Schar School Master’s Programs Rise in U.S. News Rankings

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Van Metre Hall on the Arlington Campus where the Schar School of Policy and Government is located
The Schar School of Policy and Government in Arlington, Va. Photo by Ron Aira/Creative Services

The Schar School of Policy and Government master’s programs continue to climb in the “2022 Best Grad School” rankings released today by U.S. News and World Report. Five Schar School programs are ranked as the top among Virginia schools and two are in the top five in the country among public universities.

Of George Mason University’s eight graduate programs in the top 25, four are Schar School programs.

In all, the five-year-old Schar School boasts five master’s programs in the top 30 in the nation and another in the top 40 among all public affairs schools. When ranked alongside other public institutions, the Schar School has two of the top five master’s programs in the country and four in the top 30.

The annual rankings are based on statistical surveys of some 2,000 programs from reputational reports submitted by 22,000 academic professionals.

“In its first five years, the Schar School's rankings have climbed impressively,” said Schar School Dean Mark J. Rozell. “These rankings are a testament to the quality of a unique multidisciplinary faculty of leading scholars and policy practitioners who are dedicated to training the next generation of policy thinkers and leaders."

The Schar School’s programs and concentrations in security studies—all of which fall under U.S. News’ “Homeland Security” heading—led the way at No. 7 in the nation, No. 4 among public institutions. Security studies includes the school’s international security and biodefense programs, as well as a concentration in emergency management and homeland security and an emphasis in national security. Centers supported by those programs include the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC), the Center for Security Policy Studies, and the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Studies.

The International Policy and Commerce program is ranked for the first time in the “International Global Policy Administration” specialty area, coming in at No. 14 overall, No. 5 among public institutions.

“Local Government Management” moved up from No. 19 in 2020 among public institutions to No. 18, and No. 22 among all schools, public and private. “Public Management and Leadership” saw the Schar School program climb two spots from 28 to 26 overall and No. 18 among public institutions. Those categories draw on the strength of the Schar School’s Master’s in Public Administration degree, which includes the Northern Virginia Public Service Fellows Program as well as the Masters in Public Policy

The “Public Policy Analysis” program is ranked No. 23 in the country overall and No. 13 among public schools.

The “Non-Profit Management” program rose to No. 32 nationally and No. 23 among public schools.

The Schar School’s prime location in the heart of U.S. policy provides students with one-of-a-kind professional opportunities that supplement learning from professors with real-world experience in everything from NGOs and nonprofits to key government agencies, including the CIA, National Security Agency and many more.