ASU public service programs rise in the rankings

April 2, 2018

U.S. News and World Report ranked Arizona State University’s graduate degree programs within the College of Public Service and Community Solutions among some of the best in the nation.  

The ASU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice graduate criminology program is ranked No. 5 in the nation, tied with three other programs. The doctoral program launched in 2008. Its online criminal justice graduate program also ranked fifth in the 2018 U.S. News and World Report rankings of online graduate degrees. ASU Downtown Phoenix campus Download Full Image

“This is a reflection of our faculty’s dedication to graduate education and a tribute to their outstanding research, scholarship, teaching and mentoring of students,” said Cassia Spohn, director of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. “I believe that it also reflects the quality of the doctoral students who have graduated over the past 10 years and who are now making their marks on the discipline.”

The ASU School of Public Affairs graduate program moved up four spots to break the top 10, coming in at No. 9 up from No. 13 in 2017. Overall, the School of Public Affairs is tied with Princeton, New York University, University of Minnesota and University of Texas-Austin. Rankings are based on 282 programs.

Most notably, the school ranks even higher in the following public affairs specializations: No. 2 in local government management, No. 3 in homeland/national security and emergency management, No. 4 in IT management, No. 5 in urban policy, No. 7 in public management and leadership, and No. 8 in environmental policy. It is also ranked No. 9 in nonprofit management, No. 10 in public finance and budget programs, and No. 12 in public policy analysis.

“Our meteoric rise in the rankings is a reflection of the top quality of our world-class faculty. The fact that we are ranked in the top 10 in the U.S. in eight specializations demonstrates the breadth of our quality and the vast scope of our intellectual leadership,” said Donald Siegel, director of the School of Public Affairs.      

U.S. News and World Report ranked the ASU School of Social Work No. 30 in the nation, up two positions from its last ranking among 251 accredited programs in the nation that were included in the survey.

"Our continued ascension in the ranking affirms the quality of the faculty and staff at the School of Social Work," said James Herbert Williams, director of the School of Social Work. "The new ranking recognizes the outstanding scholarship and education at our school."

"Our achievements in terms of quality are all the more important given our commitment to accessibility and inclusiveness," said Jonathan Koppell, dean of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions. "We have expanded the offerings in our college and the number of students reached."

U.S. News and World Report rankings are based on peer-assessment survey results, rating the academic quality of master’s programs. Specialty areas are ranked by educators at peer schools. 

Corrected graphic of grad program rankings

Graphic by Safwat Saleem/ASU

Heather Beshears

director marketing and communications, College of Public Service and Community Solutions


Students climb military ranks with language skills

April 2, 2018

Arizona State University seniors Benjamin Harris and Brittany Diaz, both majors in Russian at the School of International Letters and Cultures, studied overseas with Project GO and are members of the Air Force ROTC Detachment 025.

Harris and Diaz serve as the cadet wing and vice wing commanders, and they had the opportunity to study abroad, which helped them reach some incredible milestones. While overseas, they learned how language plays a vital role in the military and is extremely beneficial knowledge, opening up a variety of career opportunities. Benjamin Harris Benjamin Harris found career opportunities through the School of International Letters and Cultures, study abroad and ROTC. Download Full Image

“Regardless of what branch you serve in, the United States military is aiming to develop more coalition initiatives with our allies abroad. … In general, knowing a foreign language is extremely useful, it opens up avenues of opportunity, it helps your unit build better alliances,” Harris said.

To prepare for a career in the military, Air Force ROTC gave scholarships to Harris and Diaz to study abroad and integrate with civilian students, developing intercultural communication and language skills.

“Learning a language from the ground up, starting from the alphabet and learning how to speak all over again, it shows you how much you don’t know about the world,” Diaz said.

Harris was studying Arabic at the time, and had the opportunity with Project GO to travel to Amman, Jordan, drastically improving his speaking skills in just two months. For Harris, the best way to study a language is diving right in and speaking with locals. While in Aqaba, Jordan, he mediated a sale between a Russian speaker and an Arabic salesman.  

Diaz went to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, where she lived with a host family. She credits the outstanding professors at the School of International Letters and Cultures, specifically Professor Donald Livingston and Professor Saule Moldabekova, for their dedication toward providing a well-rounded education.

“It doesn’t matter where you start, what experience you have, as long as you start it and put in your own effort outside of just class and everything to advance. You just have to want to do it,” Diaz said.

Brittany Diaz

Britanny Diaz.

Diaz explained that a big part in creating relationships overseas is trying to understand people's language and their day-to-day lives. The locals are appreciative and respectful when visitors build a rapport and try to understand their perspectives.

“It’s mind blowing to know that there’s that much in the world you don’t know about yet. When I went over there, I thought, ‘I’ve never done anything like this in my life.’ There’s people that are going to go their entire lives without doing something like this and I’m doing it when I’m 20,” Diaz said.

Learn more about the School of International Letters and Cultures' study abroad program.

Kathleen Leslie

Student communications specialist, School of International Letters and Cultures