May 21, 2022
Return to: College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
“Working hard at Walden will produce exciting and amazing results.”
Frederick M. Sahakian, PhD in Public Policy and Administration Student
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. Students in this program may choose a specialization that fits their personal and/or career objectives.
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 cr.)
- Core courses (30 cr.)
- Foundation Research Sequence (12 cr.)
- Advanced Research course (4 cr.)
- Specialization courses (15 cr.)
- Completion of the Doctoral Capstone
- Proposal, dissertation, and oral presentation (5 cr. per term for a minimum of four terms; taken continuously until completion)
- Minimum enrollment of 8 quarters’ enrollment, depending on the transfer of credits awarded
- Four residencies
Foundation Course (3 cr.)
Foundation Research Sequence (15 cr.)
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 cr.)
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:
Specialization Courses (15 cr.)
These courses are dependent upon the particular specialization. Please see the course list on each specialization page. Please see the course list on each specialization page. For the General Program, choose any three specialization courses from among the PhD in Public Policy and Administration program’s specializations.
- Complete Residency 1 face-to-face as soon as you begin your program; should be completed within 90 days of completing your Foundations course.
- 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.
- Complete Residency 3 face-to-face by the end of your third year.
- Complete Residency 4 during your third year or beyond as:
- a face-to-face or virtual residency (RESI 8404) OR
- an approved professional conference (RESI 8900 based on program availability) OR
- a dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during your 9000 course. Contact Academic Advising to register.
- Optional: Complete a PhD Dissertation Intensive retreat (DRWI 8500) face-to-face during your dissertation. Contact Academic Advising to register.
Completion of the Doctoral Capstone
- PPPA 9000 - Dissertation
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.
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 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. To complete a doctoral study, 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.
Doctoral Writing Assessment
Students who start their doctoral program at Walden University in 2016 or later will complete the university’s required doctoral writing assessment on a rolling basis. 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. For more information, click here.
Walden is committed to providing the information you need to make an informed decision about where you pursue your education. Find detailed information for the PhD in Public Policy and Administration (Course-Based) program relating to the types of occupations this program may lead to, completion rate, program costs, and median loan debt of students who have graduated from this program. This information will vary depending on whether you (1) hold an MPA/MS NPML from Walden or an MPP/MPA from another accredited university or (2) do not hold an MPA/MPP degree.