Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Monday, April 25, 2016

La Follette School remains highly ranked, ties for No. 2 in social policy

The La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is ranked 13th among 272 graduate programs in public affairs, according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 rankings. It also ranked in the top 12 for four specialty areas, including second in Social Policy.

"These high rankings are a testament to our award-winning faculty members’ innovative teaching and research and their connections not only across the UW-Madison campus but throughout the state, country, and world,” said La Follette School Director Susan Webb Yackee. “Our continued exceptional standing in Social Policy puts us in front of very distinguished peer schools.”

In other specialty areas, the La Follette School ranked eighth in Health Policy and Management and in Public Management Administration, 10th in Public Policy Analysis, and 12th in Environmental Policy and Management.

The School’s rankings in several specialties improved since 2012, which was the last time U.S. News and World Report ranked public affairs graduate schools. In 2012, the School ranked third is Social Policy, ninth in Health Policy and Management, 14th in Public Management Administration, and 14th in Environmental Policy and Management. The School ranked 10th in Public Policy Analysis in both 2012 and 2016.

In the overall rankings of public affairs programs, the La Follette School tied for 13th with Arizona State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Duke University, George Washington University, and the University of Chicago. The La Follette School ranked ahead of policy schools at Columbia University, Georgetown University, the University of California in Los Angeles, and the Ohio State University.

“The La Follette School is known for its rigorous training in quantitative skills, small student-teacher ratio, and connections with scholars and research centers at UW-Madison,” Yackee said. “This is reflected in our highly successful alumni, who are committed to improving governance and public policy in Wisconsin and beyond.”

U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 rankings of graduate programs in public affairs are solely based on the results of a peer assessment survey, with responses from deans, directors, and department chairs representing 272 master's programs in public affairs and administration.

The specialty rankings are based solely on ratings by educators at peer schools. Public affairs school deans and other academics nominated up to 10 programs for excellence in each specialty.