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Research Guides

United States Federal Government Resources: Departments and Agencies

Introduction

Executive departments are government units under the direct President supervision. The President's Cabinet includes the Vice President, heads of the 15 executive departments below, and  the Attorney General.  There are hundreds of federal agencies and commissions with various responsibilities. Visit USA.gov for a current list of federal agencies, commissions and departments.

Each executive department collects and publishes unique information. Consult the departmental pages listed below, and the links to highlighted publications, resources, agencies and administrations to learn more! Other agencies and administrations are highlighted in boxes in the right column. Also recommended: UCSD's guide on Accountability resources (Inspector Generals' reports).

Department of Agriculture

A circular medalion with the USDA seal, which depicts a heap of corn with a hand plow at its base encircled by the agency name.

Department of Agriculture highlighted publications and resources:

Department of Commerce

A circular medalion with the US Department of Commerce seal, which depicts the American eagle over a shield with a ship and a light house encircled by the agency name

Department of Commerce highlighted commerce bureaus:

Department of Defense

A circular medalion with the Department of Defense seal, which depicts the American eagle with a shield styled after the American flag and three golden arrows encircled by the agency name.

Department of Defense highlighted documents and sites:

  • Department of Defense News Releases: News releases are official statements of the DOD, which include casualty notices. Archived releases are online from Oct. 1994 on.
  • Homeland Security Digital Library: A research collection of open-source resources related to homeland security policy, strategy and organizational management.
  • Joint Chiefs of Staff: The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the principal military adviser to the President, though all JCS members are considered law military advisers
  • Military Departments: The official sites for the Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and more can be found on this page.
  • Greta's Links: Useful blog from respected librarian Greta Marlatt, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School

Department of Education

A circular medalion with the Department of Education seal which depicts a tree and its seed surrounded by radiant sunlight encircled by the agency name.

Department of Education highlighted resources:

Department of Energy

a circular medalion with the Department of Energy seal, which depicts the head of an eagle over a sheild with various methods of producing power and a lightning bolt encircled by the agency name.

Department of Energy highlighted agencies and offices:

Department of Health & Human Services

A circular logo with the agency name running along 3/4 of the outside. The remaining quarter is taken up by a stylized black and white linework eagle with two human profiles overlaid.

Department of Health and Human Services highlighted agencies:

Department of Homeland Security

A circular medalion with the Department of Homeland Security Logo in the center surrounded by the agency name. THe

Department of Homeland Security highlighted resources and administrations.

Department of Housing & Urban Development

Circular medalion with the Department of Housing and Urban Development logo in the center surrounded by the agency name. The logo is a stylized blue and green eagle.

Department of Housing and Urban Development highlighted resources for HUD data: 

  • HUD USER: This resources contains housing research and data sets as well as publications of HUD research.
  • Homelessness: Follow this link for resources and information about homelessness; also see HHS information above.

Department of the Interior

A circular medalion depicting the Department of the Interior Logo surrounded by the agency name. The logo is a bison against a mountainous landscape.

Department of the Interior highlighted bureaus and agencies:

Department of Justice

A circular medalion with the DOJ logo in the center surrounded by the agency name. The logo is an eagle holding a branch and some arrows on a shield with the american flag on it.

Department of Justice highlighted offices, divisions, and bureaus:

Department of Labor

A black and white circular logo depicting the Department of Labor logo surrounded by the agency name. The logo is a line drawing of an eagle over a shield depicting various tools.

Department of Labor highlighted bureaus and administrations:

Department of State

A circular medalion depicting the Department of State Logo surrounded by the agency name. The logo is an eagle with an american flag shield over its torso clutching a branch and some arrows.

Department of State highlighted publications and documents:

Department of Transportation

A circular medalion with the name of the agency surrounding the DOT logo.

Department of Transportation highlighted activities and areas of focus: 

Department of the Treasury

A circular medalion with the Department of the Treasury logo surrounded by the agency name. The logo is a shield with a set of scales and a key in blue on a yellow ground.

Department of the Treasury highlighted resources and agencies:

  • Tax Policy: here you'll find Treasury-produced documents related to taxes and tax policy.
  • Data and Charts Center: this page contains raw data, graphs, and charts on Treasury topics.
  • Internal Revenue Service: the IRS is the nation's tax collection agency and administers the Internal Revenue Code.

Department of Veteran Affairs

A circular medalion with the VA logo surrounded by the agency name. The logo is an eagle clutching the original american flag and the modern american flag in its talons.

Department of Veteran Affairs highlighted resources:

Highlighted & Familiar Agencies