About the Program
Public Policy PhD
Our program educates students in a range of methods and approaches to public policy analysis in a variety of policy areas with an emphasis on social policies. Full-time students will complete two years of core course work followed by full, or part-time study consisting of electives and dissertation research and writing. Part-time students will complete core courses in three years.
Most students complete the program, including the dissertation, in five to seven years.
Available Concentration Areas
Dispute (Conflict) Resolution
Special Education and Disability Policy
Regional Economic Development
Organizational and Social Development (under development)
Note: Students are NOT required to follow one of these concentrations; our faculty's policy expertise is much broader than these four areas alone.
Public Policy Research Opportunities
Students and faculty in the program engage in research and policy projects closely connected with several University policy centers and institutes. These nationally and internationally known research centers provide students with opportunities for jobs, internships and other types of assistance including possible dissertation data. Students also have access to activities, events and presentations organized by these policy centers.
Areas of Social Sciences for Student Research
children, youth and family, community development, disability rights and policy, dispute resolution, economic development, education reform, environmental policy, health policy, homelessness and housing, human rights, immigration policies, labor policy, law and public policy, mental health policy, minority issues, nonprofit organizations, poverty reduction, regional development, welfare reform, women's issues, and more
Part-Time Option Available
Our part-time program is open to applicants who are able to attend daytime classes on a part-time basis.
All core classes are held during the day and require students to have flexible work schedules. Due to the sequence of the curriculum, the first semester requires completion of three courses which is one and one-half days on campus. The remainder of part-time study requires the completion of three courses most semesters, which is typically two days on campus.
Candidates for the part-time program are required to meet the same admissions standards as applicants for the full-time program.