About SPA

Over the last 80+ years, SPA has cultivated a culture of excellence.

Contact Us

Phone: (202) 885-2940 Graduate programs: spagrad@american.edu Undergraduate programs: aupublicaffairs@american.edu

Kerwin Hall

Public Affairs, School of 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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The School of Public Affairs at American University has a storied legacy that informs our values and approach.

In 1934, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt began implementing New Deal programs that sought to increase "practical contacts between the collegiate and educational world, and the operations of government." He believed that the collaboration of academia and public service would result in better decision-making, not only for Depression-era American, but also for future generations to come. From FDR's vision, American University's School of Public Affairs was born.

Over the last 80+ years, SPA has cultivated a culture of excellence. Our personalized teaching and experiential education transform the student experience. We empower those who seek knowledge to conduct and produce research. And we promote engagement to build a bridge between academic thought and policy planning - inspiring change in the world.

Today, with 1,800 current 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.

We Know Success

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

By the Numbers

External Funding $6.3M 2015-16

SPA Media Mentions 5,000 plus 2016-17

Latest News

African-American musician and author, Daryl Davis, recently spoke at an SPA event about his 30-year experience interviewing Ku Klux Klan members.

On Campus ·

How an Unlikely Friendship Helped Turn the Tide of Hate for One of the Nation's Most Notorious White Supremacist Groups

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New Book Highlights Need for Diverse Perspectives for Successful Democracies

Research ·

New Book Highlights Need for Diverse Perspectives for Successful Democracies

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A new report by SPA faculty explores the relationship between nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and local governments in developing countries.

Research ·

A Look at Lebanon: Untangling the Relationship Between NGOs and Local Governments

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