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School of Public ServicePh.D. in Public Administration & Policy

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The Ph.D. in Public Administration & Policy develops expert leaders & scholars capable of creating & disseminating knowledge that advances public service in a multi-sector environment.

The Ph.D. program focuses on:

  1. Developing effective public, non-profit sector and urban policy leaders throughout Hampton Roads, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the nation, who have both content knowledge and research skills;
  2. Educating individuals who intend to pursue teaching as a vocation in colleges and universities in Virginia as well as nationally and internationally;
  3. Building collaborative research and demonstration initiatives with community and state agencies that link research initiatives to public management and urban policy improvement and economic development; and
  4. Providing the linkages among content knowledge, research, and field experiences for all doctoral students.

Students will learn to apply the theoretical foundations of public administration and policy to actual public sector contexts; synthesize existing knowledge, identify and access appropriate sources of information, and critically analyze and evaluate public administration and policy research studies; select and apply research to analyzing public sector issues in the multi-sector environment; demonstrate skills in designing research studies to answer relevant questions in public administration and policy; produce written and oral communications that apply and convey high quality research; and demonstrate quantitative and qualitative research skills in measurement, data collection, analysis, and synthesis of results.

All program graduates will have the opportunity to develop a substantive knowledge of a body of work in public administration and policy, as well as to acquire analytical and research skills that will enable them to become educators, leaders, and researchers in their chosen areas.


Program Requirements

The program requires 49 credit hours for completion, including 37 hours of coursework, and is organized as follows:

  • Prerequisites (do not count towards required 49 credit hours; credit hours varies)
  • Core courses in Public Administration and Policy (13 credit hours)
  • Research component (15 credit hours, including 12 research core and 3 research electives)
  • Electives (9 credit hours)
  • Dissertation process (minimum of 12 credit hours)

Students are required to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0.

Applicants who have insufficient background in any of the prerequisite competency areas will be required to enroll in course in PADM 651 — Administrative Theory I. The prerequisite must be completed with a grade of B or better; this prerequisite course is not included in the required credit hours to complete the doctoral program.