Central European University is a graduate-level “crossroads” university where faculty and students from more than 100 countries come to engage in interdisciplinary education, pursue advanced scholarship, and address some of society’s most vexing problems.
It is accredited in both the United States and Hungary, and offers English-language Master's and doctoral programs in the social sciences, the humanities, law, management and public policy. Located in the heart of Central Europe -- Budapest, Hungary -- CEU has developed a distinct academic and intellectual focus, combining the comparative study of the region's historical, cultural, and social diversity with a global perspective on good governance, sustainable development and social transformation.
Founded in 1991 at a time when revolutionary changes were throwing off the rigid orthodoxies imposed on Central and Eastern Europe, CEU is based on the premise that human fallibility can be counterbalanced by the critical discussion of ideas and that this critical spirit can be sustained best in societies where citizens have the freedom to scrutinize competing theories and openly evaluate and change government policies.
With approximately 1,400 students and 370 faculty members from more than 130 countries, CEU is one of the most densely international universities in the world. Its rare mix of nationalities, ethnicities, and cultures creates an ideal environment for examining such “open society” subjects as emerging democracies, transitional economies, media freedom, nationalism, human rights, and the rule of law. It also brings multifaceted perspective to all aspects of community life.
CEU is known for excellence in teaching and research—with purpose. At the core of its mission lies a set of principles: the pursuit of truth wherever it leads, respect for the diversity of cultures and peoples, and commitment to resolve differences through debate not denial.
The School of Public Policy at Central European University is, in the words of its founder, George Soros, a “new kind of global institution dealing with global problems” through multi-disciplinary study of public policy, innovative teaching and research, as well as meaningful engagement with policy practice. We are a global institution committed to creating a community of purpose beyond power.
Public policy today is in a global, multi-level crisis. Tipping the scales towards a more secure peace, social justice, and environmental sustainability – to name but a few – requires innovative and entrepreneurial engagement for the common good.
Building a multi-disciplinary and global institution committed to the values of open society and creating strong and flexible links between research and practice is one way of responding to what is, overall, a failure of policy elites to tackle the most urgent problems of our time.
Successful engagement for the public good in today’s world also requires a better and fairer representation of diverging perspectives. To that end, SPP is vigorously inclusive, attracting both students and faculty from diverse backgrounds and tapping into a wide variety of knowledge sources. SPP’s students are the future social and political entrepreneurs, equipped to make innovative contributions towards resolving the paramount public policy challenges of the 21st century.
SPP offers three master's degrees in public policy, and the public policy track of the Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science program. The programs are tailored for students from around the world seeking careers in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors at the local, national, and international levels. The School boasts a team of outstanding resident faculty, world-class visiting faculty made up of top researchers, and practitioners in the public policy field who bring a wide array of academic and practical subjects to SPP's diverse classroom.
The School has launched global initiatives and hosted numerous public events that have focused on developing an innovative research agenda while deepening cooperation with the Open Society Foundations and its networks. SPP has also built strategic partnerships with policy actors across the globe and is home to two policy centers: the Center for Media, Data and Society and the Shattuck Center on Conflict, Negotiation and Recovery.
This school offers programs in: