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 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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MPA alumna chosen as next Bedford town manager

MPA alumna Sarah Stanton is getting ready to take over as town manager of Bedford, Mass., in October. She says the courses she took at Northeastern’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs have served as the framework for her success. “I am deeply thankful for my experience at Northeastern,” said Stanton, who currently serves…
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Research: Planning and design lessons from a noise sensing network

New research by SPPUA’s Dietmar Offenhuber explores the interaction between environmental noise and the built environment, an often-neglected area in urban planning and design. Offenhuber, an associate professor of art, design and public policy, analyzed an exploratory noise sensing project in Los Angeles that investigates qualitative and quantitative aspects of the noisescape. Using an experimental…
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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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