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#2022APPAM Spotlight: Northeastern University, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs


The #2022APPAM Fall Research Conference will feature some fantastic sponsors from across the policy research spectrum. Today we're shining a spotlight on Northeastern University’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs.


What types of programs does your school offer?

Our featured programs include:

  • PhD in Public Policy


  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Public Policy
  • MA in International Affairs
  • MS in Urban Informatics
  • MS in Urban Planning & Policy
  • MS in Environmental Science & Policy
  • MS in Engineering & Public Policy


  • Human Services Program

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

In 2019, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of our Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, the flagship program of our school! Throughout the past few years, we have been growing steadily – we’ve hired a new director and new faculty with a focus on social, racial, and environmental justice.

Why should potential students choose your school or program?

The School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs provides students with

  • Diverse, intensive classroom experiences
  • Experiential learning, co-op placements, professional internships, and research opportunities
  • Cooperative education in business, nonprofits, and government across Boston, the United States, and the world

Students work closely with faculty on research and outreach and embark on careers in government agencies, businesses, non-governmental and international organizations, and academia. We house the Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI) and the Dukakis Center for Regional and Urban Policy and partner with research centers across the university.

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

The School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs is a networked community with a commitment to centering social, racial, and environmental justice in every aspect of our teaching, research, campus relationships, and community engagement. Faculty and staff have the chance to leverage and support the growing opportunities our university has to offer to engage in innovative research and teaching.

We are in the heart of Boston and part of a global university system with campuses in London, UK; Portland, Maine; San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington; Toronto, Canada; and Vancouver, Canada.

What is your teaching/research divide?

Our research and teaching are intricately linked.

We are a hub for innovative, interdisciplinary research that informs policy-making and community priorities integrating issues of pressing concern to society at local, state, national, and international levels – from transportation, housing, and community development to social and environmental justice, resilience, and sustainability. Our research centers include the Boston Area Research Initiative and Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy and we work closely with other research centers at Northeastern.

What is your undergraduate/graduate divide?

We have 300 graduate and doctoral students and 200 students in our undergraduate programs including our Human Services program, minors in Law and Public Policy, Food Systems Sustainability, Health, and Equity, and Urban Studies.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Our team is here to help you make the next step in your academic journey. Ask us about our programs, the application process, or experiential learning opportunities. Do you want to connect with a current student or alumni? Ask us! Do you want to sit in on one of our courses? Ask us! We want to help make the best decision for you and provide you with all the information and resources you need.

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

The School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs is committed to countering oppression and centering social and racial justice in every aspect of our teaching, research, campus relationships, and community engagement.

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