General Requirements

The Ph.D. program is designed for full-time residential students who are interested in scholarly careers as researchers and teachers. All aspects of the program are focused on providing Ph.D. students' high-quality research and teaching experiences. The curriculum is designed to assure that all students:

  • Gain substantial competency in the core subject matter and methodologies central to preparing for careers as public administration and policy scholars and researchers
  • Obtain a firm understanding of the broad intellectual tradition of public administration and policy analysis
  • Become active researchers beginning in their first year of the program

Minimum Requirements

The Ph.D. program requires a minimum of 72 credits of coursework, four semesters of research apprenticeships, and nine (9) credit hours for the dissertation. Students who have earned a master's degree from an accredited university at the time of their entry into the Ph.D. program may receive up to 36 credit hours towards the 72-credit-hour coursework requirement.

Maxwell MPA degree holders may receive up to 39 credit hours toward the 72-credit-hour coursework requirement. Students must have a completed Masters in Public Administration or a related field or equivalent graduate credits to enter the Ph.D. program.

Complete degree requirements for the PhD program are outlined in the Course Catalog.

Prerequisite Coursework Requirements

All students who enter the Ph.D. program must either have completed the equivalent of the prerequisite courses listed below (all of which are required for the Maxwell MPA degree), complete the appropriate courses after they enter the Ph.D. program, or receive a waiver from the Ph.D. Committee. The prerequisite courses are:

PAI 712: Public Organizations and Management

PAI 721: Introduction to Statistics

PAI 722: Quantitative Analysis for Public Policy Analysis

PAI 723: Managerial Economics for Public Administrators

PAI 734: Public Budgeting

PAI 755: Public Administration and Democracy

In addition, all doctoral students are required to serve research apprenticeships during their residency for a minimum of four terms. Participation in the University's TA Training Program is also required just prior to the start of the initial fall semester.

Core Courses

The first two years of the Ph.D. program are comprised of coursework. The following are core courses that must be completed in order to be able to take the qualifying exams and comprehensive field exams.  Click the link for each course for a more complete description of the course.

A. Theory of Public Organization and Administration:

    1. PAI 801: Advanced Seminar: Intellectual History of Public Administration 

    2. PAI 805: Advanced Seminar: Foundations of Policy Analysis and Management

B. Research Design and Methods:                   

    1. PAI 803: Advanced Seminar: Quantitative Methods I   

    2. PAI 804: Advanced Seminar: Quantitative Methods II

C. Research Methods Elective

    Examples of courses to fill this requirement include, but are not limited to:    

1. SOC 614: Qualitative Methods
2. PSC 694: Qualitative Political Analysis
3. SOC 800: Mixed Methods
4. PAI 811: Quantitative Methods III
5. SOC 813: Advanced Social Statistics

D. Research Seminar

    1. PAI 810:Ph.D. Research Seminar