The McCourt School of Public Policy moved up a total of 17 spots across four areas, including public policy analysis, in the latest edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Schools of Public Affairs ranking.

The school ranked 25th overall, putting the McCourt School in the top 10 percent of public affairs schools nationwide.  

The school also made its rankings debut in the specialty category of “social policy.”

U.S. News & World Report ranks specialty areas for programs of excellence within the category of public affairs. The McCourt School moved up across four specialty areas:

  • International global policy and administration – from 4th to 3rd

  • Public policy analysis – from 18th to 14th
  • Public management and leadership – from 33rd to 21st
  • Social policy - 20th

“In my short time at McCourt, I have been incredibly impressed with our students, and the teaching and scholarship taking place at our school and research centers,” said Dean Maria Cancian. “I am confident that this solid foundation, coupled with ongoing progress in building a 21st century school of public policy, will continue to be rewarded by U.S. News voters.”

Best of the Best

The U.S. News & World Report public affairs ranking is based solely on a peer assessment survey, which provides just one rating of the academic quality of 285 schools of public affairs, public administration and public policy in the U.S.

The McCourt School’s score of 3.6 out of 5.0 remained unchanged from the 2019 ranking.

Global and Evidence-Based

The McCourt School continues to make significant progress in four strategic growth areas: –student, faculty, research, and engagement excellence. Maria Cancian, who joined the McCourt School as its new dean in February of this year, says she is “honored and excited to lead the McCourt School’s next phase of growth and innovation.”

Since receiving a $100 million gift in 2013, the McCourt School has expanded exponentially:

  • New core faculty includes world-class scholars such as Nobel Laureate George Akerlof and professors Sheila Foster, Donald Moynihan and Pamela Herd.
  • In the fall of 2015, the McCourt School launched the Institute of Politics and Public Service, or GU Politics, to complement students’ classroom learning. GU Politics connects and empowers students and the community in an effort to understand the real practice of politics, explore ways to do it better and reaffirm its promise.
  • The McCourt Scholars program, a scholarship program covering full tuition, mandatory fees, a stipend and health insurance, has helped to recruit 25 of the best and brightest future policy makers and scholars to the Hilltop.
  • In the spring of 2017, McCourt opened its Research Data Center – a joint project of the U.S. Census Bureau and the school’s Massive Data Institute (MDI). MDI was created in 2013 to study high-dimensional data to help answer pressing public policy questions.
  • McCourt also recently launched a Master of Science in Data Science for Public Policy program, a cutting-edge degree that will train students with computer science and public policy analysis skills, enabling them to make even smarter policy decisions.

A New Approach

All of the above was made possible through the 2013 gift of $100 million from Georgetown alumnus Frank H. McCourt Jr. (C’75) to establish the McCourt School of Public Policy.

The gift has allowed Georgetown to forge a new approach to public policy education through the expansion of the school’s core faculty, increased scholarship funds to recruit the most talented students, and new centers and institutes to deepen the university’s commitment to civic engagement and civil dialogue.

McCourt’s gift also provided and support for innovative research designed to help solve some of the nation’s increasingly complex policy problems.