Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs Programs

Student learning in the Maxwell programFounded in 1924 as the first U.S. school dedicated to preparing students for careers in public service, Maxwell is renowned for exceptional teaching, a challenging curriculum, cutting-edge faculty research, and the remarkable graduates who are advancing citizenship, scholarship, and leadership around the world.

While the Maxwell School has offered programs in Washington, DC, for many years, in 2013 it launched a far-reaching collaboration with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) that is providing a host of new opportunities for students and faculty.

All Maxwell graduate and undergraduate classes are held at CSIS’s headquarters on Rhode Island Avenue NW. The facility also houses the Maxwell-in-Washington staff and visiting faculty from Syracuse, and provides enhanced opportunities to conduct symposia, workshops, meetings, and expanded executive education programs.


Maxwell-in-Washington provides a mix of policy relevant professional development courses and faculty-supervised internships that fulfill the Maxwell School's hallmark emphasis on experiential learning. Nearly 200 undergraduate and graduate students participate in the DC programs in a given year.

In the past year, students completed a total of 130 internships at 82 different Washington organizations. Maxwell-in-Washington faculty exposed students to over 150 public policy and international affairs experts representing government, NGOs, think tanks, the private sector, media, multilateral organizations, and foreign embassies.

The interaction between the spheres of international relations and public administration makes the joint master's degree program in PA/IR an invaluable experience for students seeking a career that values the combination of international expertise and public management skills. The joint program offers excellent preparation for professions in government, global consulting firms, NGOs, and international organizations.

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Undergraduate Semester in DC

The Maxwell School’s Washington Semester Program puts undergraduates in the midst of some of the most important institutions, processes, and policy makers in the world.

Students work as interns three or four days a week, getting firsthand experience in both international and domestic policy. They also meet for seminars with Maxwell professors who work in the Washington policymaking community. A gateway to careers in public service, public affairs, with NGOs, media and business, the 15-credit program can apply to many majors on campus or as electives.

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Executive Education Department

The Maxwell School’s Executive Education department has been preparing the next generation of leaders for a global community since 1964. People come to Maxwell and Executive Education to make a difference and transform their communities—large and small, global and local.

Each year, the department hosts several international groups. More than 10,000 people from all over the world—including groups from governments and universities in India, China, the Middle East, and Russia—have completed Maxwell graduate degrees and professional training programs. The students typically visit Syracuse, Washington, DC, and often New York City, learning about U.S. government and democracy.

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More About CSIS

Accordion Section

CSIS buildingThe bipartisan, nonprofit Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is one of the world’s pre-eminent international policy institutions. For more than 50 years, it has focused on issues related to defense and security, regional stability, and such transnational challenges as energy, global development, and economic integration. Its staff and large network of affiliated scholars conduct a wide range of research and analysis on these topics and develop policy initiatives that look to the future.

In 2013, the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs launched a far-reaching collaboration with CSIS that is providing the school's students and faculty with a host of new educational, research, and career development opportunities in the nation’s capital.

All Maxwell graduate and undergraduate classes are now located at CSIS's headquarters on Rhode Island Avenue NW, a world-class facility with a two-story conference space, multiple teaching areas, and state-of-the-art electronics and audiovisual capabilities. The facility also houses Maxwell-in-Washington staff and visiting faculty, and is providing enhanced opportunities for Maxwell to conduct symposia, workshops, meetings, and expanded executive education programs in DC.

While making use of CSIS facilities, Maxwell students have many enriched opportunities to participate in CSIS activities and internships and to interact with the Washington policy community. Maxwell faculty members from across the school's varied disciplines explore research collaborations with CSIS staff and affiliates, while pursuing options for joint programming, teaching, and writing.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies
1616 Rhode Island Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20036


Via the Metro
CSIS is located just a few blocks from both the Dupont Circle and Farragut North Metro stations on the Red Line. From each, follow Connecticut Avenue (south or north, respectively) toward M Street and look for Rhode Island Avenue near the intersection of Connecticut and M.