Online Handbook: PhD in Public Administration
Point of contact for prospective students: Dr. Rodney Stanley, Department Chair
Point of contact for admitted students in course-taking phase: Dr. Ann-Marie Rizzo, PhD Program Advisor
Point of contact for doctoral candidates past the course-taking phase: student's Dissertation Committee Chair and Dr. Ann-Marie Rizzo, PhD Program Advisor
I. Key guiding documents
TSU Graduate Catalog - Relevant policies are found both in the front of the catalog which apply to all TSU graduate students (p. 15-45 of 2015-2017 Catalog) as well as the program-specific part in the College of Public Service section (begins p. 157 of 2015-2017 Catalog). Please note that this "online handbook," while it provides useful details for prospective and current students, does not replace or supercede the Graduate Catalog, nor does it cover all the important elements of policy included in the Catalog. All applicants and students are responsible for knowing and abiding by TSU, Graduate School, and program policies outlined in the Catalog.
II. Purpose and uses of the PhD degree in public administration
- FYI |
sample past syllabi
Current students offer advice
Graduates and dissertations
Where do our graduates work? Fall 2010 data
III. Applying for admission to the PhD in public administration
- FYI | TSU Graduate Catalog including admissions requirements
Apply to the Graduate School directly, 615-963-7371
IV. Scholarly engagement opportunities beyond coursework
- Our 2015-2016 Public Service Research Brown Bag Series offers an opportunity for students to both learn about and present on current research, along with TSU faculty and other scholars.
- Many students, alumni and faculty are active participants in activities and leadership of the Tennessee chapter of the American Society for Public Administration
- In recent years, our doctoral students have presented at scholarly conferences such as SECoPA, ABFM, ASPA, COMPA, NAPA's Social Equity Leadership Conference, and others.
- Once per semester, program advisor Dr. Ann-Marie Rizzo holds an evening PhD Roundtable event for current and prospective PhD students.
- A blog, Synergy, is maintained by Drs. Streams and Rizzo with announcements of interest to our doctoral students, including job postings; research tips; conference opportunities; and others.
V. Routine program advising and course selection
- The Phd program advisor is Dr. Ann-Marie Rizzo.
- The recommended sequence of courses depends on the semester in which program is begun. Check in with Dr. Rizzo every semester before course selection to verify that your choices are appropriate and to complete any necessary paperwork to complete program benchmarks. Seeking advising regularly is your responsibility as a graduate student and will help to ensure a smooth path through the program.
- While subject to change due to staffing, enrollment or other issues, the PhD program core course offerings are projected several years out to aid students in planning. Changes are rare but before planning a new semester check the schedule for updates. While students in this program are not compelled to stay on pace with a cohort, maintenance of a steady pace is expected to show satisfactory progress. However, if a student chooses not to take a course in the semester it is offered, there may be no alternative but to wait for the next scheduled offering which can delay program benchmarks. An overview of the Public Administration pattern of course offerings is also available but is not a substitute for seeking advising.
- Admitted students may access the course schedule and register for a semester's coursework in the myTSU system. That system is also where you access information about billing and financial aid status, view your unofficial transcript and see which programs you have been admitted to, and where you register your vehicle to obtain a parking permit. While registration and the most current course schedule information is inside myTSU, for our students' convenience we also produce a summary sheet periodically showing the upcoming semester's course schedule. These summaries are available here with other resources for registration.
- Upon successfully completing 9 credits in the program and satisfying any outstanding conditions on your admission, you must contact Dr. Rizzo and schedule an appointment to complete the program of study for PhD students. This form is essential for continuing in the program and ensuring that you have a plan for coursework that has been approved by your advisor.
VI. Advising related to the prospectus development and dissertation research
- Once a student has successfully passed the preliminary exam, the process of building the advisory PhD dissertation committee begins. The Chair and committee members will play an important role in the student's further development as a scholar, particularly as progress is made towards the prospectus and dissertation research. The Committee is also the evaluating body for the qualifying exam; the prospectus defense; and the dissertation defense. For details on composition of the committee, please read this FAQ on the selection and role of the PhD Dissertation Committee.
VII. Benchmark exams (comprehensive on old design or prelim/qualifiers on current design)
Dates of PhD exams
FAQ on PhD exams (all entering students are on new program design with prelim/qualifying exam)
Form | Request to take the PhD comprehensive exam (students on old program design; if you're not sure, consult Dr. Rizzo); due at beginning of semester
- Form | Request to take the PhD preliminary exam (students on the current program design; if you're not sure, consult Dr. Rizzo); due at beginning of semester
Current students offer advice
VIII. Preparing to graduate
- Form (online) | Graduation Application
; you must apply online for graduation in advance; check deadlines at the beginning of your last semester! Application is mandatory whether or not you plan to attend commencement.
- FYI |
TSU commencement site
- important information on the "Grad Finale" which you must attend to get fitted for cap and gown, etc.; occurs before mid-semester - check site for date