PhD in Public Administration: Online and Campus-Based Programs

Read about your options for doctoral study in the public administration field, including on-campus Ph.D. programs and online Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) programs. Compare these options and their curricula. Get info about career opportunities in the public administration field. Schools offering Public Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Study in the On-Campus Ph.D. in Public Administration Program?

In the Ph.D. in Public Administration program, you'll study research methods and design, public organization theory, the history of public administration, democratic constitutionalism and policy implementation. You may be required to complete a written comprehensive exam as well. Depending on the program, you may be required to complete a research apprenticeship and participate in a teaching assistant program.

Common Courses History of public administration, research methods, policy implementation, democratic constitutionalism, public organizational theory
Online Availability Online programs are available (programs may be DPA instead of Ph.D. in Public Administration); campus visits may be required
Possible Careers University teacher, government or public service leadership positions, researcher

Is the Online Program Different From the On-Campus Program?

The online program may be known by a different name, such as the Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) degree program. Unlike the Ph.D. in Public Administration, which is typically a scholarly degree, the Doctor of Public Administration program is generally a practitioner-oriented program. Numerous fieldwork experiences may be required for this type of program as well. You'll also need to complete a dissertation research course and core topics in public services theory, leadership theories, public policy analysis, public needs planning and assessment, program evaluation and social responsibility. Concentrations may be available in the programs, including one in government management.

Although the program is completed online, you still may be required to visit the campus periodically to meet with professors or advisers. You may be required to attend meetings and seminars on the main campus at the beginning of each semester. Attendance might be reserved for the weekends only.

What Can I Do With a Doctoral Degree in Public Administration?

As stated previously, the Ph.D. is a scholarly program, so you'll be prepared for careers in research and academia. The DPA program, because it's practitioner-oriented, is designed for public administrators pursuing leadership positions in government, public service and politics. You'll also qualify for teaching positions in political science, as well as public affairs and government administration.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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