Educating Tomorrow's Changemakers

A commitment to career-focused education and policy relevant research in service to the public good

At the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, we bring together insights from many disciplines to address problems of immediate and emerging concern to society at local, state, national, and international levels.

Our degree programs, research centers, and broad array of experiential learning opportunities enable our students to hone their skills and have positive impacts wherever their careers take them, from local town offices and nongovernmental organizations to national governments and international institutions.


Professor Dan O’Brien Publishes New Book on the Urban Commons

Dan O’Brien, Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and Co-Director of BARI, recently published his book The Urban Commons: How Data and Technology can Rebuild our Communities. The future of smart cities has arrived, courtesy of citizens and their phones. To prove it,…
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Guest Column: Exploring Economics, Public Policy, and Cross-Regional Experiences with a PhD

By Shirley Liu, PhD Candidate, Public Policy My interest and career choice in urban and regional policy is not an accident, but rather heavily influenced by my upbringing. I was born in a rural township in China and raised by my grandparents in a relatively small urban area located in the northern edge of Guangdong…
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Professor Boeing: SPPUA ‘felt like a perfect fit’

For Geoff Boeing, Northeastern’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs (SPPUA) felt like a perfect fit: “an exciting university direction, a focus on big ideas and pressing issues, emphasis on applied work and making a real-world difference, not to mention a strong faculty that seems to just keep growing,” he said. Boeing joined SPPUA…
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Lee: Developing more inclusive, diverse programs is ‘work I love to do’

Matt Lee, SPPUA’s new teaching professor of human services, has a background in psychology, conducts research and advocacy on diversity, identity and inclusion, and has implemented global education programs in Romania, Germany, Poland, and Croatia. Lee comes from James Madison University, where he served as the director of the Cultural and Racial Diversity Studies Lab….
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Dukakis Center project to evaluate ESL programs

Alicia Sasser Modestino, associate director of the Dukakis Center, will lead a team, in partnership with Laurie Dopkins of Northeastern University’s Public Evaluation Lab, to study the return on investment for English as a second language (ESL) programs in Massachusetts under a new grant-funded project with the Boston Foundation. ESL programs are an important component…
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Jennie C. Stephens

Director and Professor, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs

"From our innovative master’s programs, to our unique PhD program, to our multiple undergraduate offerings, SPPUA continues to expand its reach."

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Monique Gibbs

Master of Public Administration, Graduate Certificate in Urban Studies

“The ‘Contemporary Community Development’ class really opened my eyes to the interconnected network of housing, education, economic development and the different actors involved in shaping the health and well-being of a community.”

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Antonio Vázquez Brust

Master of Science in Urban Informatics

“I view research projects as an integral part of my education. I learn way faster when I’m immersed in a project with tangible consequences.”

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Lauren Costello

Master of Science in Urban and Regional Policy

“The MS in Urban and Regional Policy program offered much of what I was looking for: experiential learning opportunities, applied research, and an incredibly engaged faculty.”

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