United States PhD in Public Policy & Public Administration
PhD in Public Administration and Public Policy programs help students to advance their understanding of the public sector and the management of community resources through research. Students could work towards earning doctorate degrees in public administration, policy, labor relations, or government policy.
While these Public Administration Doctoral programs have different curriculum, they each focus on teaching techniques to better oversee public assets. Courses topics could include public budgeting, drafting policies, or developing communications between groups.
Additionally, many Doctorate in Public Administration and Public Policy programs include a dissertation requirement, preparing graduates to investigate core challenges in the public sector and contribute new insights to their chosen field.
PhD in Public Administration Programs
Public Administration PhD programs focus on research into issues in civil service, administrative leadership, urban planning, social justice, government and public agency budgeting, and other challenges in the public administration field. PhD Public Administration programs may also touch on issues in strategic planning and management, such as program evaluation, citizen and governmental partnerships, and government management at the local, state, federal and international levels.
Essentially, students work to identify ways to more effectively and efficiently manage public resources.
PhDs are academic, research doctorates and as such, curriculum focuses on developing theory and conducting specialized scholarly research. However before diving into the research component, students typically take courses in core topics in public administration to provide a background for their inquiry.
PhD Public Administration students could explore some of the following areas.
- Program Planning & Evaluation
- Public Organizations
- Environmental Compliance
- Human Resources Management
- Administrative Law
- Urban and Regional Planning
- Public Budgeting
- Public Affairs Research Methods
Courses vary. Contact schools for detailed course lists.
PhD in Public Administration Disserations
In addition to the topics above, PhD Public Administration students may take courses in research methods and techniques, while outlining a core area of interest in preparation for their dissertation. The dissertation is the culmination of the PhD in Public Administration program.
Students conduct original research into a relevant topic. They may explore the effects of new policies, current trends or the failings of old public programs. They then offer new solutions or insights to help address the issues.
Disserations are usually written in lieu of classes during one or two semesters. When completed, students present and defend their findings. Students may also be required to take written and oral exams before graduation.
How Long Could It Take to Earn a PhD in Public Administration Degree?
Generally a full time student could complete a PhD in Public Administration program in four years. This may depend on enrollment, course requirements and the time it takes to complete a disseration. Most PhD Public Administration programs require students to complete 60 credit hours of classes. Schools vary, so be sure to talk to an admission advisor directly.
Additional Doctorate in Public Administration Degrees
For those interested in working in the field, rather than academics, other types of doctorate in public administration degrees may be preferable. The two most common options are the Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) and Doctor of Business (DBA) with a focus on Public Administration.
In many ways they mirror PhD Public Administration programs. Both are terminal degrees and focus on similar topics. However DPAs and DBAs are considered professional research doctorates and therefore approach the content matter differently.
Doctor of Public Administration degrees are very similar to PhDs but focus on applied research. This means they look into issues that have a direct relevance to practice. They also emphasize the dissertation but the research may have more practical applications.
Therefore DPA programs may be better suited to those interested in careers as practitioners but who wish to keep their program tailored closely to public administration issues.
The DBA with a concentration on Public Administraion is also a professional degree. However, these public administration doctoral programs are offered through the business department.
Students take core courses in business and then purse their specialization through electives in that track. DBA programs emphasize leadership and may prepare graduates to pursue advanced positions in the field.
It should be noted, that every school defines their programs differently. The variations between the PhD in Public Administration, DPA and DBA may be great or small. That's why it's important to read descriptions carefully and contact an advisor with questions.
PhD Public Policy Programs
The PhD in Public Policy program is designed similarly to PhD in Public Administration programs. However, while administration courses focus on management and the implementatoin of policy, the PhD Public Policy program emphasizes creating laws and regulations to better address the needs of a community.
To do this, students research current policies to analyze their effectiveness. Then, they may offer solutions to current obstacles and challenges.
A PhD in Public Policy could also be further concentrated to deal with a specific type of policy. In these cases, students could study the unique challenges facing an area of the public sector as opposed to general policy material.
PhD in Public Policy concentrations could include some of the following.
- Crime & Drug
- Environment ">
- Emergency Services
- Educatio ">
These are only a sample of possible concentrations. Speak with your program for a more complete list.
PhD Public Policy programs typically require students to complete 66 to 82 credit hours to graduate and defend a disseration. Students could earn a PhD in public policy degree in 4 to 6 years, depending on enrollment. Schools vary.
PhD in Government Programs
A Government PhD program is closely related to political science. Mainly, the program deals with research surrounding political and international relations, and the policies that could enhance them. During this program, courses may focus primarily on conflict resolution and crisis negotiations.
PhD in Labor & Industrial Relations Programs
Labor and Industrial Relations PhD programs may also be called human resource management programs. Courses teach ways to cultivate a strong company culture. This could include managing a team of employees or creating policies to enhance workplace morale.
First, students may study methods to support employee needs in the workplace. Then, they could study ways to minimize workplace obstacles and negate crisis situations. Classes may be focus on both national and international employee relations. Emphasis is often placed on multi-level institution behaviors and how they affect the working environment.
Applying to Public Policy and Public Administration Doctoral Programs
Generally PhD in Public Administration and Public Policy programs require a masters degree, either in the form of an MPA or in a related field. Schools may also require students to submit a 3.0 or higher graduate GPA, test scores and letters of recommendation, though this varies.
In addition, schools may ask students to write and submit a research essay. In these essays, students could outline potential research topics for their future dissertation. This way, programs could see if a faculty member may be able to advise them in their studies and whether the student might be a good match for the school. Contact individual Doctorate in Public Administration programs to learn more.
Could I Earn My Doctorate in Public Administration Online?
Many schools offer PhD in Public Administration and PhD in Public Policy programs online to make an advanced education more accessible and convenient to students.
Courses, assignments, lectures and class discussions are generally placed on a digital platform, which is available anywhere with internet connectivity. This could make them a great choice for working professionals, or those far from a preferred school.
It should be noted though that some Online PhD in Public Administration programs may have in person requirements. Students might visit campus or nearby locations for research or dissertation defense. Contact preferred PhD in Public Administration online programs to learn if this might apply to you.
On the other hand. some students may prefer the more traditional classroom experience offered by Doctorate in Public Administration and Public Policy schools. Campus based programs could be a great chance to interact face-to-face with other industry professionals.
Additionally, students may be able to assist professors with their research, participate in student teaching and take advantage of campus resources. Available opportunities vary. Contact schools for details.
Searching for PhD in Public Administration and Public Policy Programs
Ready to start a PhD in Public Administration or Public Policy Program? Begin by browsing the listings on this page. To find out more about a program, click its link. This provides you with a brief description about the program. While you’re there, you could also request more information from the school itself.
To refine the list further, select your preferred specialty or format from the menu bar. You can also search by location to find Doctorate in Public Administration programs near you. Good luck!
California Baptist University
Take an active role in creating innovative, sustainable solutions to societal problems and improved governance.
Change your world and the world around you with a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University.
- North Miami Beach, FLNorth Miami Beach, FL
Union Institute and University
Union Institute & University’s doctoral program plays a distinctive role in American higher education. Grounded in humanistic inquiry...
- Brattleboro, VT
- Sacramento, CA
- Los Angeles, CA
- Cincinnati, OH
- Cincinnati, OH
This Doctor of Business Adminstration degree with a specialization in Public Administration focuses on acquiring administrative skills to advance to top leadership positions and to retain them through rigorous reflection on their professional experie...
Liberty University Online
With Liberty University’s Doctor of Business Administration – Non-Profit Management, 100% online program, you will feel confident that your passion and influence, coupled with your training, can take your non-profit furth...
- Alexandria, VAAlexandria, VA
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
The Government and International Affairs (GIA) is one of three programs within the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) at Virginia Tech in the National Capital Region (the greater Washington DC metro area). GIA's urban campus is in the hea...
- Blacksburg, VA
- Lawrence, INLawrence, IN
University of Kansas
The Public Administration graduate programs at the University of Kansas combine an established tradition of academic excellence with a continuing concern for the practical aspects of public management. This orientation toward professional education refl...
University of Texas at Arlington
Graduate Program in Public Administration (includes an on-line option at the masters level)
Through its School of Urban and Public Affairs, UTA offers a masters curriculum designed to develop leadership capacity, understanding of the political, social nd economic characterstics of today's urban environment, and the ability to apply current the...
- Arlington, TX
- Middletown, PAMiddletown, PA
Pennsylvania State University
The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is intended for those with career interests in public management, health and human services, government, and other public service and nonprofit organizations. The curriculum blends theoretical and applie...
- University Park, PA
- Twin Cities, MNTwin Cities, MN
University of Minnesota
The Industrial Relations Center (IRC) offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in human resources and industrial relations preparing graduates for professional and academic careers in human resource management, labor relations, and related fields. As part of the C...
- Twin Cities, MN
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
Overview: The DrPH in Health Policy and Social Justice offers a methodologically rigorous doctoral training program in health policy that comprises bo...
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
New York University
NYU Wagner's Health Policy and Management program has been recognized as the best in the country. Located in a school of public service rather than in a medical or public health school, our program crosses traditional boundaries, linking management,...
- New York City, NY
- Denton, TXDenton, TX
University of North Texas
In the Department of Public Administration at the University of North Texas, we prepare you for leadership roles in public or nonprofit organizations or for a career in academia.
- Denton, TX
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
The goal of the Master of Science (M.S.) in Sport and Recreation Management program is to develop high-level executives and pro...
- Cleveland, OHCleveland, OH
Cleveland State University
These degrees offer advanced training in urban studies to recent graduates and in-service professionals wishing to pursue careers in economic development, environmental assessment, urban policy analysis, housing and neighborhood development, public admi...
- Tucson, AZTucson, AZ
University of Arizona
The School of Public Administration and Policy offers a Master of Public Administration, which is designed to prepare men and women for positions of l...
- Morgantown, WVMorgantown, WV
West Virginia University
- Washington, DCWashington, DC
The Department of Government’s Ph.D. program offers graduate students an opportunity to work closely with prominent scholars in a range of subfields. Our students specialize in either American or comparative politics; and they choose a secondary field e...
- Washington, DC
- Salt Lake City, UTSalt Lake City, UT
University of Utah
- Richmond, KYRichmond, KY
Eastern Kentucky University
The M.S. program provides a generalized study in recreation, parks, and leisure services management. The program prepares students for supervisory and management careers in therapeutic recreation, public recreation, private enterprise, and college teach...
- Pittsburgh, PAPittsburgh, PA
Carnegie Mellon University
The Ph.D. in Public Policy and Management equips students to address the increasing complexity of public policy issues in key areas like crime policy, drug policy, health economics, labor economics, and technology policy.
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Gainesville, FLGainesville, FL
The University of Florida
The department offers both masters and doctoral degrees in natural resource management, tourism, sport management and therapeutic recreation. We feature flexible programs and have graduate assistantships available for qualified students.