Doctorate of Public Administration

PhD students in class

The doctoral program in the Department of Public Administration provides students with a rich and diverse education through a combination of hands-on research training and a foundation of coursework targeted at your specific areas of interest.


The goal of doctoral training is to equip individuals to add to knowledge of public administration and related fields through disciplined research. When practicing professionals undertake the doctorate they should recognize the need to demonstrate substantial research skills and to interact with a research faculty on a continuing basis as they design and execute their dissertation projects.

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Alumni Testimonial

Andrew Crosby

As a PhD program, UIC turned out to be a great choice. Faculty are extremely accessible, and I still stay in contact with multiple faculty members today. Courses are small and students form a tight bond between each other.  When I entered the job market, I consistently found other universities who knew UIC’s reputation for financial management and also faculty members in the program. I received a total of three tenure-track academic job offers, and each job offer involved someone at the school having a connection with someone at UIC. I would wholeheartedly recommend UIC to anyone wishing to make the journey to a PhD in Public Administration.

Andrew Crosby  |  PhD Alumnus


Applicants are considered on an individual basis, taking into consideration superior academic performance and promise of future achievement. Applicants must present evidence of having completed a graduate-level statistics course.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 96 semester hours of coursework beyond the baccalaureate is required. Those holding the Master of Public Administration from UIC or an equivalent program will ordinarily receive a maximum of 32 semester hours toward the degree requirement. A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 (A = 4.00) in all graduate courses taken at UIC is required for graduation.


  • Public and Nonprofit Management
    All Ph.D. students selecting this area of specialization are required to take PA 527, Public Management Theory
  • Financial Management
    All Ph.D. students selecting this area of specialization are required to take PA 554, Advanced Seminar in Financial Management.
  • Survey Methods
    All Ph.D. students selecting this area of specialization are required to take PA 578, Surveys, Public Opinion and Public Policy.
  • Urban Governance and Networks
    All Ph.D. students selecting this area of specialization are required to take PA 562, Local, Urban, and Regional Institutions and Public Policy.

With the help of faculty, a student may also choose to create their own specialization using courses both within the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs and the University of Illinois at Chicago as a whole.

PhD Advisors:
Rebecca Hendrick
Director of Graduate Studies  and Professor
Public Administration (M/C 278), 2114 AEH
phone: 312-355-0305

Sharon Hayes
Assistant to the Dept. Head
Public Administration (M/C 278), 2108 AEH
phone: 312-996-2160

Alumni Careers

Examples of positions held by recent graduates of the Ph.D. program include:

  • Assistant Professor, School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado- Denver (2008)
  • Associate Professor, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University (2010)
  • Assistant Professor,  Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Middle East Technical University- Turkey (2010)
  • Program Director, Public Policy and Administration, Adler University- Chicago (2011)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration, Tamkang University- Taiwan (2011)
  • Post-Doctoral Researcher; Center for Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy; Arizona State University (2013 and 2014)
  • Research Analyst, Slover Linett Audience Research- Chicago (2014)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Michigan State University (2015)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science,  Indiana University of Pennsylvania (2016)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration, Pace University (2016)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration, University of North Texas (2016)

Graduate Assistantships

Students with an excellent record (high GREs, high GPA, and very good letters of recommendation) may be awarded four years of funding that covers tuition and certain fees and includes a monthly stipend for at least 9 months of the year (up to 11 months). Students will be appointed as teaching or research assistants for 20 hours per week (50%) in each of the four years in order to receive the stipend. Please contact the Department of Public Administration to find out the exact level of funding as these amounts change every academic year.

PhD Funding Application Deadline: February 1st, 2018

Full-time & Part-time Ph.D. Students

Although part-time students who work full-time are accepted into the Ph.D. program, be aware that such students face significant challenges in completing their Ph.D. compared to students who pursue the degree on a full-time basis. Attending the program part-time does not allow students to gain research experience outside of class or through research assistantships. Part-time students are also at a disadvantage compared to full-time students in studying for the comprehensive exams and developing a defensible dissertation proposal. For this reason, we strongly advise part-time students to consider pursuing the degree full time when working on the comprehensive exams or dissertation proposal (possibly through a leave of absence from their full-time occupations). Also, in order to encourage students who work full time to engage at the highest level in pursuing the Ph.D., all Ph.D. courses will be scheduled in the afternoon, usually from 3-6 p.m. Additionally, students must enroll for at least 12 credits of coursework for each academic year prior to taking the comprehensive exam.