O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs

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Indiana University
O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs
DeanJohn Graham
Academic staff
90 full-time and more than 100 adjuncts
Location, ,
United States

The O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs is one of the undergraduate and graduate schools of Indiana University, and is the largest public policy and environmental studies school of its kind in the United States. Founded in 1972, as the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, it was the first school to combine public management, policy, and administration with the environmental sciences. The school was founded on the IU Bloomington campus, and today also has a campus at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). O'Neill School Bloomington is the top ranked school of public affairs in the United States; the school received a facelift and expansion when the Paul O'Neill Graduate Center opened for classes in the Spring 2017 semester due to the growing influx of students.[1] On March 4, 2019, the name was changed to the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, in honor of alumnus Paul H. O'Neill, who served as the United States Secretary of the Treasury in 2001–2002.


SPEA at Indiana University

O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs is a unique institution with an interdisciplinary character where students can combine environmental science, environmental policy, and public affairs. O'Neill School is home to more than 90 full-time faculty members and 2,800 students. Indiana University's other highly ranked schools and programs complement the school's offerings; the school has 15 joint programs in social and natural sciences and professional fields. For example, in conjunction with the Department of Political Science, O'Neill School offers a Joint Ph.D. Program in Public Policy, the only one of its kind in the country; as another example, students interested in environmental studies can focus on the science or the public policy aspect under the same roof; under the separate degrees of B.S. Public Affairs where one can do Environmental Management as their major or B.S. Environmental Science as their degree.


In the 2019 "Best Graduate Schools" survey by U.S. News & World Report, O'Neill School (SPEA) Bloomington was ranked first in the U.S. among MPA programs.[2] In terms of specialties, O'Neill School (SPEA) was ranked as follows:[3]

  • 1st in Environmental Policy and Management
  • 1st in Nonprofit Management
  • 1st in Public Finance and Budgeting
  • 3rd in Public Management & Leadership
  • 5th in Public Policy Analysis
  • 8th in Health Policy & Management
  • 10th in Local Government Management

O'Neill School (SPEA) Bloomington is also a founding member of the Council of Environmental Science Deans and Directors.

At the doctoral level, both the PhD in Public Affairs and the PhD in Public Policy have been top-ranked by the US National Research Council.[4]

Student life[edit]

O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs Bloomington supports the Civic Leaders Center, a residential facility for freshmen from across the Indiana University campus who are interested in politics, economics, public affairs and the environment, it is located at the Briscoe Residence Center.[5]

Students have taken the initiative to organize several clubs such as the Nonprofit Management Association, the Environmental Management and Sustainable Development Association, Students Taking Active Roles Today (START), the International Public Affairs Association, Latin American Policy Association, and the Diversity Project, among others.[6]

At IUPUI, the O'Neill School advises and supports the Justice and Pre-Law Community for freshmen living in The Tower who are interested in social justice.[7] O'Neill Indianapolis students also created and implement publicINreview, and online journal focusing on regional issues in public affairs. Select criminal justice students also serve as cadets on the campus police force.

In addition, the Graduate Student Association works closely between students, faculty and staff, to coordinate communication among them and offer opportunities for leadership and involvement to the school's masters students. Elected officers attend regular meetings with faculty and staff to discuss programs, policies and other aspects of the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs experience. Active members attend committee meetings and coordinate projects, trips, activities and parties; every person in the professional masters programs at the O'Neill School in Bloomington is a member of the school's Graduate Student Association (GSA).

Institutes and centers[edit]

  • Public Policy Institute
  • Manufacturing Policy Initiative
  • Center for Research in Energy and the Environment
  • Geographic Information Systems Laboratory
  • The Great Lakes Center for Public Affairs and Administration
  • Institute for Development Strategies
  • Institute for Family and Social Responsibility
  • Institute for the Study of Government and the Nonprofit Sector
  • Transportation Research Center

Global initiatives[edit]

Naming gift[edit]

On March 4, 2019, Indiana University announced the school would be renamed in honor of Paul H. O'Neill, a 1966 graduate of the university. In honor of O'Neill and his $30 million gift to the school, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs became the Paul H. O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs[8]; the gift will go toward funding graduate fellowships, professorships and chairs, undergraduate scholarships, and the creation of a new Center on Leadership in Public Service.

Notable people[edit]




  1. ^ http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-public-affairs-schools/public-affairs-rankings?int=a7cd09
  2. ^ http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-public-affairs-schools?int=abc409
  3. ^ "Graduate School Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  4. ^ "A Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States (2011)". Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Civic Leaders Center". O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  6. ^ "Student Organizations". O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
  7. ^ "SPEA JPL Community: Residential Based Learning Communities: Explore On-Campus Housing: Housing and Residence Life: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis". housing.iupui.edu. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  8. ^ https://indianapublicmedia.org/news/ius-spea-renamed-oneill-school-after-alums-30-million-gift.php

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°10′21.2″N 86°31′3.8″W / 39.172556°N 86.517722°W / 39.172556; -86.517722