Maxwell School Ranks #1 for Public Affairs in 2024-25

Maxwell School Ranks #1 for Public Affairs in 2024-25

Published 04/09/2024 - Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs ranked #1 overall in the latest U.S. News & World Report Best Public Affairs Schools rankings. Maxwell has received this top honor in all but one of the years the rankings have been determined, which are based on a survey of the school’s peer institutions. In addition, the school remains highly ranked in ten subspecialties.

“As the Maxwell School celebrates its 100-year anniversary, we remain as focused as ever on preparing students to be public servants, leaders and scholars who will have a positive impact on their communities and the world around them,” says David M. Van Slyke, dean of the Maxwell School. “We are honored that our peers again recognized this work. We are also thankful to be counted among so many schools, colleges and universities preparing students to make a positive impact on democratic institutions and governance. And we share this honor with our students, faculty, staff and the vast network of Maxwell alumni who seek evidence-based solutions, encourage civil discourse, and ever strive to leave the world better than they found it.”

The Best Public Affairs Schools rankings are based solely on surveys of deans, directors and department chairs representing 271 master’s programs in public affairs and administration. Each school is numerically ranked by peer school leadership on a 5-point scale, with the average score determining the school’s overall rank. Additionally, survey respondents can nominate up to 15 schools for excellence in 12 subspecialties, with the number of nominations determining each school’s position in the ranking.

U.S. News began ranking graduate programs in public affairs in 1995. Since then, the Maxwell School has been ranked #1 in every survey but one.

This year, the Maxwell School is highly ranked in ten subspecialty categories:

Environmental Policy and Management

Health Policy and Management

International Global Policy and Administration

Information and Technology Management

Local Government Management

Non-Profit Management

Public Finance and Budgeting

Public Management and Leadership

Public Policy Analysis

Social Policy

“We are thankful for this recognition from our peers and for the students who, throughout the years, put their trust in us,” says Colleen Heflin, associate dean, chair and professor of public administration and international affairs. “I think our greatest attribute is our ability to foster creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and leadership for the common good. Students come here to learn tools for change, and leave as leaders ready to tackle complex problems, with the courage to challenge the status quo and the preparation to succeed in leading at all levels of government and in the private and non-profit sectors across the United States and around the world.”

The Maxwell School was founded in 1924, thanks to the support of George Holmes Maxwell and his vision to establish a "School of American Citizenship." As the world has changed and faced new challenges, the Maxwell School too has evolved to meet those challenges in its storied history. Today, Maxwell is home to 15 research centers and institutes, where students and scholars grapple with a range of issues, including environmental sustainability, autonomous systems policy, population health and aging, law and security, conflict resolution, democracy and journalism, global affairs, and regional studies. And the school continues to evolve to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Just this year, the Maxwell School launched the new Master of Science in Sustainable Organizations and Policy, a joint degree program in coordination with the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. It is co-directed by Maxwell’s Jay S. Golden, Pontarelli Professor of Environmental Sustainability and Finance and founding director of the Dynamic Sustainability Lab, and leverages the strengths of both schools to prepare students to be versatile, multidisciplinary, forward-looking leaders ready to take on the important challenges across the globe related to sustainability.

“Our strength, over the last 100 years and today, lies in Maxwell’s continuing ability to evolve as we leverage an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to address the greatest challenges faced by humanity,” says Van Slyke. “Today that list of issues and challenges includes environmental sustainability, artificial intelligence, international security, conflict resolution, poverty and health equity, to name a few. Within the walls of Maxwell and across the globe, our students, faculty, staff and alumni do that work on a daily basis. That is the greatest reward we can receive.”

About the Maxwell School

The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University offers highly regarded professional programs in public administration and international affairs as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees across the social sciences, and signature interdisciplinary undergraduate programs in policy, civic engagement, environmental sustainability and international relations. It is home to 15 interdisciplinary research centers focused on topical areas within public affairs. With campuses in Syracuse, New York, and Washington, D.C., and academic partnerships around the globe, the Maxwell network provides access to a world of opportunity.

About Syracuse University

Syracuse University is a private research university that advances knowledge across disciplines to drive breakthrough discoveries and breakout leadership. Our collection of 13 schools and colleges with over 200 customizable majors close the gap between education and action, so students can take on the world. In and beyond the classroom, we connect people, perspectives and practices to solve interconnected challenges with interdisciplinary approaches. Together, we’re a powerful community that moves ideas, individuals and impact beyond what’s possible.