PhD in Public Administration Information Guide

PhDinPublicAdministration covers online degrees and careers in public administration, specifically graduate programs. Public Administration is a rewarding field for ambitious students and earning a master or doctorate degree can help further your career.

Are you considering a PhD in Public Administration? Have you determined that you’re ready to pursue the highest level of educational attainment? Earning a PhD is a true mark of distinction and recognition. PhD programs provide extensive training and in-depth course work in your designated field. PhD programs in public administration prepare students to assume administrative and leadership positions in government and health care, and other sectors.

If you know you’re ready to commit to a doctoral program, it’s time to start your research. There are many different types of PhD programs in public administration. The program you choose should depend on what your career goals are. By now, you’ve probably worked in the field for several years and already have a plan or strategy in place. Or perhaps you just finished your master’s degree and are ready to transition to a doctoral program immediately upon graduation. No matter where you are in your career, our site can help you find the right program that fits your unique interest and goals.

Northcentral University DBA: Public Admin PhD: Business Admin - Public Admin MBA: Public Admin Northcentral University › Northcentral University is a private school for business and psychology students. The school has two doctorate programs in Public Administration, a DBA and a PhD, as well as an MBA degree. These programs are offer online in addition to the campus programs. Northcentral is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
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Walden University PhD: Public Policy and Admin PhD: Public Policy and Admin - Public Mgmt & Leadership PhD: Public Policy and Admin - Interdisciplinary Policy Studies MPA Walden University › Walden University is one of the most popular schools among students seeking online programs in Public Administration. The school has several options available including a general program and a specialization in Management and Leadership. Walden is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
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Kaplan University MPA MPA: Governmental Mgmt Kaplan University › Even though Kaplan University does not offer PhD-level programs, many students have chosen it in order to obtain their Governmental Management. Kaplan is one of the biggest schools in America and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
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Norwich University MPA Norwich University › Norwich University has the distinction of being America’s first private military college, but it does serve both civilian and military personnel. This Vermont school has been around for almost 200 years and now offers its MPA degree online. Norwich is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
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See all schools that offer Public Administration degrees…

Types of PhD Programs in Public Administration

When you start your research online, you’ll likely come across two “types” of PhD programs: Doctor of Public Administration (D.P.A.) and PhD in Public Administration. Both are considered “terminal” degrees. A terminal degree is the highest possible academic credential you can receive. Each signifies a mastery of the field and a level of achievement that is both financially and personally rewarding. In most cases, PhD and D.P.A. programs are identical; however, some schools denote slight differences between the two:

  • Doctor of Public Administration: This degree is designed to develop scholarly practitioners who work in varied educational settings. Students learn more practical skills in order to work as leaders and managers in various settings.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Administration: A PhD program often focuses more on scholarly research and developing theory. PhD graduates typically work as professors, researchers, and writers.

While the differences are slight, it’s important to know that the program of your choice will successfully prepare you for your future career. If you’re confident you want to work as a professor or academic researcher, obtaining a PhD might be the better option.

PhD in Public Administration – What to Expect?

Each program is different and designed according to the standards and guidelines of the school. Additionally, each program focuses on different subjects of concentrations related to public administration. For example, programs may focus on one of the following areas:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Health Policy
  • Homeland Security Policy
  • International Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs)
  • Law and Public Policy
  • Nonprofit Management and Leadership
  • Policy Analysis
  • Public Management and Leadership
  • Terrorism, Mediation, and Peace

The above list is by no means exhaustive. These are just a few of the many specializations in the public administration field. By specializing in a particular area, you’ll put yourself on the right track to securing a position that truly suits you. Some PhD programs are highly individualistic, allowing you to design the best possible PhD program for your needs.

It’s important to note that no matter PhD program you decide to pursue, a dissertation is often a required part of doctoral study. You’ll be required to complete a book-length study or thesis approved by the department and/or faculty advisor. Dissertations can take years to complete and the process includes many stages. Some schools require students to complete their dissertation in just six months. Check with the department head to verify if a dissertation is required to graduate and how much time will be allotted to complete the work.

Types of Jobs for Public Administration Professionals

Once you’ve earned you PhD, you’ll be in a good position to land some of the top jobs in your field. If you know you want to teach, write, or do research, perhaps working as teacher’s assistant while taking classes is a good move. This will provide valuable networking opportunities and possible a job once you’ve completed your studies. Some of the many options available to you, depending on your area of concentration and professional experiences, may include:

  • Public Administration Consulting
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • City Management Analyst
  • Economic Development Director

What About Online PhD Programs in Public Administration?

Technology has made it possible for students to take many, if not all, of their classes online. Even some PhD programs are now offered online. If you need flexibility to accommodate a busy schedule, you might want to consider researching online PhD programs. You’ll be surprised to find how many programs are available and are offered at affordable rates.

However, before you begin your search, it’s important to make sure an online program is right for you. Taking classes online requires a great deal of discipline and motivation. Without on-site class commitments, you’ll be required to log-on to Blackboard or another course management system to complete assignments and to communicate with your colleagues and professors.

Enrolling in an online program offers many benefits, and if you know you want to earn your PhD, but cannot commit to a full-time course schedule at a traditional college or university, an online program allows you to juggle busy work and personal schedules with school. There is also the option of enrolling in a hybrid program that combines both online and classroom instruction into one unique program. You’ll benefit from both types of instruction while earning your degree.

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