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#2021APPAM Spotlight: Georgetown University, McCourt School of Public Policy


The #2021APPAM Fall Research Conference will feature some fantastic sponsors from across the policy research spectrum. Today we're shining a spotlight on Georgetown University, McCourt School of Public Policy.




What types of programs does your school offer?

The McCourt School of Public Policy offers master’s degree programs in public policy, international development policy, data science for public policy, policy management and policy leadership, nine dual degrees, global learning opportunities in a range of destinations, and certificate and other executive education programming.

What would you list as your school's greatest accomplishments in the last 5-10 years?

Since the establishment of the McCourt School of Public Policy in 2013, we have grown into a top-ranked institution, and we aspire to be the most inclusive public policy school in the nation. Over the last decade, we have expanded the breadth and depth of our academic programs and boast more research centers and initiatives than ever before — adding a dozen new faculty members in just the last two years. We have also modernized the core curricula of our Masters degree programs, so that ​​all McCourt students graduate with the same set of foundational skills — and our graduates continue to see impressive employment outcomes.

This fall, we welcome the largest class of first-year students ever at McCourt — nearly 450 scholars representing 38 countries, 37 states and the District of Columbia. We are breaking ground on a new building in downtown Washington, DC, adjacent to the Georgetown Law Center. The McCourt School’s new home will integrate our teaching, research and outreach efforts steps from the US Capitol and US Supreme Court and with technology to connect us to the world. Made possible by our faculty, researchers, staff and alumni, who are dedicated to educating and empowering the next generation of policy makers and leaders, we are also preparing to launch an undergraduate program. We are pleased to begin offering our new program to Georgetown College juniors and seniors beginning in the 2023-2024 academic year.

Why should potential students choose your school or program?

Educating the rigorously-trained, ethically-grounded leaders of tomorrow, and giving them the cutting-edge skills to have a positive impact in the world, is the heart of our work. Our students understand the importance of connecting policy to the people it’s designed to serve, and are prepared for the challenges of working across differences. Our location in Washington, DC, puts our students at the center of the policy world, giving them access to the highest concentration of policy internships and jobs, and allowing us to bring in leading policy practitioners as both teachers and speakers. Our curriculum gives students a strong grounding in the quantitative and analytical tools needed to design and measure the effectiveness of policy solutions, combined with ethics and leadership skills. This rigorous training allows McCourt graduates to have an impact on day one of their careers — in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, in the US and around the world. This is the McCourt difference; it’s what sets us apart from our peers.

If you are hiring, what makes your school a great place to work?

As a part of the foremost university in the nation’s capital, our educational mission is rooted in Georgetown’s Jesuit identity, which challenges everyone in our community, no matter their faith or background, to engage in the world and be people for others — especially the most vulnerable among us. The Georgetown and the McCourt School communities offer rich and engaging intellectual opportunities for faculty and researchers, many of whom are nationally and internationally recognized in their areas of expertise. McCourt School faculty and researchers are distinguished scholars and practitioners deeply committed to student success and effecting change through policy.

What is your teaching/research divide?

The McCourt School includes 15 affiliated research centers, 49 full time faculty members, 48 research faculty members and fellows, more than 100 affiliated faculty members and approximately 600 enrolled students across the various degree and executive education programs.

What is your undergraduate/graduate divide?

All of the McCourt School’s current programs of study, dual degree programs and global opportunities are available to graduate-level students only. We will start offering an undergraduate program to Georgetown College juniors and seniors beginning in the 2023-2024 academic year.

Is there any other information you'd like us to include in your Spotlight?

In building a public policy school for the 21st century, the McCourt School is committed to engaging a community of students, faculty and staff who are themselves diverse and who actively embrace inclusion. In early 2021, Frank McCourt (C’75) made a second transformative $100 million gift to the McCourt School. We are directing $50 million to financial aid and scholarships primarily targeted at supporting underrepresented students. This commitment is an important step toward removing barriers for tomorrow’s policy makers and public servants — and catalyzes Georgetown’s ambition to build upon our diverse community of faculty, researchers, students and staff, which now represents more than 50 countries across the globe. Our new Foundations program, offered to all incoming McCourt School students, builds the skills needed for working across differences and catalyzes equity-centered policy work and advocacy.

We are pleased to be the home of the National Urban Fellows program, which strives to develop mid-career professionals, particularly men and women of color, to be leaders in the public and nonprofit sectors. We also have an active partnership across teaching and research with Howard University, and we created the Howard Scholar at McCourt program, a full tuition scholarship for a Howard student or alumnus to one of the McCourt School’s graduate programs.

What is an interesting, unique, or fun fact about your school?

In 2023, the McCourt School will move to a new home in the heart of downtown Washington, DC, within walking distance of the US Capitol and the US Supreme Court. The new 130,000 sq. ft. building will expand the existing footprint of Georgetown University Law Center, and serve as a front door to Georgetown on Capitol Hill, bring together our centers and institutes in one location and create new opportunities for collaboration on innovative policy solutions across fields including health, climate, technology, education and human rights.

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