United States


The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University

May 10, 2019 Scott Fletcher Bowlsby
United States

The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs is Syracuse University’s home for innovative, interdisciplinary teaching and research across the social sciences, public policy, public administration, and international relations.

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Mission and Purpose

Since its founding in 1924, the Maxwell School at Syracuse University's primary object has been "to teach good citizenship — to cull from every source those principles, facts, and elements which, combined, make up our rights and duties and our value and distinctiveness as United States citizens" and to "train practitioners in public affairs —people who would immediately enter government careers and effect change."[1] Maxwell believes a multi-disciplinary approach is needed to create innovate policy solutions to new challenges facing the modern world.[2] Maxwell's defining interest in demcratic citizenship is demonstrated through its signature Citizenship and Civic Engagement (CCE), a nationally unique interdisciplinary learning experience that allows students to contribute to the public good while preparing for careers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.[3]

Origins and Development 

The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs opened on October 3, 1924 thanks to a $500,000 grant from Syracuse graduate George Holmes Maxwell.[4]

Organizational Structure, Membership, and Funding

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Specializations, Methods and Tools

As the leading graduate school of public affairs in the United States with a defining interest in democratic citizenship, Maxwell's goal is to provide a wide range of cross-disciplinary, professional and scholarly degrees in conventional and midcareer formats with the option to study remotely. Scholars and students at Maxwell conduct research through interdisciplinary centers on a wide range of public-policy related topics inlcuding: social and economic policy, conflict and collaboration, public wellness, aging, energy and environment, national security, and regional studies, among others. The Maxwell School's defining interest is democratic citizenship as demonstrated in its signature team-taught interdisciplinary MAX Courses and major in citizenship and civic engagement (CCE).[5]

Major Projects and Events

The Tenth Decade Project

Launched by Dean James Steinberg in the fall of 2014 in conjunction with Maxwell’s 90th anniversary celebrations, the Tenth Decade Project is a 'sandbox' for new citizenship programming. The project involves a series of initiatives fostering innovation and collaboration across the disciplines. Since its creation, the project has generated five faculty-driven citizeship projects in the the areas of citizenship in America, climate change and citizenship, free speech, and work and labour.[6]

Analysis and Lessons Learned

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Maxwell's 150-plus faculty members and roughly 800 graduate students produce influential and innovative research through the School’s research centers and institutes. Dozens of books and monographs and hundreds of book chapters and journal articles are published by Maxwell's faculty every year. Highlights of their research are made available to the public on the Maxwell website and through its social media channels.[7]

See Also

Civic Education


[1] "Maxwell History," 

[2] "The Future of Public Policy Requires a Multidisciplinary Approach," Maxwell School of Syracuse University/YouTube, March 29, 2019, 

[3] "Maxwell Program in Citizenship and Civic Engagement," 

[4] "Maxwell History," 

[5] "About the Maxwell School," 

[6] "Tenth Decade Project," 

[7] "Faculty Research," .

External Links

Official Website: 


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