Ph.D. in Public Policy

Program overview

Our Joint Ph.D. in Public Policy Program emphasizes the broad field of public policy, concerning the environment of public policy; the processes of policy formation, management, and implementation; and the analysis and evaluation of policy outputs and results.

As a student in the program, you’ll receive rigorous social science training and gain knowledge of government decision-making processes, problem solving capabilities, and an understanding of the substantive aspects of public problems and their effects on citizens and institutions.

Faculty Research and Areas of Expertise

SPEA’s Policy and Management faculty undertake research across a broad range of areas and IU’s Political Science faculty undertake research across various sub-fields in the discipline, joining to deliver you a Joint Ph.D. in Public Policy Program designed to help you achieve your research and teaching goals.

Explore SPEA's research areas  Meet SPEA's faculty


Degree Requirements

The University Graduate School requires the completion of at least 90 credit hours in advanced study and research beyond the baccalaureate. Students completing a Master of Public Affairs or similar degree are often allowed to transfer up to 30 credit hours of graduate course work if approved by their Progress Review Committees.

Public Policy students are required to complete the following courses:

  • Research Design and Methods in Public Affairs (V680) or Introduction to the Study of Politics (Y570)
  • Seminar in Public Policy Process (V690) or Public Administration, Law, and Policy: Approaches and Issues (Y565).
  • Workshop in Public Policy (V691)
  • Seminar in Teaching Public and Environmental Affairs (V621) or Political Science and Professional Development (Y550)

Required course work for research skills includes a basic two-semester quantitative analysis sequence. The two-semester quantitative analysis sequence requirement is generally fulfilled through one of the course sequences listed below:

  • Statistics for Research in Public Affairs I and II (V606 and V607, School of Public and Environmental Affairs)
  • Political Data Analysis I and POLS-Y 576 Political Data Analysis II (Y575 and Y576, Department of Political Science)
  • Statistical Techniques in Sociology I and II (S554 and S650, Department of Sociology)

In addition, students must demonstrate either: (1) advanced proficiency in quantitative/qualitative 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.