Welcome to Watts College

Arizona State University’s laboratory for the innovative production of public goods

The Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions is made up of four schools and more than 20 research centers—all with a shared goal of advancing research and discovery of public value, and furthering the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities that we serve. 

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Our degree programs cover the spectrum of public service, including public policy, social work, criminology and criminal justice, nonprofit leadership, emergency management, community development and more. We are preparing a workforce to take on complex issues. At the same time, our students are making a difference today. Through service-based learning, they put ideas into action.

Our research addresses challenges that affect us both locally and globally. We are developing solutions to issues ranging from child welfare to neighborhood safety, city management to human trafficking, water scarcity to tourism development.

Together, we bring creativity, systems-level thinking and entrepreneurial spirit to our mission of creating, sustaining and promoting dynamic, prosperous communities.

Academic excellence and accessibility

The Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions is home to ASU’s most diverse student body, with the highest percentages of minority, transfer and working students—and the largest community of first-generation college students. Among our student are nearly 300 veterans and international students from 59 countries. Last year, we awarded over 1,300 degrees. More than half of our students received financial assistance to further their endeavors. We continue to expand our programs to serve community needs. Our highly rated programs are available in person, online—and we have an established campus in Tucson. 

Local impact, social embeddedness

ASU is an anchor institution, vital to the metropolitan area. Located in downtown Phoenix, the Watts College of Public Service’s faculty and students are close to the partners that we serve. Public service is a cornerstone of our academic programs, research endeavors and student experiences. We bring a spirit of experimentation and systems-level thinking to the shared challenge of creating and maintaining public goods. 

Solutions-oriented research

Our research is use-inspired, integrating the theoretical and the applied approaches to find solutions to complex issues of urban living and governance. Our unique structure—with expertise in across a broad range of areas—complements our entrepreneurial approach. We are deeply embedded in the community forging partnerships to take on projects that have local, national and international impact. 

Watts College features some of the best schools in the nation


School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Ahead of Pennsylvania State and University at Albany - SUNY


School of Public Affairs

Tied with Princeton


School of Social Work

Ranked in the top 10% of graduate programs in social work