Doctor of Philosophy in Public Affairs

http://www.utdallas.edu/epps/pa/phd/

Faculty

Professors: Euel Elliott, L. Douglas Kiel, Murray Leaf, Sheila G.D. Pineres Richard Scotch, Douglas J.Watson
Associate Professors: Marie Chevrier, Simon Fass
Assistant Professors: Paul Battagio, Stephanie Newbold, Alicia Schortgen, Jeremy Hall
Clinical Professor: Donald Arbuckle
Clinical Assistant Professor: Kimberly Aaron

Mission

The mission of the Ph.D. in Public Affairs program is to prepare students for academic careers or high-level management positions in public and non-profit organizations by assuring that they gain competency at an advanced level in the core subject matters and methodologies that are central to the study of Public Affairs. Through instruction and research, the faculty will help students obtain a firm understanding of the broad intellectual tradition of public administration and related fields. It will integrate both traditional and innovative methods of educational delivery and emphasize the application of theory to practice.

Objectives

The Doctor of Philosophy in Public Affairs degree is an interdisciplinary doctoral program that prepares graduates to assume either positions in academe, research producing organizations or positions of administrative authority in public (government, public school districts), quasi-public (healthcare, insurance), and nonprofit (providers, foundations) organizations. The degree combines innovative and traditional methods of educational delivery and emphasizes the integration and application of theory to practice. The guiding philosophy of the degree is that ďpublic affairsĒ involves more than mere functional administration, policy implementation or quantitative policy analysis. Rather, doctoral education in public affairs requires an interface between the traditions of public management, decision science, and policy analysis and processes with a practical appreciation for the challenges of maintaining and building institutions of governance and a civic culture in a complex, democratic society.

The PhD program in Public Affairs is a cohort program. The program requires 45 hours of coursework plus relevant doctoral dissertation hours. Well-prepared students (for example, those with a masterís degree in public administration, public affairs, public policy, business administration, health administration, or education administration) may be able to complete the course requirements and the dissertation within 3 years from their initial enrollment. Students in each cohort take 6 hours of classes each fall, spring and summer semester. This allows students to complete the core courses, electives and 12 hours within the analysis/research tools area in 7 consecutive semesters of enrollment. Students will generally start the production of the dissertation during the seventh semester of enrollment. Entering cohorts begin each fall semester. This approach produces shared experiences and progress through the program that enrich student learning and student research. Students admitted to the program, but lacking some pre-requisites, may take those classes in the spring or summer semester prior to starting with a fall cohort.

Faculty Commitments

The faculty of the PhD program in Public Affairs is committed to producing clear and specific results for our students. Thus, the specific objectives for all graduates of the PhD in Public Affairs program are:

1. To Demonstrate Comprehensive and Deep Knowledge: Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the interface between the traditions of public management, decision science, and policy analysis and processes with a practical appreciation for the challenges of maintaining and building institutions of governance and a civic culture in a complex, democratic society.

 

2. To Understand and Apply Theories and Processes of Knowledge Acquisition: Students, as executive level administrators, will have a solid grounding in theory and in the process of knowledge acquisition through research that is essential for institutional maintenance and renewal.

3. To Produce Scholarly Manuscripts and Publications: Students, as scholars, will have the ability to produce scholarly manuscripts based on extensive practical experience or field-based research that are worthy of publication in the journals of the field.

4.To 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.

Facilities

Students have access to the computing facilities in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences and the Universityís Computing Center. The School has two computing laboratories which house over 30 computers that are network linked and equipped with major social science software packages, including E-Views, R, RATS, SPSS, and STATA. A computerized geographic information system, the Lexis Nexis Database, and WestLaw are also available for student use. The Universityís Computing Center provides personal computers and UNIX workstations.

Admission Procedures and Policies

Application Deadlines: The PhD program in Public Affairs is a cohort program allowing new groups of students to start each fall semester. Cohorts only start during fall semesters. Students intending to start with a fall cohort must submit their applications by July 1 of that year. Prospective students who do not hold a masterís degree in public affairs, public administration, public policy or a related field should apply by November 1 of the year prior to enrollment. This allows those students admitted to the program to complete pre-requisite courses in the spring or summer prior to joining a fall cohort. Students admitted to the program, but who do not hold one of the masterís degrees noted above, will generally be required to take masterís level courses in public management, basic statistics, financial management, budgeting or economics.

Application/Admission Requirements: Prospective students must complete the Universityís graduate application form and arrange to have GRE scores and transcripts of all college coursework sent to UTD. A graduate GPA of 3.0 or better and a minimum combined math and verbal GRE score of 1000 are expected. Three letters of recommendation are also required. Applicants must submit a written statement that should, at a minimum, include: (1) the nature of the studentís current work situation and responsibilities; (2) responsibilities for large scale/strategic issues in their work environment; (3) the nature and frequency of interactions with organizational stakeholders; (4) the studentís current span of control in their work environment; and (5) their career goals upon completion of the Ph.D. All applicants must also submit a complete professional resume.

Graduate Assistantships: Students admitted to the program may receive teaching/research scholarships and/or assistantships. Prospective students interested in receiving the scholarship/assistantships must have submitted all application materials including an application form for a scholarship/assistantship by April 1 of the year they intend to start the program. Applications for the scholarships/assistantships may be obtained from the office of programs in public affairs. Offers of teaching/research scholarships and assistantships will be made by May 1 of the year of fall enrollment.

Ph.D. in Public Affairs

The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 45 hours of course work beyond the masterís degree. Students not holding a masterís degree in public affairs, public administration, public policy or other related field will be expected to complete additional course work. These courses will be determined by the program director. The curriculum consists of 33 hours of core coursework, 12 hours of analytical /research tool classes. Students must also complete qualifying examinations and the doctoral dissertation.

Prerequisites

Prior to enrolling in core classes in the PhD program students must show evidence of completing graduate level course work in general public management, basic statistics, financial management and budgeting and economics or public finance. Students admitted to the Ph.D. program without these requirements may complete relevant courses in the Masters of Public Affairs program at UTD prior to taking Ph.D. level courses. Students lacking a recent graduate level statistics course may be required to complete PA 6329-Data Analysis for Public Affairs.

Required Core Courses (33 hours)

The Program will consist of course work in four substantive knowledge areas. These areas are the public affairs core that includes topics of Governance: Leadership, Change and Conflict Resolution. The three remaining substantive knowledge areas are Social Policy and Development, Decision Analysis and Decision Tools, Organizational Management and Analysis.

Analytical/Research Tools (12 hours)

Students must also complete a four-course sequence in research tools. One of these courses will be a Masterís level basic statistics course completed at UTD or in another Masterís level program. Students may complete PA 6329 Data Analysis for Public Affairs in lieu of the Masterís level statistics class. Students must complete either PA 6346 Qualitative Research Methods or PA 6352 Evaluation Research Methods in the Economic, Political and Policy Sciences or contingent upon their chosen dissertation research topic and intended research methodology. All students must complete PA 7330 Research Design in Public Affairs.During the dissertation phase students will complete PA 8340 Dissertation Seminar in Public Affairs. This course is designed to provide students a means for sharing lessons learned during their research. During the dissertation research students must also be enrolled in PA 8V99 Dissertation.

Program Course Work

Required Core Courses: 33 hours

PA 6326 Decision Tools for Managers
PA 6340 Domestic Social Policy
PA 7305 Leadership of Public and Non-Profit Organizations
PA 7311 Models and Tools of Change Management
PA 7322 Negotiations for Effective Management
PA 7325 Survey of Public Affairs
PA 7326 Normative Theory of Public Affairs
PA 7328 Economic Theory for Public Affairs
PA 7332 Legal Environment of Public Affairs
PA 7338 Seminar in Human Resources
PA 7375 Non-Profit Organizations: Theory and Practice

Analytical/Research Tools: 12 hours

PA 6329 Data Analysis for Public Affairs
PA 6346 Qualitative Research Methods
††† or
PA 6352 Evaluation Research Methods in the Economic, Political and Policy Sciences

PA 7330 Research Design in Public Affairs
PA 8340 Dissertation Seminar in Public Affairs

Qualifying Examinations and Assessment of Student Performance

Beginning with students entering in Fall 2008, all students must successfully complete qualifying examinations. Students will complete PA 7325 Survey of Public Affairs and PA 7332 Legal Environment of Public Affairs in the first fall semester of enrollment. Students will complete PA 7330 Research Design in Public Affairs and PA 7328 Economic Theory for Public Affairs in the first spring semester of enrollment. The examinations/assessments will cover the material in the four classes noted above. The examinations/assessments will occur immediately after the first spring semester of enrollment.

The examinations/assessments consist of three components. These components are an assessment of the studentís portfolio of work in the four courses noted above, a required GPA of 3.25 in the four courses and a written examination covering the material in the four courses. Successful completion of these components leads to continuation in the program. Students who do not successfully complete the examination/assessment process are dropped from the program.

Dissertation

Students must be enrolled in PA 8V99 Dissertation as a foundation for the production of a dissertation. A faculty mentor will be assigned to each student to guide the research activity. Students must successfully submit a dissertation proposal abstract to the entire Public Affairs faculty for approval of their chosen topic. Students may take up to 18 hours of dissertation enrollment.