Doctor of Philosophy in Public Administration

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Administration

The mission of the Ph.D. program in Public Administration at Penn State Harrisburg is to provide advanced graduate education in theory and research in the field to prepare students for academic, research, and advanced professional careers. Established in 1989, the program has a long tradition of providing advanced education in public administration and policy.

The program offers unique features that allow students to customize their programs of study. In addition to the following areas of specialization, together with their committees, they can design their own specializations, by selecting courses from the programs of the School of Public Affairs or other graduate programs of the University. 

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Specialization Areas

  • Public and nonprofit management
  • Organizations and human resource management
  • Public budgeting and finance
  • Public policy analysis
  • State and local government administration
  • Criminal justice
  • Health administration
  • Homeland security

Individuals with strong academic records and interest in research and teaching are encouraged to apply to the program. The program typically admits a cohort of full-time students to begin each fall semester. Applications for part-time study are considered if the applicant has a strong academic record and if his/her research interests are compatible with those of the program faculty members.

Program faculty members work closely with students to help enhance their knowledge of the fields of study. They also help students gain experience in conducting research, presenting scholarly papers at academic/professional conferences, publishing in scholarly journals, and teaching college/university-level courses.

Information about the expertise and interests of the faculty members, the background and interests of current student members, and the experience and current employment statuses of the program alumni can be found at the respective links on this page. The students who are currently in the program are members of the Public Administration Doctoral Student Organization.

Degree Conferred: Ph.D.