||Common rust (CR) caused by Puccina sorghi is one of the destructive fungal foliar diseases of maize and has been reported to cause moderate to high yield losses. Providing CR resistant germplasm has the potential to increase yields. To dissect the genetic architecture of CR resistance in maize, association mapping, in conjunction with linkage mapping, joint linkage association mapping (JLAM), and genomic prediction (GP) was conducted on an association-mapping panel and five F3 biparental populations using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Analysis of variance for the biparental populations and the association panel showed significant genotypic and genotype x environment (GXE) interaction variances except for GXE of Pop4. Heritability (h2) estimates were moderate with 0.37–0.45 for the individual F3 populations, 0.45 across five populations and 0.65 for the association panel. Genome-wide association study (GWAS) analyses revealed 14 significant marker-trait associations which individually explained 6–10% of the total phenotypic variances. Individual population-based linkage analysis revealed 26 QTLs associated with CR resistance and together explained 14–40% of the total phenotypic variances. Linkage mapping revealed seven QTLs in pop1, nine QTL in pop2, four QTL in pop3, five QTL in pop4, and one QTL in pop5, distributed on all chromosomes except chromosome 10. JLAM for the 921 F3 families from five populations detected 18 QTLs distributed in all chromosomes except on chromosome 8. These QTLs individually explained 0.3 to 3.1% and together explained 45% of the total phenotypic variance. Among the 18 QTL detected through JLAM, six QTLs, qCR1-78, qCR1-227, qCR3-172, qCR3-186, qCR4-171, and qCR7-137 were also detected in linkage mapping. GP within population revealed low to moderate correlations with a range from 0.19 to 0.51. Prediction correlation was high with r = 0.78 for combined analysis of the five F3 populations. Prediction of biparental populations by using association panel as training set reveals positive correlations ranging from 0.05 to 0.22, which encourages to develop an independent but related population as a training set which can be used to predict diverse but related populations. The findings of this study provide valuable information on understanding the genetic basis of CR resistance and the obtained information can be used for developing functional molecular markers for marker-assisted selection and for implementing GP to improve CR resistance in tropical maize.