PhD in Public Administration

Keeping the bar high for public management and policy analysis

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.

Quality research and teaching experience

The Maxwell School's Ph.D. Program in Public Administration is designed for full-time residential students interested in scholarly careers as researchers and teachers. All aspects of the program are focused on providing students with 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.

All Public Administration doctoral students have a faculty advisor under the direction of whom they complete their research apprenticeship.  Depending on the area of specialty, this research most likely takes place in one of the established research centers or institutes in Maxwell.

See our Centers & Institutes page for a full list research opportunities at Maxwell.

Legacy of academic excellence

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.