In September 2009, the UNLV Regents created the new School of Environmental and Public Affairs, combining the energies of two former units, the departments of Environmental Studies and Public Administration. The new School provides an umbrella for exciting, interdisciplinary research and teaching in public administration and governance, environmental science and studies, non-profit management, urban studies, and natural resources management. Our faculty’s strong record and interest in these areas offer students and practitioners a variety of possibilities in cutting-edge and relevant knowledge, research, and projects. In 2016, the name of the school was changed to School of Public Policy and Leadership.


The School of Public Policy and Leadership employs an interdisciplinary approach to create knowledge and understanding to support effective policy and governance through collaborations of faculty, students, and the greater community.


At the School of Public Policy and Leadership, our vision is a community that continuously engages important decision-making processes in order to facilitate effective, long-term, problem-solving capacity for society in the areas of public administration, environmental science and management, and other policy arenas. This will require new levels of cooperation among citizens and experts across the public, non-profit, civic, and private sectors.


At the School of Public Policy and Leadership, we cherish the following values:

  • Using our expertise to serve others;
  • Dedication to excellence in teaching and research;
  • Scientific rigor and academic integrity;
  • Collaborative teamwork;
  • Inclusiveness and diversity; and,
  • Compassion, respect, and dignified regard for people in society.


Our school has three main goals:

  • Deliver value as teachers who educate and empower future leaders;
  • Advance knowledge, using our expertise in meaningful ways that allow communities to better understand, manage, and resolve complex public and environmental issues; and,
  • Serve those in society and government faced with challenging decisions and educational needs specific to our areas of expertise.

All of this is done with an emphasis on insight, excellence, and leadership for the present and future.

Join us as we address the urgent needs of our nation and community. Explore our several undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate options in Environmental Science, Public Administration, Public Affairs, and Emergency Management.

School of Public Policy and Leadership Bylaws