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Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

Coordinates: 43°02′17″N 76°08′09″W / 43.038038°N 76.13571°W / 43.038038; -76.13571
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
TypePrivate graduate school for public administration and international relations
Established1924; 100 years ago (1924)
Parent institution
Syracuse University
AccreditationAPSIA, NASPAA
Academic affiliations
DeanDavid Van Slyke
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States
Logo for the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University

The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs (Maxwell School) is the professional public policy school of Syracuse University, a private research university in Syracuse, New York. The school is organized in 11 academic departments and 13 affiliated research centers and offers coursework in the fields of public administration, international relations, foreign policy, political Science, science and technology policy, social sciences, and economics through its undergraduate (BA) degrees, graduate Master of Public Affairs (MPA), Master of Arts (MA), and PhD degrees.[1]

The school has been recognized as one of the world's best graduate schools of public affairs.[2] It awards the oldest public administration degree in the United States.[3]


Abraham Lincoln Statue in front of the Maxwell School by James Earle Fraser.

The precursor to the Maxwell School was the Training School for Public Service, founded by New York City’s Bureau of Municipal Research, which was transferred to Syracuse University in 1924.[4] The school was initially a vehicle for municipal reform, its students serving as a pool of researchers tasked with uncovering examples of the corruption of Tammany Hall.[5]

The school is named for George Holmes Maxwell, a Syracuse alumnus and Boston patent attorney who in 1924 donated $500,000 to the university to establish a school which would aim "to cull from every source those principles, facts, and elements which, combined, make up our rights and duties and our value and distinctiveness as United States citizens".[6][7] Maxwell's initial interest was in training all undergraduates for their roles as informed citizens in the American democracy; University officials convinced him the school should also provide professional training for future government officials and other public servants.[8]

The Maxwell School was dedicated on October 3, 1924, and was the first program to offer a graduate professional degree in public administration. That Master of Public Administration program is the oldest continuously operating, university-based MPA in the United States.

In 1937, the school took its full name and moved into Maxwell Hall, a purpose-built building on the west end of Syracuse University's main campus. In that year, Syracuse University's graduate programs and undergraduate instruction in the social sciences were moved into Maxwell, giving the school the unusual hybrid structure that remains today.[9]

In 1968, Maxwell professor Dwight Waldo presided over the Minnowbrook I conference, which established the foundations for New Public Administration.[10] Subsequent Minnowbrook II and III conferences were held in 1988 and 2008 at the eponymous Blue Mountain Lake retreat.[11]

The school's rapid growth necessitated the 1990 "Campaign for Maxwell", which raised capital to fund a new building to accommodate the expansion. The Holden Observatory, built in 1887, was moved to create space for a new 5-story building.[12] The result of the campaign was the Bohlin Cywinski Jackson-designed Eggers Hall, which opened in 1994.[13] Eggers Hall adjoins Maxwell Hall at the corner, together forming an L-shaped complex that houses the present-day Maxwell School.

In 2013, the Maxwell School and the Center for Strategic and International Studies entered into a collaborative agreement that included headquartering all Maxwell operations at CSIS.[14]



Research centers[edit]

The school hosts or co-hosts 13 research centers or institutes, encouraging interdisciplinary study and conversation within such broad rubrics as global affairs, domestic policy, conflict and collaboration, environmental studies, aging, public wellness, citizenship, and national security and counterterrorism.[1][15]

  • Autonomous Systems Policy Institute
  • Campbell Public Affairs Institute
  • Center for Aging and Policy Studies (CAPS)
  • Center for Environmental Policy and Administration
  • Center for Policy Research: The CPR, established in 1994, houses the Metropolitan Studies, Aging Studies programs, the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion, and the Upstate Health Research Network.[16]
  • Center for Qualitative and Multi-Method Inquiry
  • Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media: Co-sponsored with Syracuse Law and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
  • Maxwell X Lab: Started in 2017, the "X Lab" bridges the gap between university research and the public and non-profit sectors. The research leverages behavioral science and randomized controlled trials to build evidence for what works.[17][18] Syracuse University alumnus Joseph Boskovski started the Maxwell X Lab with Professor Leonard Lopoo, then-director of the Center for Policy Research at Maxwell, in January 2017, according to an article by writer Edy Semaan on the school's official news website. The Maxwell X Lab has worked with the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion, the City of Syracuse, the Early Childhood Alliance, and others, covering areas like healthcare and education.[19]
  • Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs: Established 2005 and named for Daniel Patrick Moynihan, studies challenges to the quality of governance worldwide.[20]
  • Institute for Security Policy and Law, formerly known as the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism

Joint and concurrent degrees[edit]

Maxwell maintains formal relationships with a number of American and global institutions, among them the Chinese Academy of Governance, East China Normal University, Fudan University, the Hertie School of Governance, the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore,[25] the Korea Development Institute, the Korea Institute of Public Administration, Moscow State University, Seoul National University, and Tsinghua University.

Online programs[edit]

Online Executive Master of Public Administration Program[edit]

The Maxwell School offers an online Executive Master of Public Administration degree for mid-career professionals.[26] The curriculum requires 30 credits, includes live online classes and real-world learning opportunities, and can be completed in 15 months.[27] Courses focus on mastery in leading and managing organizations with diverse stakeholders; formulating, implementing, and evaluating policy; and applying rigorous and evidence-based analysis to inform decision-making.[28]


Since 1995, the Maxwell School has been ranked the top graduate program for public affairs in the country in 12 out of the 13 times the rankings were administered by U.S. News & World Report.[29][30][31] In 2022, the school ranked #1 in Public Management and Leadership, #2 in Nonprofit Management and Public Finance and Budgeting, #6 in the Environmental Policy and Management department, and six other sub-speciality ranked in the top 15.[30]

In 2018, Foreign Policy magazine ranked the master's program in International Relations #16 in the world.[32]

Notable alumni[edit]

Government and politics[edit]



Private sector[edit]


  1. ^ a b "About". Maxwell School. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  2. ^ International Affairs Grad School Guide (PDF) (Report). Foreign Policy Association. Fall 2012. p. 20.
  3. ^ "About Maxwell". The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. Archived from the original on 30 June 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  4. ^ "The Training School for Public Service | "An Adventure in Democracy"". 2014-11-13. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  5. ^ Caro, Robert A. (1975). The power broker: Robert Moses and the fall of New York. Vintage books. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-394-72024-1.
  6. ^ "SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY TO GET $500,000 GIFT; George W. Maxwell of Boston Pledges Building for Citizenship School He Founded". The New York Times. Boston, MA. AP. 16 October 1930. p. 23. Retrieved 30 March 2022. (subscription required)
  7. ^ "Maxwell House History". Western Justice Center. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
  8. ^ "Maxwell History: The Founding and Growth of the Maxwell School". Syracuse University. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  9. ^ "Maxwell History: The Founding and Growth of the Maxwell School". Syracuse University. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  10. ^ Box, Richard C. (19 February 2018). Democracy and Public Administration. M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 9780765618153. Retrieved 19 February 2018 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ "FindArticles.com - CBSi". findarticles.com. Archived from the original on 3 August 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Campus Life: Syracuse; 1887 Observatory, All 375 Tons of It, Moves to New Site". The New York Times. 30 June 1991. Section 1; p. 32. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  13. ^ "Eggers Hall / Maxwell Expansion". Archived from the original on 14 March 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  14. ^ "Maxwell School of Syracuse University and Center for Strategic and International Studies announce major collaboration". The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. 2013-11-06. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
  15. ^ "Centers, Institutes, and Initiatives". The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  16. ^ "Center for Policy Research". surface.syr.edu. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  17. ^ "Maxwell X Lab". The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. 12 November 2018. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  18. ^ Chouinard, Kyle (30 August 2021). "Maxwell School's X Lab merges university research with public sector". The Daily Orange. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  19. ^ "Joseph Boskovski '14 MPA helps governments make effective policy". Maxwell School. Retrieved 2022-09-06.
  20. ^ Ang, Kelvin (20 March 2005). "Clinton visits for institute's rededication". The Daily Orange. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  21. ^ "CNYMPH - SUNY Upstate Medical University". www.upstate.edu. Archived from the original on 20 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  22. ^ "SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY PUBLIC DIPLOMACY - "Perhaps we should warn you that there is one thing you won't read, and that is a pat answer for the problems of life." — Edward R. Murrow". publicdiplomacy.syr.edu. Archived from the original on 20 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  23. ^ "Maxwell School of Syracuse University". The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. Archived from the original on 8 May 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  24. ^ "Dual Degree and Exchange Programs". sais.jhu.edu. 26 June 2019. Archived from the original on 2020-02-02. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
  25. ^ "IIMB announces admissions to the tenth batch of Post Graduate Programme in Public Policy and Management". www.iimb.ac.in. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  26. ^ "Maxwell partners with 2U to create online Master degree in public administration". The Daily Orange. 25 April 2016. Archived from the original on 2018-11-26. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  27. ^ "Syracuse University: An interdisciplinary approach is what you'll find in Syracuse U.'s EMPA offering (with related video)". www.americancityandcounty.com. Archived from the original on 2018-11-27. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  28. ^ "Executive Online Master's in Public Administration: ExecutiveMPA@Syracuse". Archived from the original on 2018-07-24. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  29. ^ "Maxwell School Again Named #1 Graduate School of Public Affairs by U.S. News & World Report". The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. 27 January 2009. Archived from the original on 21 September 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  30. ^ a b Alandt, Anthony (29 March 2022). "Maxwell, Whitman Schools earn top rankings in 2023 U.S. News rankings". The Daily Orange. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  31. ^ Congel, Jennifer (April 25, 2023). "Maxwell School Ranks No. 1 for Public Affairs in 2024". Syracuse University News. Retrieved April 25, 2023.
  32. ^ "The Best International Relations Schools in the World". Foreign Policy. 20 February 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2022.

External links[edit]

43°02′17″N 76°08′09″W / 43.038038°N 76.13571°W / 43.038038; -76.13571