Policy Studies, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

All students are required to choose an advisor within their first year.

The Ph.D. in Policy Studies program enables students to develop in-depth knowledge of the field and to conduct cutting-edge research on public policy and management issues. Students are required to complete at least 24 credits of appropriate coursework, including two required research methods courses. In addition, students must take 12 credits of dissertation research. Students are required to pass exams in the basic disciplines of public policy and two field exams, usually with both a written and oral component, in broad topics relevant to their proposed thesis topics. They then develop and defend a dissertation prospectus followed by the dissertation itself.

The Ph.D. in Policy Studies is principally directed at students who have a master's degree in public policy or a related field, such as economics, statistics, education or international relations, from a program comparable in quality and content to one of the School's own master's programs. Students may apply while in the final year of such a program. Applications will also be considered from recent college graduates without a master's degree who have an outstanding academic record.

Most students will be required to maintain full-time status through completion of the course work leading up to their exams and thesis proposal; this typically requires two to three years. Some students will be admitted on a part-time basis with an agreed schedule to ensure timely completion. A faculty member at the School must agree to serve as the Ph.D. applicant's academic sponsor at the time of admission into the program. To facilitate the selection of a sponsor, applicants should include, as part of their application, a description of the general areas in which they want to study and write their dissertation.

Course Title Credits
Core Requirements
Complete 24 credits including the following:24
Readings in Public Policy (PLCY 798R)
Readings in Public Policy (PLCY 798Z)
Dissertation Research Requirements
PLCY899Doctoral Dissertation Research12
Total Credits36