Ph.D. in Public Affairs
Overview of Program
The School of Public and Environmental Affairs concept of public affairs includes public policy analysis, public finance, public management, and environmental policy. Our belief is that integration increases the body of analytic and empirical knowledge about public affairs problem solving. The course of study encourages mastery of the concepts and methodologies necessary for graduates to have the capacity to identify, research, and solve public sector problems. For more detailed information, see the Ph.D. Programs in Public Affairs and Public Policy Handbook.
The Ph.D. degree requires the completion of at least 90 credit hours in advanced study and research beyond the baccalaureate. Typically, one-half to two-thirds of the 90 hours are taken in formal course work and one-third in thesis credit. Students completing a Master's in Public Administration or similar degree may be allowed to transfer some of their graduate course work (30 hours maximum) if approved by their Progress Review Committees, though a prior Master’s degree is not required for admission.
Core CoursesThe following three courses are required for all Public Affairs students:
Research Design and Methods in Public Affairs (V680)
Seminar in Teaching Public and Environmental Affairs (V621)
This course prepares students for college teaching and their professional responsibilities toward current and future students. It is taken in a student’s first year in the program.
Workshop in Public Policy (V691)
Each student is required to take this one-credit-hour course for three semesters. The workshop features research presentations by faculty, visiting scholars, and advanced students. Its intent is to prepare students to critique current literature in the field, learn to prepare manuscripts for presentation and publication, and to defend their ideas and theories.
Research Tool Skills
Required research skills include a two semester quantitative analysis sequence and two additional elective courses or proficiency in a foreign language.
The two-semester quantitative analysis sequence can be fulfilled a number of different ways including one of the sequences listed below.
- Statistics for Research in Public Affairs I and II (V606 and V607) (SPEA)
- Econometric Methods in Business I and II (G651 and G652) (School of Business)
- Statistical Techniques in Economics II and Econometrics I (E572 and E671) (Economics)
- Political Data Analysis II and Advanced Topics in Political Data Analysis (Y576 and Y577) (Political Science)
- Statistical Techniques in Sociology I and II (S554 and S650) (Sociology)
In addition, students must demonstrate either (1) advanced proficiency in quantitative analysis or specialized research skills by completing two additional courses approved by the student's Progress Review Committee or (2) proficiency in a language appropriate to his/her field of study and approved by the Progress Review Committee. To qualify as language proficient, a student must take a language proficiency exam from the appropriate language department at Indiana University.
Students select two of the four SPEA Public Affairs major fields to prepare for their qualifying examinations. For each field, the student must complete required courses and approved electives. The fields, their required courses, and principal faculty are:
- Public Management: the design and operation of government and not-for-profit institutions, including strategic/operations management and interrelationships between public, private, and civil society organizations.
- Public Organization and Management I (V671 Public Management Theory) and
- Public Organization and Management II (V672 Organization Theory and Research)
- Public Finance: the theory and practice of fiscal administration, including public budgeting, revenue administration, and financial management.
- Public Revenue (V666) and
- Seminar in Public Budgeting (V668)
Faculty research interests may be found by clicking here.
Public Policy Analysis: research methods and quantitative techniques for policy analysis, including the content, design, and evaluation of public programs.Required Courses:
- Seminar in Policy Analysis (V664) and
- Policy Analysis and Management/Operations Research (V673)
Environmental Policy: economic, law, politics, and implementation of environmental policies in the U.S. and abroad.
Economics: Environmental Economics (V625)
Law: Environmental Law (V645) or
International Environmental Law (B783)
Policy: Domestic Environmental Policy (V710) or International Environmental Policy (V710)
Students select a minor field according to research interests. A three- to four-course sequence is negotiated between the student and the Progress Review Committee, following the requirements of the department or school offering the minor. Among the minor fields chosen by students currently in the program are Economics, Finance, Political Science, Sociology, Geography, Economic Development, and Environmental Science.