School of Public Affairs

School of Public Affairs

Alum Receives Critical Acclaim for Debut Novel

During her time at American University's School of Public Affairs, Lara Prescott, SPA/BA ’04, knew she wanted to be a writer. After years of working on political campaigns after graduation, she took a risk, quit her “day job” and devoted herself to blending her love of politics with her love of writing fiction. Flash forward to the present day and her new book, The Secrets We Kept, has sold for $2 million at auction and has been optioned to be made into a movie.

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SPA Grads Look Back on 2020 & Look Forward to 2021

What did the challenges of 2020 teach our recent SPA graduates? What advice do they have that we can apply to 2021? Watch now as they share their insights with the class of 2021 and beyond!

AU SPA ranked #13 out of 276 schools of public affairs

Announcement ·

American University’s School of Public Affairs Receives High Recognition in New U.S. News & World Report Rankings

AU SPA Receives High Recognition in U.S. News & World Report's 2021 Public Affairs Graduate Schools rankings
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Coronavirus cell


School of Public Affairs faculty, students, and alumni are tackling issues brought on by the novel coronavirus.

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Front of Kerwin Hall

Graduate Recruitment Events

Browse our graduate recruitment events to meet SPA on campus, on the road, or through one of our virtual sessions!

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#SPACyber: Policy Studies in Cybersecurity

#SPACyber is a practioner informed, research driven hub of cyber curriculum, thought leadership, and engagement.

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Discover your future with AU

Six months after graduation,

% of Graduates are now Working, Grad School, or Both

Top Employers
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Peter Brosoe

Alumni ·

SPA Alumni Contribute to Seminar Series for First-Year Students

A Q&A with SPA Alumni who gave back to students this fall
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A group of people outside of the White House, protesting the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Photo credit: Chris DeRidder and Hans VandenNieuwendijk /

Government & Politics ·

Why Media Matters When It Comes to US Torture Policy

Professor Joe Young spoke with us about his latest book as well as Americans' views of torture policy.
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Community by ocean

Environment ·

The Challenge of Protecting the Environment Amid Populist Opposition

Climate change researchers examine the impact of political populism on the ability of countries to protect the environment.
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number 13 among 276 public affairs schools

by U.S. News & World Report's 2021 Public Affairs Graduate School Rankings

number 4 for Public Management and Leadership

by U.S. News & World Report's 2021 Public Affairs Graduate Schools Rankings

number 4 for International Global Policy & Administration

by U.S. News & World Report's 2021 Public Affairs Graduate School Rankings