You might be using an unsupported or outdated browser. To get the best possible experience please use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge to view this website.

  • Best Ph.D. In Public Administration Online

Best Ph.D. In Public Administration Online Of 2024

Garrett Andrews

Updated: Oct 4, 2023, 4:44pm

From poverty to rising healthcare costs, political polarization to government unaccountability, holders of online doctorates in public administration are working to address the most pressing problems facing our world.

The academic field of public administration covers the management of public resources and organizations related to government. Through the study of strategic management, economic policy, budgeting and other core subjects, an online doctor public administration (DPA) prepares learners for public administration careers .

Graduates go on to work in all types of important positions, including nonprofit manager, legislative aide, political consultant and college professor, to name a few.

Online education has been rising in popularity for more than a decade, and students now have multiple options to pursue a public administration degree while staying close to home and even holding down a full-time job. This pathway might be available even if you haven’t seriously studied public administration before, as not all online DPA programs require applicants to hold degrees in public administration.

Read on to learn about the nonprofit, accredited U.S. universities offering online DPA programs.

Why You Can Trust Forbes Advisor Education

Forbes Advisor’s education editors are committed to producing unbiased rankings and informative articles covering online colleges, tech bootcamps and career paths. Our ranking methodologies use data from the National Center for Education Statistics , education providers, and reputable educational and professional organizations. An advisory board of educators and other subject matter experts reviews and verifies our content to bring you trustworthy, up-to-date information. Advertisers do not influence our rankings or editorial content.

  • 6,290 accredited, nonprofit colleges and universities analyzed nationwide
  • 52 reputable tech bootcamp providers evaluated for our rankings
  • All content is fact-checked and updated on an annual basis
  • Rankings undergo five rounds of fact-checking
  • Only 7.12% of all colleges, universities and bootcamp providers we consider are awarded

Our Methodology

We scored three accredited, nonprofit colleges offering online doctor of public administration degree programs in the U.S. using 15 data points in the categories of credibility, affordability, student outcomes, student experience and application process.

We pulled data for these categories from reliable resources such as the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System ; private, third-party data sources; and individual school and program websites. Data is accurate as of June 2023.

We scored schools based on the following categories:

Student Outcomes:

  • Overall graduation rate
  • Median earnings 10 years after graduation

Affordability:

  • In-state graduate student tuition
  • In-state graduate student fees
  • Alternative tuition plans offered
  • Median federal student loan debt
  • Percentage of students in federal student loan deferment

Student Experience:

  • Student-to-faculty ratio
  • Socioeconomic diversity
  • Availability of online coursework
  • Total number of graduate assistants
  • More than 50% of graduate students enrolled in at least some distance education

Credibility:

  • Fully accredited
  • Programmatic accreditation status
  • Nonprofit status

We listed all three schools in the U.S. that met our ranking criteria.

Find our full list of methodologies here .

  • Best Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs
  • Best Master’s In Homeland Security Online
  • Best Master’s In Forensic Science Online Programs
  • Best Master’s In Criminology Online Programs

Degree Finder

Best online ph.d. in public administration degree options.

  • Featured Partners

Should You Enroll in an Online Doctor of Public Administration Program?

Accreditation for an online doctor of public administration, how to find the right online doctor of public administration for you, frequently asked questions (faqs) about earning an online doctor of public administration, west chester university of pennsylvania, california baptist university, valdosta state university, featured online schools.

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial credit and much more by clicking 'Visit Site'

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Graduate Tuition

$645/credit (in state)

Percentage of Grad Students Enrolled in Distance Education

Overall Graduation Rate

West Chester University of Pennsylvania (WCU) prepares doctoral students for work at the highest levels of public administration through core coursework focused on policy advocacy, leadership, strategic management and public-sector financial decision-making. WCU offers a personalized dissertation process and graduate assistantships. Students can work on research projects alongside faculty and present their work at regional and national conferences.

WCU charges a distance education fee of up to 15% of tuition per course along with an educational service fee.

  • Our Flexibility Rating: Learn on a set schedule
  • School Type: Public
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Degree Credit Requirements: 45 credits
  • Program Enrollment Options: Full time, part time
  • Notable Major-Specific Courses: Strategic public management and governance, quantitative methods of program and policy and evaluation
  • Concentrations Available: Public policy and administration, criminal justice, geography and planning and graduate social work
  • In-Person Requirements: No

$827/credit (in state)

Based in Riverside, California, California Baptist University (CBU) offers an online doctor of public administration that students can complete in as little as three years. The DPA program features a cohort model that allows students to progress together through coursework and their dissertation projects. Online courses are offered in an accelerated, eight-week format.

CBU is authorized to offer distance learning in 37 states. As CBU is a religious institution, its DPA program prepares learners to apply Christian ethical standards to important issues of policy and governance.

CBU charges DPA students an online education fee of $365 per semester. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

  • School Type: Private nonprofit
  • Application Fee: Free
  • Degree Credit Requirements: 56 credits
  • Program Enrollment Options: Accelerated, full-time, part-time
  • Notable Major-Specific Courses: Collaboration and networked governance, Strategic planning and management
  • Concentrations Available: N/A

Valdosta State University

$254/credit (in state)

Georgia-based Valdosta State University (VSU) offers a DPA program geared toward professionals already working in the field of public administration. Admission is highly competitive; for fall 2021, VSU received 113 applications and accepted only 38 students.

The program typically takes between five and seven years to complete. Coursework is divided among core, theory, method, elective, and capstone or project courses.

DPA students are assessed an online tuition fee of $293 per credit hour.

  • Our Flexibility Rating: N/A
  • Application Fee: $45
  • Degree Credit Requirements: 54 credits
  • Program Enrollment Options: Full-time, part-time
  • Notable Major-Specific Courses: Research and methods for public administration, culture of formal work organizations
  • Concentrations Available: Students must identify a concentration, though no formal list of concentrations is offered. Students instead develop their own DPA program of study in consultation with an advisor.
  • In-Person Requirements: Yes. Students meet for residency seminars at the VSU campus during the first weekend of the spring and fall semesters.

A DPA can lead to exciting and high-paying new career opportunities, but before you start gathering application materials, take some time to consider whether pursuing an online doctorate is the right move.

For one thing, ask yourself if online learning is best for you. Earning a doctorate takes time. The programs on this list can take up to seven years—a long time to commit to online education if you prefer to learn in a traditional classroom format.

The most successful online learners are typically self-starters who are well-organized and disciplined. So if you’re more successful with face-to-face learning and in-person support, an online degree might not suit your learning style.

Next, think about your lifestyle and schedule. Online learning is known for its flexibility, so if work and family commitments currently take up a lot of your time, online learning might be preferable to an on-campus education. Through asynchronous coursework, you can access course materials 24/7 and learn on your own schedule.

Finally, consider how much you want to spend. Online learning can be cheaper than an in-person education, especially if the institution is located in another state. This is because schools sometimes extend in-state tuition rates to all online students, even if they live out of state.

While researching degree programs, you should give plenty of thought to accreditation. Accrediting bodies endorse schools and programs that meet certain standards for student outcomes, financial management and other important metrics. There are two types of accreditation to consider, institutional and programmatic. Institutional accreditation concerns entire institutions, while programmatic refers to specific departments and degrees.

A degree from an unaccredited school might not be recognized by employers, other schools or credentialing bodies. Plus, students of unaccredited institutions don’t qualify for federal financial aid.

The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), a body that accredits public policy master’s degree programs, does not accredit doctoral programs. However, two schools on this list are NASPAA members: WCU and VSU, meaning they adhere to NASPAA’s standards at the master’s level.

Some DPA programs, such as WCU’s, fall within business departments and can therefore hold accreditation from a business-oriented programmatic accreditor. WCU’s program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Consider Your Future Goals

People who earn online DPAs go on to work jobs in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. They oversee people and projects in city and county governments, state legislatures, health departments and military branches.

But each program on this list is different and offers unique opportunities. So, consider if you’d like to perform and present important research alongside established scholars; if so, you might seek a doctoral program with faculty who specialize in areas that align with your interests. If you already work in the public administration sector, you might prioritize programs geared toward current public administration professionals.

Understand Your Expenses and Financing Options

The cost of an online doctor of public administration varies widely, as indicated by the three programs on this list. Tuition rates range from $254 to $827 per credit, and programs require between 45 and 56 credits to complete. The cheapest option, Valdosta State University, costs less than $14,000, while the most expensive, California Baptist University, runs around $46,000.

To help fund tuition, schools offer aid in the form of scholarships, fellowships and assistantships. To locate federal student aid opportunities, including grants, scholarships and loans, fill out the FAFSA.

How long does it take to get a doctor of public administration?

According to NASPAA, earning a DPA takes an average of five to six years, or potentially less if the student has already completed a master of public administration or a similar degree. VSU allows students up to 12 years to complete its DPA program—seven to complete the coursework and five to finish the dissertation. On the other end of the spectrum, students at CBU regularly complete the DPA program in three years.

What is the difference between a Ph.D. and a DPA?

Many DPA students already work in the field of public administration and are pursuing the credential to gain further career opportunities. DPA programs typically aim to train practitioners to work in the field, while Ph.D. programs focus more on academic scholarship. DPA graduates often become senior-level public executives, and people who graduate with a Ph.D. in public administration commonly become college professors and research directors.

Garrett Andrews

Garrett Andrews is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Political Science at Portland Community College where he teaches State and Local Government.

Best Online Doctorate in Public Administration Programs of 2024 Badge

Best Online Doctorate in Public Administration Degree Programs of 2024

Written by Alex Kale

Updated: February 27, 2024

Compare School Options

Most schools have rolling admissions and financial help so you can start your degree in a few weeks!

For students looking forward to advanced roles in public and organizational policy and requiring a flexible and accessible educational path, an online doctorate in public administration may be just what you need to succeed. These degrees are tailor-made for those desiring to make a significant impact in fields such as public policy analysis and political science, areas expected to grow by 7% over the next decade. Graduates often find themselves well-positioned in lucrative careers, with an average annual salary of $128,020 and top earners reaching upwards of $176,280.

Typically, completing these programs requires three to five years of full-time study, with tuition costs averaging $19,749 . This investment in your education provides opportunities for influential and rewarding positions, shaping the future of public policies and programs.

How to Choose an Online Doctorate in Public Administration Program

Choose your area of study.

Choosing your area of study is a crucial first step in selecting the right online doctorate in public administration program. This decision will help you align your academic pursuits with your career objectives, ensuring your education directly supports your professional aspirations.

For example, students aiming to influence policy development may enjoy concentrating in public policy analysis, while those planning to lead nonprofit organizations may excel in nonprofit management. Public management is best suited for future leaders in public sector organizations. Selecting a specialization that matches your career goals can significantly boost your expertise and employability in your chosen field.

Research schools and programs

When researching schools and programs for your doctorate, consider the following questions to guide your research:

  • What’s the program’s curriculum, and does it align with my career goals?
  • Who are the faculty, and what is their expertise?
  • How does the program support online students?
  • What are the graduation and job placement rates?
  • Is the program and institution properly accredited?

You can attend virtual open houses, review school websites, and speak directly with admissions counselors to find this information. These resources provide detailed insights into program structures, faculty qualifications, student support services, and accreditation status, helping you make an informed decision about your education.

Prepare for tests and applications

To best prepare for tests and applications, it’s important first to understand the standard application requirements. These often include academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and GRE scores.

Given the significance of GRE scores in the application process, enrolling in a test prep program can be highly beneficial. Such programs offer structured study plans, practice tests, and strategies to help you improve your scores.

Additionally, you’ll want to dedicate ample time to writing an engaging statement of purpose and gathering solid letters of recommendation. Starting early and organizing a timeline for preparation and submission can alleviate stress and improve the quality of your application — setting a solid foundation for your admissions process.

Select your program

Once acceptance letters arrive, it’s crucial to revisit your initial research criteria to select the best program for your educational needs. Consider factors such as curriculum alignment with your career goals, faculty credentials, and the support services available for online learners. Additionally, evaluate any financial aid opportunities, including scholarships, grants, and assistantships, as these can significantly impact your decision.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

To finance your degree without accruing significant debt, prioritize exploring financial aid resources, including those specific to doctoral programs. Start by researching scholarships and grants, as these do not need to be repaid. Consider federal student loans as your next option, taking advantage of lower interest rates and flexible repayment plans.

In addition, many programs offer teaching or research assistant positions, providing a stipend and sometimes tuition waivers in exchange for work. Fellowships may also be available. These are often merit-based and offer financial support without work requirements, allowing you to focus on your studies and research.

Best 50 Accredited Online Doctorate in Public Administration Programs

Best Online Doctorate in Public Administration Programs Badge

intelligent score 99.35

#1 Best Colleges #1 Best Schools #2 College Cliffs #6 Grad School Center

School Information

Riverside, CA

Graduation Rate: 61%

Admission Rate: 64%

Urbanicity: City

School Size: Medium

Delivery Format Online

Required Credits to Graduate 56

Estimated Cost per Credit $827

accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges

more program information Email: [email protected] Phone: 951-343-4249

intelligent score 97.93

#2 Best Colleges #2 Best Schools #2 Grad School Center #2 Online College Plan #6 College Cliffs

Norfolk, VA

Graduation Rate: 57%

Admission Rate: 96%

School Size: Large

Required Credits to Graduate 49

Estimated Cost per Credit Resident: $599 Non-Resident: $623

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program information Email: [email protected] Phone: 757-683-3685

intelligent score 95.16

#1 College Cliffs #3 Best Colleges #3 Best Schools #3 Online College Plan #9 Grad School Center

Valdosta, GA

Graduation Rate: 44%

Admission Rate: 78%

Required Credits to Graduate 54

Estimated Cost per Credit $293

more program information Email: [email protected] Phone: 229-333-5694

intelligent score 95.11

#1 Online College Plan #3 College Cliffs #5 Grad School Center

Lynchburg, VA

Graduation Rate: 36%

Admission Rate: 99%

Required Credits to Graduate 48

Estimated Cost per Credit $595

more program information Email: [email protected] Phone: 800-424-9596

intelligent score 94.35

#4 Best Colleges #4 Best Schools #4 College Cliffs #7 Grad School Center

West Chester, PA

Graduation Rate: 75%

Admission Rate: 89%

Urbanicity: Suburban

Required Credits to Graduate 45

Estimated Cost per Credit Resident: $645 Non-Resident: $658

accreditation Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

more program information Email: [email protected] Phone: 610-436-1000

intelligent score 93.18

#3 Grad School Center #10 College Cliffs

Johnson City, TN

Graduation Rate: 54%

Admission Rate: 87%

Estimated Cost per Credit $762

accreditation The National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration

more program information Email: [email protected] Phone: 615-963-7371

intelligent score 93.06

#4 Grad School Center

Admission Rate: 83%

Required Credits to Graduate 40

Estimated Cost per Credit $252

accreditation Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

more program information Email: [email protected] Phone: 208-426-1000

intelligent score 91.04

#5 College Cliffs

Springfield, IL

Graduation Rate: 56%

Admission Rate: 79%

Delivery Format Online, On-Campus

Required Credits to Graduate 52

Estimated Cost per Credit Resident: $332 Non-Resident: $682

intelligent score 90.47

#9 College Cliffs #10 Grad School Center

San Diego, CA

Graduation Rate: 46%

Admission Rate: 90%

School Size: Small

Estimated Cost per Credit $442

more program information Email: [email protected] Phone: 855-355-6288

Discover More Options

How we rank schools.

This list focuses on doctorate programs in public administration that are available online. These programs may award a Ph.D. or a Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) degree. While these programs are available online, some may require you to commit to a course schedule and remotely attend virtual lectures or study groups with peers.

All of the institutions on this list are approved by DOE-recognized accrediting organizations , such as the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) or Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

What Can You Expect From an Online Doctorate in Public Administration Program?

An online doctorate in public administration program is designed to prepare students for successful municipal, state, or federal government careers by building the necessary knowledge and skills to lead, manage, and make impactful decisions in these organizations. Students delve into policy analysis, public finance, leadership, and organizational change management through a curriculum combining theoretical frameworks with practical applications. These programs emphasize research methods, enabling learners to contribute significantly to the field through dissertations on contemporary public administration challenges.

Typically, completing these programs takes three to five years, depending on the student’s pace, previous coursework, and dissertation complexity. The inherent flexibility of online learning allows students to balance their studies with professional and personal commitments, potentially shortening or extending the timeline. This adaptability makes this degree attractive for working professionals looking to improve their credentials and impact the public sector without pausing their careers.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online doctorate in public administration program

  • Quantitative Research Methods in Public Administration: This course introduces students to quantitative research techniques and statistical analyses relevant to public administration research. Learners develop skills in designing research studies, analyzing data, and interpreting results, enabling them to conduct rigorous research and apply findings to solve real-world public administration problems.
  • Advanced Public Sector Management: Focusing on the complexities of managing public organizations, this course explores strategic planning, performance measurement, and human resources management in the public sector. Students gain insights into leading organizational change, improving public service delivery, and fostering innovation within government entities.
  • Public Policy Analysis: This course offers an in-depth analysis of the methods and frameworks used to analyze and evaluate public policies. Students learn to assess policy impacts, effectiveness, and efficiency, equipping them with the skills to propose evidence-based recommendations for policy improvement and implementation strategies.
  • Ethics and Leadership in Public Administration: Here, students examine the ethical challenges and leadership responsibilities in public administration. The course emphasizes ethical decision-making, integrity, and accountability, preparing students to navigate moral dilemmas and lead ethically in public service roles.

Online Doctorate in Public Administration Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do i apply to an online doctorate in public administration degree program.

Although specific admission requirements differ across institutions, most programs adhere to the following standard criteria:

  • A master’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Relevant work experience in public administration or a related field
  • Academic transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • A statement of purpose

Before applying, it’s crucial to speak with an admissions counselor. They can provide additional insights into the program, help clarify requirements, and guide you through the application process to ensure your application is as strong as possible.

How much does an online doctorate in public administration degree cost?

The cost of these degrees varies widely, but for the 2020-2021 academic year, the average cost for graduate programs was $19,749 . Additional costs to consider include:

  • Technology and distance learning fees
  • Textbooks and course materials
  • Internet access and a reliable computer
  • Graduation fees

Unique financial aid opportunities such as fellowships and research assistantships are often available for those pursuing a doctorate. These can significantly reduce the economic burden of higher education, making your academic pursuits more affordable.

How long does it take to earn an online doctorate in public administration degree?

Earning your doctorate in public administration online can take three to five years, depending on several factors. Online programs offer flexibility not always found in traditional, on-campus programs — allowing students to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Those who opt for part-time enrollment will generally take longer to graduate.

Additionally, the total number of required credits for these programs can vary significantly — programs requiring more credits may have a more extended duration than those requiring fewer.

Related Degrees

2024 Best Online PhD in Public Policy Programs

If you’re interested in high-level policy work, you may consider earning a PhD in Public Policy online.

PhD in Public Policy

A public policy doctoral program may not only teach you the necessary skills for the field but also qualify you for employment within universities, government agencies, and research organizations.

Editorial Listing ShortCode:

You may even earn your online public policy degree with self-paced or part-time courses that fit within your busy schedule.

Universities Offering Online PhD in Public Policy Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Liberty University

The public policy doctorate program at Liberty University consists of 60 credits. It offers specialties in social policy, education policy, economic policy, foreign policy, and more. The program usually takes 3 years to complete, and classes are available 100% online.

Liberty University  is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University offers a PhD in Public Administration and Policy. Students can learn how to design research studies, conduct policy evaluations, build multi-sector programs, and even teach postsecondary classes in policy.

The program requires 49 credits to graduate, with 37 credits being coursework and 12 credits being dissertation related.

Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Saybrook University

Rather than offering a public policy degree, Saybrook University has a transformative social change degree. It covers many of the same topics, including advocacy, public relations, and social program development, but it has a stronger emphasis on reform and research.

Classes are available online with a 5 day, in-person conference at the beginning of the semester.

Saybrook University is accredited by the Senior Commission of Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Union Institute and University

The public policy program at Union Institute and University is divided into two 6 month terms, and classes are a hybrid blend of online and in-person.

There are two residency periods in winter and summer to get hands-on experience with policy, reform, leadership, and administration. The program requires 66 credits and can be completed in as little as 3 years.

Union Institute and University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Walden University

Walden University offers a PhD in Public Policy and Administration. The school operates on a quarter credit system, and there are several tracks that you can choose from, depending on whether you’re more interested in coursework, projects, or residencies. Some elements of the program are online while others are in person.

Walden is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Online Ph.D. in Public Policy Programs

PR Managers working

An online doctorate in public policy is the highest qualification that you can obtain in the field. As such, you may encounter rigorous coursework in subjects like business, economics, civics, ethics, and public administration.

A lot of your curriculum will typically depend on your specialization. If you’re focusing on welfare reform, for example, your schedule might look very different from someone who is studying education or international politics.

Most schools require the completion of a dissertation in order to graduate with a PhD. Some might let you complete a capstone project or a certain number of fieldwork hours instead. Additionally, schools might have opportunities for internships and fellowships within public policy agencies and other relevant organizations.

After you graduate, you may pursue many different career paths, including legislator, policy analyst, political scientist, university professor, and health services manager. The direction of your career will often depend on what you studied in school and what you’re qualified to do.

The good news is that public policy is a growing field. More and more people are being hired to work in nonprofits, social service agencies, government offices, and international think tanks, among others.

While a public policy PhD isn’t a guarantee of a good job, it may help you stand out from other applicants in competitive fields. It may also provide you with the educational foundation that can help you thrive in a high-level position.

Public Policy Careers

Public Policy Careers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , the average salary for management positions is $109,760 per year. They don’t track public policy jobs specifically, but a PhD will often qualify you for managerial positions.

The following are a few careers in this field that you might consider:

Political Scientists $125,350
Human Resources Managers $121,220
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers $118,430
Administrative Services Managers $98,890
Postsecondary Education Administrators $97,500
Sociologists $86,110
Postsecondary Political Science Teachers $85,760
Urban and Regional Planners $75,950
Social and Community Service Managers $69,600
Market Research Analysts $65,810

These jobs range from university positions to ones within government agencies, private businesses, and even community service groups. A public policy degree can be very versatile.

Public Policy Doctoral Curriculum

Political Scientists in conference

Most public policy degree programs are divided into core classes and electives. The core classes will likely cover things like quantitative research methods. The electives are broader and more wide-ranging to account for different specializations, such as finance, economics, health policy, environmental policy, or international business.

You might find the following courses in a public policy doctoral program.

  • Evaluating Public Policies and Programs : This is a basic, introductory-level course that will teach you how to perform evaluations and apply standard research methods to tasks and studies.
  • Finance : Even if you aren’t specializing in it, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with budgeting, accounting, and fundraising for public policy work.
  • Ethics in Public Policy : Usually required as a core class, this is an ethics course with an emphasis on the challenges and moral debates surrounding both classic and contemporary issues in public policy.
  • Leadership : Though they’re not exclusive to public policy programs, leadership courses can be useful for future managers and supervisors of all types. They’ll cover things like communication, delegation, organizational behavior, and strategic decision making.
  • Policy Analysis : An analysis course will teach you how to approach and understand policy research and development through readings, data collections, discussion boards, collaborative projects, and more.
  • Global Affairs : These classes can cover everything from foreign policy study to diversity and sensitivity training for future overseas workers.
  • Economics : Economics is another subject that’s frequently considered essential for public policy students. You might be required to take microeconomics, macroeconomics, or statistical methods in economics.
  • Public or Business Administration : These classes will cover the administrative side of things, like policy development and research.
  • Special Topics in Public Policy : Since the field of public policy is ever-changing, it’s common to find “special topics” courses that cover current, real-world issues in the field.
  • Dissertation : Your dissertation will often be the culmination of your degree, and it usually requires several semesters’ worth of drafting, writing, editing, and researching. Some schools will even have a mandatory credit requirement for dissertation preparation.

If you’re going for a PhD in Public Policy online, you may want to speak with an advisor about the face-to-face requirements of your degree. Even an online program might require in-person fieldwork with a nonprofit, government office, or social service agency.

PhD in Public Policy students

There can be various admission requirements for a public policy PhD program, so it’s often worth looking into the specifics of your chosen school to make sure that you meet their criteria. Generally speaking, the requirements will look a little something like this:

  • Test scores . While a growing number of schools are experimenting with “test optional” admission models, PhD programs may still request GMAT or GRE scores.
  • Transcripts . Some grad schools will require both a bachelor’s and master’s degree for admission. Others will only require a bachelor’s degree.
  • Application . In addition to personal and financial data, a typical PhD application involves a resume or CV, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose or intent.

Sometimes it can take weeks or even months to gather all of the necessary documents, submit an application, arrange for financial aid, and work out the minutiae of your schedule. Instead of waiting until the last minute to apply, you might want to give yourself plenty of time to figure things out.

Accreditation

PhD in Public Policy Accreditation

As a prospective PhD student, you may already be familiar with accreditation and why it’s important, but it bears repeating. It’s beneficial to check the website of the U.S. Department of Education for accredited schools when looking at public policy doctoral programs.

High-level universities and government agencies are generally only going to recognize a PhD from an accredited school. Additionally, many loan and scholarship organizations require you to attend an accredited school to qualify for financial aid.

Financial Aid

PhD in Public Policy Financial Aid

Financial aid for PhD students is a little different than financial aid for undergrads. While you’ll still qualify for certain parts of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) , including the Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate and Professional Studies, aid like the Pell Grant will no longer apply.

Instead, you may want to look at fellowships, scholarships, and assistantships that are meant specifically for PhD students. You can also see if you qualify for fully-funded or partially-funded PhD programs that may pay you a stipend in addition to covering costs of tuition and textbooks.

In addition to seeing what’s available to you as a public policy student, you can also check out financial aid for business administration and political science students. There’s often a lot of overlap in these fields, so you might find scholarships that are open to anyone within politics, economics, policy, and law (PEPL).

What Can You Do with a Ph.D. in Public Policy?

A public policy degree can help prepare you for a number of different careers. If you’re interested in politics, for example, you might pursue a career as a legislator, political scientist, policy analyst, or government program director.

If you want to make the world a better place, you might focus on education, public health, or social services work as an administrative manager. You might study or teach at universities as a researcher or professor. You may even become a fundraiser for your favorite charitable cause.

How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD in Public Policy?

PhD in Public Policy students in university

It may take anywhere from 3 years to 5 years to earn a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Policy. It depends, though, on the required number of credits from your degree program and whether you’re studying full-time or part-time.

If you’re enrolled in a hybrid or online program that allows for extra flexibility with your classes, the trade-off might be a longer graduation time than if you’d studied on a more traditional schedule.

What Is the Difference Between Public Policy vs. Political Science?

As a subject, political science is closely related to public policy, but it’s not quite the same. Political science takes a broad, sweeping look at politics as a whole. On the other hand, public policy has a narrower, more specialized focus on public organizations and their policies and procedures.

This isn’t to say that public policy is a small field. On the contrary, it may lead to many different jobs in schools, charities, courtrooms, law firms, government agencies, and social service offices. It’s just focused exclusively on the policy work of such institutions.

What’s the Difference Between a PhD in Public Policy vs. Public Administration?

Urban Planners working

Public administration is another field with a lot of crossover into public policy. Again, the difference lies in the focus areas of the two disciplines.

Public policy is dedicated to policy: researching it, analyzing it, creating it, and reviewing it. Public administration, on the other hand, can involve policy work in addition to many other skills and subjects.

Is a Ph.D. in Public Policy Worth It?

Policy Analyst working

Yes, a public policy PhD is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting 5% job growth in management-level positions over the next 10 years. Common public policy careers include policy analyst, political scientist, administration manager, nonprofit director, and public relations specialist.

Maybe you’re a long-time student of public policy. Maybe you already have a background in political science or business administration, but you’re looking to specialize your focus area or qualify for higher-paying jobs within your industry.

Either way, a PhD in Public Policy may be a strategic investment for the future, and the existence of accredited online degree programs may make it more convenient for you to earn this terminal degree.

best online phd public policy and administration

Grad School Center

10 Best Online Doctor of Public Policy/Administration Degrees

Reviewed by David Krug David Krug is a seasoned expert with 20 years in educational technology (EdTech). His career spans the pivotal years of technology integration in education, where he has played a key role in advancing student-centric learning solutions. David's expertise lies in marrying technological innovation with pedagogical effectiveness, making him a valuable asset in transforming educational experiences. As an advisor for enrollment startups, David provides strategic guidance, helping these companies navigate the complexities of the education sector. His insights are crucial in developing impactful and sustainable enrollment strategies.

Updated: March 11, 2024 , Reading time: 17 minutes

Share this on:

Online Doctorate in Public Policy Administration - featured image

Find your perfect college degree

In this article, we will be covering...

The modern world needs qualified persons who are prepared to act on behalf of the public, demonstrating their knowledge of all facets of public administration. As a result, online doctor of public administration/policy is one of the degrees gaining more popularity.

Despite being online, these degrees still provide academic excellence that will help aspiring public administrators excel in the field.

People pursuing public administration or public policy are in for an exciting, rewarding, and impressive career path. 

Quick audio summary:

The discipline of public administration/policy is made up of numerous specialties and subspecialties, such as education systems, health care, the criminal justice system, and much more. It primarily involves working in organizations and governments to manage budgets, legislation, policies, social programs, and other issues impacting local communities.

  Methodology

Doctor of Public Policy/Administration students receive academic training for becoming inventive, talented, and successful public administration leaders! 

The best online doctorate programs in this field are offered by some of the leading graduate schools! These are the academic features that make them stand out:

  • Delivered online or as a blended program, enabling adult learners to pursue the degree mainly for the purpose of career advancement,
  • Features rigorous coursework that explores numerous public policy and administration topics, enabling them to develop leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills and an interdisciplinary, multicultural perspective,
  • Offered on a leading Learning Management System or learning platform that provides ease of coursework access and hosts academic activities and classes,
  • Employs seasoned Public Policy and Administration experts in their faculty,
  • Offers financial aid options for qualified online doctorate students, as well as other forms of student assistance and career services,
  • Properly accredited by agencies that establish the standards of online academic instruction at the doctorate level,
  • Acknowledged by industries and organizations relevant to the Public Policy and Administration career or discipline,
  • Well-regarded by students and alumni, demonstrating the program’s commitment to delivering a positive learning experience.

Please visit our Methodology page and find out more about our online doctorate ranking process.

The 10 Best Online Doctor of Public Policy/Administration Programs

Walden university.

Walden University

Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration

Walden University offers an online Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration degree. Students are required to complete 53 credits, in addition to a doctoral writing assessment, research courses, dissertation, and residency with team-based experiences, which can be completed with up to eight years of part-time study.

Because this degree is a professional doctorate designed to forge future public administration leaders, students will develop outstanding management abilities and find solutions to urgent issues in government and allied fields.

Applicants to the online doctorate are required to hold a master’s degree or higher in any related field. Students can transfer up to 41 credits of graduate or doctorate coursework earned from other regionally accredited institutions.

Walden University helps doctoral students prepare and pass dissertation research requirements through four residencies and full support from the school. Each student has a personal academic advisor or academic coach beginning of classes until graduation.

Additionally, students can expect to receive federal financial aid.

Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University - Public Administration and Public Service

Ph.D. in Public Administration and Policy

Old Dominion University’s online Doctor of Public Administration and Policy. Students are required to complete 49 credit hours of coursework, including 37 hours of online courses and 12 hours for student dissertations.

The curriculum was created to emphasize the value of teamwork and problem-solving skills in leadership and policy-making by allowing students to explore challenges faced by businesses, nonprofits, governments, communities, and even individuals.

Applicants should be master’s degree holders in a related field with a minimum of 3.25 GPA from any regionally accredited institution or comparable foreign institution. GRE/GMAT taken within the last five years are also required and must have scored at the 25th percentile for verbal and quant.

Doctoral coursework includes strategic planning, public administration research, and advanced policy analysis. Professors at ODU’s public administration and policy degree program have years of experience in various fields, including economic development, public and nonprofit organizations, citizen participation, and partnerships between public and private organizations. This gives students a wealth of knowledge of the diverse areas of the field.

Tennessee State University

Tennessee State University

Tennessee State University offers an online Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration. Students are required to complete 48 credit hours of coursework, including core courses and dissertations, all of which can be completed up to six years of full-time study.

Because this doctorate degree was aimed at working professionals and designed to allow students to work full-time while studying, the program’s synchronous core courses and asynchronous elective classes provide a unique feature for public administration/public policy research doctorates.

Master’s degree holders in any related field may apply. No minimum GPA and GRE/GMAT score are required. Students can transfer credit hours earned from graduate coursework.

TSU’s online Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration should not be taken lightly to help students reach their full potential as researchers, leaders, or professors in the social sector.

Students develop and demonstrate knowledge of the primary literature in the subfields of public administration, such as organization theory, policy implementation, public budgeting, and financial management, through the core curriculum, benchmark test, prospectus, and dissertation stages.

Boise State University

Boise State University

Boise State University offers an online Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration. Students are required to complete 67 credits, including core courses, methods sequence, elective credits, and dissertation credits of culminating activity. Students must move to candidacy for the Ph.D. and pass the comprehensive exam before submitting a dissertation proposal.

Interested students are required to hold a master’s degree in any related field with a minimum of 3.0 GPA on all graduate coursework and a minimum score of 300 (verbal and quantitative; 1,000 for the older scoring system). Master’s degree graduates of any regionally accredited school may be exempt from the GRE requirement.

The degree program is intended for full-time students and working professionals who want to improve their methodological training and policy analysis skills. BSU offers graduate research assistantships for full-time students. This opportunity will help doctoral students worry less about financing their Ph.D. studies since they’ll get a stipend and tuition waiver for working as a research assistant for a professor.

Liberty University

Liberty University - Online

Doctor of Public Administration

Liberty University offers a Doctor of Public Administration program that is available online. Students are required to complete 48 credit hours, including core public administration courses, research-focused courses, and a capstone sequence in approximately 2.5 years.

The public administration online doctoral degree is designed for those who desire to improve the quality of life in small and large communities, including teachers and professionals working in government agencies who want to start or advance their careers.

Applicants are required to be master’s degree holders, with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA for all graduate-level coursework.

Liberty’s doctorate in public administration will prepare students to lead, manage, and solve problems in the realm of governance. Students can learn how to effect change in governmental, nonprofit, and other groups that formulate public policy during this degree program.

Additionally, students will understand the political, ethical, and legal frameworks that govern public administration.

California Baptist University

California Baptist University

Doctor Of Public Administration

California Baptist University offers an online Doctor of Public Administration degree. CBU’s online doctoral program is one of the fastest accelerated public administration degree programs, which allows students to graduate as early as 36 months in an eight-week online format in addition to residency and dissertation.

The program’s curriculum and coursework are designed to satisfy the demands of professionals tasked with addressing organizations’ problems at the local, state, and federal levels.

To be admitted, students must have earned any master’s degree in a related discipline from an accredited graduate school with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Applicants with only a 2.75 on graduate-level coursework can still apply for conditional admission.

CBU’s online doctorate in public administration is one of the best for financial aid opportunities. Doctoral students have higher chances of being eligible for financial aid opportunities from donors and investors of the school. Students will receive multiple assistance to meet their academic and professional goals.

West Chester University

West Chester University

West Chester University offers a Doctor of Public Administration degree that is available online. Students are required to complete 45 credits, including doctoral study, administration core, methods sequence, electives, comprehensive examination, and dissertation that can be completed in five years.

Graduate social work, geography and planning, public policy and administration, and criminal justice are all available concentrations for students pursuing an online doctor of public administration degree at West Chester.

Doctoral candidates must hold a master’s degree from an accredited institution. Students with high GPAs, at least one year of related professional experience, and more remarkable aptitude will be prioritized.

When it comes to graduate assistantships, doctoral students at West Chester University have better opportunities. Two of the most in-demand graduate assistantships in the online degree are the Frederick Douglass Graduate Assistantships and the Institute for Women Graduate Grant.

To be eligible, doctoral students must have satisfactory performance in their academic schedules and good academic standing (minimum GPA of 3.0).

University of Maryland-Baltimore County

University of Maryland-Baltimore County - School of Public Policy

Ph.D. in Public Policy

The University of Maryland offers an online Ph.D. in Public Policy. Students are required to complete 48 credits plus a dissertation to gain administrative knowledge and practical skills necessary for for-profit and nonprofit organizations within public and private sectors.

Because the doctoral program was created with working professionals in mind, students can fully customize their degrees to meet their current schedules.

Applicants must hold a master’s degree from an accredited institution and GRE scores. Those with high GPAs on all graduate-level coursework can waive GRE score submissions.

In addition to learning about organizational structures and profit and nonprofit management, students in this Ph.D. program will also learn how the political climate can influence or restrict methods of administration and implementation.

Furthermore, all students will receive financial aid from the state and be guided for other private financial aid opportunities. The university will also provide one-on-one academic counseling to help students deal with their studies and professional lives.

Valdosta State University

Valdosta State University

Valdosta State University offers a Doctor of Public Administration that can be completed online.

This 54-credit online degree program strongly emphasizes honing crucial leadership, management, communication, and problem-solving abilities to help students produce original research in the future. The program’s flexible and accommodating scheduling was created with working students in mind: the nonsynchronous style and 24/7 accessibility to the coursework.

Applicants to Valdosta State must have a master’s degree and a good GRE score to get admitted. There is no required minimum GPA; however, students with outstanding GPAs will have higher chances of admission.

Students at Valdosta State are strong contenders for a range of leadership positions beyond those they have already held. The program expands on students’ current information on the subject and is designed to broaden their understanding and applied research skills.

National University

best online phd public policy and administration

National University’s Doctor of Public Administration online degree through online education. Students should complete 60 credit hours in 45 months, which gives students a thorough understanding of the principles of organization and management, administrative law, public management theory, and the values that govern the conduct of public administration.

Additionally, it addresses important subjects, including public personnel management, the importance of information technology in public administration, and budgeting.

Applicants must hold a master’s in business administration or any business-related degree from an accredited institution.

National University offers endless financial aid opportunities to its Ph.D. students. One of the biggest financial aid opportunities of the school is the Pursuit of Knowledge Scholarship, which grants three doctoral students a full tuition and two 50% scholarships.

In addition to financial aid opportunities, students can also expect full support from the school’s academic counselors.

Common Courses of Doctor of Public Policy/Administration

Public policy/administration foundation courses.

Learning online can be challenging, especially for those who don’t fully understand how online education works. To help online students, most schools offer foundation courses to help students evaluate how the school’s mission and vision relate to their professional aspirations and create best practices and online success strategies.

This course allows students to review the program’s curriculum and work on assignments that emphasize critical thinking, the promotion of academic and professional quality, and the practical application of scholarly and professional writing to the practice of public policy and administration.

Finance and Budgeting for the Public Sector

This course helps students understand organizational finance and budgeting principles, rules, procedures, and the monetary environment in which they function. Topics under this course include tax systems, financial management, auditing procedures, budgetary reform, dashboards for financial reporting, the effects of globalization on finance and the budget, financial technology systems, and theories for guiding important fiscal policy discussions. 

Leadership and Organizational Change

This course helps students understand the ethical concerns and norms and the opportunities and difficulties associated with leading diverse companies through transformation. Students evaluate ways to apply these skills to advance good changes inside an organization or their community as they look at how contemporary leaders use leadership and organizational change to support social change.

Governance and Public Policy

This course teaches students to analyze in-depth how societies run and how public policies are developed, assessed, decided upon, and carried out. Topics cover governance and public policy from theoretical and practical angles using more contemporary and critical literature and ancient and classical voices. Students also consider how they will fit into the future public administration and policy world.

Research Courses

Research courses teach students the proper research methods used in the field, including quantitative and qualitative research methods. 

Quantitative research methods teach students accurate data-collection methods, inference logic, statistical testing, and the associated ethical concerns. The qualitative research and analytical techniques utilized in both academia and public sector research are introduced in this course.

Online Doctorate in Public Policy Administration - fact

Common Career Paths for Doctor of Public Policy/Administration Graduates

Graduates with a master’s in public policy have numerous career and employment options. Here are the most common and top career paths for public policy/administration graduates.

Academia Jobs

PhDs are designed to train students for academia. Graduates of public policy/administration doctorates are well-prepared to become effective postsecondary teachers/university professors and researchers. Both professors and researchers publish unique research and analysis in books and scholarly journals.

They participate in administrative and academic committees that study and recommend departmental policies, recruiting practices, promotions, and budgetary considerations.

City Manager

A city manager is comparable to a company’s CEO. City managers control the everyday operations of municipalities. These experts are in charge of creating and managing the city’s budget, among many other duties.

Budget Analyst

A budget analyst is a financial expert who evaluates budgets and offers suggestions on managing funds for initiatives, divisions, or entire organizations. Budget analysts may work alone or with a group of financial experts, depending on their duties.

Human Resources Director

To ensure legal compliance and the effective execution of the organization’s mission and talent strategy, the Human Resource Director will plan, lead, direct, develop, and coordinate the HR department’s policies, operations, and staff.

Administrative Services Manager

Administrative services and facilities managers organize, lead, and coordinate tasks that make a company work smoothly. These managers’ specific duties vary, although they frequently oversee operations, including recordkeeping, mail distribution, and facility maintenance.

Nonprofit Program Director

A professional who manages the activities and projects for a nonprofit organization is known as a nonprofit program director. They are aware of the program’s purpose and ensure that it is supported by the workers and activities under their control.

Professional Associations in Public Policy/Administration

When studying for a doctorate, it’s important to have all the possible support you can get. By joining professional organizations in your field, you can outsource resources, including financial aid opportunities, yearly conferences or meetings, journals and bulletins, and recent research that will help you advance your academics and career.

Here are the top public policy/administration organizations:

American Society for Public Administration

ASPA, the leading professional association for public administration, encourages the practice of nonprofit and public administration. It links all those interested in the field and aids in developing initial responses to societal problems.

The association promotes results-driven management through outreach, education, advocacy, training, and information exchange.

Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management

At its annual research conference, the APPAM provides multidisciplinary research on diverse policy management challenges, intending to enhance public policy by fostering excellence in research, analysis, and education.

Additionally, it produces a peer-reviewed journal that features highly regarded management and public policy research. It also commits to “respecting and developing racial, ethnic, gender, disciplinary, and other types of diversity” among those engaged in Association operations.

National Academy of Public Administration

The NAPA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works on numerous initiatives to improve communications between citizens and national leaders about complex management and policy issues, as well as to provide resources and information to those considering a career in public administration and policy.

National Forum for Black Public Administrators

The NFBPA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group created to promote Black public leadership. The group works to improve Blacks’ standing in the area of public administration, raise the number of Blacks in executive positions in public service organizations, and develop and train younger aspirant administrators for senior public management roles in the coming years.

Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration

NASPAA maintains excellence in public service education and training professionals while advancing the concept of public service. It establishes a hub for exchanging knowledge on public affairs education and collaborates with public administration educational programs in other nations through joint projects and conferences.

Public Policy vs. Public Administration

From the word itself, you’ll know that there’s a difference between public policy and public administration. But these degrees work hand-in-hand. Regardless if the degree is only a public administration or public policy, both will have similar coursework and requirements.

But to be more precise, public policy is, well, the policy itself. Governmental agencies use public policies to coordinate their varied activities and programs. On the other hand, public administration is the administrative or enforcement component of the already established policies.

How can I finance my online Public Policy/Administration Doctoral degree?

Frequently Asked Questions

How can i finance my online public policy/administration doctoral degree.

There are three primary ways to finance your online public policy/administration doctorate:

  • applying for federal grants and loans
  • applying for graduate assistantships
  • working for a professional development benefit

Are online doctorates legit?

Yes, several universities are offering online public policy/administration doctorates. To ensure that you’ll receive a high-quality education, make sure that the university you’re applying to has national, regional, or specialized accreditation. 

Why should someone study Public Policy/Administration?

Public policy/administration degrees are one of the most exciting fields today. Through this degree, you’ll be able to understand how public policy influences the daily lives of individuals.

Additionally, this will help you recognize effective public policies and create plans to enhance society.

Is Public Policy/Administration a good career?

Doctoral-level public policy specialists can work in academia and other prospects that involve establishing policies. Although experience differs by industry, these jobs tend to be prestigious.

What are the most common admissions requirements for a Ph.D. in Public Policy/Administration?

Competition may be fierce when applying to graduate programs. The most common admission requirement for a Ph.D. in Public Policy/Administration includes a master’s degree, transcripts, GRE or GMAT, resume or CV, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose.

It would be best to start your graduate school applications four to eight months in advance. This can entail sending out transcripts and recommendation letters six to twelve months in advance because it will take time to compile your admissions materials.

Key Takeaways

The study of public policy/administration focuses on the policy process, implementation, management, organization, and government administration. Public policy/administration also focuses on how a government impacts its citizens and community.

Candidates for doctoral studies in public policy/administration are prepared for demanding occupations that require both a passion and drive for advocacy and a mind capable of meeting organizational and bureaucratic hurdles.

Additional Resources:

  • The Best Online Doctor of Healthcare Administration Degree Programs
  • The Best Online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) Degrees
  • The Most Popular Doctorate Degree Programs

Related Posts

student earning a 10-month online masters degree

We’re certain of one thing—your search for more information on picking the best graduate degree or school landed you here. Let our experts help guide your through the decision making process with thoughtful content written by experts.

  • Prospective Students
  • Transfer Students
  • Military Students
  • Degree Completers
  • International Students
  • Current Students
  • Request Information

Public Administration and Policy Online (PhD)

  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Strome College of Business
  • School of Public Service

Why ODU for Public Administration and Policy?

Effective public administration and policy-making requires collaborative decisions and problem solving. Our PhD program takes a multi-sector approach. You'll focus on the challenges that arise where governments, nonprofits, businesses, community groups, and individuals intersect.

You will graduate with a solid grounding in the theory and issues of traditional public administration and public policy. You'll also gain the practical knowledge to influence decision makers and lead organizations involved in public service.

You will develop the skills to:

  • Conduct policy analyses
  • Design and conduct research studies in public administration
  • Report research findings and its implications to a variety of audiences and decision-makers
  • Make informed policy and administrative decisions
  • Assess policy and implementation issues
  • Establish, manage, and evaluate multi-sector programs and relationships
  • Teach courses in public administration and policy

Whether you're new to public administration or taking your public service career to the next level, you will be able to apply your experience and education to effect change in the public sphere.

Want to learn more? Contact us!

Best Online Doctorate in Public Administration, 2024 - Intelligent.com

Most Affordable Online Doctoral Degrees, 2023 -  OnlineU.com

Required Courses

  • 37 credit hours of doctoral level coursework
  • 12 credit hours of dissertation work

You will be taught by ODU faculty with expertise in:

  • nonprofit and public management
  • public-private partnerships
  • public procurement and contract management
  • citizen participation
  • dispute resolution
  • economic development
  • Core Course Long Range Schedule
  • View Course Details in ODU's Graduate Catalog

Online Learning Environment

Participate in live, regularly scheduled online class meetings and access course materials online from any location. All courses follow ODU's regular academic calendar.

  • Taking Classes Online

Careers in Public Administration and Policy

Public administration and policy is an interdisciplinary field. With ODU's PhD, you can apply your experience and education in other fields — like political science, criminal justice, social work, business, engineering, fine arts, education, and more — to effect change in the public or nonprofit sphere. 

Our coursework will teach you how to create and disseminate knowledge to advance public service, whether you plan to become an instructor, conduct research, or take management positions in government or nonprofit environments.

Calculating Cost

Rates are effective Fall 2024 and subject to change. * In-state rate assumes residency requirements are met.

  • Explore ODUGlobal Cost & Aid

Meet Your Team

You'll have a dedicated academic advisor for this program.

Contact us if you have questions about admission requirements, transferring credits, or application deadlines.

Ready to get started?

How to apply.

You may be able to take up to four courses (12 credit hours) as a non-degree graduate student, before you are accepted into this degree program. Please contact us through the form above to learn more from our enrollment team.

Applications are accepted year-round, and new students start each fall semester. The deadline for completed applications is March 1. To apply, you will need:

  • A master's degree from a regionally-accredited institution or comparable foreign institution with a minimum 3.25 GPA (4.0 scale).
  • Two letters of recommendation from academic sources.
  • A professional resume.
  • A 3-6 page essay about your academic and professional goals and why you chose our program.
  • GRE/GMAT scores at 25th percentile for verbal and quant (taken within the last five years). A GRE waiver request is available here .
  • If your native language is not English and you do not have a U.S. graduate degree, a minimum score of 79 on the TOEFL, or 6.5 on the IELTS.
  • Request Info

You have unlimited possibilities for success at Tennessee State University. We’re a leading institution of higher learning and provide students with the opportunity to experience academic and personal growth. You’ll receive instruction from top-notch faculty and be immersed in research, service learning, and student life activities, including internships, cultural, and study abroad opportunities.

Our world-class faculty will teach you how to apply what you learn in the classroom to real-world situations. As a student, you will become a problem solver and critical thinker. You may begin the admissions process by submitting your application. The university also assists in providing information on financial aid services, work-study, fellowships and scholarships based on eligibility and other rules and regulations established by the agencies.

Tennessee State University students go by the motto: “Think. Work. Serve.” But we also realize a little fun should be part of the collegiate experience to create a holistic approach to learning. With a variety of social, professional and civic clubs for students to participate in, there are many opportunities for you to share your time and talents and enjoy connecting with your fellow students to create the work-life balance needed for success in college and beyond.

  • support TSU

Tennessee State University is engaging in cutting-edge research to address critical challenges in our society. Our research arm supports faculty and students by taking their ideas from conception to fruition in critical areas such as biotechnology, homeland security and agriculture, to name a few. Our Centers of Excellence encourage collaborative and experimental learning opportunities and help expand the boundaries of science, education and technology.

Tennessee State University Athletics is part of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) NCAA Division Ⅰ and offers football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, track and field, golf, tennis, softball and volleyball. We provide student-athletes with a positive academic and social environment to excel on and off the field. Our mission is to blend physical, emotional and intellectual development into one experience. We not only build winning-teams, but leaders in the classroom, in the community and in your profession of choice.

Tennessee State University is a world-class university known for academic excellence, incredible students, inspiring faculty, exceptional value and an amazing campus and community. We invite you to learn more about TSU and our academic programs, admissions process, tuition and financial aid, campus visits, student housing and more.

Tennessee State University is dedicated to helping students develop the skills needed for the real world. Our vibrant campus life, leadership opportunities, rigorous academic programs, access to scholarships and student services are just a few of the student services we offer. We are preparing career-ready professionals today for knowledge-based jobs tomorrow. The Tiger legacy continues with you.

TSU loves parents! And we encourage you to stay involved with your Tennessee State University student. We strive to make the transition to college and beyond flow as smoothly as possible for everyone. We'll keep you up-to-date on campus happenings through a monthly eNewsletter, a helpful Parent Guide and through many other programs and events. We're here to help you and your student make the most out of your TSU experience.

At Tennessee State University, our blood runs blue! We enjoy connecting, socializing and sharing news about the great things our alumni are doing across the globe. From our annual Homecoming celebration to donor events and volunteer activities, TSU alumni always find time to celebrate what it means to be a Big Blue Tiger. We welcome you back to campus anytime to rekindle your most memorable experiences.

Welcome to Tennessee State University, located in the heart of Nashville, one of the nation's most progressive cities! Whether you are here for your first visit, planning a campus tour or returning after many years away, TSU welcomes you to enjoy our facilities, hospitality and our unique history and contributions.

Tennessee State University is proud to have 1,200 distinguished administrators, faculty and staff members as part of our team. With outstanding reputations for teaching, research and service, these professionals make valuable contributions to our community of scholars and ensure that TSU is a thriving public institution of higher learning.

MainImage Mobile

  • College of Public Service >
  • Degree Programs
  • > PhD in Public Policy and Administration

PhD in Public Policy and Administration

PhD in Public Administration

  • Upcoming application deadlines: July 1, 2024 (for consideration for Fall 2024 admission); Nov. 1 2024 (for Spring 2025 admission). 
  • Graduate Catalog: 2023-2024 - PhD PPA section (use dropdown menu in upper right of Catalog page to access past catalogs)
  • Handbook: PhD in Public Policy and Administration
  • Doctoral preliminary exam dates
  • PhD course rotation (use for planning program of study)
  • Program of Study Form for the PhD in Public Policy and Admin.
  • How to register for dissertation research credits once admitted to candidacy
  • Out-of-state students: information on TSU eRate for fully online studies (lower than out-of-state tuition)
  • Point of contact for prospective students:  Dr. Meg Streams, Dept. Chair
  • Point of contact for admitted students in course-taking Dr. Alex Sekwat , PhD Program Advisor
  • Point of contact for doctoral candidates past the course-taking phase:  student's Dissertation Committee Chair and Dr. Alex Sekwat , PhD Program Advisor
  • Apply for the PhD in Public Policy and Administration

TSU is the only Tennessee university offering the PhD in public policy and administration.  Our first student was admitted in 1991, and we are pleased that our graduates have succeeded in obtaining placements appropriate for their academic preparation and career experience, as shown below.  Read about the requirements for admission and curriculum in the current Graduate Catalog ( 2021-2023 edition ). You can also review our graduates and their dissertation topics , and examine past sample syllabi (see the 7000-level courses). This synchronous online program is designed for working individuals, a distinctive feature among research doctorates in public administration/public policy. The majority of our students continue to work full-time while pursuing the PhD, as each doctoral core class meets once weekly in the evening (synchronously online); electives are typically asynchronous. While this demanding course of study is not to be undertaken lightly, it can lead you to your fullest development as researcher, leader or academic in the social sectors. Contact us to learn more.

The goal of a Ph.D. in general, as a research doctorate, is to prepare scholars who can both understand and produce original research of the highest quality, which adds to the state of theoretical knowledge in the field and improves practice.  In an interdisciplinary, applied field of study such as public administration, Ph.D. graduates can see the impact of their work in the research they conduct or through the accomplishments of the students they teach.  Through the core curriculum, benchmark exam, prospectus and dissertation processes, students develop and demonstrate mastery of the core literature of the subfields of public administration including organization theory, public budgeting and finance, and policy implementation.  Doctoral students develop the ability to communicate, synthesize and evaluate complex abstract concepts key to the generation of new knowledge.

The specific mission of the Doctor of Philosophy program in public policy and administration at TSU is to prepare experienced public or nonprofit administrators for careers (1) as faculty members in public administration or related fields based on their education combined with their professional expertise and experience; (2) as high-level professional researchers; or (3) as senior managers with extensive research expertise in public service in public or non-profit agencies. The data on positions our alumni hold reflect this mission (position last held is used for retired or deceased individuals). Of the alumni whose primary occupation is as a faculty member at an institution of higher education, field of appointment varies depending on individual expertise from their practitioner careers, combined with educational qualifications and doctoral dissertation focus.  Fields of appointment have included public administration and management, criminal justice, social work, and political science.

Table of PhD alumni positions held by NASPAA category; top three are State, provincial or regional gov't in same country as the program (45%), Nonprofit domestic-oriented (27%), Private Sector - research/consulting (9%); total alumni = 55. Data cover all alumni through August 2022

Handbook: PhD in Public Policy and Administration

Point of contact for prospective students: 
Point of contact for admitted students in course-taking phase: , PhD Program Advisor
Point of contact for doctoral candidates past the course-taking phase:  student's Dissertation Committee Chair and , PhD Program Advisor

- (2023-2024; use dropdown menu in upper right of Catalog page to access past catalogs) - Relevant policies are found both in the front of the catalog which apply to all TSU graduate students as well as the program-specific part in the College of Public Service section. 

Please note that this "handbook," while it provides useful details for prospective and current students, does not replace or supercede the Graduate Catalog, nor does it cover all the important elements of policy included in the Catalog.  All applicants and students are responsible for knowing and abiding by TSU, Graduate School, and program policies outlined in the Catalog.

(use dropdown menu in upper right of Catalog page to access past catalogs)

- (2023-2024; use dropdown menu in upper right of Catalog page to access past catalogs)ncluding admissions requirements Applications must be complete by July 1, 2024 to be considered for Fall 2024 admission. The next deadline will be Nov. 1, 2024 to be considered for Spring 2025 admission. , 615-963-7371 . All programs in the Department of Public Administration are delivered 100% online. Out-of-state students taking online courses may be eligible for the TSU eRate, which is lower than regular out-of-state tuition rates. Please learn more about this possibility at the and at the page. Note that students are responsible to verify promptly each semester that they have been assessed the proper rate for their situation and resolve any issues before Day 14 of the Semester with the Bursar Office and TSU Global Online as needed.

offers an opportunity for students to both learn about and present on current research, along with TSU faculty and other scholars. , , , , NAPA's , and others. , is also maintained by the PhD program advisor and Dr. Streams with periodic announcements of interest to our doctoral students, including job postings; research tips; conference opportunities; and others.

as well as this Handbook to prepare for advising. From that point on the Ph.D. program advisor is . You should arrange for program advising before taking your first course in the program and again before the end of your first semester. By the time you've completed 9 credits in the program , you should work with Dr. Sekwat to complete the .  This form is essential for continuing in the program and ensuring that you have a coursework plan that has been approved by your advisor. to add in planning your , in collaboration with program advisor . The recommended sequence of courses depends on the semester in which program is begun and also your educational background (field of masters, since this may affect appropriate electives). Check in with Dr. Sekwat every semester before course selection to verify that your choices are appropriate and to complete any necessary paperwork to complete program benchmarks.  Seeking advising regularly is your responsibility as a graduate student and will help to ensure a smooth path through the program. It is important to take each doctoral course when offered as waiting for the next scheduled offering which can delay program benchmarks, such as the preliminary exam, qualifying exam, prospectus defense, and dissertation phase. .  That system is also where you access information about financial aid status, billing and student account, view your unofficial transcript, and see which programs you have been admitted to.  . All programs in the Department of Public Administration are delivered 100% online. Tennessee residency as defined by the University is required for in-state graduate tuition and fees.  Out-of-state students taking online courses may be eligible for the TSU graduate out-of-state eRate, which is lower than regular out-of-state graduate rates. Please learn more about this possibility at the and at the page. Follow any instructions regarding qualification for the out-of-state eRate at the page. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the proper rate was applied to the current semester's bill by monitoring their account carefully and following up promptly with the Bursar's office if needed. Tuition, fees, and eRate availability are determined at the University level and may change over time. Include your T-number in all correspondence with the Bursar or other University support units. [ ] . All students using any form of aid must . Dropping (without adding a replacement) or withdrawing from a class starting on the first day of the semester on incurs a penalty that increases over time; see . Note that withdrawing before the withdrawal deadline in the Academic Calendar means you will get a W on your transcript for that course -- but depending on exactly when you withdrew during the semester, you may still be charged for part or all of the tuition and fees for that course ( .) It is the student's responsibility to monitor their student account and resolve any balance issues. for messages from Financial Aid, and to promptly complete any necessary steps which may apply (such as entrance counseling, Master Promissory Note, or other requirements to receive and accept a loan for a given semester.) All students using any form of aid must . Always be aware of the terms of any loan accepted for graduate study, the applicable annual and aggregate limits given your situation, and the effect a decision to drop or withdraw from, or repeat a class or poor academic performance may have on your aid and balance owed.  All questions regarding financial aid should be directed to the Financial Aid office (include your T-number); there is a financial aid counselor assigned to graduate students ( ). . Federal financial aid will NOT PAY for any courses not showing as part of your program of study in DegreeWorks (access via DegreeWorks link under Student Services in myTSU; it is farther down than Banner Services link). While some common substitutions an advisor may make have been coded into the system, less common substitutions have not. Additionally, certain courses/scenarios may not be accurately assessed by the system. It is the student's responsibility to check DegreeWorks after registering and after any change in registration to check if any registered courses are showing as "Fall Through" or “Additional Courses” (these are the course(s) that will generate a CPOS alert/flag in the financial aid system) -- those courses will NOT be covered for by financial aid unless proper, prompt action is taken. Furthermore, if a CPOS alert on one course drops your financial aid-eligible enrollment" below 6 credits, NO financial aid can be released even if the second course is in CPOS because Federal financial aid requires graduate students to be taking at least six credits. You must check DegreeWorks after every registration OR change in registration to make sure no current courses are listed under "Fall Through" or "Additional Courses" (look below the Major Requirements section). If you see any courses in those areas, contact Dr. Streams immediately at [email protected]; she will advise you if it is not the right course to take or else request the Graduate School to code in the substitution in DegreeWorks. Once the change is made in DegreeWorks, it can take up to two full business days for it to reflect in CPoS so do not delay. You should also check your CPoS record in myTSU>Banner Services>Financial Aid [tab]>CPoS - Course program of study [link]. CPoS should show your current registrations – verify that it shows the same total of aid eligible credits as you are enrolled (both must be 6 or more to receive any aid). If there is a difference between the two totals, you need to seek advising right away just like with the Fall-through class in DegreeWorks. All issues must be resolved well before Day 14 into the fall or spring semester (weekends count) because after Day 14, financial aid enrollment is "frozen." The equivalent freeze date comes earlier in summer terms (ask Financial Aid for exact date); yet another reason to get any issues resolved before the first day of classes every time. Costs begin to accrue Day 1 of every semester.  before class start, and never more than 14 days after semester start. Late waivers will not be processed and you will be responsible for your balance. A new waiver must be submitted EVERY semester -- they do not "roll over." Put "State Fee Waiver" in the subject header of your message to the Bursar's office. Include your name in the message with the attached waiver. Double-check to make sure you sent the waiver attached. Save a copy of your sent message for your records. Waivers sent soon after registration opens should post to your student account in myTSU by a few weeks before classes start; if not, follow up promptly with . If you registered and sent a waiver close to the start of classes, check your myTSU student account daily to make sure it posts. It should post within a few days of sending in that case. It is the student's responsibility to send the fee waiver in a timely fashion prior to semester start, and it is the student's responsibility to verify that it posts properly to the student account. Do not wait till late in a semester or the next semester to try to resolve an issue -- waiver issues must be resolved promptly in the beginning of the semester of use. Questions should be sent to [email protected]; visit the . The current state policy and FAQ on the fee waiver is available at . Waivers may only be used for one course per regular semester, summer 10-week, or summer 5-week term unless a special state exemption applies based on your state position. If the exemption applies, your HR person must indicate that on the waiver, when they sign it (see the ). No one, with or without the exemption, may take more than 4 classes per year with a waiver. It is the student's responsibility to know the current state policy as it applies to their situation and register for classes accordingly. Error or delay in filing the waiver with the Bursar office will result in the student bearing liability for the course, and may prevent further registration as well as access to grades and transcripts until the balance is paid. Here is a

due at beginning of semester in which you plan to take the exam . Students preparing for the preliminary exam can get an idea of the types of questions eligible to be asked with this list. Students who entered under the current program design (prelim/qualifying exams) who have passed the preliminary exam, completed doctoral coursework and are taking the qualifying exam take a specifically designed exam developed by members of their committee, as described in the Graduate Catalog . Therefore sample questions that are "generic" cannot be provided for that benchmark exam.

. Important points are summarized below, but full information is in the FAQ. for each program you plan to complete (including certificate if applicable).    for deadline. Application is mandatory whether or not you plan to attend Commencement ceremonies; . If you have any problems registering to graduate for all program(s) you are completing, contact your advisor immediately. to obtain important information on the "Grad Finale" which you must attend to get fitted for cap and gown; this event typically occurs before mid-semester) as well as on Commencement exercises themselves. Commencement ceremonies are held only in May and in December.  In May, the ceremony for graduate students may be held at a different time than the undergraduate ceremonies; the site will have these details.

webpage contact: Department of Public Administration

Doctorate in Public Administration Online

ASO Staff Writers

Explore and compare a list of accredited schools to enroll in your next program.

Person in college

Public administration concerns the management of public sector and nonprofit organizations, which often requires experience in politics and policy. Experienced college instructors are needed to pass on the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in this field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for  postsecondary teachers  will increase by 11% through 2026, significantly faster than the economy as a whole. This career path also offers excellent compensation, with postsecondary teachers in the social sciences earning a median salary of $64,480 in 2017.

Nearly all postsecondary teaching jobs require a doctorate. A Ph.D. in public administration can prepare you for roles in academia, while a more practice-oriented doctorate, such as a doctor of public administration (DPA), may better serve individuals hoping to take on leadership positions in government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

What Can I Do with an Online Ph.D. in Public Administration?

After earning a Ph.D. in public administration online, many graduates begin careers in higher education. If you want to pursue a tenured position, look for careers like assistant or associate professor. Colleges and universities award tenure, and the title of full professor, to assistant and associate professors who conduct and publish original research. If you prefer to focus on teaching, you can instead apply to positions like lecturer or adjunct instructor.

Students who earn their DPA degree online may take on management and leadership roles at government agencies or nonprofit organizations. For example, you may seek a doctorate to lead a state’s department of transportation or to serve as the chief administrative officer of a hospital. Other DPA graduates choose to work in the for-profit sector, using their expertise in public administration to help private companies compete for government contracts.

Alternatively, you may choose to become a consultant after completing a doctoral program. Consultants often work with clients in a specialized field, like homeland security or environmental sustainability. Other consultants work independently or as part of a larger firm.

Below, you can read more about five positions commonly held by professionals with a public administration doctorate.

Career Profiles

Government affairs director.

Government affairs directors help private companies collaborate with government agencies and follow applicable laws and regulations. In some cases, these directors may also lobby government officials to change laws or policies to benefit their firms or the industry at large.

  • Median Annual Salary: $97,416

Policy Analyst

Policy analysts conduct research to influence the legislative process. For example, an analyst may assess the effectiveness of a housing program to help government officials determine whether to expand the program or consider alternatives.

  • Median Annual Salary: $56,207

Social and Community Service Manager

Social and community service managers administer programs to promote the public good, like a homeless shelter or afterschool program. Managers must possess strong fiscal, personnel, and project-management skills.

  • Median Annual Salary: $64,100

Chief Executive Officer of Government

Government executives, such as mayors and county administrators, hold broad executive authority. They must oversee all revenues and expenses within their jurisdiction, hire and supervise department heads, and communicate regularly with the public.

  • Median Annual Salary: $104,700

Director, Nonprofit Organization

Nonprofit directors set and implement strategy for their organization. They also play a key role in fundraising and public relations activities. Many executive directors hold an advanced degree.

  • Median Annual Salary: $61,771

Online Ph.D. in Public Administration Program Overview

When researching Ph.D. and DPA programs online, make sure to carefully consider what kind of degree will allow you to achieve your professional aspirations. For example, if you hope to work for an international organization, choose a program that offers coursework in subjects like global trade, multicultural understanding, and international finance.

Your first and most important choice; however, involves selecting either a research or practice-oriented doctoral program.

Types of Doctorate Degrees in Public Administration

If you want to pursue a career in academia, you should apply to Ph.D. programs in public administration. After coursework completion, most Ph.D. programs require students to pass a comprehensive examination. This exam assesses your understanding of core concepts and theories and determines your readiness to begin the dissertation process.

In close consultation with their faculty adviser, students first select a topic for their dissertation. They must then conduct original research or collect existing research from multiple sources, commonly referred to as a “meta-analysis.” After compiling data and summarizing their findings, students then defend their dissertation before a faculty committee to graduate.

Most full-time Ph.D. students complete their coursework in about three years. As the dissertation process involves a great deal of independent work, completion times vary considerably. Full-time students may need anywhere from 2-5 years to finish their dissertations.

Students pursuing work in a government agency or nonprofit organization should seek a DPA or an equivalent practice-oriented doctorate. These programs usually offer similar coursework to Ph.D. programs during the first few years, though they may place less emphasis on research methods and design. DPA students typically do not need to sit for a comprehensive examination or write a dissertation.

Instead, students in these programs often complete a capstone project. These projects require students to apply their doctoral learning to a real-world issue in public administration. For example, you may partner with a local health center to improve the efficiency of their Medicaid billing processes. Most full-time DPA students graduate in about three or four years.

Application Requirements and Admission Criteria

To earn a doctor of public administration online, you must first hold a master’s degree in a closely related field, such as political science or public policy. Most programs require prospective students to maintain a minimum GPA during their graduate studies, usually a 3.0 or higher.

In addition to your master’s transcripts, plan to submit up to three letters of recommendation from former professors and employers who can affirm both your qualifications and potential. Give your recommenders at least two months to write and submit a letter on your behalf. Your program may also ask you to write an essay outlining a research agenda or your professional plans after graduation. In some cases, you can submit a master’s thesis instead of an essay.

Finally, you may need to participate in an interview. The interview process allows admissions officers to determine your possible fit with a program. If admitted, it also helps them pair you with an appropriate faculty adviser.

Most students begin their doctoral studies with a foundational course that introduces them to the expectations and learning environment of their new program. For online programs, this course may also give students the opportunity to explore collaborative tools and learn how to access online support resources.

During their first year, students take classes in fundamental public administration topics like discal management, policy analysis, and organizational development. Students also develop skills in quantitative and qualitative analysis through courses in research methods and study design.

In their second and third year, students can begin to customize their learning through electives. For example, students interested in special education can take a course that explores the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and related legislation. In Ph.D. and research-oriented programs, students must also take more advanced coursework in data collection and analysis.

As mentioned above, curricula in Ph.D. and DPA programs diverge sharply after the third year. Ph.D. students must often sit for their comprehensive examination and begin work on their dissertation, while DPA students complete a capstone project and prepare for graduation.

Below, we detail five courses commonly taken in both of these public administration programs.

Program Outcomes

To succeed, public administration professionals must possess strong communication, analytical, and managerial skills.

Through classroom debates, dissertation writing, and conversations with faculty, public administration doctoral programs help you communicate more effectively. After graduation, this skill set will allow you to build partnerships, win supporters, and better understand the needs of your constituents.

Doctoral programs also hone their student’s assessment and evaluation skills. While indispensable competencies for academic researchers, the ability to use data to guide decision-making is also critical for public administration practitioners. You may, for example, use survey results to determine whether a health education campaign has reduced behaviors like smoking in your community.

Finally, students in these programs learn how to manage people, teams, and organizations. Classroom study helps students understand leadership theories and styles, while internships and capstone projects give you the opportunity to put your learning into practice.

Accreditation for Online Public Administration Doctorate Programs

Be sure to choose an accredited option when researching public administration doctoral programs online. The accreditation process ensures that schools meet certain academic standards. If you attend an unaccredited program, you may miss out on financial aid opportunities , and future employers may not recognize your degree.

Within the public administration field, the  Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration  (NASPAA) serves as the primary programmatic accreditor. If your program does not hold NASPAA accreditation, confirm that your college or university holds either regional or national accreditation instead. To do so, you can search the Council for Higher Education Accreditation  online directory .

Best Accredited Online Ph.D. Programs 2024

Best Accredited Online Ph.D. Programs 2024

Online Ph.D. programs provide students with flexible schedules and affordable tuition. Check out the top-ranked programs in this comprehensive guide.

Best Accredited Online Master’s Programs 2024

Best Accredited Online Master’s Programs 2024

Best Accredited Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs 2024

Best Accredited Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs 2024

Shape your future with an online degree.

Connect with a community of peers, and find a program that will allow you to continue your education in a fast and flexible way.

Recommended pages

  • Undergraduate open days
  • Postgraduate open days
  • Accommodation
  • Information for teachers
  • Maps and directions
  • Sport and fitness

PhD Public Administration and Policy

By distance learning.

For 2024-25 £4,778 FT (UK) £21,360 FT (International Students) More Fees and funding details.

  • Request a prospectus
  • Course details
  • Entry Requirements
  • Teaching and assessment
  • Employability

The Department of Public Administration and Policy works closely with the world of practice in local government, the voluntary sector and other public service agencies

We have a vibrant and close-knit international research community of early-career and established researchers. Our engaged scholarship is theoretically-driven, and demonstrates a commitment to methodological pluralism, with particular strengths in qualitative, collaborative and participative approaches.

Our distance learning PhD in Public Administration and Policy offers those who are unable to live and work on campus on a regular basis the opportunity to conduct original research under the guidance of academic supervisors. You will take a number of research training modules in your first year and may attend further courses offered by the Department or the University that enhance your personal discipline-specific and transferable skills.

Distance learning does present challenges and applicants need to have a high capacity to work independently and in a disciplined fashion to pursue their research goals. However, supervisory teams are there to support students in acquiring the skills and knowledge to complete a thesis. In addition, you will be able to participate in an active research environment through a range of online and hybrid events.

Distance learning students are usually expected to attend one-week visit to the University (it is possible to request an exemption due to extenuating circumstances such as work commitments of caring responsibilities, for example). This visit will take place at the start of your studies during the College’s induction week (which usually takes place in the last week of September). This is a fantastic opportunity to attend a range of training sessions and networking events and meet your peers and supervisory team in person. The College of Social Sciences will make a generous contribution to your accommodation and travel. Your School will write to you to confirm the arrangements of your visit once you have confirmed your offer. Distance Learning students are not required to attend the University for the remainder of their studies but are welcome to visit at their own expense.

The Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) is incorporated within the Department of Public Administration and Policy (DPAP) and is one of the leading UK and international centres for governance, politics, international development, and public management. 

The School of Government offers much more than a degree. As a doctoral student here, you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of research events with staff and other doctoral students, including a PGR Colloquium and departmental speaker series. In addition, an individual training plan is drawn up to meet the needs of each student, covering coursework and skills development. As such, completing this research degree will cultivate specialist knowledge in your field and professional skills for a range of career settings. 

We are particularly interested in receiving applications on the following themes:

  • Governance, institutional design and leadership
  • Co-production, democratic and social innovation, and inclusion
  • Policy-making, implementation and service delivery
  • Smart, sustainable and creative approaches to policy challenges

Applications to study for a research degree on either a full- or part-time basis are welcomed. 

Further information

  • Doctoral research
  • Guidance on preparing a research proposal
  • Doctoral Research Scholarships and funding

Tricia Thomas Doctoral Research Student Administration Tel: +44 (0)121 414 3497, Email:  [email protected]

PhD by Distance Learning 2024-2025

Uk students.

  • £4,778

International students (Band D)

  • £21,360

Learn more about fees .

Scholarships and studentships

INLOGOV offers occasional teaching assistantships for those enrolled on a full-time research degree. These provide bursaries to cover living costs, payment of the fee and the opportunity to gain additional income through a limited amount of tutorial work.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. Explore our  postgraduate funding database

Postgraduate research loans

Eligible Doctoral students can now apply for a  government loan  of up to £28,673 (for 2023/2024 entry) to contribute to overall costs. 

For further information contact the School directly or visit  studenthelp.bham.ac.uk .

How To Apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Our Standard Requirements

Applicants for the distance learning PhD must provide evidence of prior research experience and/or training suitable for their intended programme of study. When they apply, they are expected to consult with their supervisor who can assess their skills, background and capacity to undertake independent study at a distance. 

Besides formal qualifications, a key factor determining whether the Department decides to accept a candidate for either degree is the quality of his or her research proposal and its relevance to our own interests. Successful completion of a research thesis demands a high level of self-discipline, motivation and commitment to the subject of research. Great importance is placed on work experience, when relevant. Please contact the Department for more details.

International Requirements

Holders of a Licence, Diplome, Diplome d'Etudes Superieures, Diplome d'Ingenieur or a Diplome d'Architecte from a recognised university in Algeria will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of one of these qualifications will normally be expected to have achieved a score of 15/20 for 2:1 equivalency or 13/20 for 2:2 equivalency.  

Holders of the Licenciado or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Argentinian university, with a promedio of at least 7.5, may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Applicants for PhD degrees will normally have a Maestria or equivalent

A Bachelors (Honours) degree from an accredited Australian higher education institution may be considered for admission to a Masters degree.   Applicants with 3 year Bachelors with distinction from a recognised university, can be considered for admission to a Masters degree.

Holders of a Diplom, a Diplomstudium/Magister or a three-year Bachelors degree from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 2.5 for 2:1 equivalency or 3.0 for 2:2 equivalency, or a high-scoring Fachhochschuldiplom (FH) from a recognised Austrian Fachhochschule, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes. 

Students with a good 5-year Specialist Diploma or 4-year Bachelor degree from a recognised higher education institution in Azerbaijan, with a minimum GPA of 4/5 or 80% will be considered for entry to postgraduate taught programmes at the University of Birmingham.

For postgraduate research programmes applicants should have a good 5-year Specialist Diploma (completed after 1991), with a minimum grade point average of 4/5 or 80%, from a recognised higher education institution or a Masters or “Magistr Diplomu” or “Kandidat Nauk” from a recognised higher education institution in Azerbaijan.

 Holders of a bachelors degree of four years duration from a recognised university in Bahrain will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 3.0/4, 3.75/5 or 75% for 2:1 equivalency or 2.8/4, 3.5/5 or 70% for 2:2 equivalency.  

Holders of a Bachelors (Honours) degree of three years duration, followed by a Masters degree of one or two years duration from a recognised university in Bangladesh will be considered for postgraduate taught study. Students with a Bachelors degree of at least four years duration may also be considered for postgraduate study. Degrees must be from a recognised institution in Bangladesh.

Holders of Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 3.0-3.3/4.0 or 65% or above for 2:1 equivalency, or a GPA of 2.6-3.1/4.0 or 60% or above for 2:2 equivalency depending on the awarding institution.  

Students who hold a Masters degree from the University of Botswana with a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0 (70%/B/'very good') will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.

Please note 4-year bachelor degrees from the University of Botswana are considered equivalent to a Diploma of Higher Education. 5-year bachelor degrees from the University of Botswana are considered equivalent to a British Bachelor (Ordinary) degree.

Students who have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

A Licenciatura or Bacharelado degree from a recognised Brazilian university:

  • A grade of 7.5/10 for entry to programmes with a 2:1 requirement
  • A grade of 6.5/10for entry to programmes with a 2:2 requirement

Holders of a good Bachelors degree with honours (4 to 6 years) from a recognised university with a upper second class grade or higher will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.  Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised university will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good Diploma za Zavarsheno Visshe Obrazovanie (‘Diploma of Completed Higher Education’), a pre-2001 Masters degree or a post-2001 Bachelors degree from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 5 out of 6, mnogo dobur/’very good’ for 2:1 equivalence; or 4 out of 6, dobur/’good’ for 2:2 equivalence; will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

Students with a minimum average of 14 out of 20 (or 70%) on a 4-year Licence, Bachelor degree or Diplôme d'Etudes Superieures de Commerce (DESC) or Diplôme d'Ingénieur or a Maîtrise will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.

Holders of a bachelor degree with honours from a recognised Canadian university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. A GPA of 3.0/4, 7.0/9 or 75% is usually equivalent to a UK 2.1.

Holders of the Licenciado or equivalent Professional Title from a recognised Chilean university will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Applicants for PhD study will preferably hold a Magister degree or equivalent.

Students with a bachelor’s degree (4 years minimum) may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. However please note that we will only consider students who meet the entry guidance below.  Please note: for the subject areas below we use the Shanghai Ranking 2022 (full table)  ,  Shanghai Ranking 2023 (full table) , and Shanghai Ranking of Chinese Art Universities 2023 .

需要具备学士学位(4年制)的申请人可申请研究生课程。请根据所申请的课程查看相应的入学要求。 请注意,中国院校名单参考 软科中国大学排名2022(总榜) ,  软科中国大学排名2023(总榜) ,以及 软科中国艺术类高校名单2023 。  

Business School    - MSc programmes (excluding MBA)  

商学院硕士课程(MBA除外)入学要求

Group 1 一类大学

 Grade requirement
均分要求75%  

院校

Group 2 二类大学

 grade requirement
均分要求80% 

软科中国大学排名2022(总榜)或软科中国大学排名2023(总榜)排名前100的大学

非‘985工程’的其他 院校

以及以下两所大学:

University of Chinese Academy of Sciences 中国科学院大学
University of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences 中国社会科学院大学

Group 3 三类大学

 grade requirement
均分要求85% 

软科中国大学排名2022(总榜)或 软科中国大学排名2023(总榜)101-200位的大学

School of Computer Science – all MSc programmes 计算机学院硕士课程入学要求

Group 1 一类大学

Grade requirement
均分要求75%  

院校

Group 2 二类大学

grade requirement
均分要求80% 

院校

Group 3 三类大学

grade requirement
均分要求85% 

College of Social Sciences – courses listed below 社会科学 学院部分硕士课程入学要求 MA Education  (including all pathways) MSc TESOL Education MSc Public Management MA Global Public Policy MA Social Policy MA Sociology Department of Political Science and International Studies  全部硕士课程 International Development Department  全部硕士课程

Group 1 一类大学

 Grade requirement
均分要求75%  

院校

Group 2 二类大学

grade requirement
均分要求80% 

院校

Group 3 三类大学

grade requirement
均分要求85% 

  All other programmes (including MBA)   所有其他 硕士课程(包括 MBA)入学要求

Group 1 一类大学

Grade requirement
均分要求75%  

院校

Group 2 二类大学

grade requirement
均分要求80% 

院校

Group 3 三类大学

grade requirement
均分要求85% 

Group 4 四类大学

We will consider students from these institutions ONLY on a case-by-case basis with minimum 85% if you have a relevant degree and very excellent grades in relevant subjects and/or relevant work experience.

来自四类大学的申请人均分要求最低85%,并同时具有出色学术背景,优异的专业成绩,以及(或)相关的工作经验,将酌情考虑。

 

 

Please note:

  • Borderline cases: We may consider students with lower average score (within 5%) on a case-by-case basis if you have a relevant degree and very excellent grades in relevant subjects and/or relevant work experience. 如申请人均分低于相应录取要求(5%以内),但具有出色学术背景,优异的专业成绩,以及(或)相关的工作经验,部分课程将有可能单独酌情考虑。
  • Please contact the China Recruitment Team for any questions on the above entry requirements. 如果您对录取要求有疑问,请联系伯明翰大学中国办公室   [email protected]

Holders of the Licenciado/Professional Title from a recognised Colombian university will be considered for our Postgraduate Diploma and Masters degrees. Applicants for PhD degrees will normally have a Maestria or equivalent.

Holders of a good bachelor degree with honours (4 to 6 years) from a recognised university with a upper second class grade or higher will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.  Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised university will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good Diploma Visoko Obrazovanje (Advanced Diploma of Education) or Bacclaureus (Bachelors) from a recognised Croatian higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 4.0 out of 5.0, vrlo dobar ‘very good’, for 2:1 equivalence or 3.0 out of 5.0, dobar ‘good’, for 2:2 equivalence, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.  Holders of a good Bacclaureus (Bachelors) from a recognised Croatian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 4.0 out of 5.0, vrlo dobar ‘very good’, or a Masters degree, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a Bachelors degree(from the University of the West Indies or the University of Technology) may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. A Class II Upper Division degree is usually equivalent to a UK 2.1. For further details on particular institutions please refer to the list below.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Masters degree or Mphil from the University of the West Indies.

Holders of a good four-year government-accredited Bachelors degree from a recognised Higher Education college with a minimum overall GPA of 3 out of 4 for 2:1 equivalency, or a GPA of 2.75 out of 4 for 2:2 equivalency; or a good four-year Bachelors degree (Ptychio) from a recognised University, with a minimum overall grade of 6.5 out of 10 for 2:1 equivalency, or 5.5 for 2:2 equivalency; will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

Holders of a good Bakalár, or a good pre-2002 Magistr, from a recognised Czech Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 1.5, B, velmi dobre ‘very good’ (post-2004) or 2, velmi dobre ‘good’ (pre-2004), for 2:1 equivalence, or 2.5, C, dobre ‘good’ (post-2004) or 3, dobre ‘pass’ (pre-2004) for 2:2 equivalence, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes. 

Holders of a good Bachelors degree/Candidatus Philosophiae, Professionbachelor or Eksamensbevis from a recognised Danish university, with a minimum overall grade of 7-10 out of 12 (or 8 out of 13) or higher for 2:1 equivalence, or 4-7 out of 12 (or 7 out of 13) for 2:2 equivalence depending on the awarding institution will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

Holders of the Licenciado or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Ecuadorian university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Grades of 70% or higher can be considered as UK 2.1 equivalent.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Magister/Masterado or equivalent qualification, but holders of the Licenciado with excellent grades can be considered.

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised university in Egypt will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 3.0/4 for 2:1 equivalency or 2.8 for 2:2 equivalency. Applicants holding a Bachelors degree with alternative grading systems, will normally be expected to have achieved a 75% (Very Good) for 2:1 equivalency or 65% (Good) for 2:2 equivalency. For applicants with a grading system different to those mentioned here, please contact [email protected] for advice on what the requirements will be for you.

Holders of a good Bakalaurusekraad from a recognised university or Applied Higher Education Institution with a minimum overall grade of 4/5 or B for 2:1 equivalency or 3/5 or C for 2:2 equivalency, or a good Rakenduskõrgharidusõppe Diplom (Professional Higher Education Diploma), will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

Students who hold a Masters degree with very good grades (grade B, 3.5/4 GPA or 85%) will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. 

Holders of a good Ammattikorkeakoulututkinto (AMK) (new system), an Yrkeshögskoleexamen (YHS) (new system), a Kandidaatti / Kandidat (new system), an Oikeustieteen Notaari or a Rättsnotarie, a good Kandidaatti / Kandidat (old system), a professional title such as Ekonomi, Diplomi-insinööri, Arkkitehti, Lisensiaatti (in Medicine, Dentistry and Vetinary Medicine), or a Maisteri / Magister (new system), Lisensiaatti / Licenciat, Oikeustieteen Kandidaatti / Juris Kandidat (new system) or Proviisori / Provisor from a recognised Finnish Higher Education institution, with a minimum overall grade of 2/3 or 3-4/5 for 2:1 equivalence or 1-2/3 or 2.5-3/5 for 2:2 equivalence, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes. 

Holders of a good three-year Licence, License Professionnelle, Diplôme d'Ingénieur/Architecte Diplômé d'État, Diplôme from an Ecole Superieure de Commerce / Gestion / Politique, or Diplome d'Etat Maitrise of three years duration or a Maîtrise from a recognised French university or Grande École will be considered for postgraduate taught study.

Holders of Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a minimum overall grade of 13 out of 20, bien, for 2:1 equivalency, or 11 out of 20, assez bien, for 2:2 equivalency depending on the awarding institution.  

Holders of a good three-year Bachelor degree, a Magister Artium, a Diplom or an Erstes Staatsexamen from a recognised university, or a good Fachhochschuldiplom from a Fachhochschule (university of applied sciences), with a minimum overall grade of 2.5 for 2:1 equivalency, or 3.0 for 2:2 equivalency, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

Students from Germany who have completed three years of the Erstes Staatsexamen qualification with a grade point average (GPA) of 10 from the first six semesters of study within the Juristische Universitätsprüfung programme would be considered for entry onto LLM programmes.  Students from Germany who have completed the five year Erstes Staatsexamen qualification with a grade point average (GPA) of 6.5 would be considered for entry onto LLM programmes. 

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0 Students who have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Holders of a good four-year Ptychio (Bachelor degree) from a recognised Greek university (AEI) with a minimum overall grade of 6.5 out of 10 for 2:1 equivalency, or 5.5 out of 10 for 2:2 equivalency, or a good four-year Ptychio from a recognised Technical Higher Education institution (TEI) with a minimum overall grade of 7.5 out of 10 for 2:1 equivalency, or 6.5 out of 10 for 2:2 equivalency, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

4-year Licenciado is deemed equivalent to a UK bachelors degree. A score of 75 or higher from Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala (USAC) can be considered comparable to a UK 2.1, 60 is comparable to a UK 2.2.  Private universities have a higher pass mark, so 80 or higher should be considered comparable to a UK 2.1, 70 is comparable to a UK 2.2

The Hong Kong Bachelor degree is considered comparable to British Bachelor degree standard. Students with bachelor degrees awarded by universities in Hong Kong may be considered for entry to one of our postgraduate degree programmes.

Students with Masters degrees may be considered for PhD study.

Holders of a good Alapfokozat / Alapképzés (Bachelors degree) or Egyetemi Oklevel (university diploma) from a recognised Hungarian university, or a Foiskola Oklevel (college diploma) from a recognised college of Higher Education, with a minimum overall grade of 3.5 for 2:1 equivalency, or 3 for 2:2 equivalency, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes. 

Holders of a Bachelors degree of three or four years in duration from a recognised university in India will be considered for postgraduate taught study. Holders of Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved 55% - 60% or higher for 2:1 equivalency, or 50% - 55% for 2:2 equivalency depending on the awarding institution.  

Either: A four-year Bachelors degree (first class or very good upper second class)

Or: A three-year Bachelors degree (first class) from recognised institutions in India.

For MSc programmes, the Business School will consider holders of three-year degree programmes (first class or very good upper second class) from recognised institutions in India.

For entry to LLM programmes, Birmingham is happy to accept applications from 3 or 5 year LLB holders from India from prestigious institutions.

Holders of the 4 year Sarjana (S1) from a recognised Indonesian institution will be considered for postgraduate study. Entry requirements vary with a minimum requirement of a GPA of 2.8.

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised university in Iran with a minimum of 14/20 or 70% will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate taught programmes.

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised university in Iraq will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of a Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 3.0/4 or 75% for 2:1 equivalency, or 2.8/4 or 70% for 2:2 equivalency.

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised university in Israel will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved score of 80% for 2:1 equivalency or 65% for 2:2 equivalency.  

Holders of a good Diploma di Laurea, Licenza di Accademia di Belle Arti, Diploma di Mediatore Linguistico or Diploma Accademico di Primo Livello from a recognised Italian university with a minimum overall grade of 100 out of 110 for 2:1 equivalence, or 92 out of 110 for 2:2 equivalence, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

Students who hold the Maitrise, Diplome d'Etude Approfondies, Diplome d'Etude Superieures or Diplome d'Etude Superieures Specialisees will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees (14-15/20 or Bien from a well ranked institution is considered comparable to a UK 2.1, while a score of 12-13/20 or Assez Bien is considered comparable to a UK 2.2).

Students with a Bachelor degree from a recognised university in Japan will be considered for entry to a postgraduate Masters degree provided they achieve a sufficiently high overall score in their first (Bachelor) degree. A GPA of 3.0/4.0 or a B average from a good Japanese university is usually considered equivalent to a UK 2:1.

Students with a Masters degree from a recognised university in Japan will be considered for PhD study. A high overall grade will be necessary to be considered.

Holders of a Bachelors degree of four years duration from a recognised university in Jordan will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 3.0/4, 3.75/5 or 75% for 2:1 equivalency or 2.8/4, 3.5/5 or 70% for 2:2 equivalency.  

Students who have completed their Specialist Diploma Мамаң дипломы/Диплом специалиста) or "Magistr" (Магистр дипломы/Диплом магистра) degree (completed after 1991) from a recognised higher education institution, with a minimum GPA of 2.67/4.00 for courses requiring a UK lower second and 3.00/4.00 for courses requiring a UK upper second class degree, will be considered for entry to postgraduate Masters degrees and, occasionally, directly for PhD degrees.  Holders of a Bachelor "Bakalavr" degree (Бакалавр дипломы/Диплом бакалавра) from a recognised higher education institution, with a minimum GPA of  2.67/4.00 for courses requiring a UK lower second and 3.00/4.00 for courses requiring a UK upper second class degree, may also be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/50

Holders of a Bachelors degree of four years duration from a recognised university in Kuwait will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 3.0/4, 3.75/5 or 75% for 2:1 equivalency or 2.8/4, 3.5/5 or 70% for 2:2 equivalency.  

Holders of a good pre-2000 Magistrs or post-2000 Bakalaurs from a recognised university, or a good Postgraduate Diploma (professional programme) from a recognised university or institution of Higher Education, with a minimum overall grade of 7.5 out of 10 for 2:1 equivalency, or 6.5 out of 10 for 2:2 equivalency, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised university in Lebanon will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of a Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a score of 16/20 or 80% for 2:1 equivalency, or 14/20 or 70% for 2:2 equivalency.

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised university in Libya will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of a Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved score of 70% for 2:1 equivalency or 65% for 2:2 equivalency. Alternatively students will require a minimum of 3.0/4.0 or BB to be considered.

Holders of a good Bakalauras (post 2001), Profesinis Bakalauras (post 2001) or pre-2001 Magistras from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 8 out of 10 for 2:1 equivalency, or 7 out of 10 for 2:2 equivalency, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes. 

Holders of a good Bachelors degree or Diplôme d'Ingénieur Industriel from a recognised Luxembourgish Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 16 out of 20 for 2:1 equivalence, or 14 out of 20 for 2:2 equivalence, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

Students who hold a Masters degree will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees (70-74% or A or Marginal Distinction from a well ranked institution is considered comparable to a UK 2.1, while a score of 60-69% or B or Bare Distinction/Credit is considered comparable to a UK 2.2).

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised Malaysian institution (usually achieved with the equivalent of a second class upper or a grade point average minimum of 3.0) will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.

Holders of a good Bachelors degree from a recognised Higher Education Institution with a minimum grade of 2:1 (Hons) for UK 2:1 equivalency, or 2:2 (Hons) for UK 2:2 equivalency, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree (Honours) from a recognised institution (including the University of Mauritius) will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.  Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2:1).

Students who hold the Licenciado/Professional Titulo from a recognised Mexican university with a promedio of at least 8 will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.

Students who have completed a Maestria from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Holders of a Bachelors degree, licence or Maîtrise from a recognised university in Morocco will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of a Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a score of 15/20 or 75% for 2:1 equivalency, or 13/20 for 2:2 equivalency.

Students with a good four year honours degree from a recognised university will be considered for postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. PhD applications will be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a Bachelors (Honours) degree of four years duration from a recognised university in Nepal will be considered for postgraduate taught study. Students with a Bachelors degree of at least three years duration plus a Masters degree may also be considered for postgraduate study. Degrees must be from a recognised institution in Nepal.

Holders of Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 3.2/4.0 or 65%-79% average or higher for 2:1 equivalency, or a GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 60%-65% for 2:2 equivalency depending on the awarding institution.  

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised Dutch university, or Bachelors degree from a recognised Hogeschool (University of Professional Education), or a good Doctoraal from a recognised Dutch university, with a minimum overall grade of 7 out of 10 for 2:1 equivalence, or 6 out of 10 for 2:2 equivalence, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes. 

Students who hold a Bachelor degree (minimum 4 years and/or level 400) from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.  Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0

Holders of a good three-six-year Bachelorgrad, Candidatus Magisterii, Sivilingeniø (siv. Ing. - Engineering), "Siviløkonom" (siv. Øk. - Economics) degree from a recognised Norwegian education institution with a minimum GPA of B/Very Good or 1.6-2.5 for a 2.1 equivalency, or a GPA of C/Good or 2.6-3.2 for a 2.2 equivalency; will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

Holders of a Bachelors degree of four years duration from a recognised university in Oman will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 3.0/4, 3.75/5 or 75% for 2:1 equivalency or 2.8/4, 3.5/5 or 70% for 2:2 equivalency.  

Holders of a Bachelors degree of four years in duration from a recognised university in Pakistan will be considered for postgraduate taught study. Students with a Bachelors degree of at least three years duration followed by a Masters degree of one or two years duration, or holders of a two year Bachelors degree and a two year Masters degree in the same subject, may also be considered for postgraduate study.

Holders of Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 2.8-3.0/4.0 or 65% or above for 2:1 equivalency, or a GPA of 2.6/4.0 or 60% or above for 2:2 equivalency depending on the awarding institution.  

A two-year degree followed by a three-year LLB will count as a full Bachelors degree.

All qualifications must be from recognised institutions. For further details on recognised institutions, please refer to Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised university in the Palestinian Territories will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 3/4 or 80% for 2:1 equivalency or a GPA of 2.5/4 or 70% for 2:2 equivalency.    

Holders of the Título de Licenciado /Título de (4-6 years) or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Paraguayan university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Grades of 4/5 or higher can be considered as UK 2.1 equivalent.  The Título Intermedio is a 2-3 year degree and is equivalent to a HNC, it is not suitable for postgraduate entry but holders of this award could be considered for second year undergraduate entry or pre-Masters.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Título de Maestría / Magister or equivalent qualification, but holders of the Título/Grado de Licenciado/a with excellent grades can be considered.

Holders of the Licenciado, with at least 13/20 may be considered as UK 2.1 equivalent. The Grado de Bachiller is equivalent to an ordinary degree, so grades of 15+/20 are required.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Título de Maestría or equivalent qualification.

Holders of a good post-2001 Licencjat / Inzynier (Bachelors degree), or a pre-2001 Magister, from a recognised Polish university, with a minimum overall grade of 4.5/4+ out of 5, dobry plus ‘better than good’ for 2:1 equivalence, or 4 out of 5, dobry 'good' for 2:2 equivalence, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes. 

Holders of a good Licenciado from a recognised university, or a Diploma de Estudos Superiores Especializados (DESE) from a recognised Polytechnic Institution, with a minimum overall grade of 16 out of 20, bom com distinção ‘good with distinction’, for 2:1 equivalence, or 14 out of 20, bom ‘good’, for 2:2 equivalence, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes. 

Holders of a Bachelors degree of four years duration from a recognised university in Qatar will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of a Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 3.0/4, 3.75/5 or 75% for 2:1 equivalency or 2.8/4, 3.5/5 or 70% for 2:2 equivalency.  

Holders of a good Diplomă de Licenţă, Diplomă de Inginer, Diplomă de Urbanist Diplomat, Diplomă de Arhitect, Diplomă de Farmacist or Diplomã de Doctor-Medic Arhitect (Bachelors degree) from a recognised Romanian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 8 out of 10 for 2:1 equivalence, or 7 out of 10 for 2:2 equivalence, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

Holders of a good Диплом Бакалавра (Bakalavr) degree with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 4.0 from recognised universities in Russia may be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes/MPhil degrees. 

Students who hold a 4-year Bachelor degree with at least 16/20 or 70% will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.   

Holders of a Bachelors degree of four years duration from a recognised university in the Saudi Arabia will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 3.0/4, 3.75/5 or 75% for 2:1 equivalency or 2.8/4, 3.5/5 or 70% for 2:2 equivalency.  

Students who hold a Maitrise, Diplome d'Etude Approfondies,Diplome d'Etude Superieures or Diplome d'Etude Superieures Specialisees will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. A score of 14-15/20 or Bien from a well ranked institution is considered comparable to a UK 2.1, while a score of 12-13/20 or Assez Bien is considered comparable to a UK 2.2

Students who hold a Bachelor (Honours) degree from a recognised institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0 (or a score of 60-69% or B+) from a well ranked institution will be considered for most our Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees with a 2:1 requirement.

Students holding a good Bachelors Honours degree will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.

Holders of a good three-year Bakalár or pre-2002 Magister from a recognised Slovakian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 1.5, B, Vel’mi dobrý ‘very good’ for 2:1 equivalence, or 2, C, Dobrý ‘good’ for 2:2 equivalence, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes. 

Holders of a good Diploma o pridobljeni univerzitetni izobrazbi (Bachelors degree), Diplomant (Professionally oriented first degree), Univerzitetni diplomant (Academically oriented first degree) or Visoko Obrazovanja (until 1999) from a recognised Slovenian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 8.0 out of 10 for 2:1 equivalence, or 7.0 out of 10 for 2:2 equivalence, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes. 

Students who hold a Bachelor Honours degree (also known as Baccalaureus Honores / Baccalaureus Cum Honoribus) from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most Masters programmes will require a second class upper (70%) or a distinction (75%).

Holders of a Masters degree will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a Bachelor degree from a recognised South Korean institution (usually with the equivalent of a second class upper or a grade point average 3.0/4.0 or 3.2/4.5) will be considered for Masters programmes.

Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Título de Licenciado / Título Universitario Oficial de Graduado (Grado) /Título de Ingeniero / Título de Arquitecto from a recognised Spanish university with a minimum overall grade of 7 out of 10 for 2:1 equivalence, or 6 out of 10 for 2:2 equivalence, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

Holders of a Special or Professional Bachelors degree of four years duration from a recognised university in Sri Lanka will be considered for postgraduate taught study.

Holders of Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved 60-74% or a CGPA 3.30/4.0 or B+ for 2:1 equivalency, or 55-59% or a CGPA 3.0/4.0 or B for 2:2 equivalency depending on the awarding institution.  

Holders of a good Kandidatexamen (Bachelors degree) or Yrkesexamen (Professional Bachelors degree) from a recognised Swedish Higher Education institution with the majority of subjects with a grade of VG (Val godkänd) for 2:1 equivalency, or G (godkänd) for 2:2 equivalency, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes. Holders of a good Kandidatexamen (Bachelors degree) or Yrkesexamen (Professional Bachelors degree) from a recognised Swedish Higher Education institution with the majority of subjects with a grade of VG (Val godkänd), and/or a good Magisterexamen (Masters degree), International Masters degree or Licentiatexamen (comparable to a UK Mphil), will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good " Baccalauréat universitaire/ Diplom / Diplôme; Lizentiat / Licence; Staatsdiplom / Diplôme d'Etat" degree from a recognised Swiss higher education institution (with a minimum GPA of 5/6 or 8/10 or 2/5 (gut-bien-bene/good) for a 2.1 equivalence) will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised university in Syria will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved score of 70%, or ‘very good’ for 2:1 equivalency or 60%, or ‘good’ for 2:2 equivalency.  

Holders of a good Bachelor degree (from 75% to 85% depending upon the university in Taiwan) from a recognised institution will be considered for postgraduate Masters study. Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.  Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) Students who have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Holders of a good Bachelors degree from a recognised institution will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level. Holders of Bachelors degree from prestigious institutions (see list below) will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 3.0/4.0 for 2:1 equivalency or 2.7 for 2:2 equivalency. Applicants with grades slightly below these requirements may also be considered for an offer if they have a relevant Bachelors degree, good scores in relevant modules, or relevant work experience.

Holders of a Bachelors degree from all other institutions will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 3.2/4.0 for 2:1 equivalency, or 2.8 for 2:2 equivalency.

Prestigious institutions: Assumption University Chiang Mai University Chulalongkorn University Kasetsart University Khon Kaen University King Mongkut University of Technology - Thonburi (known as KMUTT or KMUT) Mahidol University Prince of Songla University Srinakharinwirot University Thammasat University

Holders of a bachelor degree with honours from a recognised Caribbean and West Indies university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. 

Grade Requirements:
 First (1st) 3.5 GPA, B+, 1st, First Class Honours degree
 Upper Second (2:1)  3.0 GPA, B, 2.1, Class II Upper Division Honours degree
 Lower Second (2:2)  2.5 GPA, B-, 2.2, Class II Lower Division Honours degree

Students with a Bachelors degree from the following universities may be considered for entry to postgraduate programmes:

  • Ateneo de Manila University - Quezon City
  • De La Salle University - Manila
  • University of Santo Tomas
  • University of the Philippines - Diliman

Students from all other institutions with a Bachelors and a Masters degree or relevant work experience may be considered for postgraduate programmes.

Grading Schemes

1-5 where 1 is the highest 2.1 = 1.75 2.2 = 2.25 

Out of 4.0 where 4 is the highest 2.1 = 3.0 2.2 = 2.5

Letter grades and percentages 2.1 = B / 3.00 / 83% 2.2 = C+ / 2.5 / 77%

Holders of a postdoctoral qualification from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.  Students may be considered for PhD study if they have a Masters from one of the above listed universities.

Holders of a Lisans Diplomasi with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0/4.0 from a recognised university will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.

Holders of a Yuksek Diplomasi from a recognised university will be considered for PhD study.

Holders of a Bachelors degree of four years duration from a recognised university in the UAE will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of a Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 3.0/4, 3.75/5 or 75% for 2:1 equivalency or 2.8/4, 3.5/5 or 70% for 2:2 equivalency.  

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most Masters programmes will require a second class upper (2.1) or GPA of 3.5/5.0

Holders of a good four-year Bachelors degree/ Диплом бакалавра (Dyplom Bakalavra), Диплом спеціаліста (Specialist Diploma) or a Dyplom Magistra from a recognised institution, with a minimum GPA of 4.0/5.0, 3.5/4, 8/12 or 80% or higher for 2:1 equivalence, or a GPA of 3.5/5.0, 3.0/4, 6/12 or 70% for 2:2 equivalence, depending on the awarding institution, will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

The University will consider students who hold an Honours degree from a recognised institution in the USA with a GPA of:

  • 2.8 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for entry to programmes with a 2:2 requirement 
  • 3.2 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for entry to programmes with a 2:1 requirement 

Please note that some subjects which are studied at postgraduate level in the USA, eg. Medicine and Law, are traditionally studied at undergraduate level in the UK.

Holders of the Magistr Diplomi (Master's degree) or Diplomi (Specialist Diploma), awarded by prestigious universities, who have attained high grades in their studies will be considered for postgraduate study.  Holders of the Fanlari Nomzodi (Candidate of Science), where appropriate, will be considered for PhD study.

Holders of the Licenciatura/Título or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Venezuelan university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Scales of 1-5, 1-10 and 1-20 are used, an overall score of 70% or equivalent can be considered equivalent to a UK 2.1.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Maestria or equivalent qualification

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised Vietnamese institution (usually achieved with the equivalent of a second class upper or a grade point average minimum GPA of 7.0 and above) will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.  Holders of a Masters degree (thac si) will be considered for entry to PhD programmes.

Students who hold a Masters degree with a minimum GPA of 3.5/5.0 or a mark of 2.0/2.5 (A) will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.   

Students who hold a good Bachelor Honours degree will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. 

International Students

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

  • by holding an English language qualification to the right level - IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band
  • by taking and successfully completing one of our English courses for international students

Research within the School of Government is aligned to one of three departments and Institutes:

The Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS)

Dr Columba Achilleos-Sarll Feminist and post/decolonial theory; the Women, Peace and Security agenda; civil society and advocacy; visual global politics.

Dr David Bailey Protest, critical political economy and contemporary capitalism

Dr Stephen Bates British politics; Parliamentary Studies (in comparative perspective or focused on the UK Parliament).

Dr Tendayi Bloom Noncitizenship; Statelessness; Migration governance. 

Dr Verena K. Brändle Digital democracy; social media and politics; European politics; border and migration studies; political communication

Dr Sarah Bufkin Racism and racialization; Black Atlantic political thought; Critical Theory; Cultural Studies.

Professor Peter Burnham Restructuring of the state in the global political economy; State theory and radical theories of IPE; Marx and contemporary Marxism; Economic policy and capitalist crisis.

Dr Mwita Chacha Regional integration; International cooperation; Politics of coups d’état; Public opinion.

Dr Licia Cianetti Democracy and institutional change; democratic regression; inclusion and exclusion from policymaking processes; cities and local democracy.

Dr Laurence Cooley Politics of deeply divided societies (especially Northern Ireland and Bosnia and Herzegovina); post-conflict power-sharing; politics of the census and identity categorisation.

Professor David Cutts Political and electoral behaviour; Party campaigning turnout; Civic engagement; Populist parties; Social media and politics. 

Dr May Darwich International Relations Theory and the Middle East; Foreign policies of Middle Eastern states; Identity politics in the Middle East; Security policies in the Middle East.

Professor David Dunn US foreign and security policy; Strategic and security studies, and diplomacy and statecraft.

Dr Rita Floyd Ethics of emergency politics, theories of security (especially securitization theory), the English school and environmental security.

Dr Guiditta Fontana Peace processes and war-to-peace transitions. The design of peace accords, Powersharing and Reform of cultural and educational institutions in conflict-affected societies. Multi-method research designs. Politics of Lebanon, Northern Ireland, North Macedonia.

Dr Emma Foster Environmental politics; gender/sexuality and international relations; gender/sexuality and international relations.

Dr Charlotte Galpin European and national identities; European public sphere and media; Euroscepticism, EU citizenship and social movements; The role of Germany or Britain in Europe; Brexit; Gender and feminist approaches to these topics.

Dr Julie Gilson Japanese foreign policy; East Asian regionalism and institutions; Asia-Europe and Japan-Europe relations; Civil society in Asia; Climate change and environmentalism in Asia.

Dr Ruben Gonzalez-Vicente South-South relations; Global China; the political economy of development, especially in Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean; critical political economy; political geography. 

Dr Tim Haughton Contemporary politics of Central and Eastern Europe; Political campaigning; Party politics; Electoral politics.

Dr Laura Jenkins Feminist political theory; Contemporary political theory and British politics.

Dr Deema Kaneff Resources and Social Change; Postsocialist transformations and global capitalism; Property relations; Markets and moralities; Transnational migration, Social exclusion and inequalities. (Europe, Eastern Europe, Bulgaria and Ukraine)

Dr Peter Kerr British politics; State theory and theories of social and political change; UK party politics and party modernisation; Political leadership and governing strategies in the UK; Citizenship and political participation and political sociology. 

Dr George Kyris International conflict, conflict management and resolution; International organisations, especially the European Union; State recognition; Statehood and sovereignty; Secession; unrecognised/ de facto states.

Professor René Lindstädt American Politics; Political Institutions; Accountability; Representation; Legislative politics and institutions; Elections; Political methodology

Dr Huw Macartney International or Comparative Political Economy; Banking and financial market governance; Globalisation, and historical materialism. 

Dr Cerwyn Moore Political violence; international relations theory; Post-Soviet and post-communist security; Interpretive approaches to global politics and Chechnya.

Dr Richard North Any area of contemporary political philosophy, but particularly on justice and liberal and democratic political philosophy.  

Dr Julian Panke European Union Politics; European Neighbourhood Policy; German foreign policy and Eastern European foreign policies (Poland, Slovakia).

Professor Patrick Porter The interaction of power and ideas in the making of foreign and defence policy in the U.S. and U.K, and in shaping their conflicts, classical realism, strategic thought and great power diplomacy.

Dr Adam Quinn US ‘grand strategy’; American national identity; American foreign and security policy; Ideological contest in American politics (contemporary and historical). 

Dr Robert Ralston International Security; Civil-Military Relations; Grand Strategy.

Dr Richard Shorten Political theory, ideology, and rhetoric; fascism, Marxism and totalitarianism; reactionaries and conservatives; the political thought of Hannah Arendt, Albert Camus and George Orwell; intellectual politics of the Cold War.

Dr Asaf Siniver International mediation and conflict resolution; The politics, diplomacy and history of the Arab-Israeli conflict; The Israeli-Palestinian peace process; Contemporary US foreign policy and Foreign Policy Analysis. 

Dr Nicola Smith Gender and sexuality; Feminist political economy; Queer theory; Biopolitics; Body politics; Sex Work; Obesity; Austerity.

Dr Graham Timmins Areas related to the external relations and foreign policy role of the European Union with specific reference to EU-Russia and German-Russian relations.

Dr Tsering Topgyal Chinese foreign and security policy; Tibet and China’s Nationality Policy; Asia-Pacific security and politics; US-China relations; Sino-Indian relations and Security studies. 

Dr Sevasti-Eleni Vezirgiannidou International Environmental Politics; Climate change politics; Environment and trade negotiations; Environmental Regime effectiveness and compliance and The trade-environment debate.

Dr Marco Vieira Rising powers and global order; South-South political cooperation/identity/institutions, South American/Latin American politics; Brazilian foreign policy and International relations theory. 

Dr Yi Wang Memory politics; Nationalism and national identity; Contemporary China; International relations of East Asia; Political communication 

Dr Robert Watt Military History, power and networks, Small Wars/Insurgencies; Native American History & Politics.

Professor Mark Webber NATO; transatlantic relations; European security; American, Russian and British foreign policy; Theories and practices of security

Dr Mark Wenman Continental philosophy; Contemporary political theory; The philosophy of the social sciences; The history of political thought.

Professor Nicholas Wheeler Trust-building between adversaries, especially nuclear armed states; Nuclear weapons and proliferation. 

Professor Kataryna Wolczuk Politics of Russia and post-Soviet countries; EU’s Eastern policy, Russia’s policy towards the post-Soviet states; Regional integration in the post-Soviet space; Nationalism and national identities (across Europe and Eurasia).

Professor Stefan Wolff -  Ethnic conflict, civil war, post-conflict state-building; Geopolitics and great-power rivalry; Central Asia, South Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Western Balkans, Middle East & North Africa.

Dr Christalla Yakinthou Conflict transformation, particularly post-settlement; Transitional justice both in theory and practice, and transitions in the MENA region; The relationship between constitutional design and transitional justice; Power sharing, Cypriot, Lebanese, and Tunisian politics and conflicts and the right to truth in international law and practice, and issues around enforced disappearance and missing people during conflict.

Dr Sotirios Zartaloudis European Union politics and policies; Migration in Europe; European politics; Discourse

The International Development Department (IDD)

Dr Sameen A. Mohsin Ali Bureaucratic politics; politics of development, donor engagement, and public sector reform; public health, especially with regard to vaccination; politics of South Asia (especially Pakistan)

Dr Philip Amis Urbanisation; Urban policy; Poverty and housing.

Not currently accepting new PhD supervision applications 

Dr Danielle Beswick UK development policy, including parliamentary scrutiny and public engagement in this; UK Africa relations; The UK Conservative Party and development; Politics, identity and security in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Rwanda; Knowledge exchange between universities and legislatures.

Dr Brock Bersaglio The political ecology of biodiversity conservation, wild meat (including food sovereignty), and zoonotic disease in eastern/southern Africa; anti-, post- and settler colonial development studies

Dr Adrian Campbell Public and local government reform, especially in transitional states. 

Professor Nic Cheeseman  Elections and democratization; The formation of a social contract in new democracies; Power-sharing and the politics of inclusion; Populism and strategies of political mobilization; African political thought. 

Dr David Cobley Disability-inclusive approaches to development, especially in the areas of poverty reduction, livelihood development, inclusive education and disaster risk reduction.

Dr Niheer Dasandi Politics of international development and foreign aid; development and human rights; politics of climate change and health; foreign policy and development  

Dr Jonathan Fisher Authoritarianism and authoritarian rule; (in)security and conflict; international politics of aid and peacekeeping; particular interest in sub-Saharan Africa.

Professor David Hudson Politics of leadership and coalitions; public opinion, survey analysis, and experiments; migration decision making; network analysis.

Professor Paul Jackson Conflict and post-conflict reconstruction; security sector reform and international intervention; combatants, politics and social reintegration; peacebuilding; economic development.

Dr Chris Lyon Politics of development; political theory; democracy, participation, decentralisation; social justice; development ethics

Professor Heather Marquette The politics of development and foreign policy; Corruption, kleptocracy and organised crime; Anti-corruption/counter-organised crime strategies and interventions

Dr Claire McLoughlin State legitimacy; The politics of public service delivery; The role of ideas in development.

Dr Emeka Njoku Critical security studies; Terrorism and counter-terrorism; Nonprofit organisations; conflict-related gender/sexual violence; State-civil society relations; peacebuilding.

Professor Fiona Nunan Renewable natural resource governance, management and livelihoods in low- and middle-income countries, especially fisheries and coastal ecosystems and community-based or collaborative governance.

Dr Martin Ottmann Political economy of civil war and development, including peace processes and negotiated settlements; Power-sharing, resource redistribution, elections, and political trust after war. PhD applications relying on advanced statistical research methods, mixed-methods designs, and modern methods of causal inference are particularly welcome. 

Dr Emily Scott Humanitarianism, health, and migration; international organisation (IOs) and international non-governmental organisations (INGOs); state-society relations, particularly in the Middle East; conflict and security; localization and the international politics of aid.

Dr Merisa Thompson Feminist political economy; food and agrarian studies; the politics of gender and development; histories of colonialism, particularly the Caribbean.

Dr Kailing Xie Contemporary Chinese society, Gender and reproductive politics, the politics of nation-building; Civil Society; governance beyond the state; collective memory and emotions; Chinese diaspora;feminist epistemologies and methodologies.

Department of Public Administration and Policy (DPAP)

Dr Koen Bartels Social innovation; Democratic innovation; Public encounters; Urban governance; Action research; Interpretive policy analysis; Communication; Practice theory; Relational public policy and administration.

Dr Karin Bottom   The role of small parties; Comparative politics; Policy analysis; Elections and quantitative methodologies.

Dr May Chu Risk regulation; Collaborative governance; Food safety and sustainability

Dr Abena Dadze-Arthur Transfer and brokering of knowledge across cultural and institutional boundaries. Decolonizing, transforming, and indigenising approaches to public management and governance. The scientific study of subjectivity (Q Methodology)

Dr Stephen Jeffares Projects that draw on social media data to understand change or controversies in public policy. 

Dr Timea Nochta Networks in governance and policy; Complexity; Smart cities, digitalisation and e-government; Climate change and net zero; Network analysis; Mixed methods

Dr Louise Reardon Multi-level governance; Policy networks; Agenda setting; Policy change; Policy implementation; Transport policy; Wellbeing and quality of life; Smart cities. 

Dr Philip Whiteman Policy implementation studies; Central and local government relations; Regulation of local government; Local authority corporate management scrutiny; Public sector performance, procurement and efficiency; Public consultation and participation; Organisation dynamics. 

You will contact your supervisor approximately monthly (every 2 months for part-time students) over the course of your study. Supervisors are experienced in managing the research process and are chosen to complement your area of interest. You will discuss your research with a panel annually. The panel is chaired by an experienced researcher from the department, and includes your supervisor and another member of staff. It provides an important opportunity to present progress on your research and to have a wider discussion about your work.

Your supervisor will read and comment on drafts of your thesis before it is finally submitted. An external and an internal examiner (who will not be your supervisor) will then examine it, and will meet with you for a viva. They will judge whether your thesis demonstrates:

  • Knowledge of the relevant academic literature
  • Skill in use of research methods
  • Independent investigation
  • Clear presentation of information
  • Arguments presented in a coherent and appropriate form

MPhil students must show original work of merit that is worthy of publication. The requirement for PhDs is that the work is an original contribution to knowledge that is worthy of publication.

If I gain a postgraduate research degree in Local Government Studies, what are my career prospects?

In addition to the academic knowledge gained through their course, postgraduates from Birmingham’s Institute of Local Government Studies develop transferable skills that are useful in many occupations. These include familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large and diverse quantities of information; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; judging and evaluating complex information; and making reasoned arguments, both orally and in written work.

Institute of Local Government Studies graduates are attracted to careers in both public and private sectors. These include local government, policing, health services, transport, legal services, prison services and housing. Some of these careers require further professional training, and/or building a portfolio of relevant work experience. Many PhD graduates of the Institute of Local Government Studies also successfully gain academic research and teaching posts.

What type of career assistance is available to doctoral researchers in this department?

The College of Social Sciences, to which the Institute of Local Government Studies belongs, has specially designated careers advisors and careers consultants who can provide guidance for doctoral researchers on career paths, CVs, training opportunities, application and interviews. The University’s central Careers’ Service also runs workshops and offers personally tailored advice and guidance including 1-1 careers advice, 1-1 CV advice. The Career’s Service also runs CV writing workshops especially for postgraduates in the College of Social Sciences, giving advice on how to compile CVs for both employment and for academic roles.

The University also has dedicated careers advisors for International students who run workshops and networking opportunities with potential employers. These are especially popular with International postgraduate researchers.

  • Online chat events
  • Ask our students
  • How to apply

Top 5 Online Doctorates in Public Administration and Policy

Earning one of the Top 5 Online Doctorates in Public Administration and Policy is a sure way to demonstrate one’s ability to evoke innovative and strong-footed change in 2020-2021. They’ll not only have acquired some of the highest levels of understanding of the field but also learn the technical skills for catalyzing relevant research.

Those who pursue long-term ambitions in the fields of Public Administration and Policy are undertaking an impressive, exciting, and crucial commitment. Today’s global society is in desperate need of trained individuals who are ready and willing to act on behalf of the public, and do so in an informed way that proves their experience and understanding of all aspects of Public Administration.

FINDING AN ONLINE DOCTORATE IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION & POLICY

best online phd public policy and administration

Doctorate programs in Public Administration & Policy prepare candidates for competitive careers that combine a passion and drive toward advocacy with a mind ready to take on bureaucratic and organizational challenges. Those who pursue advanced training in the breadth of the field and its methodologies in research and analysis will have many opportunities for specialized work in different areas of public administration. Such areas include health care, education systems, the criminal justice system, and much more.

Public Administrators in all types of subfields make $75,000 to $100,000 annually, and those who prove their commitment to the field by equipping themselves with one of the highest-level degrees in the discipline will find themselves at the higher range of those numbers and with greater, more innovative opportunities available to them.

Finding a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Administration & Policy or a Doctor of Public Administration program shouldn’t be intimidatingly difficult. Many of those seeking these degrees have already been in the professional field for a reasonable amount of time, and so these programs are designed with working students in mind. Online doctorate degrees in Public Administration often do not require residencies and utilize the same coursework and faculty expertise that one would benefit from in on-campus courses. Pursuing a doctoral degree in Public Administration is an admirable dedication and one that will not cease to provide many benefits and exciting opportunities after graduation. 

RANKING THE TOP 5 ONLINE DOCTORATES IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION & POLICY

While you’re on your way to earning your Ph.D. or Doctorate within your field, the editors at Online PhD Programs are already practicing doctors of their craft: ranking the best online Ph.D. programs. To be featured on our annual rankings online doctorates must satisfy four coinciding requirements: accreditation, research and scholarship doctorate certification, NSF recognition, and institutional association with peer-reviewed academia. 

Each degree is then ranked using information provided – primarily – through the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook . The data collected is scored through a series of weighted categories to represent seven crucial aspects of what makes an online doctorate valuable to future students. Online program quality and presence are joined by industry salaries, student reviews, degree exclusivity, costs, and completion rates to determine the best online doctorates available. For a comprehensive breakdown of how we categorize and source data, please visit our methodology page. 

#1. CALIFORNIA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY 

California Baptist University’s Doctor of Public Administration is a 50-credit program, including a dissertation, that takes an average of three years to complete. The course of study is designed with the working adult in mind. It’s specifically catered to those dedicated to becoming innovative leaders in the field, to maximize impact in both public and nonprofit sectors. Students are often experienced in the professional field and looking for an education that can aid them in responding to the complex issues encountered at the local, state, and federal levels. They might be experienced or prospective workers in the fields of criminal justice, policy, governance, health management, and social services. 

Online courses are in an eight-week format. Students benefit from a cohort model that allows them to work alongside peers, and progress together both in coursework and dissertation preparation and completion. The curriculum develops goals of preparing graduates for professional communication, analyzing public agencies, conducting ethical research, and determining equity and fairness at all levels of public administration. Applicants may be granted unconditional admission if they have a master’s with a GPA of at least 3.0, and conditional admission if they earned a master’s with a 2.75. 

Format: Online

#2. valdosta state university.

Valdosta State University’s online 54-credit Doctor of Public Administration program is a practitioner-based and terminal degree designed for those looking to advance their already established careers in government, nonprofits, or nongovernment organizations. The curriculum is therefore dedicated to the development of essential leadership, management, communication, and problem-solving skills. As the program is designed for working students, scheduling is intended to be flexible and accommodating. Coursework is available 24/7 and in a nonsynchronous format. Students of Valdosta State are competitive candidates for a variety of leadership jobs that surpasses the positions they have already experienced. Prospective roles include Public Policy Directors, Nonprofit Executive Directors, Town Managers, or Court Administrators. 

Valdosta State admissions require prospective students to hold a master’s degree with a satisfactory GRE score. There is no minimum GPA, but it should be competitive. All students should also have a comprehensive resume and be able to describe their goals in advancing their intellectual abilities. The curriculum builds upon what students are already familiar with the field, meant to develop knowledge and one’s breadth of applied research skills. Core courses are provided on a two-year cycle, so students should be mindful of when to begin their degree program. There are many options for concentration areas, with the possibility of transferring in up to 15 hours of graduate credits from prior work. 

#3. OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY

Old Dominion University’s Doctor of Philosophy in Public Administration and Policy can be earned entirely online. The 49-credit program prepares students for making collaborative decisions and solving all sorts of problems faced by organizations and companies. The curriculum takes a multi-sector approach to the field of public administration, covering relevant aspects of government, nonprofits, businesses, community groups, and individuals. Graduates are well-versed in both the theories and practices of traditional public administration and policy, as well as issues facing current global and domestic sectors that intersperse with the field. Skill development is focused on conducting policy analyses; conducting research; reporting research and determining its implications; making informed decisions, and assessing policy and its implementation. 

The course of study is divided into 37 credits of coursework and then 12 credits of dissertation work. Faculty members are available for support and guidance throughout the dissertation process, and have expertise in nonprofit and public management, dispute resolution, economic development, public-private partnerships, and more. Students are sure to find allyship in the subfields they’re interested in pursuing. Online courses are synchronous, featuring regular, live meetings for course materials that are accessible from anywhere. 

#4. UNIVERSITY OF LA VERNE

The Doctor of Public Administration from the University of La Verne seeks out dedicated professionals in the field who are looking to improve their credentials through the advancement of leadership, management, and decision-making skills. The two primary goals of La Verne’s program are centered around the development of advanced methodologies to increase students capacities for logical inquiry, research, and systematic problem-solving. The SPA offers state-of-the-art management courses that call upon creativity, responsive leadership, ethical values and priorities, and the ability to anticipate how industries are affected by public administration. 

The University of La Verne’s Doctor of Public Administration program is unique in how it utilizes the backgrounds of a multidisciplinary faculty in conjunction with a talented and diverse student population. Students of La Verne benefit from peer cohorts and the variety of experiences within the program’s curriculum. Courses are study-oriented and relevant to the ever-changing conditions and events that influence different experiences one may have working in the field. Coursework accounts for about 50 credits in the major, then accompanied by credits for dissertation work. Students must complete the curricular requirements assigned to each year of the program before progressing onto the next set of requirements. The third year consists mostly of applied projects and the dissertation proposal. 

#5. UNION INSTITUTE & UNIVERSITY

Union Institute & University offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies, where students can focus on Public Policy & Social Change. The Public Policy & Social Change concentration is an online but hybrid delivery program drawing from the interdisciplinary aspects of the field. Students get to study the full complexities of case studies using tools from a broad range of concentrations, rather than one concentration lens. Graduates can reexamine the way knowledge and solutions are generated in the industry, and they are given the space to learn how to apply techniques informed by those developed and advanced understandings. 

The curriculum in the Public Policy & Social Change concentration explores the historical, economic, and social contexts of public policy by seriously considering the constitutional and legal framework of policymaking. Coursework also covers the dynamics of politics and its consequent policy process and the nature of conflict and power relationships. Students may opt to go in-depth on selected issues like education, criminal justice, health care, housing, employment, and immigration. The 66-credit Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies from ISSUU can be completed in as little as three years and consists of residency weeks that take place in January and July and are hosted in Cincinnati, OH. 

Format: Online/Residency

Embrace the convenience of online learning and shape your own path to success.

Explore schools offering programs and courses tailored to your interests, and start your learning journey today.

Find A Degree

eb21a0b5fcde4eaa91aa12f3a9d88029

The 6 Best Online Doctoral Degrees in Public Policy/Administration

Phd program rankings.

  • Fully Funded PhDs in Education
  • Doctor of Nursing Education
  • Ph.D.: No Application Fees
  • No-GRE Online Ph.D. in Psychology
  • No-GRE Online Ph.D. Programs
  • Fast Online Doctoral (Ph.D. and Ed.D.)
  • The Most Affordable Online DBA
  • Doctorate in Public Policy/Administration
  • Doctor of ABA
  • Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
  • Doctorate in Marketing
  • ALL Ph.D. Degree Program Rankings

Career Guides

  • Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Behavioral Health (D.B.H.)
  • Chemical Engineering (PhD CE)
  • Chemistry (D.Chem.)
  • Clinical Nutrition (D.C.N.)
  • Speech-Language Pathology (CScD)
  • Criminology (D.Crim.)
  • Economics (DEc)
  • Health Science (D.H.S./D.H.Sci)
  • Library Science (D.L.S.)
  • Molecular Biology (Phd Mol Biol)
  • Occupational Safety and Health (D.O.S.H.)
  • Physics (Ph.D. Physics)
  • ALL PhD Career Guides

Valuable Resources

  • Best Laptops for Ph.D. Students
  • Gift Ideas for Ph.D. Students
  • Burnout & Chronic Stress
  • The Key to Free Grad School
  • Ph.D. Guide for International and Domestic Students
  • Habits Of Highly Effective Leaders
  • Online Doctorate Reputation
  • Journals for Ph.D. Students
  • Earning a PhD
  • Write a Perfect Essay Like a PhD
  • Master’s Degree As a Bridge To Ph.D.
  • Self-Funding Your PhD
  • Importance of Accreditation
  • Online Ph.D. Support Groups
  • Getting Accepted to an Online Ph.D.
  • Common Fears of Ph.D. Students
  • Habits of Successful People
  • US Doctoral Degrees
  • ALL VALUABLE RESOURCES

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why earn a Doctorate Degree?
  • What are the Ph.D. Admission Requirements?
  • How Much Does a Ph.D. Cost?
  • How many years will it take for me to achieve my doctorate degree online?
  • Do online doctorate degree programs require campus visits?
  • Ph.D. vs. Doctorate
  • ALL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
  • Highest-Paying Doctoral Degrees
  • Famous Ph.D. Theses In History
  • Struggles Only a Ph.D. Student Would Understand
  • Ph.D. Requiring Residencies
  • The World’s Richest Doctors
  • Academic Conferences
  • Most Popular PhD Degrees
  • ALL Ph.D. Highlights

Public Policy/Administration personnel implement and analyze whether policies are successful and how they can be improved. Working in non-profit, often government positions, policy and administrative leaders provide public services in areas such as:

  • criminal justice,
  • advocacy groups,
  • climate change,
  • homeland security and terrorism,
  • healthcare administration,
  • as well as food and water safety and supply. 

Your Doctor of Public Policy/Administration degree program will prepare you for an executive position in management and leadership, no doubt!

Methodology

Are you ready to earn a doctoral degree? Please consider the Best Online Doctoral Degree Programs in Public Policy/Administration that we have compiled for you!

We’ve listed them below in random order so you can choose an online degree program that best fits your personal needs and schedule, based on the following components:

  • 100% Online or hybrid availability; utilizing collaborative learning and support through asynchronous coursework, online resources and close communication with advisors and faculty,
  • Has obtained proper Accreditation,
  • Prepares students for advancement/management positions in Public Policy and Administration,
  • Concentration coursework in many options, such as Criminal Justice, Social Work or Geography, and more,
  • Scientific Research/Capstone project designed to create a significant change in government and policy,
  • Financial Aid Options; Grants & Scholarships,
  • Positive student reviews with student satisfaction retention rates no lower than 50%.

If you would like to learn more, see our Methodology page.

Best Online Doctoral Degrees in Public Policy / Administration

National university.

National 7

Program Standouts:  National University’s Ph.D. in Public Administration is a research degree that seeks to enhance the knowledge and competencies needed for leadership roles in business, administration, and technology management.

This degree program provides a broad knowledge base of business and technology management, while students further specialize in public administration.

Through coursework and the researching and writing of a dissertation, graduates from this degree program will demonstrate originality and methodological and scientific rigor that advances the theoretical knowledge in the public policy context.

Campus Location:  San Diego, California

Accreditation:  Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application
  • Master’s in business
  • Transcripts

Sample Course Options:

  • Business Leadership and Strategy
  • Public Administration
  • Administrative Law
  • Urban and Regional Planning
  • Technology in Public Administration

Degree Outcomes:  This degree prepares students in the specialization in public administration through a focus upon government and public policy, budgeting, government relations, public personnel management, political systems, and urban planning.

Graduates from this degree program will be proficient in strategic planning in a variety of public policy contexts intended to implement policy in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.

LEARN MORE ABOUT NATIONAL UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE PH.D. IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

CALIFORNIA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY

public policy/administration

Program Standouts:  The online DPA from California Baptist University trains forward-thinking public leaders who make an impact. Geared towards working adult learners, this degree is designed to be completed in as few as three years.

Whether one hopes to work in the public or private sector, the curriculum of this degree program gives public administrators the versatility to successfully engage in a wide variety of administrative settings as well as the focused specialization to excel in a particular context.

In response to the complex challenges organizations face, this degree is just the ticket for public administration in:

  • governance,
  • health management,
  • and social service.

Campus Location:  Riverside, California

  • 3.0 for unconditional admission
  • 2.75 for conditional admission
  • Two recommendations from professional sources can attest to the candidate’s potential for scholarly and professional success.
  • Purpose for entering the program
  • Long-term professional goals, including how a doctoral degree will influence those goals
  • Reasons for choosing California Baptist University
  • Professional resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Interview with Program Director

Sample Courses:

  • Performance Management and Evaluation
  • Collaboration and Networked Governance
  • Public Policy, Advocacy, and Economics
  • Professional Residency

Degree Outcomes:  CBU graduates have demonstrated knowledge and facility to take active roles in leadership. They have shown the ability to create innovative and sustainable solutions to problems that arise in the various spheres of governance, social problems, as well as criminal justice and social services.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CALIFORNIA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION DEGREE

LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

public policy/administration

Program Standouts:  Although not strictly a DPA degree, Liberty University merits inclusion in this list of top public administration doctorates, because its online DBA-Non-profit management instills the same skills one gains from DPA degrees. This 100% online program gives public policy administrators the knowledge and tools to be successful leaders.

This 60-credit hour degree includes a dissertation requirement and will prepare graduates for public administrative positions in lead management, organization director, and regulatory affairs.

Campus Location:  Lynchburg, Virginia

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; Commission on Colleges

  • $50.00 application fee
  • MBA, MSA or MS in Information Systems or earned MS in Management Information Systems
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for entrance into the program from any of the acceptable degrees

Sample Courses in Specializations:

  • Workforce Planning and Employment
  • Strategic Communication Campaigns for the Digital Age
  • Grant Acquisition and Management
  • Non-profit Management

Degree Outcomes:  Liberty graduates will have gained specialized administrative knowledge and skills needed for administration and management at the highest levels of the profession.

Based upon Liberty’s strong biblical ethic, graduates from this degree will have demonstrated advanced knowledge in accounting, finance, healthcare management, leadership, and many other administrative contexts.

LEARN MORE ABOUT LIBERTY UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE DOCTORAL IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (DBA) DEGREE

WEST CHESTER UNIVERSITY

public policy/administration

Program Standouts:  WCU’s online DPA teaches leaders in the core disciplines of strategic management, public sector economic and financial decision-making, and policy advocacy and leadership. Students in this program choose from departmental courses focusing on:

  • public policy,
  • and planning or social work.

WCU’s program keys in on the practice, and students complete a variety of seminar courses that apply the scholarship to real-life policy decisions. The degree culminates in students offering a solution to some actual organizational or public situation that needs to be addressed.

Campus Location:  West Chester, Pennsylvania

Accreditation:  Middle States Commission on Higher Education

  • Master’s degree, from a regionally accredited college or university
  • GRE Requirement: Needed for all individuals with a master’s GPA lower than 3.85
  • Three letters of recommendation from education professionals
  • Professional writing demonstration at the time of application (waived for applicants who present a GRE analytical writing score of 4.5 or higher)
  • Resume or CV
  • Interview (upon Committee request)

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Pre-doctoral Seminar in Public Policy and Administration
  • Advanced Practice and Applied Theories of Public Policy and Administration
  • Strategic Public Management and Governance

Degree Outcomes:  This degree is designed to prepare graduates in high-level public programs and policy evaluation and methodological expertise.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WEST CHESTER UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION DEGREE

WALDEN UNIVERSITY

public policy/administration

Program Standouts:  This degree program is a professional doctorate, emphasizing extended and careful focus upon putting problem-solving skills into practice. With the option of 13 special concentrations, this degree program prepares its students to be leaders in an incredibly wide variety of public administration jobs.

If you’re looking to advance your administrative career, Walden’s DPA will help you achieve your goals by developing effective management skills and practical problem-solving skills in government and governance.

Campus Location:  Minneapolis, Minnesota

Accreditation:  Higher Learning Commission

Sampling of Concentrations:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Homeland Security Policy and Coordination
  • International Nongovernmental Organizations
  • Local Government Management for Sustainable Communities
  • Nonprofit Management and Leadership
  • Policy Analysis

Degree Outcomes:  This degree is designed to equip its graduates in how to effectively evaluate leadership/management principles. Graduates from this program will be able to evaluate and develop solutions to concrete public policy and administrative problems.

Graduates will be instructed in terms of high ethics that are sensitive to varying social systems and situations. This degree will prepare its graduates to contribute to the profession through research, presentations, and publications.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WALDEN UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION DEGREE

VALDOSTA STATE UNIVERSITY

public policy/administration

Program Standouts:  VSU’s online Doctor of Public Administration is practitioner-oriented. This means that students in this degree program receive instruction that develops the necessary skills in leadership, management, communication, and problem-solving to succeed in the professional environment.

This degree requires 54 credits to complete along with minimal on-campus requirements: perfect for working professionals and adult learners.

Campus Location:  Valdosta, Georgia

Accreditation:  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

  • A satisfactory GRE score
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An acceptable cumulative undergraduate GPA
  • A statement on goals for advancing intellectual abilities
  • A comprehensive resume
  • Capstone Seminar
  • Final Project/Organizational Analysis

Degree Outcomes:  Graduates from this degree program will possess a comprehensive understanding of the career field. Graduates will have the skills and a broadened perspective needed for managers and administrators. With sensitivity to diverse groups, graduates from this degree program will be effective oral and written communicators.

LEARN MORE ABOUT VALDOSTA STATE UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF PUBLIC ADMIN DEGREE PROGRAM

What is Public Policy/Administration?

Public Policy and Public Administration is an essential component in creating principles that lead, guide, and direct government agencies who are required to protect policies that affect the public. 

Through the scientific study of the politics involving organizations and institutions, said policies are analyzed for efficiency and protection of the people’s interest.  

What are the differences between Public Policy and Public Administration?

Public Policy and Public Administration positions work together although there is a difference. Public Policy demonstrates the creation of just that… the policy itself. These policies often include:

  • environmental,
  • transportation,
  • scientific research,
  • and economic issues that affect everyone’s day-to-day lives.  

Public Administration, therefore, suggests the administrative or enforcement aspect of the policies already established, perhaps by implementing the business management and controlling portions of public policy.

Public Administrators see that policies are carried out, enforced, followed, and done so within the ethical side of the law. 

What is the job outlook for those entering the field of Public Policy and Administration?

Public Policy and Administration jobs are growing at an average to the above-average rate of 6%-30% ; all depending on the position you pursue and job location. 

How much money can I earn in the field of Public Policy/Administration?

As the field of Public Policy and/or Public Administration can cover a wide array of job opportunities, the consensus of Ziprecruiter.com states salaries can typically range between the average of $65,456 per year to upwards of $148,000 annually. 

They also indicate that the wide range of pay may suggest that there is plenty of room for career advancement depending on your experience and job location. 

What can I do with a Doctor of Public Policy/Administration degree?

At the doctoral degree level, many have worked in the field previously for a while and are now interested in conducting original research in government agencies, non-profits, or academic institutions.

Also, the program will prepare students for leadership roles in the field of Public Policy and Administration. If you would like to teach at the college level, you will be qualified to do that, too! 

The following careers are the ideal way to use your knowledge in Public Policy/Administration:

  • Civil Service Administrator
  • Urban Planner
  • Education Administrator
  • Labor Relations Specialist
  • Charity Officer
  • Officer in Local Government
  • Public Affairs/Administration Consultant
  • Budget Analyst
  • Healthcare Administrator

What will I learn in an online Doctor of Public Policy/Administration degree program?

Are you prepared to be a leader? If so, this degree program will assist you in your quest for career advancement through a leadership or management position. You will learn about proper research techniques, public policy theory, and law and ethics related to the field. 

Additional Resources:

  • The Best Doctor of Environmental Science and Engineering (D.Env.) Degree Programs: Salary and Information
  • The Best Online Doctor of Criminal Justice Degree Programs
  • The Best Online Doctoral Degrees in Healthcare Administration (DHA)

Best Online Ph.D. in Public Administration

TBS Staff Writers

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Students interested in earning a public administration degree at the doctoral level can typically pursue one of two academic paths: a Ph.D. in public administration or a doctor of public administration (DPA).

While similar, a Ph.D. program tends to incorporate more scholarly research, leading graduates onto career paths in academia or research. A DPA, on the other hand, might focus more on the application of theory in a professional setting.

Teaching public administration at a college or university can be a fulfilling and rewarding career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment for postsecondary teachers will increase by 8% between 2022 and 2032; this rate of growth is faster than national average for all occupations. Additionally, postsecondary teachers earn a median annual salary of $80,840, which is more than twice the median salary for jobs in the U.S. Most of these teaching positions require a doctorate degree in your area of study, such as an online Ph.D. in public administration.

The Best Online Doctorate in Public Administration Degree Programs

California baptist university.

  • Campus + Online
  • In-State $32,942
  • Out-of-state $32,942
  • Retention Rate 78%
  • Acceptance Rate 78%
  • Students Enrolled 11,045
  • Institution Type Private
  • Percent Online Enrollment 55%
  • Accreditation Yes

Old Dominion University

  • In-State $7,029
  • Out-of-state $26,664
  • Retention Rate 80%
  • Acceptance Rate 89%
  • Students Enrolled 23,675
  • Institution Type Public
  • Percent Online Enrollment 54%

Valdosta State University

  • In-State $4,371
  • Out-of-state $15,426
  • Retention Rate 70%
  • Acceptance Rate 57%
  • Students Enrolled 11,270
  • Percent Online Enrollment 48%

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

  • In-State $7,716
  • Out-of-state $19,290
  • Retention Rate 86%
  • Acceptance Rate 75%
  • Students Enrolled 17,669
  • Percent Online Enrollment 23%

Best Online Programs

Doctorate in public administration, online doctorate in public administration programs ranking guidelines.

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Featured Online Doctorate in Public Administration Programs

What else can i expect from an online doctorate in public administration program.

Online public administration programs at the doctoral level share many of the same elements, including similar coursework, dissertation requirements, and areas of concentration. However, many details, such as support services offered to online students, vary depending on the school and program. Students should make sure to carefully review their options before making a decision.

Curriculum for an Online Doctorate in Public Administration

  • Governance and public policy: Learning to govern democratic organizations in the public sector is a key part of earning a DPA degree online. In this class, students explore the fundamental theories of governance, the contexts in which public and nonprofit leaders work, and the social institutions that shape public policy and influence administrative decision making.
  • Public policy and finance: Budget constraints and economic rewards help shape public policy and public administration. Students in this course examine tax policies and incentives, market influences on policy and administration, the effect of government spending on income distribution, public/private partnerships, and the outsourcing of public programs.
  • Strategic context of public management and leadership: Many doctoral programs in public administration online aim to provide students with a system-level understanding of how to lead public organizations. Rather than focusing solely on topics like money, knowledge, capacity, or influence, courses like this weave these subjects together to help students develop overarching models of management and leadership.
  • Ethics and social justice: Ethics and social justice represent major aspects of public service. In this class, students examine disparities in wealth, power, and privilege. They use both theory and hard data to understand the roots of these disparities and create policies and programs that can help alleviate inequity.
  • Quantitative reasoning and analysis: Most doctoral programs, including DPA programs online, require students to complete a research-based dissertation. This course covers the core knowledge and skills needed to collect, analyze, interpret, and present research data, introducing students to quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Doctorate in Public Administration?

Earning a DPA or a Ph.D. in public administration online can take anywhere from 3-7 years. The first stage of these programs focuses on completing coursework in subjects such as public policy, public finance, organizational behavior, and leadership. Students typically take these courses as part of a cohort, meaning they learn alongside their peers through online lectures, discussions, and assignments. Learners usually complete this part of the program in 2-3 years, depending on whether they completed prior coursework in public administration.

The second stage of online doctorate programs relates to a student’s dissertation. The exact requirements vary from program to program, but learners typically work with a faculty advisor to collect and analyze data on a particular subject. Students then write a dissertation or research paper using this data, which they subsequently defend before a faculty committee. Because students do much of this work individually, they can usually set their own pace. Participants often complete their dissertation in 1-4 years.

Accreditation for Online Public Administration Doctorate Degrees

When reviewing DPA programs online, make sure to check whether a school is accredited. Accreditation ensures that an institution of higher education meets certain educational requirements and properly prepares its graduates for jobs in the field. If a school is not accredited, students may not be able to transfer earned credits to another institution, and employers might not recognize their degrees. A school or program can earn three basic types of accreditation.

The first type is regional accreditation. Six regional agencies accredit the majority of nonprofit colleges and universities in the U.S. Of the three types of accreditation, regional accreditation is the oldest, most common, and tends to be the most well-respected.

The second type of accreditation is national accreditation. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) authorizes 10 national accrediting bodies, which determine whether schools and programs meet established educational standards. For-profit institutions are more likely to be nationally accredited.

The final method of accreditation is based on areas of specialization or fields of study. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is an independent organization that recognizes reputable and field-specific accrediting agencies. For example, the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) is recognized by CHEA for its accreditation of certain programs in the fields of public policy, public affairs, and public administration. However, although NASPAA accredits programs at the master’s level, it does not oversee programs that offer a doctorate of public administration online.

When looking at DPA programs online, students should confirm that a program is accredited by a regional agency or by an agency recognized by the ED or CHEA .

Employment Outlook for Doctorate in Public Administration Graduates

Doctorate in public administration careers.

After earning a DPA or Ph.D. in public administration online, graduates can pursue a variety of jobs in public service leadership. Some individuals choose to teach public administration at a college or university, while others pursue leadership roles in the public sector or at government agencies, serving as city managers, county administrators, mayors, or even governors. Graduates can also direct nonprofit organizations, such as community centers or hospitals. Regardless of their career path, leaders in public administration require strong communication, decision-making, management, and problem-solving skills.

Postsecondary Teacher Median Salary $80,840

Postsecondary teachers instruct students at higher education institutions. They may also conduct research and/or write about topics in their area of study, including in public administration. Most jobs in this field require a doctoral degree.

Top Executive (Government) Median Salary $100,090

Top executives in the public sector lead government agencies. These professionals may be appointed or elected to serve at the local, state, or federal level. They often oversee budgets, personnel, and overall strategy. Although these roles may not have specific educational requirements, becoming a doctor of public administration online can help develop the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed.

Social or Community Service Manager Median Salary $74,240

Social and community service managers lead organizations that work to support people in need. These organizations may serve individuals from a particular demographic, such as children or the homeless, or individuals facing a particular challenge, such as addiction or mental illness. Some positions specifically require an advanced degree in a related field, like public administration.

Postsecondary Education Administrator Median Salary $99,940

Administrators at colleges and universities oversee academic operations, student services, faculty research, and other higher education functions. Although smaller schools may hire candidates with only a bachelor’s degree, an advanced degree coupled with experience in the industry is a more common requirement at larger institutions.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Doctorate in Public Administration Salary

Salaries for public administration professionals vary greatly depending on an individual’s chosen career, their location, and their level of education. Annual earnings may also be different from organization to organization. The table below uses data from PayScale to give graduates a sense of possible salaries at five common jobs in this field. In addition to showing the median salary for each role, the table displays how a worker’s earnings change as a function of their experience.

Job TitleOverall Median SalaryEntry-Level EmployeesMid-Career EmployeesLate-Career Employees
$90,115$57,000$69,000$106,000
$96,426$71,000$98,000$146,000
$73,591$58,000$69,000$89,000
$92,254$60,000$87,000$114,000

Public Administration Professional Organizations

Regardless of where they work, public administrators can look to professional organizations for a variety of benefits and resources. These organizations provide members with networking opportunities at local chapter events and national conferences. They also offer professional development and educational resources, many of which are accessible online. Additionally, these organizations often publicize job opportunities for those looking to enter or advance in the field. The list below details three popular public administration professional organizations.

American Society for Public Administration (ASPA)

Alliance for nonprofit management, international city/county management association (icma), paying for your online doctorate in public administration.

After looking at public administration doctoral programs online, students should be sure to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA office helps connect students with various forms of federal aid, including grants, loans, and work-study opportunities. Students should be mindful that grants, scholarships, and work-study wages do not need to be paid back; these represent the most attractive sources of financial aid.

Students should also look into scholarships and discounts offered by states, schools, and private organizations. Schools may also offer discounted tuition to veterans or active duty military personnel. Furthermore, many doctoral programs pay students to serve as teaching assistants, although this may pose more of a logistical challenge for online learners.

Private student loans can help individuals pay for the remainder of their tuition after they have taken advantage of grants, scholarships, and federal loans. However, individuals should be cautious about financing too much of their education through private student loans. These loans often come with higher interest rates; additionally, unlike federal loans, private loans cannot be forgiven after spending 10 years working in a public service position.

Featured image credit: Hill Street Studios | DigitalVision | Getty Images

Best Online Colleges of 2024

Best Online Colleges of 2024

Online college has made accessible education a reality for many. Discover what online colleges do best and what programs you can choose from.

Best Accelerated Online Bachelor’s Degrees

Best Accelerated Online Bachelor’s Degrees

Best Online Colleges to Start Anytime

Best Online Colleges to Start Anytime

Take the next step toward your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

woman in an office

Online College Plan

The Best Online PhD in Public Administration and Doctorate Degree Programs

Find your degree.

phd public administration online

Why Do We Study Public Administration?

online phd in public administration, public administration degrees, online college, online degrees, online phd, online doctorate

These improvements didn’t happen miraculously. They’re the product of governance and public administration, and the way the two regulate, create policies and lead in areas like infrastructure, education, healthcare, among many others.

online phd in public administration, online doctorate in public administration, public policy, public works, public administration, public administration degree, online college

In a public administration doctoral program, you’ll learn to lead people, manage systems, create policies that make positive change, and be prepared to work in a number of different areas and organizations throughout the world.

Doctorate vs PhD: What is the Difference Between a PhD in Public Administration and a Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) Program?

Doctoral degrees are generally split between PhD’s and doctorates. In the former students are far more likely to work on theoretical issues, and prepare to become professors, do advanced academic research, and help inform practitioners and policymakers in their areas of discipline through their theoretical work.

In non-PhD doctoral degrees, students are more likely to study and work to become elite, top-level practitioners in their area of discipline. Graduates will often go on to work at the most supervisory, executive positions of organizations depending on their goals and interests.

online phd in public administration, online ph.d. , online doctorate in public administration, online degree programs, public administration degree

In public administration, most graduates are expected to become practitioners. Obviously, there are plenty of professors, researchers, and other supporting academics that do research and educate in the area of public administration. However, public administration doctoral graduates are far more likely to do practical, tangible work in the field. Most doctoral programs in public administration reflect this need to educate future leaders and can prepare students to work in either education, research, or leadership roles regardless of whether they’re classified as a PhD or doctoral degree.

Now that we’ve explored some basic information about doctoral public administration degrees let’s explore the methodology we used to rank them:

Methodology

In order to present the best online PhD and Doctorate Degree Programs in Public Administration, we searched the United States institutions of higher learning to find which ones offered the programs. After finding the programs, OnlineCollegePlan, then ranked according to:

Student Population (1/3 of score) – Institutions with larger student bodies were given favoritism based on the philosophy that those awarded a higher number of degrees based on their size. This also gives the impression of having experience as well as being a well-liked institution.

Affordability (1/3 of score) – Money is a big issue when it comes to many large purchases in life, and education is no different. Schools were ranked with the lowest tuition and fees receiving a higher ranking score. Tuition and Fees were researched using the NCES website. When given an option, in-state was chosen. The most recent Tuition and Fees are listed below in each description.

Student Opinion (1/3 of score) – Many people now turn to customer reviews before making a substantial purchase. With this in mind, Online College Plan checked out student reviews on Niche.com and the schools with higher grades and star averages were awarded a higher number of points for the ranking.

No institutions were given priority or favoritism over another in this ranking and it was not requested. Information presented was researched by the staff of OnlineCollegePlan.

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)

Liberty University, Online Masters Degree, Online PhD, Online Degree

Liberty University offers many online degree options, including a variety of online PhD programs and doctoral programs.

Liberty University offers several online doctoral programs, which includes their online Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) . It’s accredited by SACSCOC. The program requires 48 credit hours and takes approximately 2.5 years to complete.

The program is intended for people that want to make small or large communities more pleasant and efficient. It’s often attended by educators or civil servants that want to begin or further their careers in government, higher education, or consulting, among other options.

Students will study how government agencies function, and what impacts their leadership and ability to accomplish organizational goals. They’ll build significant experience in strategic planning, program creation and execution, comprehensive management techniques, and meeting goals through effective leadership.

About Liberty University

Liberty is a private, non-profit doctoral research university headquartered in Lynchburg, Virginia. It’s a Christian school that conveys most of its offerings online. The university was established in 1971 by Jerry Falwell.

Today Liberty serves over 75,000 students across the globe. It has a 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Liberty students enjoy access to 290 bachelors, 315 masters, and 32 doctoral degrees conveyed through 17 different colleges. Most Liberty students earn their degrees online, and Liberty has provided distance learning programs since 1985.

There are more than 250 different degrees and certificate programs that Liberty students can access online. The school is currently known as the nation’s largest nonprofit online university. Liberty University has been certified as a doctoral research university by the Carnegie Classification. US News and World Report has placed Liberty University at 230 in its National Universities category.

PhD in Public Administration and Policy Online

online college degree, online masters degree, online phd, online doctorate, online bachelor's degree, online college

Old Dominion University is one of the largest institutions offering online distance education and fortunately, this includes online PhD programs.

If an online DPA doesn’t suit you and you are looking for the best online PhD program in Public Administration, this is the one. Old Dominion University offers a Ph.D. in Public Administration and Policy online . It required 49 credit hours (37 of coursework and 12 for student dissertations). This program was designed to teach the importance of cooperation and problem-solving expertise in policy-making and leadership. Students will study the obstacles that come up in multiple sectors, including businesses, non-profits, governments, communities, and even individuals.

In the program, students will do advanced policy analysis, research in public administration, learn to report findings to different audiences, make educated administrative and policy decisions, and much more.

ODU professors have significant experience in partnerships between public and private organizations, economic development, citizen participation, nonprofit and public management, among other disciplines. Graduates will be prepared for top positions in research, public service, education, or government/nonprofit management, among other outcomes.

More about Old Dominion University

ODU is a public, co-ed research university based in Norfolk, Virginia. It was established in 1930. Students can access 168 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Over 24,300 students are attending ODU. The school features an 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

ODU is known as one of the largest online distance learning institutions in the country. Its distance learning programming started in 1994 via satellite. Today students can access 60 ODU undergraduate and graduate degree programs with streaming video, satellite, 2-way, and internet conferencing.

Their alumni network features over 100,000 graduates living in all 50 states and 67 countries across the globe. Students can choose to take their ODU classes online or at any of its 50 physical locations. USNR ranks it tied at 215 in the National Universities category.

Doctor of Public Administration Degree

online college programs, online phd, online doctoral degree, online masters degree, online master's, online courses

The online DPA at Valdosta State University is one of their three online doctoral programs.

Valdosta State University offers three online doctoral programs, one of which is an online Doctor of Public Administration Degree. It requires 54 total credit hours. Its core courses are conveyed on a two-year cycle, and there are Ph.D. concentration areas within the program. Students have an option to transfer in 15 hours of previously earned graduate coursework, pending acceptance.

This program is a terminal degree for practitioners looking to grow careers in non-profits, government, or non-government organizations (NGOs). Students will deeply explore and understand the communication, leadership, management, and problem-solving skills necessary to succeed in these environments, among other outcomes. This program offers eTuition based on in-state rates and is built for working professionals.

More About Valdosta State University

Valdosta State University, a public university, is one of the four member institutions of the University System of Georgia. The school was founded in 1906 in Valdosta, Georgia.

Valdosta State University offers a variety of degrees at every level of education. These include Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Education Specialist, and Doctoral degrees as well as Certificates. The University programs are offered through colleges of Arts, Arts and Sciences, Education, Business Administration, and Nursing. Also, the Graduate School at Valdosta has Divisions of Social Work and Library Science.

More than 11,300 comprise the Valdosta student body, and the school boasts a 20:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The school is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to provide associate through doctoral degrees.

USNR ranks Valdosta in the 230-301 bracket of the National Universities category. Its public administration programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.

Doctor of Public Administration

Walden University, online doctorate, online degree, online college, online masters, online bachelor degree, online certificate program

There are more than 80 online degree programs offered at Walden University at every level, including online PhD and online doctoral degrees.

While checking out the top online doctoral programs, be sure to look at Walden University’s online Doctor of Public Administration program. It’s an applied program that was created to forge leaders of the future. Students will build incredible management skills, solve pressing problems, and much more in government and related areas.

The program features residencies with team-based experiences that explore practical case studies that study organizational issues and their solutions. You’ll also study cutting-edge public administration practices, applied research, and management at global levels.

Students in this program have up to eight years to complete it. It requires 53 credits, in addition to five credits per semester of Doctoral Capstone work until the Capstone is completed.

More About Walden University

Walden is a for-profit, private university in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was founded in 1970. Walden is among the 80 universities owned or managed by Laureate Education Inc, most of which are based outside the country. Walden serves nearly 49,700 students and offers a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Walden University is accredited regionally by the Higher Learning Commission. Since 1990 it’s been a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, a regional accreditation agency. A Senate committee that looked at Walden’s tuition rates in comparison to similar universities praised its pricing.

Online degree programs, online courses, online degree, online college, online masters, online bachelors, online certificate, online phd, online doctorate degree program

Capella University offers a variety of online PhD programs and doctoral degree programs.

Among its online PhD programs and Doctorates, Capella University offers an online Doctor of Public Administration . It can also be taken in person. The program features 16 core courses, two residencies, and a Capstone project. It requires 74 total quarter credits, 18 of these can be transferred. The program prizes diversity, strong ethics, and cultural awareness.

This program aims to build skills and aptitudes in leadership, critical thinking, communication, and much more. You’ll learn how to support communities, public interests at multiple levels of society, and make your mark on public policy. 84% of Capella’s doctoral alumni reported satisfaction with their experience in 2018.

More About Capella University

Capella is a private university based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was founded in 1993. Capella is primarily an online institution, and students can choose between 142 specializations -graduate and undergraduate, more than two dozen certificate programs, and individual courses of which there are more than 1600.

Capella first began offering Bachelor degree programs in 2000. In 2006 it became a publicly traded company. Capella serves more than 37,000 students (22:1 student-to-faculty ratio). Its student body hails from 50 states and dozens of other countries. Its faculty is anchored by almost 1,500 professors, the vast majority of which have doctoral degrees in the fields they teach. Capella offers open admissions to any student that can pass a Capella-approved exam, letting many students who don’t have traditional education experiences to earn degrees.

What is Public Administration?

online phd in public administration, online doctoral degrees, online phd degree programs, online college, online courses, politics, government

In the US, Woodrow Wilson is considered the father of Modern Public Administration, as the future president published an essay in 1887 titled “The Study of Administration,” which argued that Public Administration should not merely be considered a subset of Political Science (as it was in the 1880s), but instead be valued as its own program. Additionally, he put forth that public administrators should be held accountable to political leaders, who in turn should be transparent with and accountable to the citizenry.

online phd programs, online phd in public administration, online doctoral degree programs, online doctorate, public administration programs, dpa, phd

What is Public Policy and Administration?

online phd programs, online doctoral programs, public administration degree

Public Administration takes a more inward lens on government agencies and bureaucracies, examining the actions and conduct of officials and public servants vertically within one agency and also how those agencies attempt to productively interact with each other. Political institutions, legal structures, and historical context all comprise areas of study for public administration.

online phd programs, online doctoral programs, best online phd programs, top doctoral programs

Additionally, programs like these are inherently multi-disciplinary, so degree holders are not limited to specific subsets of industry, but instead are broadly prepared to tackle institutional problems with a developed and varied skillset.

So, Why Public Administration? What Can You Do With a Public Administration Degree?

online phd programs, online doctoral programs, online masters programs, online bachelor's degree programs, online college, public administration degrees

So if there is a particular issue that a prospective student cares about, such as shoreline preservation, education equity, or healthcare access, a public administration degree is a viable entry point into that sphere. Whether the hiring company is Shell or Chevron employing Public Policy hirees in the Gulf region, or charter networks lobbying for increased funding, or even a health insurance company trying to ensure they are following all their legal responsibilities, the multi-disciplinary nature of these programs gives students a well-rounded understanding in ways such as:

  • how to acquire and apply statistical insights
  • breakdown complex ideas to persuade stakeholders to buy into the course of action
  • and prepare them to deal with all sorts of real-world problems.

online master degree, online master's degree, political science degree, master of political science, master of science, master of arts, MA in Political Science, MS in Political Science, MS in Government

What Can I Do With a Masters in Public Administration?

A Masters in Public Administration is one of the most flexible and relevant masters degrees that a graduate student can pursue. The multi-disciplinary pillars of Public Administration, reaching across human resources, organizational theory, policy analysis, statistics, budgeting, and ethics, provide a strong basis for any student to breach the professional world. The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration tracked the fields that Master of Public Policy or Administration were employed in six months after graduation in 2015 and they include:

best online phd programs, online doctoral programs, online public administration degrees, online degrees, online college, online courses

  • 7% for a local government
  • 15% for a state/provincial/regional government
  • 12% for a non-research/consulting business
  • 11% for a national or central government
  • 8% are in the research/consulting private sector
  • 5% are in a government not in the same country as the program the graduate completed
  • 4% are in an international nonprofit and pursuing further higher education (i.e. a PhD)
  • 1% has entered military service.

The sheer variety displayed here demonstrates how valuable and applicable the skill set developed by a Master of Public Policy or Administration can be. The ability to process and interpret data while aligning those analyses with a directive or critique of efficacy is tremendously relevant in almost every sphere of industry.

Specific roles across different sectors can include:

Private Sector:

  • Government relations manager

online doctoral programs, online phd programs, online masters degree, online bachelor's degree programs, online degree, online college

  • Program manager
  • Public relations and marketing manager
  • Community relations manager

Non-profit Sector:

  • Advancement or development manager
  • Policy research assistant/associate/fellow
  • Government relations advocate
  • Community outreach manager
  • Assistant professor/lecturer

Government Sector:

  • Legislative aide
  • Program analyst/administrator/manager
  • Budget analyst/manager
  • City manager
  • Representative/senator/elected official

What Can I Do With a PhD in Public Administration?

Anyone considering a PhD in Public Administration should be intrigued by comparative policy, smirk at the Economist’s snark, and be endlessly fascinated by the tinkering of technocrats. A PhD, or, Doctor of Philosophy, is a specific type of doctorate that usually focuses on an academic specialty. The National Science Foundation and the Department of Education do not differentiate or discriminate between a PhD in Public Administration/Public Policy or a Doctorate in PA/PP (DPA/DPP). Therefore someone pursuing Public Administration to this level is likely to be very passionate about developing theory and conducting specialized scholarly research.

online phd programs, online doctoral programs, online doctorate, online DPA, online degree programs

Life in the ivory tower has its perks, but leaving the academy to join a consulting firm or deigning to join leadership at a government agency is also a viable path for a PhD, depending on whether the pursuit of dollars or public service is the aspiration.

What Can I Do With a Doctor of Public Administration Degree?

A Doctor of Public Administration, or DPA, is a terminal degree of study, considered by the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation to be functionally equivalent to a PhD (Doctorate of Philosophy) in Public Administration. Technically a PhD is a more academic, research focused endpoint, while a Doctorate is a broader term with more of a professional practice connotation.

online doctoral programs, online phd programs, online doctorates, online DPA, online masters, online public administration degrees

Most programs require 90 credit hours of coursework to earn the title DPA/DPP, taking 3-5 years of full-time work or 7-10 of part-time study. Additionally, many have a specialized focus of research to reach expert level knowledge in a smaller realm, as opposed to the more generalist expectations of a Master of Public Administration.

Where Can I Work If I Study Public Administration?

online doctoral degrees, online dpa, online public administration degrees, online college, online degrees

Public Administration is an incredibly flexible degree that can be used in almost any professional sphere besides the biggest employer of Public Administration degrees, the government. Any large bureaucratic corporations as well as any organizations that interact with the government frequently actively recruit Public Administration degree-holders.

Obviously, the US government and associated agencies, plus state and local governments are always looking for people with a background in Public Administration. Things like the Department of Transportation, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Department of Agriculture all need employees who can interpret legislation and directives from the White House, process data from varied sources, and apply those insights to those directives.

Beyond being on the public payroll, organizations like Teach for America, Habitat for Humanity, and the Red Cross are frequent employers of Public Administration degree-holders. Any non-profit, charity or organized interest group that interacts with the government is likely to strongly consider hiring anyone who has a background or degree in Public Administration.

Journalism is also a popular landing place for workers with Public Administration degrees. Sifting through the breadth of information passing through a news headquarters like CNN or MSNBC requires a keen mind that has been trained to siphon out the crucial aspects of an unfolding story or current event.

The multi-disciplinary background and emphasis on effective communication skills make PA degree holders tremendously valuable. Even in large traditional corporations, a background in analyzing complex data, critiquing the bureaucratic processes while implementing efficient changes is a highly sought after skill set.

What is the Average Public Administration Salary?

online phd programs, online doctorate programs, online degrees, online programs, online college

According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, the median salary for someone with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and Administration is $65,000.

degree, diploma, credentials

Glassdoor’s sample size is more limited, whereas the professional academic researchers of Georgetown likely provide a more accurate data sample and a snapshot of the productivity of MPA/PP degree-holders.

What Organizations or Associations Can I Join When Working in Public Administration?

online phd programs, online phd degrees, online doctorate, online doctoral programs, online college programs, public administration degrees, phd in public administration, online dpa

  • American Association for Budget and Program Analysis (AABPA)
  • American Evaluation Association
  • American Society of Public Administration
  • The Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management
  • Emerging Local Government Leaders (ELGL)
  • Government Finance Officers Association
  • International City/County Management Association (ICMA)
  • Municipal Management Association of Northern California
  • State and Local Government Management Associations (via ICMA)
  • National Associations Related to State and Local Government (via ICMA)
  • National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers
  • National Association of Counties
  • National Forum for Black Public Administrators
  • National League of Cities
  • International Local Government Associations (via ICMA)
  • US Conference of Mayors

These are prime examples of professional organizations designed to help public servants find support in a community of peers, learn from shared experiences, and find new professional opportunities. This is hardly an exhaustive compilation of the resources available to Public Administration and Policy support groups but is a focused example of how specific these groups can be. Regardless of how niche a role or job may seem, it is highly likely that some sort of professional society exists to assist people in that position.

Not sure if these online PhD programs in Public Administration are what you are looking for? Check out below for related articles and rankings or feel free to browse around.

online college, online phd programs, online doctoral programs, online degrees, online masters, online bachelor's degree programs, online school

More From OnlineCollegePlan

  • Top 30 Online Masters of Public Administration
  • Guide to Online Doctorate Degree and PhD Programs
  • Top Online Colleges by Location
  • The Ultimate Guide to Online Colleges
  • Top 100 Best Online Colleges

best online phd public policy and administration

PhD Public Administration & Policy

You are here: american university school of public affairs phd programs phd public administration & policy.

best online phd public policy and administration

PhD Public Administration & Policy (On-Campus)

Be part of the next generation of leading scholars who produce methodologically sound, socially relevant research that makes important contributions to knowledge and theory.

(202) 885-6230

[email protected]

Kerwin Hall, Room 306 on a map

202-885-2375

[email protected]

Kerwin Hall, Room 320 on a map

Back to top

PhD in Public Administration & Policy

In the historic tradition of the AU scholar-teacher model, the PhD in Public Administration and Policy at the School of Public Affairs, a full-time degree, prepares students for careers in research and teaching in the fields of public administration and public policy.

For detailed program curriculum information, review the Program Handbook .

Publishing Cutting-Edge Research

Our philosophy is that doctoral education should be about much more than coursework. Our program provides a rigorous and comprehensive introduction to the research enterprise. Our mission is to build the next generation of leading scholars, to advance theory, develop knowledge, and craft solutions to today's most pressing problems in public administration and public policy.

From the first day of orientation to the final dissertation defense, each student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor to develop and apply the skills needed for a career in academia. We encourage students to produce research that is methodologically sound and socially relevant, and that makes important contributions to knowledge and theory. By the time they graduate, virtually all of our students have presented their research at key conferences and published their work in peer-reviewed academic journals.

See our list of recent PhD Student publications and conference presentations . Review faculty profiles and explore mentorship opportunities. Read about recent research conducted by SPA faculty.

Research Seminars

In addition to formal coursework students take four semesters of PUAD-089, in a series of research seminars by external scholars, departmental faculty, and PhD students on a variety of topics in public administration and public policy. These weekly seminars expose students to innovative research and provide a chance to interact with nationally-recognized scholars.

Review the current Departmental Research Seminars schedule.

Meet Our Doctoral Students

With expertise spanning public management, global health governance, regulatory policy and more, our PhD candidates bring the knowledge and action necessary to make great impact in the fields of public administration and public policy. Each of them pushes the boundaries of scholarship, educating the next generation of public affairs leaders and researching the significant issues of the day.

Review our current doctoral students' profiles , and learn more about our doctoral students on the market .

Placements and Achievements

We place graduating students into the top programs in public administration and public policy. Students receive professional mentoring on the job search, the application process, conference participation, interviews, and job talks.

Review the placements of our recent graduates .

Frequently Asked Questions

Review answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the SPA PhD Program in Public Administration and Policy.

For more information, please contact the SPA Graduate Admissions Office at 202-885-6230 or [email protected] .

The PhD degree in Public Administration and Policy requires 54 credit hours of approved graduate work for students entering the program with a bachelor's degree alone, or 36 credit hours if entering with a related master's degree.

Students will be admitted into one of two tracks: public administration or public policy. A minimum grade point average of 3.20 in all coursework is required to remain in good standing and to earn the degree. Full-time status is considered to be nine credit hours per semester. Students are expected to complete the degree within four years for those entering with a master's degree and within five years for those entering with a bachelor's degree alone.

Students advance to PhD candidacy by successfully completing all required courses, passing the oral qualifier and two written comprehensive exams (one in each of their fields of study), and defending their dissertation proposals. To earn the degree, students must pass a final oral defense of the dissertation.

See more information about course requirements.

Applicants are considered and students admitted for the fall semester only. Please refer to the  application deadlines  page for the deadline to apply. . The personal statement on reasons for pursuing graduate study in the program is essential, along with the other required application materials .

We accept PhD applicants for full-time study only. Students must be funded either by the School of Public Affairs or by an external sponsoring organization (self-funding is not permitted for newly-admitted doctoral students).

Upon acceptance into the program, students selected for AU funding are granted a fellowship with full funding for four years of study if they are entering with a master's degree. Students entering with a bachelor's degree alone are granted a fellowship with full funding for five years of study. Fellowship is contingent on maintaining satisfactory progress each year. Unless applicants expect to be funded through a reliable external source, they must request consideration for funding on their application.

The fellowship with full funding includes tuition benefits as well as an annual stipend. Please, contact the SPA Graduate Admissions Office with questions about the annual stipend during a particular year of admission. As a requirement for the fellowship, students work 20 hours a week with a faculty member.

Students must advance to candidacy by the end of their third year of study (fourth year for those entering with only a bachelor's degree) to continue receiving funding. If they have not achieved candidacy by then, they are required to find external funding or self-fund the remaining part of their program.

For more information, please contact the SPA Graduate Admissions Office at 202-885-6230 or  [email protected] .

  • PhD Program Handbook (2022-2023)
  • Departmental Research Seminars
  • PhD Student Placements
  • PhD Student Research
  • Faculty Research Highlights
  • Public Administration and Policy Department

90 percent of SPA graduates are employed or in graduate school, or both within six months of graduation

PhD in Public Policy Online Research in the Field of Public Policy

best online phd public policy and administration

Degree Options

View Degree Options

100% online, 8-week courses

Transfer in up to 50% of the degree total

Shape Policy and Change Lives with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Policy

Imagine making a real and lasting difference in our nation and in the lives of our citizens. You know that Christ cares about the needs of all people, and you recognize the role public policy can play in meeting those needs. With Liberty University’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Policy, you can gain the skills and knowledge you need to research and transform the world of public policy.

Public policy dictates every area of our lives — the economic climate of our nation, the education of children from all walks of life, the relationship between different countries, and even our national security. Changes in public policy have profound and far-reaching effects on people across the globe.

Military Friendly School

What Will You Study in Our PhD in Public Policy Online?

Combine your passion for policy with Liberty’s standard of academic excellence. Our professors look forward to sharing what they’ve learned from their wealth of experience while mentoring you throughout the dissertation process.

In the PhD in Public Policy, you can gain a biblical understanding of statesmanship that will form the foundation not only for your coursework but also for the way you engage with issues of public policy. From there, you will dive head-first into the institutions and issues shaping public policy today.

In our online PhD in public policy, you will:

  • Compare the impact of nation-states in various historical eras to today’s era of globalization.
  • Consider probability theory and hypothesis testing within the context of public policy decision-making.
  • Consider the role of leaders tasked with protecting nations.
  • Evaluate various models of policy analysis and implementation in relation to effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, constitutional principles, and statecraft.
  • Examine how contemporary challenges such as modern reinterpretations of American constitutionalism have influenced policy formation.
  • Explore the interplay between American state governments and the federal government at macro and micro levels.
  • Practice discussing issues in a fluid fashion approximating a “think-tank” environment.

Featured Courses

  • PLCY 700 – Foundations of Public Policy
  • PLCY 701 – Natural Law, the State, and the Gospel
  • PLCY 702 – Founding Era and the Constitution
  • PLCY 802 – Competing Visions of Statesmanship

Degree Information

  • This program falls under the  Helms School of Government .
  • View the  Graduate Government Course Guides   (login required).

Why Choose Liberty’s Online Degree?

Some of the benefits you can look forward to as a Liberty online PhD in Public Policy student include:

  • Choose a specialization that focuses on the topic that interests you most.
  • Learn from seasoned professors who are committed to seeing you succeed in your public policy research and dissertation.
  • Study 100% online so you can remain active in your job, with your family, and in your community without having to travel to take courses on campus. 

At Liberty University, we want to equip students to be the hands and feet of Christ, which is why our PhD in Public Policy online combines a focus on biblical principles of government and policy with a practical understanding of today’s political atmosphere.

Niche Best Colleges

Ranked in the Top 10% of Niche.com’s Best Online Schools in America

  • What Sets Us Apart?
  • Private Nonprofit University
  • 600+ Online Degrees
  • No Standardized Testing for Admission
  • Transfer in up to 75% of an Undergrad Degree
  • Transfer in up to 50% of a Grad/Doctoral Degree

Potential Careers for PhD in Public Policy Graduates

  • Academic specialist
  • Counterterrorism analyst
  • Director of education policy
  • Federal agent
  • Government leader
  • Intelligence analyst
  • Policy researcher
  • Professor (higher education)
  • Public interest/advocacy group leader
  • Senior public policy analyst
  • Social scientist

Degree Options f or the Public Policy PhD Program

As a student in Liberty’s PhD in Public Policy degree, you can choose either the general track or one of our specialized areas of study. Get more information about each option below! 

Generalized Track (No Specialization)

Liberty University’s  PhD in Public Policy – general track*  provides a broad study of public policy that can help you address some of the most important issues facing our nation today. Whether you are looking to enhance your credentials, teach public policy at the university level, or conduct research, this program may suit your needs.

View the  Degree Completion Plan .

*Please note that this is not a specialization. Any reference using the term “General” is the main degree and is only used to differentiate from other specializations.

Chinese Affairs

Liberty’s online  Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Policy – Chinese Affairs  is designed to prepare you to address growing rifts in international affairs. With a PhD in Public Policy – Chinese Affairs from Liberty, you can take the next step as a policy leader domestically or abroad.

Economic Policy

Liberty’s online  Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Policy – Economic Policy  can build upon your existing expertise in economic and finance politics and hone your policymaking craft to help create a better, more prosperous future for our country.

Education Policy

With Liberty’s 100% online  Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Policy – Education Policy , you can gain the advanced expertise you need to make a positive impact on local, state, and national education policy. You can use this degree to help you further education policy research or train the next generation of educators to revitalize school systems across the country.

Foreign Policy

Liberty’s 100% online  Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Policy – Foreign Policy  degree provides advanced studies of policy assessment and decision-making to help you navigate the complex relationship between foreign and domestic organizations. With the explosion of globalization, effective foreign policy is more important than ever.

National Security Policy

Liberty’s 100% online  Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Policy – National Security Policy  degree provides an in-depth study of national security issues, including operational strategy, lawmaking, policy implementation, and law enforcement. This degree can help equip you to combat foreign and domestic threats to our life and liberty.

Social Policy

With Liberty’s 100% online  Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Policy – Social Policy  degree, you can become equipped to engage with the most challenging cultural issues of our time. Gain the tools you need to help guide policymakers in bettering our communities with a PhD in social policy.

Top 1% For Online Programs

Not sure what to choose?

Speak to one of our admissions specialists to help you choose the program that best fits your needs.

Tuition & Aid

Your success is our success, which is why we are committed to providing quality academics at an affordable tuition rate. While other colleges are increasing their tuition, we have frozen tuition rates for the majority of our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for the past 9 years – and counting.

Doctoral Full Time
Doctoral Part Time

Eligible current and former military service members and their spouses may qualify for a special rate of $300/credit hour ( learn more ) .

All Tuition & Fees

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Financial Aid Forms & Eligibility

Scholarship Opportunities

Admission Information for the Online PhD Program in Public Policy

Admission requirements.

  • A non-refundable, non-transferable $50 application fee will be posted on the current application upon enrollment (waived for qualifying service members, veterans, and military spouses – documentation verifying military status is required) .
  • Send official college transcripts (mailed as sealed, unopened copies or sent via a direct electronic transcript system). A regionally or nationally accredited master’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA is required for admission in good standing.
  • Applicants whose native language is other than English must submit official scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or an approved alternative assessment. For information on alternative assessments or TOEFL waivers, please call Admissions or view the official International Admissions policy .

Please note: The Office of Graduate Admissions may request additional documentation when conducting admission reviews to evaluate a candidate’s record before a final admission decision can be made.

Preliminary Acceptance

If you are sending in a preliminary transcript for acceptance, you must:

  • Be in your final term and planning to start your doctoral degree after the last day of class for your master’s degree.
  • Complete a Master’s Self-Certification Form confirming your completion date. You may download the form from the Forms and Downloads page or contact an admissions counselor to submit the form on your behalf.
  • Submit an official transcript to confirm that you are in your final term. The preliminary transcript must show that you are within 6 credit hours of completion for a 30-48 credit hour master’s degree or within 9 credit hours of completion for a 49+ credit hour master’s degree.
  • Send in an additional, final official transcript with a conferral date on it by the end of your first semester of enrollment in the new doctoral degree.

Transcript Policies

Official college transcript policy.

An acceptable official college transcript is one that has been issued directly from the institution and is in a sealed envelope. If you have one in your possession, it must meet the same requirements. If your previous institution offers electronic official transcript processing, they can send the document directly to [email protected] .

Admissions Office Contact Information

(800) 424-9596

(888) 301-3577

Email for Questions

[email protected]

Email for Documents

[email protected]

Liberty University Online Admissions Verification

1971 University Blvd.

Lynchburg, VA 24515

Liberty University is dedicated to providing world-class educational experiences to military students across the globe.

Who May Qualify?

  • Active Duty
  • Reserve/National Guard
  • Veterans/Retirees
  • Spouses of Service Members and Veterans/Retirees

Military Tuition Discount

We want to help you find the doctoral degree you want – at a price you’ve earned. As a thank-you for your military service, Liberty University offers eligible current and former service members like you or your spouse multiple pathways to earn a doctoral degree for only $300/credit hour . Find out how you can take advantage of this unique opportunity as you work toward your goal of reaching the pinnacle of your profession – for less.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can i do with a phd in public policy.

A PhD in government and public policy can help equip you for a variety of fulfilling careers. By earning your doctorate in public policy, you could:

  • Conduct critical policy research  for a nonprofit or government organization.
  • Pass down your knowledge  to the next generation of policymakers as a professor.
  • Work for government officials and organizations  to analyze, strategize, and implement public policy changes.
  • Work in public relations and communications  using vital strategy, writing, and relational skills.

With so many avenues to take, our various areas of specialization in the online PhD in Public Policy can help prepare you for the specific focus of public policy that you feel called to.

Or, if you know you want to better understand public policy but do not have a clear area of interest yet, our doctor of public policy general track can give you the foundation and flexibility you need for a variety of directions.

How can a PhD in Public Policy benefit me?

Our specializations within the online PhD in Public Policy can help equip you for your desired path in public policy. 

Inner Navigation

  • What Will You Study?
  • Potential Careers
  • Specializations
  • Tuition & Aid
  • Admission Information

Have questions?

best online phd public policy and administration

Are you ready to change your future?

Apply FREE This Week*

Request Information

*Some restrictions may occur for this promotion to apply. This promotion also excludes active faculty and staff, military, non-degree-seeking, DGIA, Continuing Education, WSB, and certificate students.

Request Information About a Program

Request info about liberty university online, what program are you interested in, choose a program level.

Choose a program level

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Certificate

Select a Field of Study

Select a field of study

Select a Program

Select a program

Next: Contact Info

Legal first name.

Enter legal first name

Legal Last Name

Enter legal last name

Enter an email address

Enter a phone number

Full Address

Enter an address

Apt., P.O. Box, or can’t find your address? Enter it manually instead .

Select a Country

Street Address

Enter Street Address

Enter State

ZIP/Postal Code

Enter Zip Code

Back to automated address search

Start my application now for FREE

The Ph.D. program at Harris Public Policy prepares students for careers in academia, industry, and government. It emphasizes a rigorous foundation in microeconomics, econometrics, and political economy, along with in-depth study of particular substantive areas associated with policy and policy-making. The program allows students to develop individualized and innovative courses of study in which they work closely with faculty members of the School and the University.

Consistent with the highly quantitative and analytic nature of the Harris School's Ph.D. degree, Harris has categorized the degree under a code which is currently on the DHS STEM list . Students on F-1 visas who have earned a degree that has been designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a STEM degree may be eligible to apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion optional practical training (OPT) so long as they meet all eligibility criteria at the time of application.

Ph.D. Program Requirements

Get information about the curriculum and academic requirements for the Ph.D. in Public Policy Program.

If you have questions about the Harris degree requirements, email the Harris Dean of Students Office at  [email protected] . Policies on the results of not meeting these requirements can be found on the Harris policies page .

Ph.D. Candidates on the Job Market

Meet the Ph.D. program’s current job market candidates.

Ph.D. Placements

See where our graduates go on to make an impact.

Ph.D. Workshop

Engage with our students' research.

Program Details

Director of graduate studies.

Steven Durlauf , Professor ([email protected])

Durlauf's research spans many topics in microeconomics and macroeconomics. His most important substantive contributions involve the areas of poverty, inequality and economic growth. Much of his research has attempted to integrate sociological ideas into economic analysis.

Associate Directors

Yana Gallen , Assistant Professor ([email protected])

Eyal Frank , Assistant Professor  ([email protected] )

Dean of Students

Kate Shannon Biddle ([email protected])

Program Director

Barbara Williams ([email protected])

Nancy Staudt picture

"Here the Client is Truth"

Start making a difference today. Request Info Indicate Interest in 2025

Recent News

Announcing the 2024 stone center thesis and dissertation award winners, harris voices: viviana martinez, cla'20, on what it means to "crown up".

best online phd public policy and administration

Natasha Mathur, MSCAPP’19, on the Connection Between the Real World and Data

Upcoming events, harris campus visit.

Keller Center 1307 E 60th St Chicago , IL 60637 United States

Harris Evening Master's Program Information Session

Harris summer mixer in washington, dc: cultivating policy connections.

Office of Federal Relations Rooftop 1730 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington , DC 20004 United States

You might also be interested in...

Carrie Collins

Student Profile: Carrie Collins, MPP Class of 2024

Eloísa Ávila-Uribe

Alumni Profile: Eloísa Ávila-Uribe, MACRM’23

Alena Stern

Alumni Profile: Alena Stern, MSCAPP’19

Raul Leon

Student Profile: Raul Leon, MACRM Class of 2024

  • How to Apply
  • Why Public Policy
  • Financial Aid
  • Academic Advising
  • Disability Resources
  • Room Reservations
  • Academic Calendar
  • Faculty Resources
  • Faculty Access
  • Human Resources
  • News and Events
  • Alumni Directory
  • Get Involved
  • What We Look For

In This Section

  • Degree Requirements

The PhD in Public Policy (PPOL) program balances theory with practical methods to prepare students for careers in academia, in government, at research organizations, or in the private sector.

What do we look for in our PPOL students? 

Evidence of your ability to handle the rigor of our curriculum , which is why you’re required to have completed and excelled in the following: 

  • A university-level course in politics or institutions 
  • A university-level course in statistics 
  • One research paper you have written by yourself that has a policy focus (co-authored papers not accepted)

A demonstrated ability and drive to pursue public policy research is another important qualification. 

Notably, we look for strong recommendations from individuals in academia or other professional sectors who know you well and can tell us about your qualifications for our program.

What else you should know  

You are not required to have a Harvard Kennedy School faculty advisor before   submitting your application . You will be assigned to an advisor if you are admitted to the PPOL Program. 

We will also look at your GRE scores for any tests you have taken in the past five years. Just note we do not accept the GMAT or LSAT.  There is no minimum GRE score to apply.  

If you are an international applicant, you will need to submit either your TOEFL iBT or IELTS score. International applicants who hold the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction do not need to submit the TOEFL iBT or IELTS. The minimum TOEFL score to apply is 103 and a minimum IELTS score to apply is 7. If you are an international student whose bachelor’s degree was not in English—but whose master’s degree was conducted in English—you must submit the one of the two tests. 

We often receive the question: "My undergraduate degree is from an institution where English is not the primary language of instruction. However, my master’s degree is from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction. Do I still need to take the TOEFL?" The answer is: Yes. 

If you are currently a Harvard Kennedy School student 

You will need to submit your PPOL application with new supporting documents—we cannot use your academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, or test scores that you submitted with your original HKS application. 

Walden University

College of Health Sciences and Public Policy: PhD in Public Policy and Administration (PPA)

  • College of Health Sciences and Public Policy
  • BS in Health Studies
  • BS in Public Health
  • Graduate Certificate in Government Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security
  • Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Public Health
  • Graduate Certificate in Public Management and Leadership
  • Graduate Certificate in Public Policy
  • Graduate Certificate in Strategic Planning and Public Policy
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA)
  • Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership
  • Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)
  • Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
  • PhD in Public Health
  • PhD in Public Policy and Administration (PPA)

Learning Outcomes

Minimum degree requirements, course sequence, previous specializations (not currently accepting new students), master of philosophy (embedded degree).

  • Doctoral Writing Assessment

8-Year Maximum Time Frame

Program Website  

The PhD in Public Policy and Administration program is designed to prepare students to address the challenges of governance and service delivery that exist both in the U.S. and around the world. Coursework explores public policy theory, research, and practice in a global context, enabling students to gain expertise in effective U.S. policy management and the ability to apply those insights to problems facing the world at large. The PhD in Public Policy and Administration can position students for career opportunities in research, higher education, or administration in the private, public, or nonprofit sector.

At the end of the program, students will be able to:

  • Discuss leadership concepts and theories that have been used to effectively lead and manage in the public sector.
  • Analyze evidence-based research, theories, and models used to promote participation in public and nonprofit policy processes.
  • Develop solutions for problems related to public policy and public administration using theory and research.
  • Ethically apply the major theories and concepts of public policy and public administration within organizations.
  • Evaluate models and best practices utilizing diverse perspectives in local, state, national, and international public agencies by using evidence-based research.
  • Professional Development Plan and Program of study
  • Foundation course (3 credits)
  • Core courses (25 credits)
  • Research courses (20 credits)
  • Dissertation Seminar courses (5 credits; continuously enrolled in 1 credits per term for a minimum of 5 terms until completed)
  • Dissertation writing courses (5 credits per term for a minimum of four terms; taken continuously until completion)
  • Quarter Plans
  • Four residencies

Foundation Course (3 credits)

Core courses (25 credits).

  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.

Foundation Research Sequence (15 credits)

Courses composing the Foundation Research Sequence are conducted online and require weekly readings, participation in discussions, and assignment completion. Course instructors guide discussions and evaluate discussion and application assignments. RSCH 8110 must be completed prior to Residency 2 of the academic residencies. RSCH 8210 and RSCH 8310 must be completed prior to beginning the dissertation or attending Residency 3.

Advanced Research Course (5 credits)

All PhD students are required to complete one advanced-level research course that mirrors the methodology of their intended dissertations. The university offers three advanced courses; individual programs may have other advanced options. Students should refer to their specific programs of study to determine program-specific requirements.

One of the following three courses is required

  • Students may take this a non-degree course.

Residency Requirements

  • Complete Residency 1 as soon as you begin your program;  should be completed in Term 1 or Term 2.
  • Complete Residency 2 within 18 months of your start date or linked to your registration for or completion of your first research course.
  • Complete Residency 3 by the end of your third year.
  • Residency 4 General  (RESI 8404) OR
  • Residency 4 Proposal Writing  (RESI 8404Q) OR
  • Residency 4 Methods & Data Collection: Qualitative  (RESI 8404R) OR
  • Residency 4 Methods & Data Collection: Quantitative  (RESI 8404S) OR
  • Residency 4 Publishing & Presenting  (RESI 8404T) OR
  • an approved professional conference (RESI 8900 for select programs only. Contact Advising for information.) OR
  • a dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during your 9000 course. Contact Student Success Advising to register. You must attend all sessions and advising throughout the entire intensive retreat in order to successfully complete the experience to satisfy residency 4 requirements.  NOTE: Intensive Retreats are NOT included in Fast Track tuition.
  • Optional:  Complete a PhD dissertation intensive  (DRWI 8500) during your dissertation. Contact Student Success Advising to register.

Completion of the Doctoral Capstone

Students take this course for a minimum of four terms and are continuously enrolled until completion of their doctoral study with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval. Most Walden students who complete their dissertation/doctoral study take more than 2 years to do so.

To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the  Dissertation Guidebook . In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation course until they complete an approved dissertation, which usually requires more than the minimum terms in the dissertation course shell.

Students undertake courses in the following sequence.

Quarter Course Credits
Quarter 1

PPPA 8004 - Foundations in Doctoral Studies

3 credits

PPPA 8405 - Ethics and Social Justice

5 credits
  ; should be completed in Term 1 or Term 2.  
Quarter 2 PPPA 8991 - Dissertation Seminar 1: Welcome to the Capstone Journey   1 credits

RSCH 8110 - Research Theory, Design, and Methods

5 credits
Quarter 3 PPPA 8104 - Intellectual Traditions and Theoretical Foundations of Public Policy and Administration 5 credits
PPPA 8992 - Dissertation Seminar 2: Building Knowledge and Skills  1 credits
Quarter 4 PPPA 8993 - Dissertation Seminar 3: Establishing Research Questions and Frameworks   1 credits
Complete Residency 2 within 18 months of your start date or linked to your registration for or completion of RSCH 8210.  

RSCH 8210 - Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis

5 credits
Quarter 5 PPPA 8112 - Governance and Public Policy 5 credits
PPPA 8994 - Dissertation Seminar 4: Developing Methods and Maintaining Alignment  1 credits
Quarter 6 RSCH 8310 - Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis 5 credits
PPPA 8995 - Dissertation Seminar 5: Transition to Candidacy  1 credits
Quarter 7 PPPA 8431 - Finance and Budgeting for the Public Sector 5  credits
PPPA 8111 - Leadership and Organizational Change 5 credits
Quarter 8 Complete Residency 3 linked to your registration for or completion of RSCH 8260, RSCH 8360, or RSCH 8460.  

RSCH 8260 - Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis

   

RSCH 8360 - Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

   

RSCH 8460 - Advanced Mixed-Methods Reasoning and Analysis

5 credits
Quarter 9+

Complete residency 4 after your prospectus is approved as follows:

 

PPPA 9000 - Dissertation

5 credits per term for a minimum of 4 terms; taken continuously until completion and approved by CAO
   Complete a PhD   (DRWI 8500) during your dissertation. Contact Student Success Advising to register.  

 *Students take this course for a minimum of four terms and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval. In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation course shell.

To complete a dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the  Dissertation Guidebook .

These previous PhD in Public Policy and Administration specializations are no longer accepting new students.  Current students in these specializations must complete their programs of study in accordance with Walden’s Time-to-Degree Completion policies.

  • Specialization courses (15 credits)
  • Doctoral support course (5 credits)

Specialization in Criminal Justice (not currently accepting new students)

Specialization in emergency management (not currently accepting new students), specialization in global leadership (not currently accepting new students), specialization in health policy (not currently accepting new students), specialization in homeland security policy and coordination (not currently accepting new students), specialization in international nongovernmental organizations (ngos) (not currently accepting new students), specialization in law and public policy (not currently accepting new students), specialization in nonprofit management and leadership (not currently accepting new students), specialization in policy analysis (not currently accepting new students), specialization in public management and leadership (not currently accepting new students), specialization in terrorism, mediation, and peace (not currently accepting new students), course sequence for specializations.

Quarter Course Credits
Quarter 1

PPPA 8004 - Foundations in Doctoral Studies

3 credits

PPPA 8405 - Ethics and Social Justice

5 credits
   should be completed within 90 days of completing your Foundations course.  
Quarter 2

PPPA 8465 - Strategic Planning: Collaboration, Cooperation, and Coordination

5 credits

RSCH 8110 - Research Theory, Design, and Methods

5 credits
Quarter 3

PPPA 8431 - Finance and Budgeting for the Public Sector

5 credits

PPPA 8111 - Leadership and Organizational Change

5 credits
Quarter 4

PPPA 8112 - Governance and Public Policy

5 credits
Specialization Course 1 5 credits
Quarter 5

RSCH 8210 - Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis

5 credits
Specialization Course 2 5 credits
  Complete Residency 2 as face-to-face or virtual within 18 months of your start date or linked to your registration for or completion of your first research course.  
Quarter 6 RSCH 8310 - Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis 5 credits
Specialization Course 3 5 credits
Quarter 7 Complete Residency 3 face-to-face by the end of your third year.  

Advanced research course:

   
5 credits

PPPA 8115 - Writing a Quality Prospectus

5 credits
  Complete Residency 4 during your third year or beyond as:  
Quarter 8+

PPPA 9000 - Dissertation

5 credits per term for a minimum of 4 terms; taken continuously until completion
   Complete a PhD   retreat (DRWI 8500) face-to-face during your dissertation. Contact Student Success Advising to register.  

* Students take this course for a minimum of four quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval.

To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the  Dissertation Guidebook.

Walden awards the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree to recognize PhD students for academic achievement leading up to their dissertation. With an MPhil, students will be able to demonstrate to employers and others that they have an advanced knowledge base in their field of study as well as proficiency in research design and evaluation.

  • All required PhD core courses (or KAMs)
  • All required PhD specialization courses (or KAMs)
  • All required doctoral research and advanced research courses
  • Program prospectus development course
  • Residencies 1, 2, and 3
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA is mandatory.
  • The MPhil requires a minimum of 45 quarter credits. Maximum transfer of credit varies by program but is not to exceed 50% of the overall, or embedded, program requirements. Students who previously completed a master's degree with Walden in the same discipline area are not eligible for an MPhil.

Students who start or readmit to doctoral programs at Walden University in the university catalog for academic year 2017 or later will complete the university’s required  doctoral writing assessment . Designed to evaluate incoming doctoral students’ writing skills, this assessment aims to help prepare incoming doctoral students to meet the university’s expectations for writing at the doctoral level.

Students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral degree requirements (see  Enrollment Requirements  in the student handbook). Students may petition to extend the 8-year maximum time frame, but an extension is not guaranteed.

  • << Previous: PhD in Public Health
  • Office of Student Disability Services

Walden Resources

Departments.

  • Academic Residencies
  • Academic Skills
  • Career Planning and Development
  • Customer Care Team
  • Field Experience
  • Military Services
  • Student Success Advising
  • Writing Skills

Centers and Offices

  • Center for Social Change
  • Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services
  • Office of Student Affairs
  • Office of Degree Acceleration
  • Office of Research and Doctoral Services

Student Resources

  • Form & Style Review
  • Quick Answers
  • ScholarWorks
  • SKIL Courses and Workshops
  • Walden Bookstore
  • Walden Catalog & Student Handbook
  • Student Safety/Title IX
  • Legal & Consumer Information
  • Website Terms and Conditions
  • Cookie Policy
  • Accessibility
  • Accreditation
  • State Authorization
  • Net Price Calculator
  • Contact Walden

Walden University is a member of Adtalem Global Education, Inc. www.adtalem.com Walden University is certified to operate by SCHEV © 2024 Walden University LLC. All rights reserved.

IMAGES

  1. The Best Online PhD in Public Administration and Doctorate Degree Programs

    best online phd public policy and administration

  2. The 6 Best Online Doctoral Degrees in Public Policy/Administration

    best online phd public policy and administration

  3. Top 5 Online Doctorates in Public Administration and Policy

    best online phd public policy and administration

  4. The Best Online PhD in Public Administration and Doctorate Degree Programs

    best online phd public policy and administration

  5. The Best Online PhD in Public Administration and Doctorate Degree Programs

    best online phd public policy and administration

  6. The Best Online PhD in Public Administration and Doctorate Degree Programs

    best online phd public policy and administration

VIDEO

  1. BPAC101PERSPECTIVES ON PUBLIC POLICY ADMINISTRATION PREVIOUS YEAR QUESTION PAPER JUNE 2023

  2. My PhD Public Defence

COMMENTS

  1. Best Ph.D. In Public Administration Online Of 2024

    The cost of an online doctor of public administration varies widely, as indicated by the three programs on this list. Tuition rates range from $254 to $827 per credit, and programs require between ...

  2. Online PhD in Public Policy and Administration

    As a graduate of Walden's PhD in Public Policy and Administration online program, you will be prepared to: Discuss leadership concepts and theories that have been used to effectively lead and manage in the public sector. Analyze evidence-based research, theories, and models used to promote participation in public and nonprofit policy processes.

  3. Best Online Doctorate in Public Administration Degree Programs of 2024

    An online doctorate in public administration program is designed to prepare students for successful municipal, state, or federal government careers by building the necessary knowledge and skills to lead, manage, and make impactful decisions in these organizations. Students delve into policy analysis, public finance, leadership, and ...

  4. 2024 Best Online PhD in Public Policy Programs

    The public policy doctorate program at Liberty University consists of 60 credits. It offers specialties in social policy, education policy, economic policy, foreign policy, and more. The program usually takes 3 years to complete, and classes are available 100% online. Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and ...

  5. 10 Best Online Doctor of Public Policy/Administration Degrees

    Walden University offers an online Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration degree. Students are required to complete 53 credits, in addition to a doctoral writing assessment, research courses, dissertation, and residency with team-based experiences, which can be completed with up to eight years of part-time study.

  6. Public Administration and Policy Online (PhD)

    Effective public administration and policy-making requires collaborative decisions and problem solving. Our PhD program takes a multi-sector approach. You'll focus on the challenges that arise where governments, nonprofits, businesses, community groups, and individuals intersect. You will graduate with a solid grounding in the theory and issues ...

  7. PhD in Public Policy and Administration

    The program admits once per year and admitted students start in Fall semester. Apply to the Graduate School directly, 615-963-7371. Tuition and fees for programs at TSU are available at the Bursar's website. All programs in the Department of Public Administration are delivered 100% online.

  8. The Best Online Doctorate In Public Policy Programs

    Common Courses for an Online Doctorate in Public Policy. Strategic Management and Planning: Coursework explores the processes and best practices involved in strategic planning, including collaboration, resource allocation, and coordination. Using real-life case studies, candidates develop strategic plans for nonprofit and public groups that align with their respective organizational missions.

  9. Doctorate in Public Administration Online

    To earn a doctor of public administration online, you must first hold a master's degree in a closely related field, such as political science or public policy. Most programs require prospective students to maintain a minimum GPA during their graduate studies, usually a 3.0 or higher.

  10. PhD Public Administration and Policy

    Students who have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study. Holders of a bachelor degree with honours from a recognised Canadian university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. A GPA of 3.0/4, 7.0/9 or 75% is usually equivalent to a UK 2.1.

  11. Top 5 Online Doctorates in Public Administration and Policy

    Format: Online. #2. VALDOSTA STATE UNIVERSITY. Valdosta State University's online 54-credit Doctor of Public Administration program is a practitioner-based and terminal degree designed for those looking to advance their already established careers in government, nonprofits, or nongovernment organizations.

  12. The 6 Best Online Doctoral Degrees in Public Policy/Administration

    This 100% online program gives public policy administrators the knowledge and tools to be successful leaders. This 60-credit hour degree includes a dissertation requirement and will prepare graduates for public administrative positions in lead management, organization director, and regulatory affairs.

  13. Best Online Ph.D. In Public Administration

    Curriculum for an Online Doctorate in Public Administration. Governance and public policy: Learning to govern democratic organizations in the public sector is a key part of earning a DPA degree online. In this class, students explore the fundamental theories of governance, the contexts in which public and nonprofit leaders work, and the social institutions that shape public policy and ...

  14. Online Doctorate In Public Administration

    Earn an Online Ph.D. in Public Administration. Completing a doctor in public administration (DPA) online opens professional doors for individuals who want to act as leaders in government, directors of public policy, and educators to the next generation of practitioners. This degree serves those with a demonstrated interest in policy and ...

  15. Online Public Administration Doctorate Degree

    The overall ROI is negative $339,074. Contrast this to Walden University, where doctorate in public administration graduates right out of school earn a median salary of $91,524 and a salary of ...

  16. The Best Online PhD in Public Administration and ...

    If an online DPA doesn't suit you and you are looking for the best online PhD program in Public Administration, this is the one. Old Dominion University offers a Ph.D. in Public Administration and Policy online.It required 49 credit hours (37 of coursework and 12 for student dissertations).

  17. PhD Public Administration & Policy

    For more information, please contact the SPA Graduate Admissions Office at 202-885-6230 or [email protected]. The PhD degree in Public Administration and Policy requires 54 credit hours of approved graduate work for students entering the program with a bachelor's degree alone, or 36 credit hours if entering with a related master's degree.

  18. PhD in Public Policy

    The PhD in Public Policy (PPOL) program provides the advanced graduate training you need to successfully launch yourself into a research or related position in academia, government, a nongovernmental organization, or the private sector. You will get the training you need to conduct analytical research, help shape and execute policy, and teach ...

  19. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Policy

    In our online PhD in public policy, you will: Compare the impact of nation-states in various historical eras to today's era of globalization. Consider probability theory and hypothesis testing ...

  20. PhD

    Office of Admissions. Email. 773.702.8401. The Ph.D. program at Harris Public Policy prepares students for careers in academia, industry, and government. It emphasizes a rigorous foundation in microeconomics, econometrics, and political economy, along with in-depth study of particular substantive areas associated with policy and policy-making.

  21. What We Look For

    The PhD in Public Policy (PPOL) program balances theory with practical methods to prepare students for careers in academia, in government, at research organizations, or in the private sector. What do we look for in our PPOL students? Evidence of your ability to handle the rigor of our curriculum, which is why you're required to have completed and excelled in the following:

  22. PhD in Public Policy and Administration (PPA)

    The PhD in Public Policy and Administration program is designed to prepare students to address the challenges of governance and service delivery that exist both in the U.S. and around the world. Coursework explores public policy theory, research, and practice in a global context, enabling students to gain expertise in effective U.S. policy ...

  23. Social Sciences Degree & Career Guide

    Students can select from degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels in subjects such as history, sociology, psychology, anthropology, and economics, to name a few options. Students who pursue a social sciences degree feel curious about human motivations and behaviors, be they focused on factors such as wealth, mental health ...