Skip to main content

SPP Recognized in the U.S. News & World Report “Best Graduate Schools” List

Back to All News
Main Administration building

The U.S. News & World Report recognized the School of Public Policy (SPP) as a top-ranked graduate school, earning additional distinctions for the national security, international policy, nonprofit management, public finance and budgeting, public management, and policy analysis subsidiary programs. The honor distinguishes SPP for its innovative leadership, interdisciplinary engagement and unique curriculum design. 

Students who study at SPP can choose from a wide range of highly-ranked graduate specializations and undergraduate minors. These specializations culminate in their capstone projects, in which students partner with external organizations, including nonprofit and private organizations and state, local and federal governments, to deliver reports and analyses. This unique program structure sets SPP apart from other public affairs programs and helps prepare graduates to enter the policy world. 

The School’s diverse curriculum is supplemented by opportunities for involvement with other tier-1 research departments at the University of Maryland. Master of Public Policy students can opt to pursue dual degrees with the Robert H. Smith School of Business, the Francis King Carey School of Law and the School of Social Work, offering students the foundation for careers beyond policy analysis and public service. SPP’s research centers also provide students and faculty the opportunity to engage with professionals from other disciplines and deepen their understanding of policy challenges. 


SPP ranks fifth in Homeland/National Security and Emergency Management graduate programs. Graduate students can opt to specialize in International Security and Economic Policy (ISEP) or can support research with the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland.

SPP also earned high marks for its International Policy and Administration program, as SPP incorporates global dimensions into many of its courses and research centers, including the Center for Global Sustainability. Notably, SPP offers the International Development Policy (IDEV) specialization, which allows students to explore the challenges of development work and ensure that projects achieve intended outcomes. 

The Do Good Institute, a research center and action-based organization which addresses social issues with an interdisciplinary approach, distinguishes SPP from other Non-Profit Management graduate programs, offering students opportunities to grow their own nonprofits and social-impact-oriented businesses. 

SPP ranks twelfth in Public Finance and Budgeting for its integration of basic financial policy analysis into its core curriculum. Interested students can also specialize in Public Financial Management. 

The U.S. News and World Report awarded SPP’s Public Management and Leadership with a high rank for its core governance coursework and management and leadership specialization. SPP focuses not only on how to successfully lead in a public office but also on how to incorporate diverse perspectives and cross-sector engagement within decision-making.  

Public Policy Analysis is at the heart of SPP’s curriculum, as students learn how to approach policy challenges from an interdisciplinary perspective and concisely articulate their ideas. Students can choose from a variety of policy areas in which to specialize, including environmental, energy, social, health and education policy.

For Media Inquiries:
Megan Campbell
Senior Director of Strategic Communications
For More from the School of Public Policy:
Sign up for SPP News