Doctor of Philosophy in Public Affairs


The PhD 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 a civic culture in a complex democratic world.

Graduates of the PhD program will be prepared for research-oriented careers in academia, policy analysis, executive public and nonprofit management.

Career Options

Graduates of the program seek positions such as: professor, researcher and policy advisor in government sector.

Application Requirements

Degree requirements: The program only admits students who have completed a master's degree from an institution of higher education. It is preferred that the master's degree is in public affairs or social science.

GPA: A graduate GPA (grade point average) of 3.0 or better is expected.

Test score required: Yes

Minimum verbal score of 156 and quantitative score of 152 on the GRE.

Letters of recommendation: 3

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) and three letters of recommendation from individuals (faculty, employers, community leaders, teachers, etc.) who are able to judge a student's probable success in graduate school are required. The CV and the letters should be uploaded online.

Admissions essay required: Yes

Prospective students must complete the University's online graduate application and submit a narrative outlining 1) academic interests, 2) current or long-range interests in research, teaching, or other professional objectives, 3) description of publications or other scholarly endeavors, and 4) listing of academic and professional organizations and fellowships, scholarships, or other honors received.

Deadlines: Due to the cohort nature of the PhD program in Public Affairs, admissions are limited to the fall semester only. The application deadline for students seeking funding through assistantships is January 15. University deadlines apply.