Public Administration and Policy, PhD

SPA Doctoral Program Information Session

Wednesday, September 27th at 5:00 pm on Zoom

Interested in learning more about a Ph.D. in Public Administration and Policy? The Doctoral Program in the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University is hosting an information session for prospective applicants at 5 pm AZ time (8 pm EST) on September 27th, 2023. The information session will include the following:

  • An introduction to the SPA research community
  • The goals of the SPA doctoral program
  • A timeline for the doctoral program coursework and exams
  • Required application materials
  • Highlights of the many professional developments and extracurricular activities available to SPA doctoral students
  • An opportunity to ask  questions about the doctoral program or application process

To attend, please register at by 5pm on Monday, September 25th. The Zoom meeting information will be distributed to participants the day before. If you have questions, please email Justin Stritch at


The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Administration and Policy is a cohort-based program that prepares students to conduct theoretically informed research through the application of social science methods that build knowledge and inform public action. Most students in the PhD program are interested in academic careers, although some find work as researchers at think tanks, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. The PhD degree is designed for students who are committed to a four-year, full-time degree.

The PhD program supports all full-time students financially during the first three years of study – funding includes tuition, benefits, and stipend. Students have many options to fund their final year of study through teaching, fellowships, or research projects. Throughout their degree, students work directly with nationally distinguished faculty on research activity with the expectation that students contribute intellectually both to the PhD program and to the academic community through presentations at national conferences and publication of journal articles. 

Our goal is to provide a stimulating and collegial academic environment where students learn to formulate compelling research questions, develop analytical skills to rigorously address them and produce high-quality academic work that contributes to the field.  All students gain nationally recognized qualifications in core knowledge in public administration and policy as well as in an area of research specialization. In their fourth year, students also have opportunities to teach in the undergraduate programs, if desired. PhD graduates are able to compete nationally and internationally for coveted entry positions that require both teaching and research experience.

Applicants are admitted for the fall only and should generally have a Master’s degree before enrollment, though exceptional applicants with only a Bachelor’s degree may also be considered. 

Specializations include:

  • Civil Society & Civic Engagement 
  • Energy and Environment Policy & Management
  • Governance & Urban Affairs
  • Information Technology & Policy Informatics
  • Public Finance, Budgeting, & Economics
  • Public Management
  • Science, Technology & Innovation
  • Social & Education Policy


The application deadline is January 9, 2024.

Applicants are admitted for fall only.   More on the application process.

View our PhD Promotional Video

View the PhD New Student Guide