Career & Education Resources


Professional PhD Degrees for Public Service

The Ph.D. focuses on training persons to conduct sophisticated research. Persons earning the Ph.D. might seek employment in universities, consulting firms and think tanks, or perhaps other job opportunities in public service that require such skills. Most Ph.D. programs in public administration/public policy do not require prospective students to first earn a  Master’s degree.

Ph.D. public policy programs are comprehensive, and while some Ph.D. programs offer a general studies option, many require that you choose a specialization. Specializations may include law, public management, health policy, environment, and more.

The curriculum of a Ph.D. program may span a wide range of topics, despite the specialization chosen. The graduate curriculum may include a range of topics, but will focus on research, analysis, and methodology. Upon the completion of your coursework, you will write (and “defend”) a dissertation. A dissertation is the final step to achieving your Ph.D. degree, but can be a challenging one. Ultimately, a dissertation should demonstrate your understanding of the program’s coursework through applied research.

For more information about public service PhD programs, please check out our  institutional members and their affiliated offerings.