Of graduates secure employment within six months
Top 20%
Of public affairs programs, according to U.S. News & World Report
Faculty/student ratio

At the School of Public Policy, we balance academic theory with professional skills development and practical experience, preparing students for a wide variety of careers in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors. 

A Brief History of SPP

The School of Public Policy was created with the approval of the UMass Board of Trustees in September 2015. The School of Public Policy continues UMass Amherst's long tradition of providing rigorous professional training for students interested in public service and careers in public administration. The tradition began with a master's program in public administration, housed in the Department of Political Science, which later became the Center for Public Policy and Administration. We continued to grow over the next decade by incorporating a master's in public policy and administration, and after the founding of the School a new master's in public affairs with a 4+1 option was created. In 2022, the School welcomed its first class of undergraduates to a new major in public policy. In 2024, the Data Analytics and Computational Social Science program moved into SPP, adding yet another fantastic program to the suite of programs offered within the School and expanding the various pathways that our students take to become changemakers.

Awards and Recognition

SPP has been named among the most innovative public service programs in the United States by the independent group Best Value Schools and received the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration's (NASPAA) inaugural Social Equity Award in recognition of its commitment to teaching, research, and service aimed at advancing social justice and social change.

Charlie writing on whiteboard

World-class Faculty

No matter your academic focus or area of interest, the faculty at the School of Public Policy are dedicated to supporting students both in the classroom and in the field. Our curriculum and pedagogy emphasize the importance of student research and professional growth. With expertise across a range of disciplines, policy areas, and methodologies our faculty emphasize the importance of combining academic theory with practical experience. Our student-centered focus, along with our low faculty-to-student ratio, provide students with the knowledge, skills, and practical experience required to make their time at SPP a success.