Welcome to Watts College

A Message from Dean Cynthia Lietz

Cynthia Lietz headshot

I am so pleased to welcome you to Arizona State University’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. We are a highly ranked, comprehensive college of public service. Our four schools and over 20 research centers are advancing relevant educational programs and evidence-based solutions to address some of the world’s most challenging social issues. As a member of our Watts College community, you are joining a talented group of faculty, staff, students and community partners who work together to build more vibrant, healthy, equitable communities. While studying at the Watts College, you do not have to wait to graduate to make a positive difference – join us, as together we aspire to be the solution.

We look forward to partnering with you as you embark on your public service career at the Watts College!

Academic excellence and accessibility

The Watts College of Public Service and 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