Udaya Wagle, PhD

"I am glad that I earned my PhD in public policy from the McCormack Graduate School at UMass Boston. The PhD curriculum is structured around the political-economy framework of public policy, which is a must to possess for any aspiring policy analyst or researcher, whether it is to understand policy issues theoretically or to become well-versed on how ‘rubber meets the road’ in actual policy decisions. The program’s social science research methodology expectations are as rigorous and well-structured as its theoretical requirements that take students to a new level of understanding and perspectives. While the program requires an array of courses from economics, political economy, foundations, and political institutions to research methods, econometrics, and carefully planned electives, my experience has been that this is only to maintain an uncompromising standard on both theoretical  and applied coverage.

As a practicing academic, my experiences and perspectives may be more useful to those wishing to go onto academic careers. In my case, the rigorous and yet flexible structure of the program allowed me to prepare myself for teaching career in a variety of academic settings. It is important that doctoral students plan strategically so that their expertise will be in high demand. In this program, I learned enormously from a small, collegial body of students as well as from a very personable program director, who was available to help me in every step of the way. Most helpful of all, however, were the quality of instruction and research and teaching mentorship I obtained from faculty, who were not only successful themselves but were willing to take extra time needed to help me succeed. More specifically, I learned a great deal from these highly acclaimed faculty even to the extent that I reformulated my career goals around academy and am now following their footsteps.

Looking back, this program has provided exceptional value added to my career. The program enabled me to pursue a successful academic career which perhaps would not have been possible otherwise."