Choose a PhD in Public Policy and Administration program that prepares you for next-level leadership.

Gain the insights to address critical challenges in your community—and the credibility to shape sustainable change—with a PhD in Public Policy and Administration from Walden. PhD programs in public policy prepare students to become high-level practitioners and leaders in government and nonprofit sectors.

Why Pursue Your PhD in Public Policy and Administration With Walden?

  • Choose a university that’s leading the way in research doctorates. You can put your confidence in an institution ranked as the No. 1 granter of doctoral research degrees.1
  • Learn from experts. This program is taught by a distinguished faculty of scholar-practitioners, many of whom have senior-executive experience in government and public service.
  • Build a well-rounded point of view. Discover engaging classroom experiences that immerse you in a diverse and inclusive environment.
  • Get robust dissertation support. Four residencies help you build skills and network with peers and faculty. Get research guidance from our Library, Writing Center, and Center for Research Quality.

Walden Facts

Walden is the No. 1 granter of doctoral research degrees.1
Almost 90% of Walden alumni responding to our survey say that their program helped them to advance positive social change.2

An Online PhD Program That Puts You at the Center

We know how important it is to find a balance between work, studies, and your personal life. That’s why we’ve created a program with busy public service professionals like you in mind. Although you’re learning online, you’re never in it alone. From start to finish, get access to a wealth of exceptional student resources designed to move you forward. This includes everything from writing assistance to nurturing faculty who always have time for you.

Earning your doctorate is the ultimate intellectual challenge, and Walden’s online learning environment is designed to help you thrive. You bring your passion, drive, and determination. We’ll provide the ongoing support, guidance, and resources to help you reach the finish line.

Solve the Nation’s Pressing Issues

From poverty to rising healthcare costs, confronting today’s critical issues requires decision-making informed by the most current thinking. Walden’s online PhD in Public Policy and Administration program equips you with the skills and credentials to become a strong, confident, and innovative public administration leader. Gain a multidisciplinary, multicultural perspective and advanced problem-solving expertise that prepare you to make positive contributions to the field.

Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of Walden’s online PhD in Public Policy and Administration online program, you will be prepared to:

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

Become a Social Change-Maker

You want to impact public policy at a higher level. Elevate your influence with a credential that matters. From dedicated faculty to exceptional support services, you’re never alone on your doctoral path—Walden is with you at every step. Find out more about our online PhD in Public Policy and Administration program today.

What’s the Career Impact of Earning a PhD in Public Policy and Administration?

In an era of overwhelming societal challenges and limited resources, the country needs more public policy problem-solvers. Walden’s online PhD in Public Policy and Administration program equips you with the advanced expertise to shape sustainable solutions to America’s most pressing issues.

Whether you want to advance into a leadership role or make a greater impact as a public service practitioner, a PhD can prepare you for bold new career opportunities. Help improve quality of life and ensure a better tomorrow for your community—and beyond.

What Can I Do With a PhD in Public Policy and Administration?

A PhD in Public Policy and Administration is an elite credential that sets you apart in the market and brings new respect from peers and employers. You’ll be prepared for influential roles at all levels of government and in the nonprofit sector.

Career options include:

  • Executive director
  • Commissioner and assistant commissioner
  • Chief (e.g., police/fire)
  • Superintendent (e.g., schools, police)
  • Deputy chief
  • Deputy superintendent
  • Deputy director
  • Administrator
  • Legislative liaison
  • Budget director
  • Economist
  • Policy advisor
  • Program manager
  • Compliance officer/manager
  • Youth services specialist
  • Auditor (government audit)

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.


Erika Jones-Dilworth

Erika Jones-Dilworth

PhD in Public Policy and Administration Graduate
I would not have been able to obtain my master’s or work on my doctoral degree without the flexibility of Walden’s online programs.
Walden University reinforced the importance of research and thinking critically on public policy and administration issues.
One of my committee members is a writing expert. She worked with me personally. I could call her at home or e-mail her at any time, and she would always respond.
Kelly L. Malcolm MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership Graduate, PhD in Public Policy and Administration Graduate
Kelley Malcolm
Demarcus Marshall PhD in Public Policy and Administration Graduate
Demarcus Marshall
Phillip Neely Jr. PhD in Public Policy and Administration Graduate
Philip Neely

1Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Integrated Postsecondary Education Database (IPEDS). Retrieved July 2018; includes 2017 preliminary data and all classifications of instructional programs (CIP) codes. A doctoral research degree is a PhD or other doctoral degree that requires advanced work beyond the master’s level, including the preparation and defense of a dissertation based on original research or the planning and execution of an original project demonstrating substantial artistic or scholarly achievement. Some examples of this type of degree may include EdD, DMA, DBA, DSc, DA, DM, or others, as designated by the awarding institution.

2Source:; % calculated on total number of respondents to our 2015 survey.

Note: Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic, such as tuition and fee increases; transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; writing, research, and editing skills; use of external data for the doctoral study/dissertation; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations, caregiving responsibilities, or health issues; leaves of absence; or other personal circumstances.

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Questions about our PhD in Public Policy and Administration?
Questions about our PhD in Public Policy and Administration?
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