Ford School named #4 public affairs program: #1 for social policy and #2 for policy analysis and for health policy

April 9, 2024

The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan is recognized again as one of America’s top graduate programs in public affairs, ranked #4 overall in the U.S., according to the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings.

The Ford School was ranked as the #1 program in the U.S. for social policy, a core strength of the school for decades. The school ranked #2 for public policy analysis—the essential element that distinguishes our rigorous social science-based program from competitors in the field of public affairs. The school also earned top rankings in health policy and management (#2) and environmental policy and management (#5). In addition, the Ford School ranked #12 for urban policy and #12 for international global policy and administration.

The Ford School's consistent top-level rankings reflect strengths in and commitment to research and public policy engagement related to poverty, health, education, racial justice, political participation, climate change, science and technology, and other topics both domestically and internationally.

“It is an honor for the Ford School to be recognized by its peers for its ongoing success in training future public policy leaders to take on urgent threats and challenges to our public good,”  said Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy, Celeste Watkins-Hayes. “Our program prepares students to listen and lead across differences and drive change around complicated policy issues.

The U.S. News and World Report rankings are based solely on peer assessment survey results, of deans, directors, and department chairs representing 271 master’s programs in public affairs and administration. Two surveys were sent to each school in fall 2023 and early 2024. Respondents were asked to rate the academic quality of master's programs. Read more about the methodology.