School of Public Affairs

School of Public Affairs
School of Public Affairs Kerwin Hall building
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Mufarrj Alusbaiy SPA/MS '23

"Studying at SPA was a game-changer, significantly shaping my perspective and approach to homeland security policy… The curriculum provided a comprehensive understanding of the complex issues surrounding terrorism and homeland security, and expert faculty guidance equipped me with the necessary knowledge, skills, and confidence to make a meaningful contribution to the field. As an international student, my experience was immensely enriching and enlightening."

Kerwin Hall 1930

SPA is Turning 90!

2024 marks the 90th anniversary for the School of Public Affairs. We've compiled a look back at our 90 year history. For the past nine decades, American University’s School of Public Affairs has been a leader in public affairs education.

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Alison Jacknowitz

Introducing Alison Jacknowitz as our Interim Dean!

We are pleased she will lead our school in the 2023-24 academic year.

Message from the Dean

US News Rankings

Announcement ·

American University’s School of Public Affairs Ranked No. 13 Overall, Highest in D.C., by U.S. News and World Report

According to the 2025 edition of U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of Public Affairs Graduate Schools, the AU SPA continues to earn high marks.
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SPA Highlights

Event Dispatches


SPA shares insider information on the world of public affairs, from choosing and applying to the right program for you, to courses, careers, and the culture.

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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 practitioner informed, research driven hub of cyber curriculum, thought leadership, and engagement.

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Discover your future with AU

Six months after graduation,

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

Top Employers
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Featured News

Graphic of women holding hands.

In the Community ·

Honoring Those Who Came before Us

Female faculty members from each of AU’s schools and colleges talk the women who have helped them along the way
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Thomas Zeitzoff & Grace Gold

Research ·

What Happened to the Radical Environmental Movement?

In collaboration with undergraduate Grace Gold, SPA Associate Professor Thomas Zeitzoff published an article on attitudes towards cyber tactics in eco-activism.
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Jordan Matsudaira

Department Spotlight ·

5 Questions with Jordan Matsudaira

Professor Joins SPA Faculty from the U.S. Department of Education
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Specialty Rankings

number 12

for Public Policy Analysis

by U.S. News & World Report's 2025 Public Affairs Graduate Schools Rankings

number 13

in Public Finance & Budgeting

by U.S. News & World Report's 2025 Public Affairs Graduate Schools Rankings

number 22

in Urban Policy

by U.S. News & World Report's 2025 Public Affairs Graduate Schools Rankings