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Why Maryland?

Washington, DC

Our Mission

The University of Maryland School of Public Policy develops innovative leaders in the art of policy and governance, advances the frontiers of applied interdisciplinary knowledge, and promotes local, national and global public good. 

In the Heart of Policy Creation, Learning from the Experts

The School’s location in the Washington, DC area puts our students in the center of policy creation locally, nationally and internationally. As the only DC area policy school nested within a public research university, the School uniquely offers our students the flexibility to expand their course selection with advanced classes in a variety of disciplines. Students are able to link theory to practice as they avail themselves of the internship and job opportunities presented by our proximity to government at all levels, think tanks and countless nongovernmental and nonprofit organizations. Additionally, College Park offers dynamic academic spaces, a public-private research hub and a vibrant downtown community.

Our setting in the national capital area is not only a draw for outstanding and UMD School of Public Policyengaged students; it is home to an unmatched group of faculty who are both scholars and practitioners, teaching in the classroom while playing key roles in the policymaking process. They include leading experts in the federal budget process and U.S. trade policy and professors who have held posts such as undersecretary of defense, assistant secretary for economic policy in the Department of the Treasury, and deputy associate director for energy and climate change in the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Integration of Domestic and International Policy

Unlike most universities that house their international and domestic programs under separate roofs, Maryland seamlessly blends them. This permits students and faculty alike to explore all dimensions of the numerous policy problems that are blithely unaware of borders, such as trade, development, environmental and social issues. This fusion allows students to prepare for a career in both worlds. Our practical courses teach students public policy on a global level and explore issues on a worldwide scale. Even local or regional issues can be examined through an international lens, which can broaden research implications to maximize a student’s impact on the world.

Learning by Doing

Rigorous classroom study is only part of the equation. UMD School of Public Policy students have opportunities to apply their coursework and enrich their training through professional relationships,practical experiences, mentorship programs, global opportunities and exciting guest speakers.

The curriculum emphasizes experiential learning, particularly by connecting students to real policy problems and real policymakers from the moment they arrive on campus through the moment they graduate. Most students take advantage of the School’s proximity to the nation’s capital to experience multiple internships before they graduate. Some immerse themselves in international policy by studying for several weeks in locations such as China, Peru, Indonesia, Morocco, India, Ethiopia, Jordan and Israel. Students learn how to apply their coursework in the real world by engaging in a faculty-supervised policy or management project related to an international, federal, local governmentalor nonprofit organization. All of these experiences broaden our students’ perspectives U.S. News & World Report Rankingon the impact of policy choices, and many lead directly to job offers upon graduation.

Studying at a Highly-Ranked School

The School of Public Policy ranks among the strongest in the nation by U.S. News & World Report's annual "Best Graduate Schools" lists. Ranking No. 25 overall (tied with Georgetown), SPP is in the top 10 percent of schools nationwide. The School also offers six programs and specializations in the top 25: homeland/national security (No. 4), public finance and budgeting (No. 10), international global policy (No. 12), nonprofit management (No. 21), policy analysis (No. 22) and public management and leadership (No. 25).

Making Connections that Last a Lifetime

Students come to us from all over the world, with diverse social, political and academic backgrounds and an extraordinary array of policy interests. What they share is a common passion for problem solving and a commitment to do good. Our students are active in student groups within the School of Public Policy and the greater campus community. They lead public service initiatives, host speakers, take advantage of opportunities to hone their leadership skills and form tight bonds with fellow students, faculty, alumni and local policy practitioners that last a lifetime.