Watts College is home to 7 of ASU's 14 top-10 US News graduate rankings

School of Public Affairs earns overall No. 10 spot on nationwide list

April 24, 2023

Six graduate specializations at Arizona State University’s School of Public Affairs are among the top 10 in the United States, according to national rankings released today.

In addition, the school itself, located in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, was ranked 10th nationwide in U.S. News & World Report’s 2023–24 graduate public affairs listing. The school's total of seven top 10 designations account for half of ASU's total in the latest ranking.  Watts College, sign, Arizona State University Photo by Mark J. Scarp/ASU Download Full Image

The school’s overall rank rose to 10th from 12th the previous year, outpacing Ohio State University and Texas A&M University–College Station. It tied for the No. 10 spot with Princeton University.

ASU’s homeland security graduate program is ranked No. 1 for the second consecutive year, higher than George Washington University, Columbia University and University of Southern California, among others.

The ASU nonprofit management program was ranked No. 4, higher than the University of Washington, American University and the University of Southern California.The program offers courses supported by the School of Public Affairs and the School of Community Resources and Development.

Watts College Dean and President’s Professor Cynthia Lietz said the rankings validate the school’s reputation as one of the best in the nation.

“This new ranking places ASU as one of the top 10 programs for public policy and administration, ahead of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Columbia and Duke,” Lietz said. “The high rankings in emergency management and nonprofit management demonstrate the value of interdisciplinary collaboration occurring across our college. Congratulations to our faculty for demonstrating that ASU’s commitment to access and excellence can be achieved.”

The Watts College is the nation’s largest comprehensive public service college.

The School of Public Affairs’ overall top 10 ranking signifies the “amazing work of our faculty, staff and students,” said Shannon Portillo, school director and professor.

“With six specialty areas ranked in the top 10 and an additional three specialty areas in the top 20, our school demonstrates a breadth of excellence. This year we maintained our No. 1 ranking in emergency management and homeland security, just as we’re expanding our programs in this area, adding a new undergraduate major available to students in person and online,” Portillo said.

“This year, we also moved into the top three in local government management rankings. This recognizes a significant focus of our school. The Marvin Andrews Fellowship program provides an unparalleled experience, preparing future local government leaders. Scholarship of our faculty helps move this field forward, while also working with local governments throughout the country to improve practice today.”

Portillo said the school’s high rankings reflect its commitment to living the ASU Charter by:

  • Preparing students and professionals for ethical, inclusive and effective public service.
  • Conducting cutting-edge research of public value.
  • Engaging locally, nationally and internationally with the communities it serves.

School of Public Affairs Associate Professor Brian Gerber, co-director of the Center for Emergency Management and Homeland Security, said he is grateful for U.S. News’ ongoing acknowledgement of the program’s excellence by retaining the No. 1 homeland security ranking.

Gerber said the high quality of the program is partly rooted in ASU’s emphasis on blending applied knowledge and skills with broader conceptual frameworks.

“This combination is important to understanding ways to improve community approaches to managing hazards and risk,” Gerber said. “It is also fundamentally rooted in the excellence of our students and practitioners with whom we work closely. Those incredibly smart and talented people do great public service work in their communities every day. I am especially proud to be associated with our students and external partners, and this recognition is really their honor.”

The four other School of Public Affairs programs in the top 10 are:

  • Information and technology management, ranked No. 2, tied with Syracuse University and ahead of the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University at Albany–SUNY. 
  • Local government management, ranked No. 3, higher than Syracuse University, Indiana University–Bloomington and the University of Southern California.
  • Public management and leadership, ranked No. 5, higher than Harvard University, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Urban policy, ranked No. 7, tied with UCLA and ahead of Indiana University–Bloomington, Syracuse University and Harvard.

Three other School of Public Affairs programs were ranked in the top 20 nationwide:

  • Environmental policy, ranked No. 11.
  • Public finance, tied for No. 12.
  • Public policy analysis, ranked No. 20.

>>READ MORE: US News ranks 14 ASU graduate programs in top 10 nationwide, 33 in the top 20 

Mark J. Scarp

Media Relations Officer, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions


The College earns high marks in US News graduate program rankings

April 24, 2023

Graduate programs in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University are among the best in the nation, according to the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings.

The College, which offers more than 140 graduate degree programs in the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences, has seven graduate programs included in this year’s survey. Students in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences smile outside Wexler Hall. Students from the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, which was included in this year's U.S. News & World Report rankings. Download Full Image

“It’s wonderful to see our graduate programs in the sciences ranked among the top programs in the country,” said Kenro Kusumi, dean of natural sciences at The College. “From fundamental discoveries to translational research, the natural sciences have a tremendous impact on the communities we serve.”

The School of Earth and Space Exploration ranked No. 14 overall for earth sciences graduate programs, tied with Yale University and UCLA, among others. The school ranked ahead of the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, Harvard University and the University of Texas–Austin.

Within the earth sciences specialties, the school ranked No. 6 for geochemistry and No. 8 for geology. In geochemistry, the school shares the spot with Columbia, Princeton and the University of Arizona, and ranked ahead of the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, Harvard University and the University of Texas–Austin, among others. In geology, the school shares the spot with Colorado School of Mines and is ranked ahead of the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, Columbia University and Harvard.

Graduate programs in earth sciences offered by the school include master’s degrees in geological sciences and earth and space sciences, and a geological sciences PhD. 

The Department of Physics ranked No. 50 overall for physics graduate programs, tied with Virginia Tech and Florida State University, among others, and ahead of the University of Southern California, Emory University and Case Western Reserve University.

Graduate programs in physics offered by the school include the master’s degree in physics and a physics PhD.

The School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences ranked No. 55 overall for mathematics graduate programs and shares the spot with Boston University and Dartmouth, among others, and ahead of Case Western Reserve University and the University of Rochester.

For the applied mathematics specialty, the school tied for No. 26 with Cornell, Northwestern University and Pennsylvania State University University Park.

Graduate programs in mathematics offered by the school include the master’s degree in mathematics and PhDs in applied mathematics and mathematics.

The School of Molecular Sciences' chemistry graduate program ranked No. 51 overall, tied with Brown, New York University, the University of Arizona, among others, and ahead of the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, Harvard University and the University of Texas–Austin.

Graduate programs in chemistry offered by the school include a master’s degree in chemistry and a chemistry PhD.

Through first-of-their-kind degree programs, world-class research and innovative learning experiences, The College is committed to improving communities on a local, national and global scale, while supporting the largest and highly diverse student population within ASU.

>> READ MORE: US News ranks 14 ASU graduate programs in top 10 nationwide, 33 in the top 20 

Allison Connell

Director, Marketing and Communications, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences