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Maxwell School
Maxwell / Department of Political Science

 Field Requirements

 Public Administration and Policy

 Field Coordinators: Chris Faricy, Sarah Pralle

Doctoral students may declare a second major in Public Administration & Policy or a minor in Public Policy. In either case, learning the field will require successful completion of a number of substantive courses as well as significant additional reading outside of these courses. Under ordinary circumstances, students pursuing either the major or the minor should complete the required coursework during their first four semesters. Students will then sit for their Qualifying Exam in Public Policy in the August following their second year in the program. (As described below, students majoring in PA&P also need to complete a second exam administered by the PAIA Department.) Deviations from this schedule require the approval of the Graduate Director.

Course Work

Students majoring in Public Administration & Policy must take four courses in the field, including the following three required courses:

• PSC 602/SOS 604: The Politics of U.S. Public Policy;
• PAI 801: Intellectual History of Public Administration; and
• PAI 802: Public Organization Theory and Research.

Students minoring in Public Policy must take three courses in the field, including:

• PSC 602/SOS 604: The Politics of U.S. Public Policy.

Beyond the required courses, the courses listed below count toward either the Public Administration & Policy major or the Public Policy minor. In addition to the courses listed below, Public Policy minors may take either PAI 801 or 802, but it is recommended that they take at least two PSC courses in the field (including PSC 602).

With the approval of the Graduate Director, courses that do not appear on the list below may be counted toward the field. No more than one of the courses credited toward the field may be counted simultaneously toward another field.

General
PSC 612 Development of the American Administrative State

Science and Environmental Policy
PSC 718 Politics and the Environment
PAI 772 Science, Technology, and Public Policy
PAI 775 Energy, Environment, and Resources Policy
PAI/ECN 777 Economics of Environmental Policy

Social Policy
PAI 665 Applied Global Health Practice & Policy
PAI 730 The U.S. Federal Budget: Budget and Entitlement Program Reform
PAI 781 Social Welfare Policy
PAI 783 Changing American Health Care System
PAI 784 Education Policy
PAI 786 Urban Policy
PAI 787 Child & Family Policy

Technology and Information Policy
PSC/PAI 655 Global Information Technology Policy
PAI 772 Science, Technology, and Public Policy

Development and Foreign Policy
PSC 706/PAI 718 U.S. National Security: Defense and Foreign Policy
PAI 730 Political Economy of Policy Reform in Developing Countries
PAI 756 Policy and Administration in Developing Countries

Qualifying Examinations

In addition to completing the required course work, all students majoring in PA&P or minoring in PP should review the works itemized in the Public Policy reading list. For students receiving summer stipends from the department, we expect the first two summers to be devoted in significant part to this activity. The reading list is meant to serve as a useful guide, not as a substitute for students’ own judgment and initiative in identifying and reading what they take to be the leading works in the field.

Students minoring in Public Policy must pass the Public Policy exam described below. Students majoring in Public Administration & Policy must pass that exam and the Public Administration Exam described below.

Public Administration Exam

This exam tests students’ knowledge of course materials from the two required courses in public administration (PAI 801: Intellectual History of Public Administration; PAI 802: Public Organization Theory and Research). The written exam is administered through the Public Administration department at the end of May or the beginning of June; there is no oral exam. Students must contact the graduate director in PAIA to schedule their exam and to learn the details of its administration.

Students are advised to take the two required PAI courses during their first or second academic year, and to schedule their exam for spring of that year. In other words, students should take the PAI courses and the PA exam during the same academic year. Faculty in the Department of Public Administration & International Affairs will evaluate the exams and will make recommendations to the PSC department about the exam results for specific students.

Public Policy Exam

The qualifying exam for the public policy literature combines written and oral components, similar to the qualifying exams for other subfields in Political Science. Unlike the PA exam, which is limited to measuring the mastery of material covered in specific courses, the public policy exam is not restricted to material covered in PSC 602, the core policy process course. The field coordinators assume, in other words, that students will have read beyond the confines of material assigned by instructors teaching individual courses in the policy subfield.

The written exam will be offered twice per year, typically in August and January. At least three months prior to their written exam, students should inform Candy Brooks of their intention to sit for the exam. The Public Policy exam will be closed book, although students may bring one double-sided 8.5x11 inch sheet of notes to the exam. The exam will require students to write two essays, selected from a range of questions covering various aspects of the field. Each essay will be weighted equally, and the faculty recommend that students devote roughly equal amounts of time to drafting each of them. Students will have 5.5 hours to complete the exam.

Roughly two weeks following the written exam, the students will sit for an oral defense, which will be conducted by the two PA&P field coordinators plus the student’s advisor, who shall act as chair. Upon completion of the oral exam, the advisor will notify the Graduate Director in writing that the student has passed with distinction, passed, or failed. In the latter case, the student may retake the exam during the following semester. This option may only be exercised once.

Last updated: March 14, 2013.