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List of Ivy League public policy schools

The John F. Kennedy School of Government is Harvard's school of government and international affairs

The Ivy League public policy schools outlines the universities within the Ivy League that offer public policy or public administration degrees. These public policy schools often provide Bachelor of Arts (BA), Master of Public Policy (MPP), Master of Public Administration (MPA), Master of International Affairs, or Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy and/or Administration degrees. The public policy programs at the Ivy League rank as some of the best in the world.

The oldest program for the study of public policy and administration began at Princeton University in 1930, founded as the School of Public and International Affairs. The school's mission was to prepare students for "leadership in public and international affairs" in accordance with President Woodrow Wilson who desired a school that could train students for public service.[1] Harvard University soon followed with their own school, the Graduate School of Public Administration, in 1936.[2]

The most recently established school of government was at Yale University through the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs in 2010. The goal of the Jackson Institute was to enhance the university's current offerings of social science research and courses. The Institute currently specializes in international affairs, but is planning to expand to domestic policy in the near future.[3]

These schools have served as the model for other programs around the world, most notably at Oxford University.[4] The Blavatnik School of Government was founded in 2010 and is the first of its kind in Europe. It currently offers MPP and DPhil in Public Policy degrees. Pundits believe the Blavatnik School seeks to differentiate itself with a more well-rounded curriculum, thereby competing with the American monopoly on public policy schools.[5]


School name Parent institution Location Degree programs offered Year founded
Princeton School of Public and International Affairs[6] Princeton University Princeton, NJ AB, MPA, MPP, PhD 1930
Harvard Kennedy School[6] Harvard University Cambridge, MA MPA, MPP, PhD 1936
Fels Institute of Government[7] University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA MPA 1937
School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)[7] Columbia University New York, NY MPA, MIA, PhD 1946
Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy[7] Cornell University Ithaca, NY BS, MPA 1946
Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs[8] Brown University Providence, RI BA, MPA 1979
Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences[9] Dartmouth College Hanover, NH Undergraduate minor 1983
Jackson Institute for Global Affairs[10] Yale University New Haven, CT BA, MA, MAS 2010


Many schools allow students to specialize in certain policy areas. Depending on the university's specialty, these fields may include domestic policy, foreign policy, health policy, urban policy, economic policy, international affairs, security studies, and more. Students who graduate these programs often work in various branches of government or at NGOs. Some graduates may also go on to work in the private sector or academia.


Based on research output, Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School ranks as No. 1 out of all policy schools, followed by Harvard's Kennedy School and Columbia's SIPA.[11] Based on number of publications, the Kennedy School ranks No. 1, followed by the Wilson School and SIPA.

The Ivy League's international relations programs are ranked in Foreign Policy's "Best International Relations Schools in the World" article.[12] The rankings provide a glimpse of international relations as an academic and professional discipline, aggregating responses from 1,514 international relations scholars at U.S. colleges and universities around the country.

University School name Foreign Policy Undergraduate Rankings Foreign Policy Master's Rankings Foreign Policy PhD Rankings
University of Pennsylvania Fels Institute of Government 19 N/A 27
Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs 5 5 4
Princeton University Princeton School of Public and International Affairs 2 4 4
Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government 1 2 1
Dartmouth College Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences 12 N/A N/A
Yale University Jackson Institute for Global Affairs 6 13 6
Cornell University Cornell Institute for Public Affairs 18 28 13
Brown University Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs 22 N/A 28

See also


  1. ^ "Our History". Woodrow Wilson School.
  2. ^ "History". Harvard Kennedy School.
  3. ^ "Faculty, experts weigh new public policy school". Yale News. 21 February 2018.
  4. ^ Guttenplan, D. d. (25 March 2012). "Oxford's New School of Government". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "Oxford's answer to the Kennedy school". Financial Times. 20 September 2010.
  6. ^ a b Stöckmann, Jan (2022-01-31). The Architects of International Relations: Building a Discipline, Designing the World, 1914-1940. Cambridge University Press. p. 106. ISBN 978-1-009-06238-1.
  7. ^ a b c Schrum, Ethan (2019-06-15). The Instrumental University: Education in Service of the National Agenda after World War II. Cornell University Press. p. 97. ISBN 978-1-5017-3665-0.
  8. ^ "Watson Institute History | Watson Institute". Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. Retrieved 2022-02-19.
  9. ^ "History of the Center". Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy. 2015-08-14. Retrieved 2022-02-19.
  10. ^ Cho, Serena (2019-02-27). "Yale committed millions to Jackson in 2009". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 2022-02-19.
  11. ^ "A Research‐Based Ranking of Public Policy Schools" (PDF). Center for Development Economics and Policy.
  12. ^ "The Best International Relations Schools in the World". Foreign Policy.

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