In the past 80 years, SPA has cultivated a culture of lasting impact-to empower those who seek knowledge, to conduct and apply research, to build a bridge between academic thought and policy planning, and to inspire change at every level. Today with more than 1,600 students and 23,000 alumni, SPA continues to tackle complex issues with thoughtful research that educates, informs, and promotes change across a multitude of fields.
Whether you are a graduate student aspiring to advance your career, or an undergraduate inspired by the power and workings of government, the degree programs and certificates in SPA's Department of Government will give you the skills and knowledge you need today to become one of the leading political practitioners of tomorrow.Learn More
Issues of justice, points of law, security concerns. We read about them every day in the headlines. They stream across our screens. At SPA's Department of Justice, Law & Criminology, we give you the tools you need to tackle today's critically important challenges in criminal justice and criminology, terrorism and homeland security, and justice and law.Learn More
Complex public challenges demand strong, capable leadership. The nationally ranked, NASPAA-accredited programs in SPA's Department of Public Administration & Policy equip you with the fundamental skills and competencies to craft real solutions to real-world challenges in public policy and administration. Our multifaceted, interdisciplinary approach encompasses the analytical reasoning, contextual knowledge, effective communication, and comprehensive understanding our students need to lead with distinction in organizations that serve the public good.Learn More
Research centers and institutes within the School of Public Affairs draw on the scholarship and expertise of SPA faculty. These centers offer scholarly collaboration and exchange in the areas of politics, campaigns, public finance, and public administration and policy, and justice. Their work is shared with the AU and Washington, D.C., communities, as well as across the nation.
The Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies provides an integrated teaching, research, and study program focusing on Congress and the presidency and the interactions of these two basic American institutions.Learn More
The Center for Environmental Policy aims to improve the nation's ability to address environmental challenges through effective governance.Learn More
The Women and Politics Institute provides academic training to young women that encourages them to become involved in the political process and facilitates research by faculty and students that enhances our understanding of the challenges women face in the political arena.Learn More
The Political Theory Institute encourages the serious study of the great questions of political theory and rings the insights of political theories to bear on current issues and events.Learn More
American University's Legacies of America's First Ladies initiative and conference series features distinguished guests - first ladies, former presidents, and first families, White House staff, scholars, authors, members of the media - who highlight the significant contributions these women make by using their platform to advocate for issues, promote change, and improve our society.Learn More
The Justice Programs Office supports SPA's mission of applying the tools of scholarship and professionalism to the design and management of public programs in law and criminal justice.Learn More
MPC's mission is to understand the intersections among various social, economic and political processes, operating at various levels, that influence metropolitan and urban landscapes. MPC employs mixed methods to uncover, explain and propose solutions to important 21st century metropolitan and urban challenges including: affordable housing, economic development, racial and ethnic diversity, social service provision, and urban and regional governance.Learn More
The Washington Institute for Public Affairs Research serves as a bridge between the academic and policy worlds, advancing scholarly research that addresses pressing issues and concerns.Learn More
The Middle East Studies Center offers a range of programs and initiatives focused on issues of concern to this region.Learn More
Created to further prepare SPA graduate students to work in and lead multidisciplinary teams after graduation.Learn More