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Augusta University’s Master of Public Administration ranked in top 50% of public affairs programs in the nation

Just this week, U.S. News & World Report released its 2023 rankings of the Best Public Affairs Programs in the country.

Augusta University is proud to announce that its Master of Public Administration program is ranked in the top 50% of the Best Public Affairs Programs in the nation.

Ranked at No. 131 out of almost 300 MPA programs across the country, Augusta University’s MPA program ranking increased by 33 points from last year, according to Dr. Wesley Meares, director of the MPA program and an associate professor of political science in Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

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Dr. Wesley Meares is the director of the MPA program at Augusta University.

“This ranking puts us in the top 48.5% of programs in the United States,” Meares said. “We are tied with other universities such as the University of Alabama, the University of Iowa and Marist College. While we’ve always known we have a high-quality program, this is just a signifier of the hard work of our students, alumni and faculty, in getting the name of Augusta University out there and showing everyone the great work that we do.”

For more than 25 years, the MPA program’s faculty at Augusta University has worked diligently to offer students a path to success in their chosen or future careers. Now, due to its high ranking this year, Augusta University’s MPA program will be allowed to display a “U.S. News ranked” badge on its website, advertisements or promotional materials, Meares said.

“For the first time in the history of our program, we have been ranked high enough to become a badge-eligible school,” he said. “That is really great news because we get to display that badge on our website and it signifies that we are ranked in the top half of all broadly defined public affairs programs in the country.”

U.S. News badge

Receiving this high ranking from U.S. News & World Report clearly shows the strength of Augusta University’s MPA program, said Dr. Kim Davies, dean of Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

“Our MPA faculty, led by Dr. Meares, is doing wonderful work,” she said. “It doesn’t surprise me that we are ranked as a top program in public affairs, and I am sure that many in Augusta and at the university won’t be surprised either, as our students are everywhere contributing to the Augusta metropolitan area and to Augusta University.”

Dr. William Hatcher, chair of the Department of Social Sciences at Augusta University, said he couldn’t be prouder of the MPA program.

“Being ranked by our peers as a top program in public affairs is more evidence for something that we already know — that the Augusta University MPA program provides our students with an outstanding education and will help advance their careers,” Hatcher said. “We couldn’t do this without the amazing work of our students, faculty and alumni.”

Of the 15 MPA programs across the state of Georgia, Augusta University’s program is ranked No. 4 behind the programs offered at the University of Georgia, Georgia State University and Georgia Tech, Meares said.

“The overwhelming majority of schools ranked ahead of us have a PhD or Doctor of Public Administration associated within their departments or schools, which allows them to get their name further out there,” Meares said. “But we’ve received our ranking with our MPA program, which I think goes to say a lot about the hard work of our students, alumni and faculty. Clearly, we are getting our name out there and we are very well respected in the field.”

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Written by
Stacey Eidson

Stacey Eidson is Senior News & Communications Coordinator at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-522-3023 or

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woman smiling Written by Stacey Eidson

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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