Doctor of Philosophy in Public Administration

The mission of the Ph.D. program in Public Administration is to provide advanced graduate education in theory and research in the field to prepare students for academic, research, and advanced professional careers in public administration.

Each student is expected to graduate with:

  • Research experience working with public administration faculty
  • Experience in presentation of scholarly papers and posters at national and regional conferences
  • Experience in developing, authoring, or co-authoring with a faculty member, and submitting at least one article for a refereed publication
  • Teaching experience at the college/university level

Degree Conferred: Ph.D.

Funding and Financial Aid

All applicants will be considered for financial aid. Qualified students will be supported with 9-month merit-based research or teaching assistantships. While these are not guaranteed, funding opportunities may also be available for admitted students during the summer semesters. Such opportunities may include, but are not limited to, teaching and involvement in faculty-sponsored research.  Students may also apply for other financial aid programs through the University’s financial aid office.

In addition, the program faculty may admit to the program qualified full-time students who will finance their educations with scholarships from sources outside Penn State or with personal funds. These sources may include foreign governments that fund international students for Ph.D. studies in the United States and other funding agencies, such as Fulbright commissions.

Grade-Point Average and Time Limit

Full-time students are expected to finish the program in four to five years. Graduate Council policy requires that a student must complete the program within eight years after passing the candidacy examination. The Ph.D. Program in Public Administration requires that students have at least a 3.50 grade-point average in order to graduate.


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