PhD in Public Administration

Admission Requirements

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

  • Prior Degrees Master’s degree required. 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 course work as prescribed by the program director. Such course work will not apply to the degree requirements.
  • Grade Point Average At least 3.50/4.00 for all undergraduate and postbaccalaureate course work.
  • Tests Required GRE General. All applicants should have a combined score of at least 235 (tests taken August 2011 or after) or a combined score of 1100 (tests taken prior to August 2011) on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE. If an applicant fails to present a minimum GRE score of 235 or 1100 and a GPA of 3.50, the applicant may still be considered by the PhD Committee. The committee will review all evidence of high promise, including, but not limited to, trend of graduate grade, type of graduate program, and mature work experience.
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score
    • TOEFL 550 (paper-based); 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Internet-based), OR,
    • IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores, OR,
    • PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
  • Letters of Recommendation Three required from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic achievements or professional experience.
  • Personal Statement Required. Applicants must submit a brief statement of their professional goals and academic interests.
  • Other Requirements Applicants must submit a 3–5 page written essay, a resume, and may be asked to interview with one or more members of the faculty.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 96 from the baccalaureate. Students holding a master’s degree from UIC or an equivalent program will ordinarily receive a maximum of 32 semester hours toward the degree requirement.
  • Course Work A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00/4.00 in all graduate courses taken at UIC is required for graduation. Credit is not given for any required course in which a grade of less than B is earned.
Required Core Theory Courses (8 hours)
Organization Theory and Behavior in Public Administration Research
History and Development of Public Administration
Collaborative Management and Governance Networks
Bureaucracy and the Policy Process
Required Core Methods Courses (20 hours)
Research Design for Public Administration
Advanced Data Analysis I
At least 12 hours musts be taken from the following list of courses: a
Public Program Evaluation
Advanced Data Analysis II
Qualitative Research Methods in Public Administration
Survey Questionnaire Design
Practicum in Survey Methodology
Survey Data Collection Methods: Theory and Practice
Seminar on Special Topics in Survey Methodology
Applied Survey Sampling and Analysis
Research Design and Evaluation
a

Students may substitute a methods course from outside the department for any of the courses on this list with the permission of the director of graduate studies. Students must take a combination of statistics and research design courses to fulfill this requirement.

Required Applied Research Seminars
Research Topics in Public Administration I
Research Topics in Public Administration II
  • Students must select one of four areas of concentration. At least 12 credit hours must be taken in the area of concentration.
  1. Public and Nonprofit Management
  2. Financial Management
  3. Urban Governance and Networks
  4. Survey Methods

Public and Nonprofit Concentration

Concentration Courses
At least 12 credit hours from the list of courses below must be taken in this area of concentration. PA 527 is required. a
Public Management Theory (required)
Strategic Management: Planning and Measurement
Ethics and Accountability
Leadership in Public Organizations
Public Policy Analysis
Change and Reform in Public Organizations
Labor Management Relations in the Public Sector
Managing Workplace Diversity
Human Resource Development and Management in Public Administration
Intergovernmental Management
Nonprofit History and Theory of the Nonprofit Sector

Financial Management Concentration

Concentration Courses
At least 12 credit hours from the list of courses below must be taken in this area of concentration. PA 554 is required. a
Financial Management in Public Administration (required)
Strategic Management: Planning and Measurement
Capital Budgeting and Finance
State and Local Public Finance
Intergovernmental Management
Development Finance Analysis

Urban Governance and Networks Concentration

Concentration Courses
At least 12 credit hours from the list of courses below must be taken in this area of concentration. PA 562 is required. a
Seminar on Urban Governance (required)
Public Policy Development and Process
State and Local Public Finance
Intergovernmental Management
Introduction to Policy and Governance
Seminar in Urban Politics
Urban Space, Place and Institutions

Survey Methods Concentration

Concentration Courses
At least 12 credit hours from the list of courses below must be taken in this area of concentration. PA 578 is required. a
Surveys, Public Opinion, and Public Policy (required)
At least two of the following:
Survey Questionnaire Design
Practicum in Survey Methodology
Survey Data Collection Methods: Theory and Practice
Applied Survey Sampling and Analysis
Seminar on Special Topics in Survey Methodology
a

Students may substitute other courses for any of the courses in these lists with the permission of the director of graduate studies.

  • Departmental Qualifying Examination Required. After completion of course work students must pass a departmental qualifying examination designed to test their scholarly competence and knowledge. The doctoral departmental qualifying examination is designed to assess the degree of mastery which degree candidates have achieved over a body of knowledge, to measure their ability to integrate the knowledge, and to apply it creatively in the analysis of problems to which it is germane. The departmental qualifying examination will consist of three parts: core PA theory, core methods, and the area of concentration. Students are required to take all three required exams within one year of completing all PA course work (excluding PA 545 and PA 546).
  • It is expected that no later than the end of the semester following the completion of the departmental qualifying examination the student will submit a written statement of the dissertation plans to his/her major advisor. Upon the recommendation of the program director and approval of the dean of the Graduate College, a five-person dissertation committee will be appointed. The committee will include at least one member from outside the Public Administration program.
  • Preliminary Examination Required. The dissertation prospectus will contain an analysis of the relevant literature, the theoretical issues to be pursued, the data to be used and the methods of analysis, and a statement of the anticipated significance of the research project. The prospectus will be defended before a committee and constitutes the student’s preliminary examination. Successful defense of the prospectus authorizes the student to proceed with dissertation research and formally admits the student to PhD candidacy. The final version of the dissertation will incorporate any changes recommended by the committee.
  • Dissertation Required. The dissertation will make a contribution to knowledge in public administration and will be publicly defended before the scholarly community and a committee appointed by the dean of the Graduate College on the recommendation of the program director. At least 16 and no more than 28 semester hours may be awarded for dissertation research.

Interdepartmental Graduate Concentration in Survey Research Methodology

Students earning a graduate degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in a concentration in Survey Research Methodology. However, students selecting the concentration in Survey Methods within the PhD are not eligible for the Interdepartmental Concentration in Survey Research Methodology. See Interdepartmental Graduate Concentration in Survey Research Methodology in the Graduate College section for more information.