The Ph.D. in Public Affairs program is a rigorous, research-oriented degree offered through the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences.
The skills and knowledge gained in the Public Affairs doctoral program will allow students to interface between the traditions of public management, public policy, and organizations while providing a strong theoretical and a practical appreciation for the challenges of maintaining and building institutions of governance and civic culture in a complex democratic world.
The mission of the Ph.D. in Public Affairs program is to prepare students for research-oriented careers in academia, policy analysis, and executive public/nonprofit management positions. The rigorous core curriculum provides advanced conceptual and theoretical training in the principal areas of public administration and management, including human resource management, nonprofit management, public policy, government finance, leadership, and organizational theory.
Through a faculty-guided program of instruction, research, and mentoring, students in the Public Affairs doctoral program develop a firm understanding of the broad intellectual tradition of public administration and related fields. The guiding philosophy of the degree is that "public affairs" involves more than merely functional administration, policy implementation, or quantitative policy analysis. Rather, doctoral education in public affairs requires an interface between the traditions of public management, public policy, and organizational theory with a practical appreciation for the challenges of maintaining and building institutions of governance and civic culture in a complex, democratic society.
The Ph.D. in Public Affairs begins as a cohort program where entering students remain together through the completion of a core curriculum and the qualifying examination. This structure produces shared experiences that enrich student learning and research.
The faculty of the Ph.D. program in Public Affairs is committed to assist students in meeting a set of clear and specific education- and research-related goals. The specific objectives for all graduates of the Ph.D. in Public Affairs program are to:
Demonstrate Comprehensive Knowledge. Students will demonstrate their knowledge in core areas of public administration and management, including theoretical foundations of public administration, public policy, organization theory, budgeting, and governmental finance, and human capital.
Understand and Apply Theories and Processes of Knowledge Acquisition. Students will demonstrate familiarity with key theories in each of the principal fields of public administration and management and will apply this theoretical knowledge in the development of research projects ranging from course assignments to their dissertation research projects.
Produce Scholarly Manuscripts and Publications. Students, as scholars, will have the ability to conduct research projects that use state-of-the-art methodologies to produce scholarly manuscripts that are worthy of publication in the journals of the field.
Develop, Present, and Defend Complex Ideas. Students will have the ability to develop, present, and defend both orally and in writing complex ideas based on in-depth scholarly research.