The University of Massachusetts Amherst


Professor Charlie Schweik in the classroom

SPP is nationally recognized for our faculty’s rigorous research that addresses many components of social equity. These five main research initiatives define our mission and provide students with specific points of interest.

Care, Work and Family Policy

Child care, elder care, foster care and health care comprise important components of state budgets and require increasing attention. SPP faculty conduct research in this critical policy area, and SPP graduates are national leaders in research, advocacy and governmental efforts to improve care for individuals and families.

Environmental Policy

Smart and effective public policies are critical for responding to current and future environmental problems. SPP faculty from multiple disciplines examine causes and consequences of global environmental change and explore sustainable policy solutions.


SPP faculty have expertise in two important subfields: e-government (IT use by government agencies to enhance citizen access, transparency and efficiency) and collaborative governance (using multi-national organizational arrangements to tackle problems that cannot easily be solved by single organizations).

Science, Technology and Society

This initiative promotes multidisciplinary collaborative research among the natural, physical and social sciences, engineering and public policy.

Social Inequality and Justice

SPP faculty are nationally recognized for their research, teaching and outreach on issues related to social welfare, justice and inequality.