School of Public Affairs

School of Public Affairs

A Passion for Education Reform

"I am passionate about educational reform and aspire to lead a large agency where I can influence educational discourse and policy. SPA’s MPA is helping me develop my leadership skills and pursue my profession of purpose." Learn more about the MPA program.

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Six months after graduation,

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

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Results of Graduation Census as of six months after graduation for May graduates from 2014—2016.


Race, Class, and Politics in "The Cappuccino City"

The phrase “cappuccino city” refers to previously low-income, minority neighborhoods that are experiencing major demographic shifts caused by the influx of mid-to-upper income, white millennials. It’s happening in the Bronx in New York City, in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, and in the Shaw area of Washington, D.C. Shaw is the neighborhood at the center of SPA Associate Professor Derek Hyra’s new book, Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City.

SPA Policy Explainer Home

17 books published by SPA faculty in 2015-16

100 published academic journal articles written by SPA faculty in 2015-16

5,000 plus SPA media mentions in 2015-16

Comey with students

Government & Politics

James Comey, Former FBI Director, Visits School of Public Affairs to Speak With MPA Students

Former Director of the FBI, James Comey recently visited a class of first-year American University School of Public Affairs MPA graduate students to talk about ethical leadership.

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student protesting


Free Speech: How Far Can We Go?

Should university officials invite speakers with extremist views to campus? What kind of protest should be allowed? Should students who threaten speakers face consequences? This was the topic of discussion at a recent SPA event.

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Kevin and elementary school students participating in the Alliance for Working Together (AWT) Summer Manufacturing Institute pose for a group photo after taking a tour of Conn-Selmer, a local musical instrument manufacturer.

Alumni ·

Alumnus Exemplifies AU Values Through Commitment to Public Service

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AU School of Public Affairs in the Media

  • Jennifer Lawless, SPA Women & Politics Institute director, spoke to SFGate on new political accountability following the #MeToo movement.

  • Capri Cafaro, Executive in Residence at SPA, wrote in The Conversation about the GOP tax plan, state and local tax deductions - and you.

  • David Barker, SPA professor of Government, explains in The Conversation why it may not matter much to Republicans that their tax plan is unpopular.