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#2022APPAM Spotlight: Syracuse University, Maxwell School


The #2022APPAM Fall Research Conference will feature some fantastic sponsors from across the policy research spectrum. Today we're shining a spotlight on Syracuse University, Maxwell School

What programs does your school offer?

Public Administration 
  • M.P.A.
  • Accelerated Bachelor’s / M.P.A.
  • M.P.A. / M.A. International Relations
  • M.P.A. / MBA
  • M.P.A. / J.D.
  • Ph.D. 
International Relations
  • M.A. International Relations
  • Accelerated Bachelor’s / M.A. International Relations 
  • M.A. International Relations / M.P.A.
  • M.A. International Relations / MBA
  • M.A. International Relations / M.A. Economics
  • M.A. International Relations / M.S. Finance
  • M.A. International Relations / J.D. 
Public Diplomacy and Global Communications
  • M.A. 
Executive Education 
  • M.P.A. (Online or On Campus)
  • M.A. International Relations (Syracuse or Washington, D.C.)
  • B.A. Policy Studies

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

Contributing to Syracuse University’s robust R1-designated research community, the Maxwell School is home to 15 interdisciplinary research centers and institutes where faculty and students work to address some of the world’s most pressing issues—from aging and population health, to national security, to environmental sustainability, to social welfare and more. Since 2019, the school and university have invested in an array of new policy-relevant research initiatives including launching new research centers such as the Autonomous Systems Policy Institute; the Center for Aging and Policy Studies; the Center for Policy Design and Governance; the Dynamic Sustainability Lab; and—most recently—the Center for Democracy, Journalism and Citizenship in Washington, D.C. The School’s faculty includes four recent Carnegie Fellows and regularly earns grant awards from the NIH, USDA, NSF, and other grantmakers. Learn more about Maxwell’s research activity.

Why should potential students choose your school or program?

The Maxwell School has been ranked the top school of public affairs for the past 26 years since the rankings began (US News & World Report). Maxwell’s unique strength comes from a multidisciplinary approach to making the world a better place. 

World-class scholars and practitioners across the full spectrum of social sciences and public affairs specialties come to the Maxwell School to engage in rigorous research, interdisciplinary collaboration, and innovative teaching. More than 33,000 alumni worldwide are making a lasting impact in the communities they serve.

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

The Maxwell School is a community of scholars who believe that responsible citizenship is not just a concept; it’s the active, ongoing pursuit to empower a more healthy and inclusive society. It’s a community of diverse individuals dedicated to making the world a better place—and to helping each other succeed.
Because when any one of us succeeds, our communities are better for it.

What is your teaching/research divide?

Faculty teach in our graduate and undergraduate programs while excelling in research that enhances policy and practice at the local, state, and international levels.

What is your graduate/undergraduate divide?

The Maxwell School is Syracuse University’s home for undergraduate and graduate research and teaching in the social sciences, international relations, public policy and administration. It provides undergraduate social science core to nearly 15,000 undergraduate students across campus. Within the Public Administration and International Affairs Department, there are 200 undergraduate majors and 400 masters and 25 doctoral students.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Maxwell’s advice to prospective students is to be endlessly curious and passionate about problem-solving for the public good. Students should be able to articulate what problems they want to solve in our world and how their skills can contribute to making things better. Aside from having a competitive academic background, students should seek to understand that evidence-based decision-making paired with passion and experience will enable them to serve communities in a fulfilling and holistic way. Volunteer in your community, aim for that internship, write that research paper, leverage professional experience, and be open to new ideas and new ways of thinking. There are endless challenges to overcome, and Maxwell prepares students to meet those challenges.

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

At the Maxwell School, diversity is both a core value and a distinguishing characteristic. We strive to create spaces that make every member of our community feel welcomed, supported, empowered and valued.
Time and again, we find that the most innovative ideas and comprehensive solutions arise when we bring together people representing different identities, backgrounds and experiences. In a complex, collaborative environment like the Maxwell School, diversity not only enriches us but also is essential for achieving our highest ambitions.

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