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Department of Public Policy

Ph.D. Program

Message from the Chair



It is my distinct pleasure to extend a warm welcome to each of you as you embark on your academic journey in our Masters in Public Administration and Ph.D. in Public Policy programs. As Chair of the department, I am thrilled to witness the next generation of leaders and scholars stepping forward to tackle the complex challenges facing our society. Your decision to pursue advanced studies in public administration and policy reflects a commitment to effecting positive change and shaping the future of governance and public service.


Throughout your time in our programs, you will engage in rigorous academic inquiry, collaborate with esteemed faculty members, and interact with a diverse cohort of fellow students who bring unique perspectives and experiences to the table. Whether you are seeking to enhance your understanding of policy analysis, organizational management, or public finance, or aiming to conduct groundbreaking research that informs policy decisions, our faculty and staff are dedicated to providing you with the support and resources you need to excel in your studies and make a meaningful impact in the field of public administration and policy.


As you embark on this transformative journey, I encourage you to embrace curiosity, intellectual inquiry, and social justice. Together, let us seize this opportunity to advance the public good and contribute to building sustainable communities for all. Once again, welcome to our vibrant academic community, and I look forward to witnessing your growth, accomplishments, and contributions in the years ahead.


Warm regards,

Reva Hines, Ph.D.

About the Program

The Ph.D. Program in Public Policy Analysis, is the premier program in the Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Sciences.  The program was established in 1996 as an academic option on the Baton Rouge campus for earning the coveted Doctor of Philosophy degree in Public Policy. The program is research and policy based. Students in the program are educated on the mechanics of systematic inquiry and scholarly research. The social science degree utilizes interdisciplinary paradigms to develop, implement and analyze policy and theoretical concepts.  The program is 48 credit hours.  In addition to succesfully completing the required forty-eight credit hours, program participants must successfully pass the comprehensive exam, oral defense and dissertation defense to earn the degree.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis program is to provide training and oversight to practitioners and academicians in the systematic investigation of policy development, implementation, and analysis that is data  and research based.  The program utilizes  social science methodologies to critically analyze data qualitatively and quantitatively and make scholarly contributions to the policy process that create global leadership opportunities nationally and globally.     

Program and Degree Offered

Progam: Public Policy Analysis

Degree: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Policy



All Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis students are required to complete the following: 30 hours of core classes; 6 hours of concentration/elective classes; depending upon the concentration selected; 12 hours of dissertation research, successfully pass the department's comprehensive exam and successfully complete and defend a policy based dissertation that is supervised by a departmental approved faculty committee.



  • Students must successfully pass with a grade of "B" or better in all CORE courses prior to requesting to sit for the comprehensive exam.
  • A student must pass all core courses with a grade of "B" or better and the comprehensive exam prior to taking any Dissertation Research Courses.  
  • Students may not propose and defend their dissertations within the same academic term.
  • Students may earn a grade of "NC" in the dissertation research course if they do not meet the minimum academic progress standards.  



During the summer term, only elective courses are offered.  We also do not offer comprehensive exams or dissertation research hours.   Consequently, there are no summer dissertation proposals or dissertation defenses.  All of the aforementioned items are offered during the regular academic terms (Fall and Spring).  As a result, there are no traditional student graduates in the summer unless their work was completed and defended in a prior term and they requested and were approved to participate in summer commencement. 


Courses Offered and Descriptions

PPOL 700. QUANTITATIVE METHODS I. (Credit, 3 hours). This is the first part of two semester coverage of the science and art building and using statistical models. The course covers regression models and related problems, application and computer programs, and time series models and polynomial regression, estimation, testing, and predictions. (Prerequisites: PADM 511 OR PADM 512 and by instructor’s permission.)


PPOL 702. QUANTITATIVE METHODS II. (Credit, 3 hours). This course is a continuation of Quantitative Methods I and covers identification and estimation in multi-equation models, Regression Diagnostics, Analysis of Variance, and special topics, multivariate distributions, sampling, likelihood methods, estimation and hypothesis testing and regression. (Prerequisites: PPOL 700.)


PPOL 704. RESEARCH METHODS. (Credit, 3 hours). This course examines the empirical methods of social research including epistemology, theory construction, and qualitative research. Emphasis will be placed on data collection techniques, methods for conducting survey research, and analysis of limited dependent variables, such as logit.


PPOL 706. PROGRAM EVALUATION AND DESIGN. (Credit,3 hours). Students are introduced to evaluation research and impact analysis. Documentation, selection of performance indicators, input and output indicators of performance measurements, and a general overview of false measures. Emphasis is on audit performance techniques and modeling. An advanced reading and research seminar on the formulation, design, and evaluation of programs and policies will be conducted. Methods of the policy analysis, such as decision theory will be presented.


PPOL 708. POLICY MODELS. (Credit, 3 hours). This course addresses program implementation, applying modeling techniques with built-in performance indicators. Program implementation and outcome assessments linked with process management, and quality assurance measures will be examined. Spatial analysis using Geographic Information Systems. Emphasis will be on modeling implementation.


PPOL 710. MICROECONOMICS FOR PUBLIC POLICY. (Credit, 3 hours). This advanced graduate level course examines the most important concepts, principals, and procedures of microeconomics and its applicability and applications for public policy. Topics covered include; theories of demand, supply, production and cost; elasticities; markets structures and market failures; competitive and monopolistic markets; markets for resources, especially labor markets; unions; government regulations; microeconomic foundations of public policy, and applications microeconomic to public policy formation, implementation, and evaluation.


PPOL 712. MACROECONOMICS FOR PUBLIC POLICY. (Credit, 3 hours). This advanced graduate level course examines the important concepts, principals, and procedures of macroeconomics and its applications and applicability for public policy. Topics covered include; private and public sectors of the economy; externalities and public choice: gross domestic product (GDP) and national income accounting; aggregate demand and aggregate supply; theories of inflation and unemployment; money, financial markets and the banking system; central banking; stabilization theories, and monetary, fiscal, and commercial policies; international trade and finance, and interdependence in a global economy; foreign aid, economic development; macroeconomic foundations and orientations of public policies. (Prerequisites: PPOL 710 or by instructor’s permission.)


PPOL 714. FOUNDATIONS OF PUBLIC POLICY. (Credit, 3 hours). An overview of the policy process with emphasis on the policy-making apparatus. An introduction to the major theories of public policy together with the historical intellectual development of the discipline.


PPOL 716. POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY AND PUBLIC POLICY. (Credit, 3 hours). This course examines broad aspects of political philosophy of several countries at different times. Various philosophies which have guided various forms of government are reviewed. Special emphasis is placed on philosophy underpinning democratic and socialist governments. The policy making apparatus of each form of government is fully explored noting their strengths and weaknesses. (Prerequisites: None)


PPOL 718. SOCIAL & POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS IN PUBLIC POLICY MAKING. (Credit, 3 hours). This course examines social institutions, political forces and factors that influence and shape the development of public policy in the United States. Theories and Paradigms that bear on Public Policy formulation in the United States and fully examined beginning with the evolution of Public Policy in the United States.


PPOL 720. POLICY ANALYSIS. (Credit, 3 hours). Advanced training in analytical policy research methods will contribute to the strength and significance of the student’s doctoral research, and should enhance opportunities for the student upon graduation. The course   will cover advanced design issues, methods for exploring data, and advanced statistical techniques. Public policy researchers must be able to understand, appreciate, and use diverse research methods in order to conduct ethical and accountable research. The employment of a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods, along with the use of computers is now critical to the conduct of scientifically sound research. Therefore, this course integrates the foundations of advanced research methodology with the use of computers and appropriate statistical procedures in order to prepare students to meet the increasing demands for conducting policy-relevant research.



PPOL 752. NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT. (Credit, 3 hours). This course examines different aspects of natural resources policy and management in the context of environmental protection and justice. Topics covered included: role of government in effective management of natural resources including energy; policy for management of exhaustive and non-exhaustive resources; land policy and management; forest management; policy and management for wet lands; coastal environment protection policies and management; management  of wildlife and endangered species; international efforts at natural preservation; etc. All students must complete a substantial research paper of high quality. (Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.)


PPOL 756. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT. (Credit, 3 hours). This course is intended to offer the students the opportunity to explore the practical applications of the theory of environmental planning (i.e. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Environmental Inventory, and/or any Major Actions Significantly Affecting the Quality of Human Environment). It offers students an up-to-date explanation and guide to how EIAs are carried out. It includes for each environmental component (e.g. air, water, flora, and fauna) a discussion of how a baseline survey is conducted. An examination of relevant regulations and standards with regard to how impact predictions are made will be carried out. There will be in-depth investigation of environmental impacts resulting from the establishment of project(s) in the parishes of Louisiana. The study of environmental impacts will include the possible impacts of proposed projects on the air, water, and land resources. Such projects will require filing an environmental impact statement according to the guidelines and criteria established by the State Council on the Environment. Two-thirds of the course will emphasize the applications aspect of the planning while one-third will be in a lecture/discussion format. (Prerequisites: None.)


HEALTH POLICY Concentration

PPOL 730. HEALTH SERVICE SYSTEMS. (Credit, 3 hours). This course introduces the student to the principles, scientific methods, and major issues in health service systems. The philosophy and development of public health are presented, with particular emphasis on the current organization of health service at the international, national, state, and local levels. The two fundamental disciplines of public health, epidemiology and biostatistics, the common indicators of health and service system characteristics, and the major source of health and health-related data are reviewed, with emphasis on their application to health promotion, disease prevention, policy formulation, and advocacy. Finally, the course concludes with discussions of the major issues in health services including maternal and child health, infectious disease, environmental health, injury prevention, chronic disease, and substance use, with emphasis on identifying, analyzing, and solving critical health service system problems. (Prerequisites: None)


PPOL 734. HEALTH MANAGEMENT. (Credit, 3 hours). Effective health management is intrinsically linked to solving critical health system problems such as controlling cost, increasing access to health services, and improving quality of health services; therefore, health management is integral to maintaining and enhancing the health of communities. Course participants will learn organization and management theory, concepts, and methods applicable to a wide variety of settings locally, nationally, and internationally, and will develop their ability to use concepts and methods to analyze and solve specific management problems. The first section of the course provides an overview of the health system, and discusses the importance of community-focused health services. The second section covers the conceptual and methodological foundation for health management: organizational theory, leadership, and building effective teams. The third section covers conceptual and methodological issues associated with key management functions: planning, implementation, evaluation, and sustainability. (Prerequisites: PPOL 730)




PPOL 782. U.S. FOREIGN POLICY. (Credit, 3 hours). The major issues of foreign policy, how foreign policy decisions are made and by whom, and what theories explain foreign policy decisions, especially United States Foreign Policy. Areas of study include: the national interest, globalization, decision models, and theory.


PPOL 784. POLITICAL ECONOMY. (Credit, 3 hours). This course is about interactions between politics and markets mostly under democratic capitalism. It emphasizes the classical, neoclassical, and positive viewpoints of market economies including social institutions, industrial organization, regulation, the political business cycle, globalization, and international political economy.




PPOL 711. PUBLIC FINANCE. (Credit, 3 hours). This course covers selected special or topical issues and problems of public financing including alternative revenue sources, revenue sharing, taxing of individuals and corporation, flat tax, public expenditures, and modern practices of expenditure managements. Other topics of interest to participants will also be addressed. (Prerequisites: PADM 530 or by instructor’s permission.)


PPOL 713. COMPARATIVE BUDGETING. (Credit, 3 hours).

This course includes the theoretical debates applicable to budgeting in democratic systems. A comparative evaluation of budgeting in rich and developing countries will be emphasized. Generally, budgeting is designed to serve broad decision-making needs, facilitate fiscal planning, ensure accountability and protect governments against fiscal bottlenecks. In other words, budgeting helps ensure that resources are employed efficiently, used for the purpose for which they are allocated and that revenue and expenditure forecast are relatively accurate. (Prerequisites: PADM 636.)





This course focuses on the aspects of development that economists, environmentalists, and conservationists think should be sustained when governments attempt to set policies for economic growth. An in-depth examination of the theory of sustainability and the scholarly debates over sustainability will be undertaken in class lectures and discussions from the standpoint of: concepts, connotations, meaning, conditions, and interpretation.


PPOL 780. CRITICALDEVELOPMENT THEORY. (Credit, 3 hours). This course will examine the theories and issues surrounding development in the developing areas of the world. The course will deal with the multi-diminishing aspects of development issues. Several development paradigms will be discussed and examined with respect to their influence on the globalization that is occurring in the world.

Technical, environmental, social, economic, and political dimensions of development will be addressed. The course will explore the contributions of development crisis and post-independence policy failure to external dependency. (Prerequisites: None.)


Other Elective Courses


PPOL 604. MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS. (Credit, 3 hours). Students participate in the design, operation, and use of management information systems in public policy services. Several software packages are used, like SPSS and STATA.


PPOL 608. SOCIAL POLICY. (Credit, 3 hours). An investigation of policies in areas such as health, education, employment, and housing. Service provision and income transfer policies are analyzed from an organizational framework.


PPOL 616. LABOR POLICY. (Credit, 3 hours). An analysis of public policies in the areas of employment, unions, labor markets, and human resource policies. The impact of changes in wages, training, unemployment, regulatory policy, foreign trade policy, and long-term employment security.


PPOL 654. URBAN POLICY AND POLITICS. (Credit, 3 hours). This is a course in urban policy and politics for graduate students. The course addresses various issues facing urban government policies and policy. The course begins with the history of the development of urban centers and then proceeds with in-depth analysis of selected policy issues. We will discuss how urban centers (e.g., New York City, Atlanta) differ from a town and a village, and the special problems that cities face such   as limits by states on their power and authority to solve their problems. Substantive topics include political machines, growth strategies, economic development, environmental regulation, law enforcement, land use regulation, and recreation. Additional topics include court decisions (e.g., Dillion’s Rule), problems in implementation policy, and who participates in the policy process. (3 hours)


PPOL 705. FINANCIAL POLICY FOR THE PUBLIC SECTOR. (Credit, 3 hours). This course covers basic concepts, principles, and procedures of financial policy as it is applied to the public sector. Important topics include: private vs. public funds, financial statements, standard public funds and account groups, financial management of all public funds transactions, investment management and management of all public funds, and public accounting and auditing.


PPOL 715. GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT. (Credit, 3 hours). This course builds on the concepts covered in a Masters level government financial management course. Emphasis is placed on the application of various theoretical framework and technique in the analysis of critical issues in government finance. These issues include but are not limited to taxation and expenditures, state and local government debt management, pension funds management and the social security, and other current issues in public finance. Also, issues related to intergovernmental relations and performance auditing is introduced for in-depth analysis. The course will provide practice in analyzing the effects of government fiscal policies on economic development. There will be an in-depth review of many theories and models related to Government Financial Management. Several readings will be directed toward exploring current issues which will be useful in preparing students for the comprehensive examination. (Prerequisites: PADM 531 or PPOL 711.)


PPOL 732. HEALTH POLICY. (Credit, 3 hours). Health policy is critical for solving major system problems: controlling costs, increasing access to health services, and improving quality of health services. Therefore, effective health policy development and analysis is integral to the prevention of death, illness, and disability, and the promotion of health. Course participants will learn about the policymaking process, policies for organizing and financing care, and major health policy issues. The first section of the course provides an overview of the health system, and discusses the comparative health systems. The second section covers the conceptual and methodological foundation for health policymaking: federal, state, and local roles in policymaking; the role of public opinion and interest groups in policymaking; developing policy by establishing evaluation criteria, identifying policy alternatives, and using criteria to analyze alternatives; and implementing and evaluating policy. The third section covers conceptual and methodological issues associated with policies for organizing and financing services: Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and managed care. Finally, the course concludes with concepts and methods related to the major issues in health policy: controlling costs, increasing access, and improving quality care. (Prerequisites: PPOL 730)


PPOL 736. HEALTH CARE ECONOMICS. (Credit, 3 hours). This course introduces students to the principles, methods, and major issues in health economics. Understanding and applying economic concepts and methods to investigate the organization, delivery, and financing of health services is critical for developing health policies leading to equitable and efficient health services. The course includes: an overview of economic concepts and their applicability to health, an economic comparison of the US health systems with other health systems, health care expenditures, demand for health care, insurance, medical care production and costs, economic evaluation methods, basic characteristics of the competitive model, imperfect markets, hospital reimbursement systems, hospital and physician markets, governments intervention and insurance, private insurance industry, physician services industry, hospital services industry, pharmaceutical industry and health care reform. (Prerequisites: PPOL 730)


PPOL 750. ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS AND LAW. (Credit, 3 hours). This course builds upon PADM 570 (Environmental Regulations and Law) and examines at an advanced level such regulations and law. All students must research and complete a substantial research paper of high quality. Topics covered include: environmental regulations and law vis a vis sustainable development; critical current issues in environmental regulations and law; efficiency and equity aspects of regulations; environmental regulations and law enforcements; evaluations of activities of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); in-depth examinations of selected cases involving environmental regulations; effects of such regulations and law on manufacturing industries and general populations. (Prerequisites: PADM 570 or consent of instructor.)


PPOL 754. ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND ETHICS. (Credit, 3 hours). The global environment is threatened because of the development pressure, the lack of deliberate efforts to plan for growth, lack of adequate conservation and preservation strategies, lack of implementation of policies that would ensure that natural resources are available in perpetuity, and the lack of enforcement of local, national, and international laws. Students will be exposed to the opposing debates on global environmental matters. The course engages students in the theoretical underpinning of the global environmental debate. The ethical and political issues concerning biodiversity protection, trade in wildlife, urban and rural crises, multinational/ transnational, and the implications of Agenda 21 are examined.


PPOL 786. ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY. (Credit, 3 hours). This seminar will focus on the environmental problems that are global in nature, problems that cross national boundaries. Some of the issues to be discussed include global environmental change, LA NiNo and  LA NiNa, Acid Rain phenomenon, Ozone and ozone layer destruction and natural hazards and hazard mitigations, world energy reserves and energy politics, the role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) in International Environmental Policy and Global Biodiversity. PPOL 799. ADVANCED RESEARCH. (Credit, 3 hours).








PPOL 850. DISSERTATION RESEARCH. (Credit, 0-12 hours).


Faculty and Staff


Revathi I. Hines, Ph.D.


409-C Rodney G. Higgins Hall




Associate Professors


Onyumbe E. Lukongo, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

409-F Rodney G. Higgins Hall




Assistant Professors

Augustine Adu Frimpong, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

409 B Rodney G. Higgins Hall

Office (225)771-3103



Vanessa Greenslade, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

409 Rodney G. Higgins Hall

Office (225)771-3104

Email: or


Xavier J. Hoy, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

409 Rodney G. Higgins Hall

Office (225)771-3104


Contact Information

Department of Public Policy

409 Rodney G. Higgins Hall

Email:                Office Phone: (225)771-3104