The School of Public Affairs and Administration is committed to improving the quality of public and nonprofit service. In a diverse and inclusive community, the mission of the School of Public Affairs and Administration is to provide learning and discovery opportunities which advance the knowledge and use of professional ethics, best theories, policies and practices for public and nonprofit organizations in order to create and support societies of respect, liberty, justice and equality.


As a part of the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Public Affairs and Administration embraces the college’s values of global engagement, community participation, creativity and innovation, integrity, diversity, excellence, sustainability and social responsibility. In keeping with our mission, as a School of Public Affairs and Administration committed to improving the quality of public and nonprofit service, we uniquely value:

  • The common good.
  • Democratic governance and liberty.
  • Ethical leadership, decision-making and administrative practice.
  • Advocacy for social justice.
  • Plurality of ideas and perspectives.
  • Collaborative teaching, research and service.
  • The intersection of theory and practice.


  • A professional School established in 1973, currently offering accredited and award-winning academic programs (undergraduate minor, master’s and Ph.D.) and tracks in public administration, public management, nonprofit leadership, human resources and healthcare;
  • Academic programs break disciplinary silos for an integrated and holistic learning to succeed in a 21st century professional career;
  • Over 3,000 alumni leading change for “common good” through high-impact careers in government and nonprofit organizations locally, nationally and globally;
  • A diverse body of students, faculty and staff promoting and pursuing inclusive learning together;
  • A wide reach of faculty service including in nonprofit boards and public agencies in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and a host of other cities and counties to committees, commissions and task forces in Lansing, as well as many national organizations;
  • Faculty with research and service grants from Fulbright, NIH, NSF, United Nations, and other national and international organizations; and
  • Faculty research and consulting services spanning multiple countries and regions including Canada, China, Egypt, Germany, Guatemala, Iraq, Japan, Luxembourg, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Uzbekistan, and high-income countries in general.


Western Michigan University's School of Public Affairs and Administration offers three academic programs.

Undergraduate courses are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Kalamazoo campus.

Graduate courses are offered at the main campus in Kalamazoo (mostly with 6 to 9 p.m. weekly meetings on weekdays) or at Cooley Law School building in Lansing in a hybrid format (with four face-to-face weekend meetings).