Ph.D. in Public Administration

In a world of increasingly complex problems and resource limitations, there is a need for scholars who are qualified both to train the next generation of professionals for the public service and to expand society's store of knowledge about public management and public policy analysis.  The Maxwell School's Ph.D. Program in Public Administration is designed for those 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 that are central to preparation for the Ph.D. degree in Public Administration.
  • Obtain a firm understanding of the broad intellectual tradition of public administration.
  • Become active researchers beginning in their first year of the program.

Maxwell has one of the oldest doctoral programs in public administration in the country.  Our alumni hold distinguished positions in academics, government, and business in the United States and in a number of other countries.  Many attribute their success to the quality doctoral education they received at Maxwell.  

Doctoral studies in Public Administration provide an interdisciplinary study of public management and public policy analysis.  Students take core courses in both theories of public administration and management and on research methods.  Faculty and students in the Public Administration program use a diverse range of both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and students can choose courses from a wide range of fields of specialization.

We invite you to learn more about the Ph.D. Program in Public Administration at Maxwell.  To get started, read about the program's general requirements and fields of specialization.

Don Moynihan, PhD, 2002

Don Moynihan

"My PhD experience at Maxwell provided me with a deep understanding of how the intellectual traditions of public administration could be married with social science. Its history and culture make it a unique institution for the study of public administration, and all who graduate from there share a special bond.”