Public Affairs and Policy Ph.D. Program


The doctoral program in Public Affairs and Policy is an interdisciplinary course of study designed to prepare students for careers in research, teaching, public service, and consulting in a variety of settings, whether academia, government, or the private sector.

Our Public Affairs and Policy program is designed to prepare doctoral students to pursue careers in research, teaching, public service, and/or consulting in a variety of settings, including academia, government, and the private sector. We seek to provide students with evaluative and analytical skills to prepare our graduates for stellar careers in all aspects of education, civil service, government, and society. The faculty at the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government are 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.

We welcome you to consider joining our program frontlined by faculty who are global leaders in their policy and research fields. The curriculum of the Ph.D. program focuses on governance and the integrated study of political, administrative, and policy processes in the public sector. Through course­work and research, students encounter a range of theoretical and practical policy is­sues at the local, state, national, and international levels. Consistent with the Hatfield School of Government's dedication to public leadership, the doctoral program provides students with the knowledge and scholarship reflective of quality leadership for applied research and community engagement.

Our program follows a core set of curriculum and three track options of multidisciplinary training. These tracks provide expertise in the socioeconomic and institutional frameworks wherein policies are implemented, administered, and evaluated. In addition, our students are provided training in the analytical and research methods used to examine policy processes and outcomes. Our current specialization tracks and affiliated courses: 

Track I: Public Administration and Policy: Courses
Political and Economic Decision-Making
Ethics and Public Policy
Administrative Theory and Behavior
Adminsitrative Process
Policy Analysis
Comparative Public Policy
Administrative Law

Track II: Politics and Public Policy:
Political and Economic Decision-Making
Ethics and Public Policy
Advanced Political Economy
History of Economic Thought
Policy Analysis
Compartive Public Policy
Seminar in International Relations

Track III: Economics and Public Policy
Advanced Economics
Applied Advanced Economics
Mathematical Economics
Advanced Microeconomics
Applications of Advanced Microeconomic Theory
Advanced Macroeconomics
Applications of Advanced Macroeconomic Theory


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 Birol Yesilada. For further information on admittance to our program, we invite you to view our admission requirements