Forty-eight students marked their graduation from the La Follette School on May 19. Read more ...
“Thanks to La Follette, I have had the public policy and administration experience and confidence to be able to aspire to and achieve my career goals.”
Shawn Pfaff, MPA ’02
Senior Associate, Capitol Consultants; mayor of Fitchburg, Wisconsin
The Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs is a highly ranked program that attracts outstanding students from across the United States and around the world to its highly respected graduate programs in public affairs and international public affairs and dual degree programs. Students are admitted in comparatively small numbers that encourage cooperation across cohorts and permit the La Follette School faculty to know, advise, and mentor students.
Students arrive with a passion for public affairs and a commitment to public service. They graduate with the requisite skills, knowledge, contacts, and experience to transform passion and commitment into a meaningful career and valuable contribution to governance, in its broadest sense, in this country and globally. See alumni jobs.
In both degree programs, students complete a set of foundational courses that build analytical rigor, competence in quantitative methods, and rich contextual understanding for a successful career in the government, non-profit, or private sector. Students individualize their programs of study, developing expertise in one or more policy or regional focus fields that reflect specific professional aspirations and intellectual interests. In the elective coursework that develops these focus fields, students work with La Follette School faculty and faculty in other departments, programs, and centers across a major research university of worldwide renown.
In the final semester of study, students work in teams to complete workshop projects, the thesis-equivalent in both programs. With systematic research and analysis, supervised by La Follette School faculty, students develop feasible policy recommendations and tractable solutions to problems of public management confronting a wide range of real-world clients. Clients include city governments, the state of Wisconsin, national agencies, international organizations, and civil society groups around the world. See workshop course projects.
The La Follette School offices are located in an historic landmark, a nineteenth-century house at the center of campus, overlooking Lake Mendota, with classroom buildings nearby. Beyond the campus, the city of Madison, as the state capital, provides a wealth of opportunities for La Follette School students to acquire practical experience as professional project assistants or interns in state agencies. Students benefit from the strong relationships that La Follette School faculty have developed with these agencies, in keeping with the Wisconsin Idea of service to government.
Not least of all, Madison is a beautiful and livable city.