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Program at a Glance

College of Community Innovation and Education
Public Administration, Schl of
U.S. News & World Report Best Grad Schools Public Affairs Badge

The Public Affairs PhD - Public Administration MPA Dual Degree Track provides academically talented students an opportunity to earn the Doctor of Philosophy in Public Affairs and the Master of Public Administration degrees concurrently. Students successfully completing the PhD/MPA Dual Degree program will have the skills and analytical techniques for careers in academia or in the public and nonprofit sectors. After successful completion of the PhD/MPA Dual Degree program, students will receive two diplomas, one for the Public Administration MPA degree and one for the Public Affairs PhD degree.

Students seeking admission to the PhD/MPA Dual Degree program should apply directly to the Public Affairs PhD - Public Administration MPA Dual Degree Track. Only one application will be required. If admitted, student will be active in both the Public Administration MPA and the Public Affairs PhD programs.

The Public Administration MPA Dual Degree track in the Public Affairs PhD program consists of 81 credit hours, including 48 credit hours of required courses, 18 credit hours of specialization electives approved by the student's faculty adviser or program director, and 15 credit hours of dissertation hours. For required courses, students must first complete seven core courses plus the capstone course for the MPA program (24 credit hours) before enrolling in doctoral level courses. Doctoral level courses are reserved for students who have successfully completed all master's degree requirements. Once a student has completed all master's level coursework, then that student will take four Public Affairs substantive core courses and four Public Affairs methodological and statistical core courses for the PhD program (24 credit hours), plus six specialization elective courses (18 credit hours) and 15 credit hours of dissertation hours.

Total Credit Hours Required: 81 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the bachelor's degree.

Specialization Areas:
Students enrolled in the Public Affairs PhD, Public Administration MPA Dual Degree Track will have the opportunity to choose from one of nine specialization areas. Suggested areas of specialization are comprised of graduate courses offered by the university’s existing graduate degree programs. When pursuing electives intended for master’s level students, doctoral students are expected to complete additional readings and assignments in addition to those required for master’s students enrolled in those courses. Students complete four recommended courses (twelve credit hours) for their chosen specialization (substitutions will be allowed with the approval of the program director, and students may create their own specialization with advance approval from the program director) and six credit hours of directed research in which the student conducts independent research in their anticipated dissertation topic with their advisor. Students should note that the concentrations identified below are exemplary and not exclusive.

The Doctoral Program in Public Affairs’ specialization areas include but are not limited to:

  • Public Policy Analysis
  • Public Budgeting & Finance
  • Public Management
  • Urban Policy
  • Emergency Management
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Collaborative Governance
  • Comparative Public Administration
  • Community and Global Health Services Research

For detailed explanations pertaining to each specialization, please visit the Doctoral Program in Public Affairs’ program page at:

Application Deadlines

February 1
January 15

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