Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs

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Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs
Virginia Tech Seal
Motto Ut Prosim (Latin)
Motto in English
That I May Serve
Type Public University
Established 1996
Director Anne Khademian
Location Blacksburg, Alexandria, Richmond, in Virginia, U.S.
Colors Chicago maroon and Burnt orange[1]          
Affiliations Virginia Tech
Mascot HokieBird

The School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) at Virginia Tech fosters interdisciplinary initiatives, by building cooperative arrangements among units within the School and University, and by partnering with organizations external to the university.

The School's goal is to focus Virginia Tech’s expertise in government, public administration, international affairs, planning, public policy, and urban affairs to help individuals and communities across the world understand their most critical problems and most promising solutions.


The School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) was approved by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors in 1996 as a collaboration of five departments and programs in two colleges to develop interdisciplinary instruction, research and outreach initiatives related to public policy, planning, and administration and globalization and international development.

SPIA is one of four schools in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies (CAUS). SPIA houses three programs:

  • Government and International Affairs (GIA),
  • Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP),
  • Public Administration and Policy (CPAP)


Center for Public Administration and Policy

Architecture Annex is home to SPIA on the Blackburg Campus
SPIA offers a MPA Program for students within the Greater Richmond Region.
Virginia Tech National Capital Region offers a number of SPIA programs for students within the Washington metropolitan area.

The Center for Public Administration and Policy (CPAP) has three locations in Blacksburg, Alexandria, Virginia and Richmond, Virginia. CPAP integrates the challenges of governing with the scholarship of public administration and public policy. CPAP offers doctoral and master's degree programs as well as graduate certificates. The majority of CPAP students take classes on a part-time basis, while working full-time in a wide variety of federal, regional, and local government positions, as well as positions in consulting and the non-profit sector. CPAP offers the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Ph.D. degrees. Certificates are available in three fields: Homeland Security; Local Government Management; Public and Nonprofit Financial Management.[2]

Urban Affairs and Planning

The Urban Affairs and Planning program has locations in Blacksburg and Alexandria that offers an interdisciplinary, comparative, hands-on approach to instruction and research in two undergraduate degrees (B.A. in Public and Urban Affairs and B.S. in Environmental Policy and Planning), an accredited masters in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP), and a doctoral program in Planning, Governance & Globalization (PGG).[3]

Government and International Affairs

The Government and International Affairs program has locations in Blacksburg and Alexandria that offers a Master of Public and International Affairs (MPIA) and a Ph.D. in Governance and Globalization with an international affairs and cultural geo-politics focus. The MPIA is a 36-credit academic-oriented master's degree with a focus on international politics, critical geopolitics, international political economy, and cultural identity politics.[4]

CLAHS Affiliated Departments

Affiliated Departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (CLAHS):

  • Political Science,
  • Geography,
  • International Studies,
  • Science and Technology Studies (joined in 2000)
  • Agricultural and Applied Economics (joined in 2000).

National Capital Region

In 1969 the university launched new locations within the Virginia Tech National Capital Region (NCR). These facilities serves as a hub in the Washington metropolitan area for its students and alumni. As of 2015, the NCR offers Graduate programs in Public Administration, Policy, Government, and International Affairs.[5]


U.S. News & World Report rankings[6]
Public Management Administration 17
Public Affairs 37

Virginia Tech's School of Public and International Affairs has a highly reputed public affairs program and is one of a handful of core recruiting schools for some of the world's most selective firms. Listed below are the rankings by the U.S. News & World Report:

  • Public Management Administration: No. 17 U.S. News & World Report 2014 Best Graduate Schools.[7]
  • Public Affairs: No. 37 in the nation U.S. News & World Report 2014.[7]


In research and outreach, SPIA members lead a number of interdisciplinary centers and institutes:

  • Institute for Policy and Governance
  • Metropolitan Institute
  • Virginia Center for Housing Research


SPIA is administered by a Director who is advised by an SPIA Executive Committee made up of the three program chairs along with one other faculty member from each program.


  1. ^ "The Brand Guide: Virginia Tech Identity Standards and Style Guide" (PDF). Virginia Tech. May 2013. p. 45. Retrieved September 11, 2015. The burnt orange and Chicago maroon are the university's official colors that were adopted in 1896.
  2. ^ About CPAP
  3. ^ About the UAP Program
  4. ^ About MPIA
  5. ^ "Graduate Degree Programs".
  6. ^ "US News Ranking". usnews.
  7. ^ a b "Best MPA Programs - Top Public Administration Schools - US News Best Graduate Schools".
  • School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech
  • Faculty and Staff

External links

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