Muskie School Overview
Associate Dean: Andrew Coburn
Professors: Clary, Coburn, Colgan, Edney, Forhan, Fraumeni, Hartley, Kartez, Lapping, Payne, Savage, Thompson; Associate Professors: Bell, Bampton, Bolda, Ettenger, Hamilton, Joly, Lambert, LaPlante, Lynn, Merrill, Pavri; Assistant Professors: Kim, Morris
The Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service is a non-partisan education, research, and public service organization dedicated to educating leaders, informing policy and practice, and strengthening civic life. The school combines nationally recognized research programs with graduate degrees in Community Planning and Development (CPD), Public Health (MPH), and Public Policy and Management (PPM). It also offers a bachelor’s degree and several minors through the school’s Geography-Anthropology (GYA) program, as well as a wide spectrum of certificates and certificates of graduate study in areas ranging from social policy analysis to public management to geographic information systems. Muskie graduates work in many fields in both public and private sectors.
The Muskie School is frequently sought after as a source of knowledge on issues of national, regional, state, and local importance. More than 150 faculty and staff engage in research through externally funded grant and contract awards totaling $20 million. This success is attributable to growing expertise, a practical, innovative approach to health, social, environmental, community, and economic development problems, and a commitment to spanning traditional boundaries among university, government, and nonprofit organizations.
These activities provide faculty and students with real-life experiences which expand and inform classroom learning. Many graduate students take advantage of the school's research programs through assistantships and internships.
Muskie School Research
The school's research and public service activities encompass a range of public policy areas, including public health, economic, and tax policy; health and public administration; community planning; and environmental sustainability. The school also provides program evaluation, policy analysis, technical assistance, and training. The school is home to the Catherine E. Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy, which houses four program areas: children, youth, and families; disability and aging; justice policy; and population health and health policy. The Cutler Institute conducts projects for federal, state, and local agencies as well as private foundations, and is committed to bringing the resources of the University of Southern Maine to bear on problems of critical importance to Maine and the nation. Collaborative partnerships with agencies and organizations have served as vehicles for innovative policy and program development.
Muskie houses also several national research centers. The Maine Rural Health Research Center is one of seven federally funded centers focused on critical issues related to rural health in the United States. The National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement assists all 50 states with advances in public services for children and families. Muskie’s research portfolio also addresses sustainability issues, including urban growth, food systems, energy, and climate change.
Specialized laboratories administered by Muskie’s Geography-Anthropology program, provide high-tech, hands-on learning environments. The labs serve not only as research facilities, but also as teaching facilities, allowing for student-faculty research collaborations. Laboratories include the Archaeology Laboratory, Environmental Archaeology Laboratory, Zooarchaeology Laboratory, Qualitative Research Laboratory, Cartography Laboratory and Map Collections, and the Geographic Information System (GIS) Laboratory.
Joint Degree Programs
The joint degree programs in law and public policy and in law and community planning and development offer the juris doctor degree (JD) through the University of Maine School of Law and the master’s degree through the Muskie School. The programs allow students to earn both the JD and masters’ degrees simultaneously by designating a certain number of crossover courses that satisfy the graduation requirements of each degree. Students may thus complete both degrees in four years instead of the five years that would ordinarily be required. Separate admission to each program is required.
The joint degree program in business administration and public health offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) through USM’s School of Business and MPH through the Muskie School. This program allows students to earn the MBA and MPH simultaneously by designating a certain number of crossover courses that satisfy the graduation requirements of each degree. Full-time MBA/MPH students may complete both degrees in three years instead of the four years that would ordinarily be required. Separate admission to each program is required.
3-2 Programs in Community Planning and Development
The school offers opportunities for undergraduates to complete both a bachelor’s and master’s degree on an accelerated schedule by taking courses in their senior year that are counted in both (undergraduate and graduate) degrees. Undergraduate majors in Geography-Anthropology or Environmental Planning and Policy may apply in their junior year for provisional admission to the CPD program, and fully matriculate in the graduate program following completion of their undergraduate requirements.