The Maxwell Extra

Interdisciplinary scope drawn from across the social sciences

Maxwell is the only major graduate school of public affairs to offer its professional programs alongside scholarly programs in the social sciences. This natural pairing develops students who can apply social science research in professional settings.

Public managers, policy analysts, and NGO experts share one roof with anthropologists, political scientists, economists, geographers, sociologists, and historians. Maxwell's faculty and educators sit not by discipline, but within Maxwell's nine interdisciplinary research institutes, where professors and students from across the disciplines collaborate to address pressing public challenges.

The advantages of this arrangement are multifaceted. There are obvious curricular opportunities, such as joint and concurrent degrees, advanced study certificates, guest lectures and symposia, unique electives, research projects, student organizations, and experiential learning opportunities distinctive to the Maxwell School.

But there are broader benefits, too. Maxwell prides itself on making deep connections between the conceptual and the pragmatic, while promoting dedication to citizenship, community, and the rigors of public discourse. Theoretical and practical notions are never far apart. PAIA students benefit from a rich awareness of the social consequences of the careers they are about to undertake.

The result is Maxwell's comprehensive approach to the world's challenges, and explains why PAIA students emerge not only well-trained, but contemplative, conceptually flexible — in a word, wise. It is because of this advantage that Maxwell alumni distinguish themselves.

It all goes back to one simple difference: At Maxwell, doing public affairs and understanding public affairs are conducted in the same places, by the same people.

To sample how Maxwell's breadth influences research and other conversations, learn more about the School's nine Centers & Institutes.