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Public Administration, DPA

Program Length: 4 Years

The Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) is designed to develop scholarly practitioners as leaders. Students learn to consciously integrate and apply current theoretical, moral, and institutional perspectives that contribute to the disciplined analysis and professional resolution of organizational and community issues.

Program Requirements


Applicants should possess a master’s degree, ideally in Public Administration or a closely related field. Applicants must also have a minimum of five years of work experience.

Total Program:

55 semester hours minimum

The program requires a minimum time commitment of three years of coursework which includes six units each term. After successfully completing coursework students are required to produce and defend a dissertation of publishable quality.

Program Coursework: 54 semester hours

First Year (Two Courses per Term)

Code Course Title Units
PADM 609 Nature of Inquiry 3
PADM 610 Constitutional Foundations 3
PADM 611 Scope of PA 3
PADM 612 Qualitative Analysis 3
PADM 613 Quantitative Analysis 3
PADM 677 Ethics and Decision Making 3

Second Year (Two Courses per Term)

Code Course Title Units
PADM 665 Economic Perspectives in Administrative and Policy Analysis 3
PADM 651 Policy 3
PADM 667 Urban Theory and Governance 3
PADM 674 Program Evaluation and Performance Measurement 3
PADM 664 Public Sector Collaboration 3
PADM 620 Organizational Development 3

The DPA comprehensive exam will be taken after successfully completing the second year coursework.

Third Year (Two Courses per Term)

Code Course Title Units
PADM 670 Dissertation Seminar 3
PADM 668 Civic Engagement I 3
PADM 686 Research Specialization I 3
PADM 669 Civic Engagement II 3
PADM 687 Research Specialization II 3
PADM 688 Research Specialization III 3
Dissertation Units: 1-22 semester hours

Students must be continuously enrolled in either Dissertation I or II coursework until they have successfully completed their dissertation and it has been posted.

Post Coursework Terms 10-12

Code Course Title Units
PADM 697C Dissertation I 1
Post Coursework Terms 13-24
Code Course Title Units
PADM 697D Dissertation II 2

Applicants are evaluated in a two stage process: First stage applicants are initially screened based on undergraduate GPA, graduate GPA, Statement of Purpose and letters of recommendation. Applicants advancing to the second stage will be required to schedule a personal interview. A standardized test score (e.g. GMAT or GRE) may be required if recommended by the Faculty Admissions Committee. The department considers all of these measures in making a decision on admission. Students accepted into the D.P.A. program will begin their coursework in the Fall term.