Public Policy and Administration

What is Public Policy and Administration?

Public Policy and Administration is the art and science of Public Policy making and implementation. It deals with the process of making administrative, financial, and political policies and ensuring that such policies are executed and implemented most effectively to achieve the set goals and benefit the public they affect.

What are the career options after a PhD in Public Policy and Administration?

A PhD in Public Policy opens the doors for jobs in government, private, and non-profit sectors. People with this degree often take important decision-making and leadership roles in government institutions and top management positions in government, private, and non-profit entities. Some also continue in academia as prominent professors, researchers, and lecturers.

Indeed, the job prospects after a PhD in Public Policy are prestigious and well-paying. Here are a few career options out of many that one can opt for after a PhD in Public Policy and Administration

Policy Analyst

Policy analysts are responsible for analyzing and evaluating current public policies, identifying flaws, and suggesting different solutions while considering their impact on stakeholders. They work with stakeholders, conduct surveys to collect their opinions, and ensure that they have a say in the decision-making process.

Budget Analyst

Budget analysts analyze the cost and benefit of organizations’ budget proposals and act as financial advisors.

Legislative Assistant

They assist legislators who are responsible for the evaluation and passing of laws. They analyze and research current laws as well as proposed legislation and report them to the legislators in order to help them decide if the law should be passed, rejected, or revised.

They help the legislators in the domains of administration, research, and communication.


Professors at the undergraduate or master’s level in a university or college are responsible for preparing lectures, assigning assignments, and providing feedback to students. They often conduct research in collaboration with their students and can also supervise students pursuing a PhD under them.

Community Liaison

Community liaisons serve as the connections or intermediaries between an organization and the public. They can work for organizations such as NGOs, police precincts, healthcare companies, schools, etc. They advocate for their organization’s clients, raise awareness and fundraising events, connect people with helpful resources, etc.

Required Educational Qualifications for Applying to a PhD Program in Public Policy and Administration in the USA

A master’s degree in public policy and administration or a related field, such as political science, is required for applying to PhD in Public Policy and Administration in the USA.

Certain universities have compulsory core subject requirements which need to be fulfilled while applying for the PhD programs. These are courses that one might have completed during their master’s or undergraduate degree. Check the applications requirements page for PhD of the university you wish to apply to find out the list of these pre-requisite courses.

In case you might not have completed these pre-requisite courses, some universities allow students to finish them at the university after they have been offered admission to the PhD program and enrolled. Check your university’s website for more information regarding the same.

Application Requirements for Required for Applying for a PhD in Public Policy and Administration in the USA:

Statement of Purpose

A Statement of Purpose is an essential element of the application process for any program in the USA. It is one of the most important components of your application and a very good way to put up a positive first impression in front of the admissions committee.

Universities might sometimes specify the topic and word limit for the Statement of Purpose for a particular degree, program, or major. The subject and word limit will be available on the universities’ websites under their application requirements page.

Usually, candidates are asked to talk about their motivation to pursue a PhD in Public Policy and Administration, their previous research or work experience, etc.

To know more about Statement of Purpose and how to draft a stellar one, check out our blog on Statement of Purpose.

Academic Records

Transcripts /gradesheets/ report cards from high school, as well as your undergraduate and master institute from all semesters across all years, are required to be submitted as part of your application for PhD in Public Policy and Administration.

The report cards should be in English. If they are not available in English, they might need to be translated into English before submission.

Letters of Recommendation / Reference Letters

Letters of recommendation from professors who have taught you before or your guides who have supervised you in past research work are required by universities when you apply for a PhD in Public Policy and Administration.

The number of reference letters required varies from one university to another. You can check out the application requirements page of the universities to find out the number of letters of recommendation required by them.

GRE Test Scores

GRE test scores are often asked to be submitted while applying for a PhD degree in the USA.

The minimum GRE score, if required, for a particular PhD program is different for different universities and is often mentioned on the universities’ application requirements page.

Although submitting a GRE score is optional for any university, it is recommended that you do so if your score is good, as it might earn your application some extra points.

Proof of English Proficiency

Applicants who have studied in countries where English is not a primary language usually have to provide proof of English proficiency through a standardized test score.

The most common standardised tests are TOEFL, IELTS, or any other exam which is accepted by the university you wish to apply to. The minimum score required in these exams is specified on the universities’ website under the application requirements page.

Curriculum Vitae

Another frequently required application component of the PhD application is a Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume, which is often asked to be submitted by universities. Briefly mention your educational background, work experience, research work and projects, technical and soft skills, co-curricular and extracurricular achievements, and any other section that might be relevant to the program you are applying for.

US Universities offering PhD in Public Policy and Administration

The George Washington University

Harvard University

Arizona State University

Mississippi State University

University of Arizona

University of Delaware

University of Texas Arlington

University of Albany

Ohio State University

Tennessee State University

Connect with us for more information on Universities offering Public Policy and Administration.

Careers after Pursuing a PhD in economics

  1. Lecturer or Professor
  2. Researcher
  3. Consultant
  4. Banker
  5. Government Official
  6. Media Analyst
  7. Actuarial
  8. Economists
  9. Econometricians
  10. Public Relations Officer
  11. Industrial Organization Economists
  12. Political Scientists
  13. Financial Consultant
  14. Advisor and Accountant

Student Reviews

Frequently Asked Questions

It is essential to shortlist universities before applying for a PhD program. It helps you focus your efforts on institutions that align with your research interests, academic background, and career goals. It also allows you to thoroughly research each program's faculty, resources, funding opportunities, and application requirements, increasing your chances of acceptance and ensuring a better fit for your academic journey.

Internships for a PhD in Public Policy and Administration can vary widely but typically include opportunities at:

  • Government agencies (local, state, federal)
  • Think tanks and research institutes
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Consulting firms specializing in public policy
  • Academic research centers

Scholarships for a PhD in Public Policy and Administration may include:

  • Graduate Teaching Assistantship(GTA)
  • Graduate Research Assistantship(GRA)
  • Fulbright Program
  • Ford Foundation Fellowships
  • Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program
  • Various university-specific scholarships and fellowships
  • Professional associations like the American Political Science Association (APSA) and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) often offer scholarships and fellowships.

Individuals with a strong interest in public policy, a relevant academic background (e.g., political science, economics, sociology, law), and a commitment to research can pursue a PhD in Public Policy. Typically, candidates should have completed a master's degree in a related field, although some programs may accept students with exceptional bachelor's degrees.

The scope of a Ph.D. in Public Administration is broad and includes:

  • Research roles in think tanks and policy research organizations
  • High-level administrative and leadership positions in government agencies
  • Policy analysis and advisory roles in non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Consultancy roles in public administration and policy
  • Opportunities in international organizations and development agencies

A PhD in Public Administration typically takes 3-7 years to complete, depending on the program, the student's pace, and the nature of the research. This timeframe includes coursework, comprehensive exams, and dissertation research and writing.

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