy, Politics, and Predictions”

The conversation aired on C-SPAN and included a variety of perspectives and takeaways from recent state primaries and the importance of specific policies on voter turnouts
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Specialty Rankings

number 7

for International Policy and Administration

by U.S. News & World Report's 2023 Public Affairs Graduate Schools Rankings

number 8

in Non-Profit Management

by U.S. News & World Report's 2023 Public Affairs Graduate Schools Rankings

number 16

in Public Policy Analysis

by U.S. News & World Report's 2023 Public Affairs Graduate Schools Rankings