Heller School ranked top 50 grad school for social policy and public affairs

April 1, 2016

U.S. News & World Report ranked the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis among the top graduate programs in the country for public affairs and social policy. The masters of public affairs program is now ranked at number 45 (tied with 10 other schools) and the social policy program is ranked at number 10.

“We have a stellar reputation in this field and it is gratifying to see that reflected in this year’s ratings,” said Interim Dean of The Heller School Marty Krauss. As of fall 2015, Heller has 533 students from about 65 different countries.

“Our global student body is a treasure and a distinction for us. It is a magnet for both students and faculty,” said Krauss. “There are a majority of people here who actually come from an international background so there’s always a very colorful conversation in class,” said Tyler Miller, a student at Heller pursuing his MBA in nonprofit management and social policy and an MA in coexistence and conflict.

Heller has an alumni network that includes over 3,700 graduates. On their faculty and research staff, there are 29 scientists, 28 visiting scholars, 11 professors emeriti, 37 senior or distinguished scientists and 21 visiting scholars.

“We have made some significant faculty hires in the last several years that brought new attention to our strengths,” said Krauss. “Our faculty publishes extensively in a wide variety of fields, and our research has public policy impact.”

The Masters of Public Affairs program tied for the number 10 ranking with Cleveland State University, CUNY-Baruch College, the Georgia Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University and North Illinois University.

U.S. News & World Report creates rankings on the best colleges, graduate schools and hospitals in the world. The rankings are based on educational data from schools, as well as the use of the magazine’s own methodology.

For Miller, what makes Heller and its programs special are his colleagues. “It brings in a diverse student body on the masters level where I think that I learn the most from my colleagues and the comments that they make in class,” he said.

Another student appreciates the social policy focus of the programs in Heller. “One of the things that I think is unique about the Heller School is that everything that’s in the school, since it’s a school of social policy, not public policy, has that social bend,” said Calla Mattox, an MPP and non-profit management student at Heller.

The Heller School offers its students research opportunities, with over $18 million of sponsored research at the school and the many different research institutes that offer courses in students’ areas of expertise. “We have some of the most prestigious and influential research and policy centers in the country,” said Krauss.

The Master in Public Policy is a two-year interdisciplinary program that focuses on social policy. Each concentration in the program is matched with one of nine research institutions at Heller.

For students seeking their Ph.D. in Social Policy, there is a similar interdisciplinary approach. Between the research institutes, the fields of poverty alleviation, health, behavioral health, children, youth and families, disabilities, philanthropy, aging and global health and development are all addressed. No matter the program, the sentiment of the school remains the same. “At our core, we are a school dedicated to the power of knowledge advancing social justice,” said Krauss.

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