Through our PhD in Public Policy and Administration program, you can take the lead in developing sustainable solutions to improve people’s quality of life today and ensure a better tomorrow.

The online PhD in Public Policy and Administration program can prepare you to meet the challenges of governance and public service in the United States and around the world. Gain a detailed understanding of public policy theory, research, and practice in a global context.

Earning your PhD in Public Policy and Administration from Walden positions you to attain a new level of influence in your field. Become a researcher, college-level educator, or administrative leader in the private, public, or nonprofit sector.

Why earn your PhD in Public Policy and Administration from Walden?

  • The program’s international perspective benefits U.S.-based and international students alike. With courses that incorporate global case studies, a Global Leadership specialization option, and a foundation course created exclusively for international students, this public policy PhD helps you broaden your understanding.
  • The program is taught by a diverse faculty of scholar-practitioners, all of whom hold doctoral degrees, with experience in domestic and international policy.
  • Four academic residencies that support your progress at key points in your doctoral journey. Residencies enrich your learning experience by enabling you to meet face to face with peers, staff, and faculty while gaining skills to prepare you for your dissertation.
  • Choose from the General Program or 13 specializations, allowing you to focus your learning on your personal interests and career goals:

Save money and time by completing your degree faster.

If you are eligible, you can transfer up to 41 credits to your PhD program. This allows you to save up to 45% of the cost of your tuition and earn your degree sooner.

  • If you have a Master of Public Administration (MPA) or an MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Walden, you can complete your program with 66 credits instead of 82 credits.
  • If you have a Master of Public Administration (MPA) or a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from another regionally accredited university, you can complete your program with 67 credits instead of 82 credits.

Learning Outcomes

With our PhD in Public Policy and Administration program, you can gain the knowledge and credentials that will help you change your world—and the world around you.

Graduates of this program will be prepared to:

  1. Discuss leadership concepts and theories that have been used to effectively lead and manage in the public sector.
  2. Analyze evidence-based research, theories, and models used to promote participation in  public and nonprofit policy processes.
  3. Develop solutions for problems related to public policy and public administration using theory and research.
  4. Ethically apply the major theories and concepts of public policy and public administration within organizations.
  5. Evaluate models and best practices utilizing diverse perspectives in local, state, national and international public agencies by using evidence-based research.

Find detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.


Walden Facts


Almost 95% of Walden alumni responding to our survey say that their program helped them to advance positive social change.*


More than half of Walden doctoral graduates who responded to our survey say their degree contributed to earning a pay raise.*

Source:; % calculated on total number of respondents to our 2014 survey.


Don Reed

Donald J. Reed

PhD in Public Policy and Administration Graduate
Walden was a natural choice for me due to its method of instruction; it is conducive to professionals looking to earn an advanced degree.
My wife was so impressed with my Walden education that she enrolled in the Doctor of Education (EdD) program.
In the hour I spent talking with Walden’s admissions advisor, I completely changed my career ambition. To this day, I am still on that path.
Michael Schenck PhD in Public Policy and Administration Graduate
Michael Schenck
Thomas Schillinger PhD in Public Policy and Administration Graduate
Thomas Schillinger
Seth Barnett MPA Graduate
Seth Barnett
Man researching online education on laptop
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