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PhD Admissions

PhD class in session

The PhD program in Public Administration only accepts students for the Fall term. Deadline to apply is January 15 of the year in which you plan to begin coursework.

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. Students with a deficiency in this area will be required to take additional coursework as prescribed by the program director. Such coursework will not apply to the degree requirements.

All applicants should have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 [out of 4] in their graduate work and scores that are least in the 50th percentile of all portions of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE).  On both the quantitative and verbal portions of the GRE, a score of 150 is approximately at the 50th percentile, and the 50th percentile is about 4.0 on the analytical writing portion.  A basic knowledge of American government, statistics, and familiarity with computers is a prerequisite for admission.

PhD Admission Deadlines Heading link

Priority and Financial Aid January 15th
International Students January 15th
Degree and Readmission January 15th

PhD Application Procedure Heading link

Step 1: Fill out the Application for Graduate Appointment. Within 3 – 5 business days after submitting your online application, you will receive an email acknowledging the receipt of your application, as well as indicating that you may log back into the system to begin uploading your supplemental application materials.

Step 2: Pay the application fee(s)

Step 3: The following materials should be uploaded electronically after submitting the online application. You should get an email with your application summary which will supply a link where you will upload your documents.

  • Upload copy of transcripts from all institutions where you earned degrees and transcripts from all other colleges and universities attended within the last eight years. (Do not send in hard copy transcripts, they will not be accepted. Students should request registrar issued transcripts and scan and upload them via the online application system. We cannot upload transcripts on the behalf of students.)
  • At least three letters of recommendation from former professors or supervisors. The letters should be written by someone who can speak to your ability to succeed in scholarship and research.
    • You will be required to submit email addresses for your recommenders. The system will send an automatically generated email with a link to where they can upload their recommendation letters. If you have more than 3 recommendation letters that would like to submit please email Megan Daly via
  • One or two-page personal statement. Please identify primary and secondary areas of specialization that you wish to pursue in the program in your statement.  These areas should be consistent with the specializations offered by the program and the expertise of the faculty. If necessary, you may change your area of specialization at a later time. You can review the areas of specialization at the following web page: Ph.D. Areas of Specialization Please include the following in your personal statement:
    • What are your background and academic interests?
    • Why did you decide to study public administration at the graduate level?
    • What are your professional goals?
    • How does a Ph.D. in Public Administration fit into your short- and long-term plans for your professional career?
    • Which faculty members do you want to work within the department?
  • Resume
  • Writing Sample
    • The sample can be a paper from a course or a publication, but it should address a contemporary issue in public administration in a way that demonstrates the applicant’s ability to excel in the Ph.D. program. Alternatively, applicants may write a 3-5 page essay
  • Recent test scores (less than five years old) from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) submitted through ETS to our institution code of 1851. International Students must submit TOEFL scores or qualify for a TOEFL waiver. Submit your TOEFL scores to our institution code of 1851.
  • Application for Graduate Appointment Form (PDF)
    • Please indicate clearly at the top of the form whether you are seeking an assistantship or fellowship. Most Ph.D. applicants who want assistantships receive them through faculty grants or one of the college’s seven research centers to work on research projects. Senior Ph.D. students receive teaching assistantships, and general assistantships are sometimes available.

The materials listed above must be uploaded through the electronic submission system.