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Department of Public Administration & Policy


SPA: Graduate Admissions
(202) 885-6230
Kerwin Hall, Room 306

SPA: Graduate Admissions
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016
DPAP PhD students

Ph.D. Program - Department of Public Administration and Policy

Our Mission

Our mission is to produce the next generation of leading scholars in public administration and public policy. We aim for our graduates to produce original research that is methodologically sound, socially relevant, and makes important contributions to knowledge and theory.

Program Overview

The Ph.D. Program in the Department of Public Administration and Policy is a full-time, cohort-based degree that prepares students for careers in research and teaching in the fields of public administration and public policy. From the first day of orientation to the final dissertation defense, each student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor to develop the skills needed for a career in academia. By the time they graduate, virtually all of our students have presented their research at key conferences and published their work in peer-reviewed academic journals. Our philosophy is that doctoral education should be about much more than coursework. Our program provides a comprehensive, multifaceted introduction to the research enterprise and what it means to be a scholar in public administration and public policy.

For additional information, please review this Frequently Asked Questions Sheet.

Degree Requirements

Learn about our curriculum and degree requirements.

Ph.D. Program Handbook

The Ph.D. Program handbook is a comprehensive and detailed source of information about our program.

Admission and Funding

Learn about eligibility for admission, required materials, criteria for admission decision, and funding.

Research Seminar Series

Our department engages all Ph.D. students in weekly research seminars.

Meet Current Ph.D. Students and Candidates on the Market

Explore the profiles of our current Ph.D. students.

You can also view profiles of our current Ph.D. candidates that are on the job market.

Recent Placements and Achievements

We encourage our doctoral students to conduct research that makes an impact through publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at national conferences. You can review recent publications and conference presentations of our PhD students.

Also, here are some examples of recent (2013-2015) academic placements of DPAP PhD Program graduates:

  • Name
  • Christopher Birdsall
  • Susannah Ali Bruns
  • Michael Hayes
  • Steven Holt
  • Jiaqi Liang
  • John Marvel
  • Sarah Pettijohn
  • William Resh
  • Rhucha Samudra
  • Pedro Pablo Sanabria Pulido
  • Jaclyn Schede Piatak
  • Amanda Stewart
  • Katie Vinopal
  • Raymond Zuniga
  • Placement
  • Boise State University
  • Florida International University
  • Rutgers University, Camden
  • CUNY at Albany
  • New Mexico University
  • George Mason University
  • University of North Carolina, Charlotte
  • University of Southern California
  • State University of New York
  • Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
  • University of North Carolina, Charlotte
  • North Carolina State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Virginia Tech University

Living in Washington, DC

Prospective students can access the American University resources for finding off-campus housing in Washington, DC.

Contact Us

We invite you to learn more about our programs by browsing the website. For additional general inquiries about the PhD program in the Department of Public Administration and Policy, please contact SPA Graduate Admissions at