Graduate Student Organizations

Grow your skills as a leader, team member, and public servant by becoming involved with one of SPA or AU’s graduate student organizations!

School of Public Affairs Student Organizations

The SPA Graduate Council provides opportunities to serve, network, and develop both academically and professionally through faculty talks, policy discussions, community service opportunities, and a Spring Giving Gala. They also sponsor a robust student mentoring program and support the publication of SPA's graduate journal, The Public Purpose. The council advocates for the concerns and needs of the student body.

The Public Purpose Journal is an annual peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal presenting the work of SPA graduate students. Founded in 2003, The Public Purpose is supported by the SPA Graduate Council, with involvement and guidance of SPA faculty from the Departments of Government; Justice, Law & Criminology; and Public Administration and Policy.

Pi Alpha Alpha (PAA) is a national honor society that recognizes and promotes excellence in the field of public affairs and administration. Graduate students who have demonstrated significant academic achievement are eligible to become members of PAA.

Alpha Phi Sigma is the only nationally recognized honor society for criminal justice. Founded in 1942, Alpha Phi Sigma has grown to over 550 chapters at colleges and universities in 50 states as well as in Guam and Canada. 

The Tech Policy Association is focused on the emerging issues surrounding technology and public policy has launched! The Association will provide a platform for interested undergraduate and graduate students and faculty to network, discuss recent topics in the field, conduct research, and host panels and webinar series with invited experts. Topics covered will include artificial intelligence/machine learning, cyber governance, extremism and terrorism, data privacy, and many other emerging technology issues. Faculty advisors for the organization include Dr. Sasha O'Connell and Divya Ramjee. 

The Climate and Conservation Policy Club is a student run club of graduate and undergraduate American University students with an interest in climate and conservation policy.

SPA’s PhD students in the Department of Public Administration and Policy PhD program support the SPA community through inclusion initiatives, research, and advocacy as part of the Students for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

American University Student Organizations

The Center for Student Involvement can help you explore the clubs, programs, and events that connect you to new students and grow your leadership skills. 

The Graduate Leadership Council serves as the primary representative of the graduate student body to American University's administration, faculty, staff, trustees and alumni. The GLC works to improve graduate students' academic, social and professional experiences. 

The Graduate Black Student Union strives to cultivate a strong community for graduate students who are the descendants of the African Diaspora, to support the mental health of its members, to encourage networking within the Black community, and to foster the ideas and values of community, scholarship and service for all. 

Search CSI's Engage pages for more opportunities around campus!


Reach out to for help finding or starting a student club!