PhD in Public Administration
- Online PhD in Public Administration Handbook
- Program flyer for the PhD in public administration at TSU
- 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
TSU is the only Tennessee university offering the PhD in public administration. Our first student was admitted in 1991, and we are pleased that our graduates have succeeded in obtaining placements appropriate for their academic preparation and career experience, as shown below. You can review our graduates and their dissertation topics. Our program is designed for working individuals, a distinctive feature among research doctorates in public administration/public policy. Many of our students continue to work full-time while pursuing the PhD, as each class meets once weekly in the evening. You can also choose to pursue this degree full time to progress faster. While this demanding course of study is not to be undertaken lightly whether by part-time or full-time students, it can lead you to your fullest development as an academic or researcher in the social sectors. Contact us to learn more.
The goal of a research doctorate in general is to prepare scholars who can both understand and produce original research of the highest quality, which adds to the state of theoretical knowledge in the field and improves practice. In an interdisciplinary, applied field of study such as public administration, PhD graduates can see the impact of their work in the research they conduct or through the accomplishments of the students they teach. Through the core curriculum, benchmark exam, prospectus and dissertation processes, students develop and demonstrate mastery of the core literature of the subfields of public administration including organization theory, public budgeting and finance, and policy implementation. Doctoral students develop the ability to communicate, synthesize and evaluate complex abstract concepts key to the generation of new knowledge.
The specific mission of the Doctor of Philosophy program in public administration at TSU is to prepare experienced public, nonprofit, or healthcare administrators for careers (1) as faculty members in public administration or related fields based on their education combined with professional expertise; (2) as high-level professional researchers; or (3) as senior managers with extensive research expertise in public service in public, non-profit, or healthcare agencies. The data on positions our alumni hold reflect this mission (position last held is used for retired individuals). Of 42 Ph.D. alumni (as of 8/23/2016), 25 teach at the college/university level either as their primary occupation, or in addition to their primary position. Of the 16 alumni whose primary occupation is as a faculty member at an institution of higher education, field of appointment varies depending on individual expertise from their practitioner careers, combined with educational qualifications and doctoral dissertation focus. Fields of appointment include public administration and management, criminal justice, health policy, management, social work, sociology, planning/urban studies, political science, and clinical practice management.
Point of contact for prospective students: Dr. Rodney Stanley, Department Chair
I. Key guiding documents
II. Purpose and uses of the PhD degree in public administration
III. Applying for admission to the PhD in public administration
IV. Scholarly engagement opportunities beyond coursework
V. Routine program advising and course selection
VI. Advising related to committee composition, prospectus development and dissertation research
VII. Benchmark exams (comprehensive on old design or prelim/qualifiers on current design)
VIII. Preparing to graduate
Department of Public Administration