ASU’s School of Public Affairs secures 6 top 10 spots in US News and World Report rankings

4 graduate programs rise on this year’s list

ASU Watts College graduates celebrate their achievement at the college's fall 2019 convocation in downtown Phoenix.

Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions graduates arrive at the start of the college's Fall 2019 Convocation in downtown Phoenix.


Four Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions graduate programs rose in U.S. News and World Report’s 2021 rankings, according to an announcement this week. The college's School of Public Affairs’ public management and leadership, environmental policy, public finance, and public policy analysis programs all climbed above their respective 2020 rankings.

Overall, the school ranked 19th, higher than Duke University, the University of Wisconsin and Cornell University, according to the 2021 rankings, released Tuesday. The rankings employ a wide variety of criteria to compare 282 graduate programs.

The school's public management and leadership program’s rank rose from seventh to sixth for 2021, while its environmental policy program ranked eighth, up from 11th. The school’s public finance program is 11th, up from 14th, and its public policy analysis program is 17th, up from 20th.

School of Public Affairs programs have six U.S. News and World Report 2021 rankings of 10th or higher — more than any member school of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration except Harvard University, the University of Southern California, Syracuse University and Indiana University, said school Director Donald Siegel.

“The School of Public Affairs continued its excellent performance in U.S. News and World Report’s 2021 rankings. We are currently ranked 19th in the U.S., tied with Columbia University,” Siegel said. “More importantly, the School of Public Affairs had six top 10 U.S. rankings in the following specializations: third in emergency management and homeland security, third in local government management, fifth in urban policy, sixth in public management and leadership, eighth in environmental policy and ninth in nonprofit management.”

Siegel praised the school’s six top 10 rankings, saying all of the rankings reflect “an enormous breadth and depth in quality of our world-class faculty and students.”

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