COSSPP celebrates 50th Anniversary

The College of Social Sciences and Public Policy is celebrating its 50th anniversary during the 2023-2024 academic year.

COSSPP 50th Anniversary

It was established as the College of Social Sciences in the fall of 1973 as part of a University-wide academic reorganization and consisted of just five departments: Economics, Geography, Government, Sociology, and Urban and Regional Planning.

There’s been much growth over the years, with 16 departments and interdisciplinary programs now housed within the College, along with 11 centers and institutes. COSSPP has evolved to become a bedrock College for the University, with over 5,000 students calling COSSPP home each year and 50,000 alumni around the globe working to address the world’s challenges and bettering their communities. As the third-largest, most demographically diverse and politically engaged College on campus, COSSPP is a microcosm of campus, the state, and the nation.

Warren F. Mazek, Ph.D., was named the first dean of the College in July of 1973, a post he would hold until 1986. Since then, the College, which was renamed to include Public Policy in 2015, has had five deans with Tim Chapin, Ph.D., being the latest as of 2016.

One thing that has not changed over the 50 years however, is COSSPP’s commitment to its mission of developing the next generation of leaders, citizens, and innovators to advance scholarship, engage communities, and serve society.

The College’s profile is continuing to rise not just on campus, but also around the country. The new Public Health undergraduate degree has become one of the most most popular programs at FSU in just its first few years.

COSSPP’s public affairs graduate programs – including Public Administration and Policy, Urban & Regional Planning, Political Science, and Emergency Management and Homeland Security – were ranked among the top in the nation by U.S. News and World Report in its 2023-2024 edition of “Best Graduate Schools.”

Grants are on the rise as well, with faculty bringing in $5.5 million in externally funded research projects over the last year.

A number of events honoring the College’s golden anniversary will be held throughout the school year. To learn more about all of COSSPP’s 50th anniversary activities and festivities visit

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