Professors: Marie Chevrier, Euel Elliott, L. Douglas Kiel, Murray
Leaf, Richard Scotch
Associate Professors: Simon Fass
Assistant Professors: Paul Battaglio, Jeremy Hall, Young-joo Lee, Meghna Sabharwal
Clinical Professor: Donald Arbuckle, Robert Whelan
Clinical Assistant Professor: Kimberly Aaron
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.
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 "public affairs" 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 42 hours of coursework plus relevant doctoral dissertation hours. Well-prepared students (for example, those with a master’s 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 and elective 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.
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.
Students have access to the
computing facilities in the
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 March 1 of that year.. Students admitted to the program, but who do not hold one of the master’s degrees noted above, will generally be required to take master’s level courses in public management, basic statistics, financial management, budgeting or economics.
Application/Admission Requirements: Prospective students must complete the University’s 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 1100 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 student’s 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 student’s 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 March 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 42 hours of course work and twelve hours of dissertation work beyond the master’s degree for a total of 90 graduate hours. Students not holding a master’s 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. Students must also complete qualifying examinations and the doctoral dissertation.
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 EPPS 5315 Introduction to Quantitative Methods..
Required Courses (42 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. Organizational Management and Analysis
During the dissertation research students must also be enrolled in PA 8V99 Dissertation.
Program Course Work
Cohort Mapping of Courses: 42 hours of required coursework through 7 consecutive semesters
PA 7321 Ethics and Law in Public Affairs
PA 7325 Survey of Public Affairs
PA 6326 Decision Tools for Managers
PA 7330 Research Design in Public Affairs
PA 7375 Non-Profit Organizations: Theory and Practice
PA 6320 Organizational Theory
YEAR TWO (18 semester credit hours)
PA 7322 Negotiations for Effective Management
PA 7338 Seminar in Human Resources
PA 7305 Leadership of Public and Non-Profit Organizations
SOC 6312 Socio-Economic Theories or SOC 6340 Domestic Social Policy
PA 7311 Models and Tools of Change Management
EPPS 6352 Evaluation Research Methods in the Economic, Political and Policy Sciences
YEAR THREE (18 semester credit hours)
PA 8340 Dissertation Seminar
Elective – (any 6000 or 7000 level PA or EPPS course)
PA 8V99 Dissertation(6 hours)
PA 8V99 Dissertation(6 hours)
Qualifying Examinations and Assessment of Student Performance
All students must successfully complete qualifying examinations. Students will complete PA 7325 Survey of Public Affairs and PA 7321LEthics and Law in Public Affairs in the first fall semester of enrollment. Students will complete PA 7330 Research Design in Public Affairs and PA 6326 Decision Tools for Managers 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 student’s 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.
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.