Buffalo Campus PhD Programs in Public Affairs & Social Sciences

Doctorate Public Affairs and Social Sciences Schools award the highest level of academic degree in their respective fields of study.

Doctoral students may have the opportunity to build key knowledge. For one, rigorous courses may help you develop leadership capability and technical expertise in your field. Also, you might learn to conduct social research, analyze data and think critically. Moreover, some doctoral programs in public affairs and social sciences encourage students to question norms. As a result, students may come up with new strategy or insight to solve some of today’s challenges within their sphere of study.

Which Doctorate Degree in Public Affairs and Social Sciences Is Perfect for Me?

Two of the main types of degrees that Doctorate Public Affairs and Social Sciences Schools might offer are the research doctorate (PhD) and the practice doctorate. Examples of research doctorates include a PhD in Public Policy and Management, PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies and PhD in Clinical Psychology. Students in these academically focused programs may be required to contribute original scholarly material to their field of inquiry. In comparison, practice doctorates such as the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in Counseling Psychology, Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) and Doctor of Social Work (DSW) may prepare students to refine their clinical expertise and apply advanced theory to the delivery of services.

Doctorate Public Affairs and Social Sciences Schools: Admissions Requirements

While academically equal, admissions to either type of doctoral program is likely to vary. Some schools with PhD programs in public affairs and social sciences may admit students with a bachelors degree and build masters level coursework into the program of study. Professional doctorate degrees might presume applicants have some practical know-how and a masters degree. Each school sets its own policies, so you should read through their expectations on a case by case basis.

Earn Your Doctorate Degree On Campus

You can look for Doctorate Public Affairs and Social Sciences Schools in a specific city, state or country. Each location may have a range of internship opportunities, teaching apprenticeship programs, facilities on campus or other features of interest. For instance, some graduate programs have small class-sizes where students might benefit from one-on-one mentorship and close contacts with faculty. Also, each university may have unique research teams and groups that draw you to their program. Think of what is important to you, and factor it into your search.

Explore Diverse Doctorate Public Affairs and Social Sciences Schools

You can explore Doctorate Public Affairs and Social Sciences Schools for degrees in many fields of study. Just what are public affairs and social sciences? Public affairs is a broad term that often describes the links between various organizations and their stakeholders. Areas of study in public affairs span government policy, corporate leadership, public health and so much more. Social sciences are scholarly disciplines that study human society and their relationships in and to society. Some of the areas of study are anthropology, economics, sociology, psychology, social work, and political science. Any of these areas might be the focus of a doctoral degree.

DID YOU KNOW?

Life, Physical and Social Science occupations include economists, psychologists, epidemiologists and anthropologists.i

PhD in Economics Schools

Graduate schools with PhD programs in Economics might cover core courses in micro-theory, macro-theory, mathematics, statistics, and econometrics. Candidates may be encouraged to choose electives to anchor their research and focus their dissertation. For instance, a course in Labor Economics might prepare a student to conduct an analysis of labor supply and demand, unemployment and gender inequality.

Doctorate Counseling Psychology Schools

There are a range of graduate schools that offer doctoral degrees in counseling psychology. Counseling psychology encompasses various practices to help people improve their well-being.

Some programs are designed to prepare graduates to seek licensure as professional health service psychologists. Those seeking to become a licensed counseling psychologist work towards a PhD, PsyD or EdD in programs that may take at least four to five years of graduate study. Most programs involve coursework, integrated field work, practice of professional skills and research into behavior.

Aside from the PhD and PsyD in Counseling Psychology, there are other doctorate degrees in related counseling programs to consider in your search for schools.

  • A PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision might explore issues such as crisis intervention, leadership, and advocacy. Students could learn about advanced psychopathology and treatments for mental health disorders.
  • The Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy (DMFT) degree program may help students develop advanced clinical techniques for counseling of children, couples, and families. Coursework could explore family systems theory, human development and theories of interaction.
  • A PsyD in School Psychology might prepare graduates to address the educational, behavioral, social, and emotional needs of the children, youth, and families. Coursework is likely to explore intervention methods and theories of development as well as psycho-biology.

PhD in Political Science Schools

Graduate schools with PhD programs in Political Science might introduce students to advanced theory and research in political theory, American Politics, International Politics and Comparative Politics. This type of program might prepare graduates to teach and conduct scholarly inquiry in a subfield of political science.

Doctorate Psychology Schools

Schools with doctoral degrees in psychology may offer a PhD or PsyD program in a variety of areas of emphasis. The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) is the terminal degree for those who wish to apply their knowledge as practicing clinicians. PhD programs in psychology may be more academically focused and typically include courses on statistics and experimental procedures.ii

  • A PsyD in Clinical Forensic Psychology might introduce students to basic concepts of forensic mental health assessment. Coursework is likely to cover topics such as how to assess risk of violent behavior and diagnostics for psychopathology.
  • The PhD in Clinical Psychology could be offered based on the scientist-practitioner model. In other words, students are likely to focus equally on research and practice. Some schools might provide optional professional concentration areas in health psychology, clinical child psychology, and neuropsychology. 
  • PsyD in Clinical Psychology programs may provide academic, practicum, internship, and research experience directly relevant to the practitioner. In this type of program, scientific research is used to inform clinical skills and professional competencies. Individuals might also choose a specific focus such as family psychology.

PhD in Public Policy Schools

One of the degrees you might look for in Doctorate Public Affairs and Social Sciences Schools is a PhD in Public Policy. A doctoral program in Public Policy and Management may prepare students to conduct innovative, interdisciplinary research in several key areas related to the public sphere. Some examples could include crime policy, drug policy, health economics, labor economics, and technology policy.

Doctorate Public Health Schools

When it comes to a doctoral degree in public health, schools might have a PhD in Public Health and/or a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) program. The PhD is generally thought of as suitable for those with goals in public health research or academia. By comparison, the DrPH degree program is typically designed for the student who already has an MPH or equivalent degree and who intends to pursue a leadership position as a public health professional.

Find Accredited Doctorate Public Affairs and Social Sciences Schools

Accreditation for Doctorate Public Affairs and Social Sciences schools might come from several sources. For one, many public affairs schools and social sciences schools are housed in institutions that are regionally or nationally accredited. This means they have met or surpassed quality standards vis a vis things like faculty, student services, finances and curricula. Second, some programs may be approved by professional accreditors. The American Psychological Association (APA) is one example. Make sure you are up to date with the standards in your field.

Take the Next Step

To take your education to the next level, read about and compare Doctorate Public Affairs and Social Sciences schools with the help of the on-page menus. Refine by subject and location. Then review the programs and contact schools with PhD programs in your field directly and easily. Start the journey to earn your doctorate in public affairs today!


[i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/home.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm

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