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What to Expect in a PhD in Public Policy and Administration Program

Whether you call it a PhD in public administration or a PhD in public policy, public policy graduate programs prepare you for a career effecting positive change. Here's what to expect once you enroll.

If you’re passionate about becoming a leader and fostering positive social change, there are few better ways to accomplish it than through public policy, and you can accomplish even more by pursuing your PhD in Public Policy and Administration.

On campus and online, public policy graduate programs equip students with the knowledge and skills needed—such as public policy theory, research, and policy development—for rewarding careers effecting social change through policy management at the local, state, federal, and international levels. But what can you expect when you enter a PhD in Public Policy and Administration program?

What to Expect in a PhD in Public Policy and Administration Program

From finding your niche in this field to the exploring the challenges you’ll face, we break down what you can expect from a PhD in public policy and administration program below.

You’ll meet like-minded individuals.
If you’re interested in pursuing a PhD in Public Policy and Administration, chances are you’re a problem solver, a collaborator, and an idea person. You’re passionate about change and making things happen—and you’ll find others who have many of the same core traits in public policy graduate programs.

You’ll be challenged.
PhD programs can be challenging and rigorous. And a PhD in public policy is no different. Regardless of the specialty you choose, public policy graduate program curriculum spans a wide range of topics, from ethics, organizational change, and governance to strategic planning, finance, and leadership. You’ll learn research theory and methods, quantitative reasoning and analysis, and when you’re done with your coursework…

You’ll write a dissertation.
The culmination of your PhD public policy studies comes in the form of a dissertation. While a formidable challenge, this undertaking gives you the opportunity to apply everything you’ve learned in your studies into a research paper uniquely tailored to your interests that can make a lasting impact in the field.

You’ll be ready for a career in public policy.
Equipped with working knowledge of public policy theory, research, and practice, your PhD in Public Policy and Administration will prepare you for career opportunities as a researcher, college-level educator, or administrative leader in a variety of settings including in the government, private sector, or nonprofit arena.

Are you ready to develop sustainable solutions to some of the world’s most pressing social issues by enrolling in a public policy graduate program?

Explore how Walden University’s online PhD in Public Policy and Administration program can help you achieve your career goals on your own schedule.