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Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy
 

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

  • An earned and relevant graduate or professional degree from an accredited university. 
  • A graduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.4 on a 4.0 scale.
  • A Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score of 1000 or better (verbal + quantitative). 
  • A 500-1000 word essay on research interests and professional career objectives. 
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • Evidence of experience, accomplishments, and potential to overcome any deficiencies
  • Recommendation by the program admission committee

In as much as the study of public policy can involve any number of academic disciplines, many master's degrees, especially in the natural sciences, can provide ideal foundations, as can a law degree. Applications to the Ph.D. Program in Public Policy will be accepted through April 15th for the fall semester and until November 15th for the spring semester.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
The minimum coursework requirement is 39 credit hours, comprised of 13 courses of three credit hours each. Students also must register for at least 12 hours of dissertation credits. Ten of the 13 courses are designated as "core," including quantitative techniques, research methods, economics, and policy studies.  Each student also must complete three courses or 9 hours on a specialized "concentration." More than one concentration may be pursued in the program, should the student be interested in multiple areas.  The program currently offers concentrations in Environmental Policy, Health Policy, International Development, Public Finance, and Sustainable Futures, but students can construct their own concentrations. Students have available a wide array of courses from which to choose, and can also avail themselves of offerings at Louisiana State University through a consortium arrangement.

This outline of the minimum requirement may be expanded as the student prepares a study plan. Each student must develop, with advisors, an approved plan of study no later than the second semester in residence. To remain in good standing, each student's GPA must remain at 3.0 or better. During or immediately following the final semester of coursework, each student must successfully complete a comprehensive examination that includes research components. Each student must complete and defend a doctoral dissertation. Requirement of the Graduate School apply in all these instances.

A full-time student should expect to complete coursework and the comprehensive examination within two academic years (four semesters). The dissertation committee will guide the preparation of a prospectus and the dissertation. The dissertation is likely to take one to two years for full-time students and a longer period for part-time students. More detailed rules and policies for all requirements are available in the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs.

PLAN OF STUDY (ILLUSTRATIVE)

Field Courses

Theory

PPOL 710  Microeconomics for Public Policy..............3 credits 
PPOL 712  Macroeconomics for Public Policy.............3 credits
PPOL 714  Foundations of Public Policy.....................3 credits 
PPOL 716  Political Philosophy and Public Policy.......3 credits
PPOL 718  Political and Social Institutions..................3 credits

Methods

PPOL 700  Quantitative Methods I .............................3 credits
PPOL 702  Quantitative Methods II ............................3 credits
PPOL 704  Research Methods ...................................3 credits
PPOL 706  Program Evaluation and Design ..............3 credits 
PPOL 708  Policy Models............................................3 credits 
PPOL 720  Policy Analysis..........................................3 credits

Areas of Concentration

Environmental Policy

PPOL 752 Natural Resources Management...............3 credits
PPOL 756 Environmental Impact Assessment............3 credits

Health Policy

PPOL 730 Health Service Systems.............................3 credits
PPOL 734 Health Management...................................3 credits

International Development

PPOL 782 U.S. Foreign Policy....................................3 credits
PPOL 784 Political Economy.......................................3 credits

Public Finance

PPOL 711 Public Finance...........................................3 credits
PPOL 713 Comparative Budgeting..............................3 credits

Sustainable Futures

PPOL 625 Sustainable Development...........................3 credits
PPOL 780 Critical Development Theories....................3 credits

Students should consult with their advisors and the program coordinator because actual course requirements may change from time to time. Students who have taken equivalent graduate courses elsewhere may be excused from taking the same course here, but this will not change the required total number of hours and University residency requirements. Such decisions are made when students develop study plans.

Comprehensive Examination

PPOL 825 Doctoral Qualifying Examination..................0 credits 
As in other cases, the School provides more detailed instruction for this examination.

Dissertation

PPOL 850     Dissertation Research ..........................12 credits