Fields of Specialization

Each Ph.D. student, in consultation with his or her faculty advisor, selects two fields of specialization from the fields offered by the department and completes at least six credit hours in each of the two fields.  Although only six credit hours of coursework relevant to a field are required, it is unlikely that a student without previous training in a field will be prepared for the Comprehensive Examination without appropriate coursework beyond the required six-credit minimum.

Included in the following description of each field of specialization is a group of courses labeled "suggested relevant courses."  Note that these courses are only suggestions, and are not intended to be all inclusive. Individual departments provide descriptions of their courses.  Previous doctoral students have chosen courses offered in the School of Management, School of Information Studies, and Departments of Political Science, Sociology, Psychology, Economics, Geography and Mathematics.  Students should consult the field faculty and their faculty advisor in the selection of their courses.

Many of the elective courses included among the "suggested relevant courses" are part of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) curriculum. Doctoral students planning to take MPA courses as part of their programs are expected to work with the course instructors to develop appropriate modifications in both the content and requirements of those courses in order to make them serve the special needs of public administration doctoral students. 

Within these fields of specialization, faculty and PhD students work in a number of research areas.  The list below provides examples of these areas.  Click on an area of study below to find out more information regarding the field of specialization that includes this area.

Aging, Budgeting, Child and Family Policy, Climate Change, Collaborative Government, Conflict Resolution, Development Administration, E-GovernanceEducation, Economics of Development, Energy Policy, Environmental Economics, Environmental Management, Financial Management, Health, Housing Policy, Network Analysis, Nonprofit Management, Organizational Theory, State and Local Finance.