Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration

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The Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration (TSPPPA) is part of The George Washington University (GWU) and is located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Specifically, TSPPPA operates as a graduate school within the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at GWU. The school offers several graduate degrees including a Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Policy, PhD in Public Policy and PhD in Public Administration.

Both the master’s and PhD degrees at TSPPPA offer a rigorous multi-disciplinary curriculum that focuses on teaching, scholarship, service and research, and are designed to help student develop critical analysis skills and in-depth knowledge in the fields of public administration and public policy. Upon graduation, students will be better prepared and qualified to pursue careers in teaching, research and administration in various organizations including universities, government agenices, research institutions and international organizations.

The Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration is ranked No.12 in the nation among Public Affairs schools and No.10 nationwide in Public Management Administration, according a U.S. News & World Report survey.

School History

With the construction of Hall of Government in the late 1920s (a gift of Mrs. Henry Alvah Strong, Trustee of The George Washington University), GWU launched its first higher education program in public service and government. By the early 1950s, GWU had established several well known and reputable courses in public administration, offered through several of its devisions including the Department of Political Science, Department of Business, and School of Government. In response to a rising demand for professionals trained in public administration, GWU began offering upper-level public administration courses in 1956 through its newly established Department of Business and Public Administration (a division of the GWU School of Government–which was later reorganized into the School of Government and Business Administration). The same year the university launched its first Master of Public Administration program and shortly thereafter a PhD in Public Policy through the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. In 2003, the Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Policy and PhD in Public policy were consolidated under a new school, the School of Public Policy and Administration. The school was renamed the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration in 2007 in honor of Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, the 15th President of George Washington University.


Academics and Research

The Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration (TSPPPA) offers masters degrees, doctoral degrees and graduate certification programs in public administration and public policy. The school’s Master of Public Policy (MPP) and Master of Public Adminstration (MPA) degrees each include a common core curriculum that all students are required to complete, followed by major and elective courses in line with a student’s choosen area of focus (e.g. Philosophy and Social Policy, Environmental and Resource Policy, and Women’s Studies). Many of the major/elective courses are offered in partnership with the university’s other academic colleges including the School of Public Health and Health Services, the Graduate School of Education & Human Development and the Elliott School of International Affairs. In addition to its two master’s degree programs, the school offers two doctoral degrees, a PhD in Public Administration and a PhD in Public Policy. Students also have the option of pursuing a graduate certificate in nonprofit management either as part of their master’s or doctoral degree, or as a stand-alone program. The master’s degrees at TSPPPA are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), a non-profit organization of public policy schools.

Many of the degrees offered through TSPPPA are also offered as joint degrees with other disciplines, such as law. Through a partnership with The George Washington University Law School, TSPPPA offers both JD/MPP and JD/MPA degree programs. Through a partnership with the GWU Department of Political Science, students can earn a joint MPP/PhD.

While the Trachtenberg School is primariy a teaching institution, its students and faculty are involved in research through partnerships with several of the university’s other departments, including the Regulatory Studies Center, The Center for Washington Area Studies, The Midge Smith Center for Evaluation Effectiveness, The George Washington Institute for Public Policy, and The State and Local Fiscal Policy Program.

*We do not guarantee the accuracy of information on this page. All information is subject to change. You should confirm all information with a college admissions officer.


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