Doctoral Program of Study
There are four required core seminars in the doctoral program of study. These seminars are taken at the beginning of a student's program of study and cover the theoretical foundations of the field; the major knowledge frameworks that form the basis for research design and methods; the political social and economic environments of public administration; and management theories.
There are three required research seminars. The first two courses are taken during the first or second year of a student's program and cover quantitative and qualitative research design and methods. The third course, on advanced research design is taken at the end of the student's course work under the direction of the supervisory committee chair, and covers the elements of a successful dissertation proposal.
Teaching and Professional Skills Workshop
There is a required 1-credit workshop (PA 9920) doctoral students typically take in year two of the program. A team of faculty facilitate discussions on topics related to teaching, publishing,job search, and other areas. The workshop includes videotaping of students giving "micro" lectures and feedback from faculty and students. Students also prepare a syllabus, and teaching and research statements.
The faculty offer seven areas of specialization. Doctoral students choose two courses (6 hours) in each of two areas of specialization, for a total of 12 credit hours. The area of specialization includes a seminar or proseminar and second course drawn from the graduate curriculum of Public Administration or a related academic unit in the university system. The seven specialization areas are:
- Information & Technology Management
- Nonprofit Management
- Public Administration Theory
- Public Aviation & Transportation
- Public Budgeting & Finance
- Public Policy
- Urban Management
The dissertation represents an original contribution to knowledge development in the field of Public Administration. Following successful completion of all course work and a field exam, doctoral students apply for Candidacy for the Degree and then defend a dissertation proposal before their supervisory committees. Following successful defense of the proposal, students work under the guidance of their supervisory committee chairs until the project is substantially complete. Two readers from the student's supervisory committee then review the entire document and may recommend further work or changes. After the committee chair and readers agree that the dissertation is ready for defense, the student schedules a public defense.
For more information, please see the Dissertation Format.