Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs (commonly known as the Maxwell School) is Syracuse University's home for professional degree programs in public administration and international relations; scholarly, doctoral programs in the social sciences; and undergraduate instruction in the social sciences. Maxwell is ranked as the #1 program for public affairs in the country.[1]

The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
Parent institution
Syracuse University
DeanDavid Van Slyke
Location, ,
AffiliationsAPSIA, NASPAA, APPAM, Truman Scholarship, Rangel Fellowship, Robertson Foundation, Pickering Fellowship, PPIA, Open Society Foundations, and Teach For America

The Maxwell School hosts the oldest public administration degree in the United States.[2]


The school is named for George Holmes Maxwell, a Syracuse alumnus and Boston patent attorney who in 1924 donated $500,000 to the university to establish a school which would aim "to cull from every source those principles, facts, and elements which, combined, make up our rights and duties and our value and distinctiveness as United States citizens". Maxwell's initial interest was in training all undergraduates for their roles as informed citizens in the American democracy; University officials convinced him the school should also provide professional training for future government officials and other public servants.[3]

The Maxwell School was dedicated on October 3, 1924, and was the first program to offer a graduate professional degree in public administration. That Master of Public Administration program is the oldest continuously operating, university-based MPA in the United States.

In 1937, the school took its full name and moved into Maxwell Hall, a purpose-built building on the west end of Syracuse University's main campus. In that year, Syracuse University's graduate programs and undergraduate instruction in the social sciences were moved into Maxwell, giving the school the unusual hybrid structure that remains today.

In 1968, Maxwell professor Dwight Waldo presided over the Minnowbrook I conference, which established the foundations for New Public Administration.[4] Subsequent Minnowbrook II and III conferences were held in 1988 and 2008 at the eponymous Blue Mountain Lake retreat.[5]

The school's rapid growth necessitated the 1990 "Campaign for Maxwell", which raised capital to fund a new building to accommodate the expansion. The result of the campaign was the Bohlin Cywinski Jackson-designed Eggers Hall, which opened in 1994.[6] Eggers Hall adjoins Maxwell Hall at the corner, together forming an "L" shaped complex that houses the present-day Maxwell School.

In 2013, the Maxwell School and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Washington, D.C., entered into a collaborative agreement that included headquartering all Maxwell operations at CSIS.


The school also hosts or co-hosts nine research institutes, encouraging interdisciplinary study and conversation within such broad rubrics as global affairs, domestic policy, conflict and collaboration, environmental studies, aging, public wellness, citizenship, and national security and counterterrorism.

Maxwell now offers an Online Executive Master of Public Administration degree.[7]


Maxwell was ranked as the top graduate program for public affairs in the country by U.S. News and World Report from 1995-2018 [8] Maxwell is ranked the top school in the sub-specialty of Public Management/Administration and top-ten in four other areas.

Maxwell is listed as one of the top 20 professional schools for International Relations by Foreign Policy — most recently ranked 16th.[9]

Joint and concurrent degrees

Maxwell maintains formal relationships with a number of American and global institutions, among them the Chinese Academy of Governance, East China Normal University, Fudan University, the Hertie School of Governance, the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore,[13] the Korea Development Institute, the Korea Institute for Public Administration, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Seoul National University, and Tsinghua University,.

Online Programs

Online Executive Master of Public Administration Program

The Maxwell School offers an online Executive Master of Public Administration degree for mid-career professionals.[14] The curriculum requires 30 credits, includes live online classes and real-world learning opportunities, and can be completed in 15 months.[15] Courses focus on mastery in leading and managing organizations with diverse stakeholders; formulating, implementing, and evaluating policy; and applying rigorous and evidence-based analysis to inform decision-making.[16]

Notable alumni

Government and politics



Private sector


  2. "About Maxwell". The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  3. "Maxwell School of Syracuse University". Archived from the original on 2 May 2004. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  4. Box, Richard C. (19 February 2018). "Democracy and Public Administration". M.E. Sharpe. Retrieved 19 February 2018 via Google Books.
  5. " - CBSi". Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  6. "Eggers Hall / Maxwell Expansion". Archived from the original on 14 March 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  7. "Executive Online Master's in Public Administration | ExecutiveMPA@Syracuse". Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  8. "Maxwell School Again Named #1 Graduate School of Public Affairs by U.S. News & World Report". The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. 27 January 2009. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  9. Maliniak, Daniel; Peterson, Susan; Powers, Ryan; Tierney, Michael J. "The Best International Relations Schools in the World". Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  10. "CNYMPH - SUNY Upstate Medical University". Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  11. "SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY PUBLIC DIPLOMACY - "Perhaps we should warn you that there is one thing you won't read, and that is a pat answer for the problems of life." — Edward R. Murrow". Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  12. "Maxwell School of Syracuse University". The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  13. "You are being redirected..." Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  14. "Maxwell partners with 2U to create online Master degree in public administration". The Daily Orange - The Independent Student Newspaper of Syracuse, New York. 2016-04-25. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  15. "Syracuse University: An interdisciplinary approach is what you'll find in Syracuse U.'s EMPA offering (with related video)". Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  16. "Executive Online Master's in Public Administration | ExecutiveMPA@Syracuse". Retrieved 2018-11-26.

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