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• School of Public Affairs and Administration
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• Program Requirements and Course Descriptions
Location(s) Offered
     •   Battle Creek
Program Type(s)
     •   Face-to-face
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Public Administration

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The mission of the Doctor of Philosophy in Public Administration program is to give students a deep and pervasive knowledge of the history, theory, practice, and future of the field. The curriculum encourages broad intellectual inquiry with a scholarly perspective and seeks to prepare students for careers in teaching, academia, administration, and consulting. The doctoral program is designed both for those who have experience in a supervisory or administrative position with a federal, state, or local government or nonprofit agency and for those wishing to teach public administration in a college or university setting.

Program Benefits

The Ph.D. in Public Administration is intended to:

  • Advance the careers of those who already have full time work experience in the public, non-profit, and health care sectors
  • Prepare individuals for academic and research-based careers including positions in university faculty, think tanks, and/or major consulting firms

Applicants should obtain a doctoral student information packet from the School of Public Affairs and Administration for complete details concerning admissions. The following criteria will be used to fill available spaces in the program with the best possible candidates. In order to be competitive, applicants must:

  1. Have an undergraduate degree with at least a 3.00 grade point average.
  2. Have a master's degree in public administration or a related academic discipline with at least a 3.25 grade point average in all graduate coursework.
  3. Have at least four years of experience in a supervisory or administrative position, preferably in public-serving organizations.
  4. Provide three letters of recommendation using the WMU graduate reference form, at least one of which should be from a person acquainted with the applicant's professional work and at least one of which should be from a person acquainted with the applicant's graduate-level academic work.
  5. Submit the completed Departmental Application Form, including responses to the required essay questions.
  6. Submit a complete and up-to-date professional resume.
  7. Provide recent Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing components of the examination.

All application materials should be submitted by April 30 to ensure consideration for the fall semester. Late applications may be considered on a space-available basis while earlier applications may be required for a student to meet university financial aid deadlines.