Home » EKU Climbs the Ranks for Best Public Affairs Program

EKU Climbs the Ranks for Best Public Affairs Program

RICHMOND, Ky. (June 24, 2024) — Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) has climbed the ranks in the 2024 U.S. News & World Report Graduate School rankings, particularly in the category of Best Public Affairs Programs, where it advanced 10 spots, among other program rankings.

“EKU is making a name for itself on the national stage,” said EKU President David McFaddin. “Our rankings show that EKU’s graduate programs serve as a catalyst for career growth and advancement. We’re excited to see our reputable MPA program move ahead in the U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate School list.”

EKU’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, which is offered 100% online, prepares students to assume a variety of leadership roles within nonprofit, public sector and governmentorganizations. The MPA program offers four areas of concentration: Applied Policy, Community Development, Emergency Management and Disaster Resilience, and Nonprofit Management. Core courses include public sector leadership, administration, ethics and public policy, public finance administration, human resources management, policy analysis and program evaluation, research methods, and organization theory. The MPA program also offers several elective courses.

Photo by Emma Watson

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of urban and regional planners is projected to grow 4% from 2022 to 2032, and employment of social and community service managers is expected to grow 9% during the same period.

“I have always been interested in nonprofits, mostly driven by a desire to contribute professionally to a meaningful cause,” said Jenna Grace Smith, ’24. While pursuing her MPA degree, she also worked part-time as the marketing director for Mike’s Kids Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing opportunities for all students in Madison County through scholarships and grants. Smith is continuing her position with Mike’s Kids Education Foundation and will be a business teacher at Estill County High School this fall.

Through EKU’s MPA program, Smith said, “I now know how to apply for grants, analyze policy and understand public budgets, such as where my school’s funding comes from. Public administration is one of the most valuable degrees a professional can earn. Not only did I learn about the inner workings of governance that impact the day-to-day lives of every citizen, but I learned how to use that knowledge to lead a meaningful career across many pathways.”

Smith continued, “I couldn’t have imagined going anywhere else for a master’s degree. My experience at EKU has been life-changing. I credit everything I am to the people who have supported me during my time at EKU.”

Here is the complete list of EKU’s rankings in the U.S. News & World Report 2024 Graduate School rankings:

  • No. 172 in Public Affairs
  • No. 146 in Clinical Psychology
  • No. 22 in Occupational Therapy
  • No. 227 in Psychology
  • No. 154 in Public Health
  • No. 193 in Speech-Language Pathology

EKU’s Graduate School offers nearly 40 master’s, specialist and doctoral degree programs, in fields such as nursing, business, education, computer science, social work, criminal justice and more. Six months after graduation, 97% of EKU master’s graduates report being satisfied with their career choice; 87% are employed full-time and 77% within their field of study. Additionally, EKU master’s graduates earn an average salary of $63,454 six months after graduation.

EKU’s graduate school rankings in the U.S. News & World Report add to a growing list of national accolades for the university, including America’s Best Colleges by The Wall Street Journal, Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report and America’s Best Employers by Forbes