The School of Public Affairs (SPA) at American University (AU) is ranked No. 10 overall among all public affairs institutions in the United States in the 2024 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Public Affairs Graduate Schools rankings. This is the second year in a row that AU SPA is ranked as a top 10 program in the nation, and the third year in a row that the school is the highest ranked public affairs school in Washington, D.C. AU SPA was also ranked in seven specialty areas, showing upward movement in several specialties, which highlights the depth and breadth of the school’s growing expertise across many disciplines within public affairs.
Specialty areas include: No. 4 for Public Management & Leadership (the highest ranked program of its kind in Washington, D.C.); No. 6 for International Policy & Global Administration (up one place from last year); No. 6 for Nonprofit Management (up two places from last year); No. 14 in Urban Policy (up two places from last year); No. 15 in Public Policy Analysis (up one place from last year); No. 18 in Social Policy (up four places from last year); and No. 20 in Public Financing & Budgeting.
“We are happy to receive this recognition from U.S. News and our peers across the nation,” said SPA Dean Vicky M. Wilkins. “The upward trend we saw in several specialty areas underscores the concerted effort of our faculty to influence policy through research while preparing our students for public service.”
The U.S. News & World Report rankings are compiled through per assessment surveys. Deans, directors, and department chairs representing 285 master’s programs in public affairs and administration were surveyed in fall 2022. Respondents were asked to rate the academic quality of a master’s program on a scale of marginal to outstanding. Rankings of specialty areas are based on ratings by educators at peer schools.