Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration

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Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration
Established 2006
Type Public
Endowment US$783.5 million
Dean Marc Holzer
Academic staff 103
Students 1049
Location Newark, New Jersey, United States
Campus Urban

The Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) is a public policy and public administration school, and one of Rutgers University's professional schools. It offers bachelor's degrees in public service, master's degrees in public administration and public health, grants doctoral degrees, administers executive programs for senior government officials, and conducts research in subjects relating to politics, government, international affairs, and economics.

According to U.S. News & World Report, SPAA is one of the top seven programs in the United States in public management and administration. SPAA's campus is located in the University Heights neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey, United States. Since 2004, the school's dean has been Marc Holzer, who is also the Board of Governors Professor at SPAA.

The school’s faculty generates knowledge and best practices in public service and administration, and collaborates with public and nonprofit sector organizations and professionals throughout the U.S. and the world. Guided by the principles of knowledge, competence, diversity and service – with an emphasis on public service values and competencies for effective performance – SPAA promotes accountability, transparency, and performance in the public and nonprofit sectors.


The School of Public Affairs and Administration was founded in 2006 after providing doctoral and master’s public administration education for over 30 years to pre-service, in-service, and executive students through the Rutgers–Newark Graduate School.


U.S. News & World Report has ranked the Rutgers Newark campus #1 in Diversity for each of the last 15 years.[1] Rutgers SPAA’s rich composition in race, ethnicity, gender and nationality is considered a major contributor to the campus’ acclaim.

Compared to over 300 public affairs and administration schools and programs nationally, U.S. News & World Report ranks SPAA:[2]

  • 4th nationally in Information and Technology Management
  • 7th nationally in Public Management/Administration
  • 10th nationally in Public Finance and Budgeting
  • 11th nationally in City Management and Urban Policy
  • 18th nationally in Nonprofit Management
  • 23rd nationally in Public Affairs
  • 24th nationally in Public Policy Analysis

Degree and certificate programs[edit]

SPAA offers a full range of advanced degree and certificate programs focused on education, research, and practice in response to increasing demand for competent, strong managers and leaders. Students are taught by award-winning faculty and frequently enjoy guest lectures by professionals in the field. Small class sizes, interactive discussions, research and hands-on applications are integral parts of the learning experience. Rutgers SPAA “seeks to provide service to governments and citizens by developing approaches to public affairs that are performance-driven: effective, efficient, equitable and accountable. Programs are continually revised to reflect the changing nature of the field.” Recent additions to the curriculum include courses on Performance Measurement, E-Government and Public Service.” More than 300 Master’s, Doctoral and certificate candidates are currently enrolled in a wide range of degree offerings.

Rutgers SPAA offers the following degree programs:

  • Undergraduate Major in Public Service

“The first of its kind in New Jersey and among a handful in the United States,” the BA in Public Service program – launched in 2008 – connects education with students aspirations and ideals, features networking opportunities, and provides urban and global experiences through service learning internships and workshops (U.S. and worldwide). The program provides students with the substantive knowledge, analytical skills and perspectives needed to respond effectively and fairly to major contemporary social problems, with a particular focus on urban issues that affect the Newark community. In Connections, a Rutgers–Newark community publication, inaugural BA student Adiatu Oladayo said that the program enables him to “apply theory and academic discourse” to his first hand public service experiences.[3]

  • Joint Bachelor/Master in Public Administration (BA/MPA, BS/MPA)

This program makes it possible for qualified students to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in 5 years. According to the SPAA website, “The program is designed for the highly motivated student who has decided at an early stage in his or her studies to pursue a career in public administration.”[4]

  • Master in Public Administration (MPA)

NASPAA accredited and geared for those working in or preparing for careers in the public and nonprofit sectors, the MPA program at Rutgers SPAA provides students with basic competencies in the context of a broad understanding of the field. The program is offered to both part-time and full-time students. Internships are not required but are encouraged for pre-service and career-change students.

  • Executive Master in Public Administration (EMPA)

Tailored to meet the needs of public and nonprofit managers and supervisors, the EMPA “prepares seasoned managers for executive-level leadership by providing a solid knowledge base and competencies necessary for successful practice in government and nonprofit organizations.” Students stay within the same cohort and courses are scheduled on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings to minimize work week disruptions. For added convenience, the program is offered in Trenton and at in Newark at Newark City Hall.

  • Joint Master of Public Health (with RBHS and NJIT)

SPAA offers the MPH program with the School of Public Health at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The curriculum addresses critical health issues, including those of high-risk, urban and underserved populations.

  • Master of Public Administration Joint Chinese-U.S. Program

In partnership with one of the Ministries in China, SPAA is developing a MPA program that will be offered in Beijing, China. The program will utilize Rutgers faculty who will travel to Beijing to teach courses. The curriculum “emphasizes public administration theory and practice in the United States and provides comparisons to the Chinese public administration system.” [5]

  • Doctorate in Public Administration

With an emphasis on opportunities for minorities and women, this leading national program offers specializations in Public Sector Performance; Leadership; Equity and Diversity; Government Budgeting; Comparative Public Administration; Human Resources Management; and, Public Management and Urban Systems. Through disciplined research, the PhD program seeks to expand the problem-solving capacities of universities, independent research organizations and government agencies. Full-time students can expect to complete the program’s 48 credits of course work, comprehensive exams and dissertation in about four years.

Rutgers SPAA offers the following certificate programs:

  • Certificate in Public Performance Measurement (online)
  • Certificate in Nonprofit Management (graduate credit)
  • Certificate in Government and Nonprofit Financial Management (graduate credit; online)
  • Certificate in Animals, Communities, and Law (online)
  • Business District Management Certificate (online)
  • Certified Public Manager
  • Certified Government Chief Information Officer (CGCIO) Program

Faculty expertise[edit]

SPAA has over 25 faculty and five are members of the National Academy of Public Administration. SPAA faculty offer expertise in: Public Administration; Public Performance Measurement and Reporting; E-Governance; Public Management; Public Service; Urban Affairs; Public Health; Health Policy; Transparency; Human Resources; Public Management; and Citizen Surveys.[6]

Research publications and journals[edit]

SPAA publishes four journals: Public Performance and Management Review (PPMR), Public Voices, Chinese Public Administration Review (CPAR), and the Journal of Public Management and Social Policy (JPMSP).

Books: Faculty research efforts at the Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration continually advance the understanding of public administration and management. Faculty members regularly publish books that reflect the quality and importance of their research.

Affiliations and partnerships[edit]

Rutgers SPAA works closely with the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), and the United Nations Division for Public Administration and Development Management.

International With Renmin University and the Chinese Public Administration Society, SPAA organizes a bi-annual conference in China. In Korea, Rutgers SPAA works with the Korean Association of Public Administration, several universities and other groups on research and conferences. In South Africa, SPAA engages in regular scholarly exchanges and collaborations. And in Western Europe, the SPAA has helped develop a series of trans-Atlantic dialogues between ASPA and the European Group on Public Administration.[7]


SPAA graduates consistently achieve positions of high responsibility and leadership at the federal, state, and local levels of government and in the nonprofit sector. Doctoral graduates are teaching and gaining tenure at many universities throughout the United States and around the world.

Centers, institutes, and networks[edit]

  • National Center for Public Performance

SPAA’s internationally renowned faculty is actively engaged in a variety of related research, and its National Center for Public Performance (NCPP) is recognized as a leading research center. According to its website, NCPP maintains close relationships with New Jersey’s local and state government agencies. As such, “students have opportunities to participate in cutting-edge studies, gain experience in the field and establish relationships to help them advance their careers.” [8] NCPP is a research and public service organization devoted to improving performance in the public sector. Founded in 1972, NCPP serves as a vehicle for the study, dissemination and recognition of performance measurement initiatives in government. In addition, NCPP specializes in research and teaching in the engagement of citizens.[9]

  • Public Performance Measurement and Reporting Network

The Public Performance Measurement and Reporting Network connects groups of citizens, government officials, public and nonprofit managers, researchers, faculty and students who are dedicated to measuring, reporting, and improving public sector and not-for-profit performance. The goal of the Public Performance Measurement and Reporting Network is to promote the use of valid, reliable data as a key element in improving the delivery of public services. With funding from the Alfred P. Sloan foundation, the Network provides members with a comprehensive, online database of resources including articles, reports, performance measures, books, manuals, websites, training opportunities and more.[10]

  • E-Governance Institute

According to its website, the mission of the E-governance Institute is: “to explore how the internet and other information technologies (IT) have and will continue to impact on the productivity and performance of the public sector and how e-government fosters new and deeper citizen involvement within the governing process. “The Institute is committed through its work to supporting the gathering and sharing of knowledge, information and data in order to increase the understanding of how e-governance can strengthen the fundamental partnership between the public sector and the private citizen.” [11] The Institute works in partnership with the Global E-Policy & E-Government Institute of Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Republic of Korea, to conduct surveys of municipalities in the United States and worldwide.

  • Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies

Established in July 2000, the Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies is an integral part of the Rutgers–Newark campus that brings together faculty, staff and students from Rutgers–Newark and allied institutions of higher education. The center provides a distinctive environment in which to promote research and interchange among scholars of urban and metropolitan life, government leaders, businesses, community-based organizations, and private citizens. The center is named after the late Joseph C. Cornwall, the founding chair of The Fund for New Jersey and a widely respected civic leader.


  1. ^ Rutgers University-Newark, retrieved 7 Jan. 2009
  2. ^ U.S. News & World Report,
  3. ^ Rutgers–Newark, Connections, fall 2008, p. 2.
  4. ^ Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration, retrieved 15 October 2008
  5. ^ Interview. Bob Shick. 23 December 2008.
  6. ^ SPAA, Competence, Diversity, Knowledge, Service. Brochure, 2008.
  7. ^ Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration, retrieved 15 October 2008
  8. ^ NCPP, retrieved 15 October 2008,
  9. ^ NCPP, retrieved 15 October 2008,
  10. ^ PPMRN website, retrieved 15 October 2008,
  11. ^ E-Governance website, retrieved 22 October 2008,

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°44′41″N 74°10′15″W / 40.744599°N 74.170841°W / 40.744599; -74.170841