A Welcome from the Director
Welcome to Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Public Affairs (SPA) and thank you for visiting our website.
The School of Public Affairs is situated in the state capital of Harrisburg and is within an easy drive of the national capitol in Washington, D.C. It is an ideal location for students who desire to study politics, policy making, public administration, homeland security, and criminal justice. More than 250 Penn State Harrisburg residential students make their academic home in SPA, as well as some 1,200 online students.
The School offers degree and certificate programs in a broad spectrum of public affairs areas and at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can take classes on campus at Penn State Harrisburg, at our Eastgate Center near the Pennsylvania State Capitol, or online through Penn State’s extensive World Campus. SPA students have opportunities to participate in internships and assistantships that place them alongside leading scholars as well as practitioners at the local, state, and national levels. We also offer a variety of exciting international opportunities, including international research projects, overseas exchanges, and both short- and long-term study abroad options.
We have an outstanding and diverse faculty who are committed to assisting students with their intellectual and professional development, and preparing them for success after graduation. Our 30 full-time faculty hail from a dozen countries around the world and have exceptional academic credentials, including extensive publication records. In addition, we have a substantial part-time faculty of accomplished professionals from the local, state, and national levels. Leaders in their professional fields, these practitioners add to our students’ education with their real-life experiences and focus on employable skills for the contemporary job market.
Central Pennsylvania is a pleasant and rewarding place to live, study, and work. In addition to the state capitol complex, Harrisburg is home to the National Civil War Museum, Fort Hunter Mansion and Park, and Broad Street Market. Nearby there are interesting and historic cities such as Hershey (“The Sweetest Place on Earth”), York (where the Articles of Confederation were drafted), Lancaster (which served for one day as capital of the United States), and Gettysburg. Major metropolitan areas such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC, are all within a two-hour drive.
I invite you to explore our website and, if you are in the area, our campus. On behalf of my colleagues at the School of Public Affairs, welcome and we look forward to working with you.
L. Marvin Overby
School of Public Affairs