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Maxwell ranks #1 again, celebrates 25 years of U.S. News ranking

Maxwell ranks #1 again, celebrates 25 years of U.S. News ranking

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. I am excited to share the following news with you.  Today we are proud to celebrate and honor decades of hard work and commitment to providing the best educational experience to the next generation of public service professionals! 

Christine ~ on behalf of the entire PAIA Team at SU/Maxwell

Syracuse, N.Y., March 17, 2020
—The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University once again ranks #1 in the nation for public affairs according to the U.S. News & World Report reputational survey. This year, Maxwell shares the top ranking with Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

For 25 years, since U.S. News began ranking graduate public affairs programs in 1995, Maxwell has held the #1 spot in every survey except one. This is the tenth time the survey has been conducted.  According to Dean David M. Van Slyke, this consistency is a testament to the School’s commitment to providing the very best undergraduate and graduate education in public affairs and to preparing service-minded professionals and informed citizens to address the challenges of a complex world.

“We are grateful to receive the recognition of our peers, at the same time we recognize with deep appreciation the excellence and hard work of our colleagues and friends at institutions around the country,” says Van Slyke. “Collectively our work has never been more important as public-service oriented professionals around the world are mobilizing in response to the coronavirus pandemic. They are a powerful example of the essential role that public service plays, on the front lines and behind-the-scenes, in times of crisis and in times of calm.”

Among specialty areas, Maxwell remains #1 in Public Management and Leadership and #2 in the areas of Nonprofit Management as well as Public Finance and Budgeting. The School also ranks highly in six other specialties, including International Global Policy and Administration (#4), Public Policy Analysis (#7), Local Government Management (#7), Environmental Policy and Management (#8), Urban Policy (#10), and Social Policy (#14).

The U.S. News 2021 rankings of public affairs programs, completed in early 2020, are based solely on peer assessment surveys sent to deans, directors, and department chairs representing 276 master’s programs in public affairs and administration. Two surveys were sent to each school. The response rate was 62 percent. Respondents were asked to rate the academic quality of the master’s programs on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding). The MPA programs at Syracuse University and Indiana University -Bloomington each earned an average rating of 4.4 out of 5.

About the Maxwell School (@MaxwellSU)

The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University is the nation’s top-ranked school for public affairs, having earned the #1 spot in the U.S. News ranking in every survey year except one. In addition to highly regarded professional programs in public administration and international affairs, the School offers undergraduate and graduate degrees across the social sciences, policy studies, and international relations, and is home to ten interdisciplinary research centers focused on topical areas within public affairs.

New Cluster Hires and Signature Hires initiatives underway at Syracuse University will enhance this culture of deeply interdisciplinary and collaborative policy-relevant discovery. These will include 14 new Maxwell faculty with expertise in the following thematic clusters: Aging, Heath and Neuroscience; Big Data and Data Analytics; Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Systems and the Human-Technology Frontier; Social Differences, Social Justice; and Citizenship and Democratic Institutions. New faculty will span Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Sociology, and Public Administration and International Affairs. All will teach both undergraduate and graduate courses.

About Syracuse University

Syracuse University is a private, international research university with distinctive academics, diverse and unique offerings, and an undeniable spirit. Located in the geographic heart of New York State, with a global footprint and 150 years of history, Syracuse University offers a quintessential college experience, as well as innovative online learning environments. The scope of Syracuse University is a testament to its strengths. At Syracuse University, we offer a choice of more than 200 majors and 100 minors offered through 13 schools and colleges and 18 online degree programs. We have more than 15,000 undergraduates and 7,500 graduate students, more than a quarter of a million alumni in 160 countries, and a student population from all 50 U.S. states and 123 countries. For more information, please visit

One Comment

  1. Wonderful news! Congratulations Maxwell School. So proud to be an Alum of this great institution and to have studied with so many great and talented classmates.

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