For Prospective Students

The Doctoral Program in Public Affairs and Policy (PAP) attracts students from a wide variety of professional and academic backgrounds with a shared passion for policy and public affairs across a range of areas. The PAP program is distinguished by its “whole of government” approach to public affairs and policy, by its world-class research faculty, and by its enviable location. Students are introduced through a first-year core of courses to the broad fundamentals of contemporary governance. Thereafter, the flexible organization of the PAP program allows students to work with their faculty advisors to tailor coursework to their interests.

The PAP program recruits students from a variety of backgrounds. These include: mid-career professionals in governance roles; non-profit or association executives in leadership roles; private sector consultants providing evaluation, mediation and related services; military professionals responsible for a complex planning and strategy operations; and recent graduates seeking academic careers.

The faculty at the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government are world leaders in public management, public policy, and domestic and international politics. Most students draw broadly from faculty within the school and often from faculty in partner units such as Economics and Urban Studies and Planning.

Portland, Oregon is one of the most livable and vibrant cities in the U.S. and provides a welcoming environment for students. Those working part-time or with families and professional spouses find the city an ideal location for the successful pursuit of doctoral studies.

The PAP program offers partial funding to many students, beginning with graduate research assistantships in the pre-candidacy years and then shifting to graduate teaching assistantships once students advance to candidacy. Scholarships and fellowships are also available from the university and faculty work with students to identify appropriate external funding opportunities.

Our graduates have gone on to prominent careers in government, public management, politics, policy advocacy, academia, non-profits, and civil society. Students are encouraged to arrange a campus visit through the Office of Graduate Studies at PSU or directly with Program Director David Kinsella.