Indiana University Bloomington's School of Public and Environmental Affairs is No. 1 in U.S. News & World Report's Best Graduate Schools rankings, released today.
U.S. News last reviewed public affairs programs in 2012, when SPEA moved to No. 2, ahead of similar schools at Harvard, Princeton and other major universities. It now is at the top of the rankings tied with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
“This is a momentous day for Indiana University and for SPEA. To be ranked as the top program in the nation, ahead of legendary programs such as Harvard and Princeton, is a crowning achievement for our faculty and staff,” said John D. Graham, dean of the school. “It is testament to the remarkable foundation built by our SPEA family going back to the school’s launch in 1972.
“The improvement in our overall ranking is certainly reason enough to celebrate but there is more good news. Our programs in nonprofit management, environmental policy and management, and public finance and budgeting are also considered the best in the nation, and our program in public management and administration is in the top three,” Graham added.
SPEA at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis also climbed in the rankings from 59th to 41st out of 272 public affairs schools. Its nonprofit management specialty was ranked fourth after previously being ranked sixth. The school also earned its first ranking (13th overall) in environmental policy and management.
“This reputation for excellence comes with an obligation,” Graham said. “So as we enjoy this day, we also re-dedicate ourselves to advancing knowledge that improves our world.”
SPEA IUB was also ranked No. 1 in three specialties – environmental policy and management, nonprofit management and public finance and budgeting – and third in public management and administration. Its specialty in public policy analysis ranked seventh after previously being ranked ninth, and SPEA IUB ranked within the top 15 for health policy and management, social policy and city management and urban policy.
“The rankings are a reflection of all that we do at SPEA – the research by our faculty, the accomplishments of our students, and the remarkable impact our alumni are having through careers that started here,” added Michael McGuire, the school’s executive associate dean. “To be considered the best in the nation is an honor and it motivates us to continue to excel.”
Deans, directors, and department chairs representing the 272 master’s programs in public administration and public affairs were surveyed. Respondents were asked to rate the academic quality of master’s programs on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding).
“The rankings are based on reputation and our reputation is hard earned and deserved,” said Kirsten Grønbjerg, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs. “The scholarship, community service, and teaching effectiveness of our faculty is unparalleled. I’m pleased and not at all surprised that word of that is getting around.”
The rankings are more than a badge of accomplishment. They’re a powerful magnet for prospective students comparing SPEA to other institutions.
Robert Kravchuk is the director of the Master of Public Affairs Program and director of the SPEA Connect online MPA program which shares the ranking: “When prospective students see this ranking they will know IU offers the ideal value combination – the best public affairs graduate programs in the country offered with public university tuition.”
U.S. News also ranked IU’s Maurer School of Law as well as graduate programs in education, fine arts and medicine.
“We have a terrific, diverse and comprehensive array of graduate and professional programs,” said IU Executive Vice President and Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel. “These rankings again reflect their excellence and quality.”
The rankings are available at www.usnews.com.