Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs

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The School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) at Virginia Tech fosters interdisciplinary initiatives, by building cooperative arrangements among units within the School and University, and by partnering with organizations external to the university.

The School's goal is to focus Virginia Tech’s expertise in government, public administration, international affairs, planning, public policy, and urban affairs to help individuals and communities across the world understand their most critical problems and most promising solutions.


The School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) was approved by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors in 1996 as a collaboration of five departments and programs in two colleges to develop interdisciplinary instruction, research and outreach initiatives related to public policy, planning, and administration and globalization and international development.


SPIA is one of four schools in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies (CAUS). SPIA houses three programs:

Affiliated Departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (CLAHS):

  • Political Science,
  • Geography,
  • International Studies,
  • Science and Technology Studies (joined in 2000)
  • Agricultural and Applied Economics (joined in 2000).

Academic programs[edit]

Instructional programs[edit]

The following instructional programs are offered at SPIA:

  • undergraduate specializations shared by several majors,
  • the Washington Semester program,
  • the London Semester program,
  • SPIA-designated undergraduate and graduate courses, and cross-listed courses.

Degree programs[edit]

  • B.S. in Environmental Policy and Planning, (EPP).
  • B.A. in Public and Urban Affairs, (PUA).
  • Master of Public and International Affairs, (MPIA).
  • Master of Urban and Regional Planning, (MURP).
  • Master of Public Administration, (MPA).
  • Ph.D in Public and International Affairs, (PGG) with tracks in Urban and Environmental Design and Planning, and in Governance and Globalization.
  • Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Affairs, (PAPA).


  • Economic Development, (UAP).
  • Global Planning and International Development Studies, (GIA, UAP).
  • Homeland Security Policy, (CPAP).
  • Local Government Management, (CPAP).
  • Metropolitan Studies, (UAP).
  • Nonprofit Management, (CPAP, UAP).
  • Public and Nonprofit Financial Management, (CPAP).
  • Watershed Management, (UAP).


In research and outreach, SPIA members lead a number of interdisciplinary centers and institutes:


SPIA is administered by a Director who is advised by an SPIA Executive Committee made up of the three program chairs along with one other faculty member from each program.


External links[edit]