Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration

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The Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration
School of Media and Public Affairs GWU SMPA.JPG
Type Private
Established 2003
Director Kathryn Newcomer
Academic staff
Students 425
Address 805 21st St NW, Washington, D.C., 20052
Campus UrbanFoggy Bottom
Nickname TSPPPA

The Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration (also known as TSPPPA) is a graduate school in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at George Washington University. The Trachtenberg School offers Master of Public Policy, Master of Public Administration, and PhD degrees in Public Policy and Public Administration. The school is located in Foggy Bottom in the District of Columbia, close to federal government agencies, nonprofits, international organizations, and other public organizations throughout the Washington D.C. area. The master’s programs in public administration and public policy intend to integrate theory and practice in scholarship, teaching, and service and embrace multiple perspectives for advancing critical analysis and practical knowledge in the fields of public policy and public administration. The PhD program offers a rigorous multi-disciplinary curriculum that prepares students for careers in university teaching and research, research institutions, government, and international organizations. For Public Affairs schools, it is ranked 12th nationwide by US News & World Report, and 10th in Public Management Administration.[1]


Education in public service and government began at George Washington University with the construction of the Hall of Government in 1927. The university gradually expanded its offerings in the field, and by 1950, public administration courses were offered in the School of Government, Department of Business, and the Department of Political Science. In 1953, the Department of Political Science organized these offerings into a Master of Arts in Public Administration degree. To address the call for professional training in public administration, in 1956, graduate level public administration courses were consolidated into the newly formed Department of Business and Public Administration in the School of Government. The school was subsequently reorganized in 1963 into the School of Government and Business Administration, including a Department of Public Administration. That same year, the department began offering a Master of Public Administration degree. The program consisted of 36 credit hours of coursework following the early guidelines of the National Association of Public Administration and Public Affairs. Further changes to the program expanded the course of study to a 40 credit hour program. The Columbian College of Arts and Sciences also established Masters of Public Policy and PhD in Public Policy programs. In 2003, all three programs were merged into the School of Public Policy and Public Administration within the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. The School was recognized as one of the seven academic units designated as signature programs of selective excellence within the University. Most recently, in 2007, the university Board of Trustees renamed the School of Public Policy and Public Administration the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration in recognition of President-emeritus Stephen Joel Trachtenberg.[2]

Academic programs[edit]

The Trachtenberg School offers master's, doctoral, and certificate programs in the field of public policy and public administration. The school offers Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Public Policy (MPP) degrees, both of which are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.[3][4][5] The MPA and MPP each consist of a core curriculum and a field of study chosen by students. Many of these fields of study are offered in partnership with other schools within the university, including the Elliott School of International Affairs, School of Public Health and Health Services, and Graduate School of Education & Human Development. For doctoral level work, the school offers a PhD in Public Policy and Public Administration.[6] The school offers a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management, which can be completed as a stand-alone program or jointly with the Master of Public Administration degree.[7]

In addition to degrees offered solely by the Trachtenberg School, the school offers joint JD/MPA and JD/MPP degree programs with The George Washington University Law School and a joint MPP/PhD with the Department of Political Science.[8] The school is also affiliated with three Master of Arts in Public Policy offered by the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, with concentrations in Environmental and Resource Policy, Philosophy and Social Policy, and Women's Studies.[9]

Research Centers[edit]

The Trachtenberg School is affiliated with several research centers at The George Washington University. Many faculty and students perform research in partnership with these centers.

  • The George Washington Institute for Public Policy[10]
  • Regulatory Studies Center[11]
  • The Center for Washington Area Studies
  • The State and Local Fiscal Policy Program
  • The Midge Smith Center for Evaluation Effectiveness[12]

Notable faculty[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Source: US News & World Report 2008.
  2. ^ School of Public Policy and Administration named after Trachtenberg
  3. ^ Master of Public Administration
  4. ^ Master of Public Policy
  5. ^ NASPAA 2009-10 Roster of Accredited Programs
  6. ^ PhD in Public Policy and Public Administration
  7. ^ Nonprofit Management Certificate
  8. ^ Dual-Degree Programs
  9. ^ Affiliated Programs
  10. ^ GWIPP: Home
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ Midge Smith Center for Evaluation Effectiveness

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°54′00″N 77°02′46″W / 38.8999°N 77.0462°W / 38.8999; -77.0462