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University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs


University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public & International Affairs
Established 1957
Type Public
Dean John T.S. Keeler
Academic staff 83
Postgraduates 411
Location Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Campus Oakland (Main)

The Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) is one of 17 schools comprising the University of Pittsburgh. Founded in 1957 to study national and international public administration, GSPIA contains several highly ranked programs.[1][2] GPSIA is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), and is a member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs. The school is located in Wesley W. Posvar Hall on the University of Pittsburgh campus in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. In July 2007, John T. S. Keeler took over as dean, replacing Carolyn Ban, who resigned in August 2006.[3]


  • History 1
  • Demographics 2
  • Academics 3
    • Degree programs 3.1
    • Certificate programs 3.2
  • Research centers & institutes 4
  • Special programs 5
  • Rankings 6
  • GSPIA student organizations 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


GSPIA's home on the third floor of Posvar Hall

In 1957, GSPIA was founded by Donald C. Stone in an effort to promote the study of national and international public administration, and to recognize the growing significance of public policy in the global context, and was soon after noted for its breadth and scope.[4] Stone's philosophy included promoting the notion of "citizenship" and encouraged his colleagues, students, and friends to make government better, to make administrations more effective, and to provide responsible leadership and stewardship for future generations. Stone's public service career included developing procedures for the Civil Works Administration and planning and implementing the Works Progress Administration. He helped draft the United Nations Charter and his efforts were instrumental in the success of the Marshall Plan in rebuilding Europe after the Second World War.


  • GSPIA employs over 35 full-time faculty members, 22 staff members, and has a 14:1 student/faculty ratio.[5] Currently, there are over 8,000 GSPIA alumni, 1,400 of which are in the Greater Pittsburgh Area.[6]


GSPIA offers several degree and certificate programs.

Degree programs

GSPIA offers several graduate degrees relative to public affairs. Full-time students can complete most masters degree programs within 16 months of study, however, programs can be completed on part-time basis. The MPPM degree is designed for mid-career professionals, and can usually be completed in one year of full-time study. The following is a list of degrees and focuses currently available through GSPIA.

  • MPA - Master of Public Administration
    • Public and Nonprofit Management
    • Urban and Regional Affairs
    • Policy Research and Analysis
  • MPIA - Master of Public & International Affairs
    • Security and Intelligence Studies
    • Human Security
    • Global Political Economy
  • MID - Master of International Development
    • Nongovernmental Organizations and Civil Society
    • Development Planning and Environmental Sustainability
    • Human Security
  • MPPM - Master of Public Policy & Management (Mid-Career)
    • Individualized
  • PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
    • International Development (ID)
    • International Affairs (IA)
    • Public Policy & Management (PPM)

GPSIA has recently added the Peace Corps Master's International (MI) track that enables students to earn a master’s degree in public health and also volunteer with the Peace Corps. This program blends classroom learning with real-world experience for students interested in a career in global health.[7][8]

Additionally, GPSIA offers several joint degree programs with other schools within the University of Pittsburgh, as well as with universities within the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education. The following are a list of available joint degree programs available to students at GSPIA.

  • MPA,MPIA,or MID & Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • MPIA or MID & Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • MPA,MPIA,or MID & Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS)
  • MPA,MPIA,or MID & Juris Doctor (JD)
  • MPA,MPIA,or MID & Master of Social Work (MSW)

Certificate programs

Commons Room in the Cathedral of Learning (study location near GSPIA)

Certificates from the University Center for International Studies (UCIS) can usually be obtained without requiring additional credit hours, and demonstrate a focus in a particular field of study. The University Center for International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh is home to four internationally recognized area studies centers. Each one has been designated a National Resource Center by the United States Department of Education, certifying their status as leading centers of their kind in the United States. The University Center for International Studies offers Area Studies certificates in the following areas:

  • East Asia
  • Latin America
  • Russia and Eastern Europe
  • Western Europe

In a joint partnership between GSPIA and UCIS, students can also obtain a certificate in Global Studies. A certificate in Global Studies provides students with 'global competence.' Global Studies certificate students choose one of the following six global issues concentrations and unite it with the study of a particular region and language:

  • Changing Identities in a Global World
  • Communication, Technology, and Society
  • Conflict and Conflict Resolution
  • Global Health
  • Globalized Economy and Global Governance
  • Sustainable Development

Research centers & institutes

The Graduate School of Public & International Affairs is home to several research institutes and centers.

  • The Ford Institute for Human Security was established at the University of Pittsburgh as a result of an endowment gift from Ford Motor Company. The mission of the Institute is to conduct research that focuses on transnational threats to the human rights of civilian populations, The Institute's function is to generate independent research, disseminate policy papers, and advocate nonpartisan policy proposals to domestic and international policymakers.[9]
  • The Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security is dedicated to educating the next generation of security analysts and to producing scholarship and impartial analysis that informs the options available to policymakers dealing with international and human security on a global scale. The Ridgway research program analyzes the security dynamics of the 21st century global environment, concentrating on rapidly evolving and emerging threats.[10]
  • The GSPIA Nonprofit Clinic provides technical and capacity building assistance to small nonprofits. The clinic is a part of the School's nonprofit management instructional program; it utilizes teams of students and faculty to provide assistance in strategic management, marketing, fund development, board development, human resources planning, and financial analysis.[11]
  • The Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership strives to promote ethical leadership, and provides an institutional platform for launching a program of teaching, research, and public service on ethics and accountability in public life. The Institute works with GSPIA faculty to develop materials for teaching about ethics and accountability and broadening the coverage of these topics in the required courses in the School's core curriculum. It also seeks to recognize outstanding research on ethics and accountability, to advance the state of knowledge on these topics, and to offer practical guidance to public service professionals and citizens. In addition, the Institute facilitates public dialogue and community learning on timely issues related to ethics and accountability.[12]
  • The Center for Global Healthoperates in partnership with the six Schools of the Health Sciences and the School of Law at the University of Pittsburgh. It strives to foster interdisciplinary global health research, create the next generation of leaders and scholars, facilitate sustained partnerships, and promote translation of research findings into policy and practice.[13]
  • Center for Disaster Management provides a school-wide locus to support research, education, and training projects that focus on extreme events. Its goal is to develop a coherent approach for research and analysis on policy issues related to disaster risk reduction and management that cross interorganizational, interdisciplinary, and interjurisdictional boundaries.[14]

Special programs

  • The Philanthropy Forum provides a university-based platform for national dialogue with thinkers and practitioners in the field of philanthropy and engages in research on the history and contemporary contributions of philanthropy to local, national, and global communities.[15]
  • The International Political Economy Colloquium provides a forum for IPE scholars to present their works in progress.[16]
  • The Pittsburgh International Trade and Development Seminar Series is a joint undertaking sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Department of Economics, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College.[17]


  • #2 in the number of NASPAA dissertation awards won by its doctoral students
  • #4 top school for faculty scholarly productivity in the field of International Affairs and Development, (The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2007)
  • #17 top U.S. master's programs for international relations (Foreign Policy, 2009)"[18]
  • #33 to U.S. Public Policy Programs (U.S. News & World Report, 2012)
  • #19 city management and urban policy (U.S. News & World Report, 2012)


GSPIA is one of only nine schools to have produced at least two NASPAA presidents. Three GSPIA alumni have served as President of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Six GSPIA alumni have served as president of the Korean Association for Public Affairs.[2]

GSPIA student organizations

  • GSPIA Student Cabinet[19]
  • Purposeful Penny - a student charity organization benefiting Bright Kids Uganda and Urban Impact
  • Nabu - represents the interests of the PhD student community
  • AGORA - Professional & Academic Development[20]
  • EU and the World
  • Pitt Political Review (GSPIA issue)
  • International Student Initiative
  • RIGHT HERE: A Forum for Volunteer Activities[21]


  1. ^ a b "Best Public Affairs Schools". U.S. News & World Report. 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  2. ^ a b c d "GPSIA Facts". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Pitt Graduate School Given Special Honor". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA). 1961-06-30. p. 5. Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public Health: Peace Corps Master's International Track". Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  8. ^ "GSPH, Peace Corps join forces". University Times. 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  9. ^ "About Ford". Ford Institute for Human Security, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  10. ^ "Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies". 
  11. ^ "About Us". University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  12. ^ "Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership: About US". University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  13. ^ "Center for Global Health". Retrieved 2009-05-15. 
  14. ^ "Center for Disaster Management at GSPIA: About Us". University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  15. ^ "Philanthropy Forum at GSPIA". 
  16. ^ "International Political Economy Colloquium". 
  17. ^ "Pittsburgh International Trade and Development Seminar Series". 
  18. ^ Daniel Maliniak, Amy Oakes, Susan Peterson, and Michael J. Tierney (March–April 2009). "Inside the Ivory Tower".  
  19. ^ "2008 GSPIA Student Cabinet". 
  20. ^ "Agora". 
  21. ^ "Student Organizations". University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Retrieved 2011-07-07. 

External links

  • Graduate School of Public & International Affairs (GSPIA)
  • Ford Institute for Human Security
  • Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security
  • University Center for International Studies
  • Global Studies Program
  • Asian Studies Center
  • Center for Latin American Studies
  • Center for Russian & Eastern European Studies
  • European Studies Center

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