PPIA Program

“Diversity & Leadership in Public Service”

Northeastern’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs Unveiled

Campus in SnowStarting February 10, join faculty and staff on Wednesdays from 5 to 6 p.m. in West Village F, room 114, in our Boston campus for a free drop-in information session before our Myra Kraft Open Classroom, a free seminar series examining the future of Boston that is open to students, staff, and the general public.

A professional degree from Northeastern University opens new doors to rewarding opportunities and professional networks. Our programs teach new practices and cutting-edge knowledge in their respective fields.

Stick around after the information session to participate in our Open Classroom. Spurred by the city of Boston’s Imagine Boston 2030 initiative, which is developing Boston’s first comprehensive master plan since 1965, the series is focused on “Shaping Boston’s Future: Aspirations, Opportunities, and Challenges.” Speakers include several city officials and consultants working on the Imagine Boston 2030 initiative and related city initiatives focusing on such issues as housing, transportation, and the arts as well as notable civic leaders, local scholars, and state officials.

Open House at Northeastern University’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs!

Are you thinking about graduate school, but feel puzzled at how to start the process? Do you have specific questions about career opportunities and financing your education? Join us for a free Open House on Saturday, January 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Northeastern University School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, 1135 Tremont St., Boston, MA.

Meet current students, alumni, faculty, and staff, and explore your field of interest within our interdisciplinary masters programs – Public Administration, Urban Informatics, Urban and Regional Policy, Public Policy, and International Affairs.

We educate students in both theory and practice, preparing them to become effective contributors to social, economic and environmental change.

Antonio BrustThe University’s infrastructure is extensive, and I particularly enjoy spending time at Snell Library, where I enjoy the relaxed environment and also know I can find a broad variety of services, from personal GIS advising to 3D printing. Boston is a wonderful place to live in, and the campus benefits from a privileged location within the city, which is well serviced by public transportation in case walking or biking are not an option,” said Antonio Vazquez Brust, a first-year student in Northeastern’s M.S. in Urban Informatics. “The quality of staff, faculty and course content fulfilled my expectations. I feel like I have greatly benefited from the interaction with my teachers. Two recurring themes that I particularly appreciate are enriching debates during class discussion and hands-on contact with Boston’s policy issues. And speaking of hands-on involvement, professor Dan O’Brien – research director of the Boston Area Research Initiative – has invited me to join his team, so I’ll also gain experience as a researcher on pressing urban issues. Our current project involves using “Big Data” to identify indicators of gentrification, track them across time, and assess their impact to obtain a full set of indicators that might be shared with policymakers, as well as the insights that they might shed on the process by which gentrification occurs.”

Come and learn about our cutting-edge research centers and labs and our international exchange experiences.

Lauren_Costello“The SPPUA programs really emphasize getting out there and putting theory to work and I’ve had two incredibly positive experiential learning opportunities so far,” said Lauren Costello, a student in the Urban and Regional Policy program. “I’ve worked at the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy as a research assistant and I traveled to Amsterdam last semester to study at the University of Amsterdam in their competitive Urban Studies program. These opportunities are without a doubt the two most important experiences of my graduate career so far.”

Register today to save a seat! Lunch will be provided.

Northeastern University is Building Local Food into Urban University Dining

INV Dining Options

Linda Hollins, left, of Dining Services, hands biology doctoral student Antonia Vitalo a sandwich at the Kosher meal station in the International Village dining hall.

Northeastern became Boston’s first education institution to join the Real Food Challenge when it pledged in 2013 to purchase at least 20 percent of its food from local, sustainable sources by 2020. Now a School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs professor has teamed up with the Dining Services to identify opportunities for the university to partner with local food sources.

Professor Christopher Bosso and Mau­reen Tim­mons, director of dining services, were awarded a $5,000 planning grant from the Kendall Foundation to work with a student to research other institutions and determine ways to increase Northeastern’s local food sources. That research will serve as the basis of a preliminary report for a larger grant to employ a full-time co-op student who would then identify new emerging food businesses in the area, according to Bosso.

“We’ll identify a vendor that we can work with to help that person scale up to provide the university and other institutional producers with a product that’s both good and affordable,” said Bosso, a food policy expert who is currently writing a book on the politics of the U.S. Farm Bill as a way to understand food politics and the broader political system.


Professor Christopher Bosso with Miranda Beggin, a fourth-year business and political science major.

Miranda Beggin, a fourth-year business and political science major, spent the fall semester examining existing dining services in urban universities such as Boston University and the University of Pennsylvania. She said the hardest aspect of her work is determining what Northeastern is already doing and what can be done.

“It’s a constant quest,” said Beggin. “What is Northeastern doing? What can Northeastern be doing, and how do we make the things we can be doing possible?”

As a member of Menus of Change Collaborative, Northeastern is among a select number of universities working together to use their dining services as leverage points for changing the larger food system while helping students make better nutrition choices, such as by lessening the centrality of meat in daily eating.

For Beggin, who had previous experience in theoretical research, conducting practical research has taught her that it’s not always possible to answer every question that arises. But “don’t get discouraged,” she said, because it’s about “exploring all of the options and trying to answer as best as you can.”