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4 Courses You Might Take When Earning a PhD in Public Policy

Doctoral-level online courses can help you gain the insights and research skills to shape public policy and make a greater impact in your community.

From the opioid epidemic and homelessness to rising healthcare costs and shrinking education funding, policymakers are facing unprecedented challenges across the nation. If you want the high-level expertise to help solve these critical public policy issues, you might consider a PhD in Public Policy and Administration.

Maybe you already work in a public administration job and want to move into a leadership role in your organization or community. Or perhaps you want to shape public policy around a certain issue that you are passionate about. No matter your motivation, earning a PhD degree through an online public policy graduate program can equip you to advance your career and effect positive social change at the local, state, and federal levels.


What Will I Learn in a Public Policy and Public Administration Online PhD Program?

Earning a doctoral degree in public policy will help you gain the deep insights, research skills, and credentials to develop evidence-based solutions to some of today’s toughest problems related to public policy and public administration.

As a public policy PhD student, you will take online courses that explore a variety of issues related to public policy and public administration—with topics ranging from ethics and democratic governance to nonprofit finance and public sector leadership.

Earning a degree from an online doctoral program will also help you become a better researcher. You will learn how to design and analyze your own doctoral research—capping off the PhD program with a dissertation on a public policy or public administration topic of your choice.

Here are four online courses you might take while earning your PhD in Public Policy degree:

1. Ethics and Social Justice

This online course examines the philosophy of ethics, responsibility, and social justice. You will explore the complex social, political, and ethical challenges that you could face in your career as a leader in public policy and public administration. You will even get the chance to use your new skills to develop a solution to an ethical or social justice issue relevant to public policy today.

2. Leadership and Organizational Change

Effective leadership in public administration or public policy requires the ability to embrace and lead change. In this course, you will learn what it takes to be a strong leader in diverse organizations—especially during times of change. You’ll also learn how to apply leadership strategies to advance positive social change within your organization or community.

3. Governance and Public Policy

This online class takes an in-depth look at democratic governance in public administration, public policy, and nonprofit or nongovernmental organizations. You’ll explore the definition of public policy in modern society and work to understand the social influences on public policy and public administration decision-making.

4. Research Theory, Design, and Methods

An important part of your doctoral journey is learning how to be a strong researcher. This is the first in a series of research courses you’ll take in the online public policy PhD program. This course will help you gain the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to understand, analyze, and design your original doctoral research.

Are You Ready to Earn a PhD Degree in Public Policy?

If you want to advance your career and impact public policy at a higher level, then you might be ready for a PhD degree in public policy or public administration.

When deciding where to earn a doctorate, look for an institution that’s known for its online PhD programs, such as Walden University. The accredited university is the No. 1 granter of doctoral research degrees1 and has a reputation for producing doctoral graduates who are prepared to advance positive social change.

With a flexible online learning environment, Walden’s PhD in Public Policy and Administration program allows you to earn a doctoral degree while still fulfilling work and life commitments. Online courses cover public policy and public administration issues relevant to what’s happening today. You can apply your online education from day one to make an immediate difference in your organization and career.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a PhD in Public Policy and Administration degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.

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.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,