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

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

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Featured News

Portraits of Aneisa Babkir and Ifeanyi Umunna

Alumni ·

American University Alumni Join Gates Cambridge Class of 2024

Graduates of American University are recipients of the Gates Cambridge Class of 2024
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Mercedes Subhani

Alumni ·

Why Cyber?

First-generation alumna Mercedes Subhani (SPA, CLEG, `20) revisits her path to the cybersecurity field.
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CHIRP logo.

On Campus ·

Combatting Extremism Through Games

AU students worked with PERIL to create the CHIRP Project, a curriculum and game to teach middle schoolers how to avoid problematic online content.
Full Story

Specialty Rankings

number 12

for Public Policy Analysis

by U.S. News & World Report's 2024 Public Affairs Graduate Schools Rankings

number 13

in Public Finance & Budgeting

by U.S. News & World Report's 2024 Public Affairs Graduate Schools Rankings

number 22

in Urban Policy

by U.S. News & World Report's 2024 Public Affairs Graduate Schools Rankings