UNT | University of North Texas

Degree Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Administration and Management

 

Program of Study

The PhD in Public Administration and Management will prepare you to successfully compete on the academic job market, and to excel in careers that require advanced academic studies in public administration and the methodological approaches to its investigation. 

To achieve this, you will be required to undertake rigorous studies in public administration, in one of four minor fields, and in social science methodology.  You will do this through a combination of seminars and traditional style courses, as well as through directed studies and research with faculty members.

The four possible minor fields that you can choose from are:

  1. Urban Management
  2. Financial Management
  3. Nonprofit Management
  4. Emergency Management

Before you start the 60-hour program of study, you must either:

  1. have already completed courses required for the MPA degree OR
  2. take courses (determined by PhD Program Coordinator) to obtain mastery of core MPA competencies.

Your PhD Program will proceed like this:

  • In the first year, you will delve deeply into the theoretical and methodological foundations of studies in public administration.
  • In year two, you will explore your chosen minor field via both coursework and research.
  • In the third year of study, you will complete your final coursework in your minor field, and you will complete qualifying exams and a defense of your dissertation proposal.
  • During the fourth year, your time will be dedicated to completion of your dissertation research. 

You will need to complete five main components in the PhD Program of Study:

1. Major Field Requirements (12 credit hours): The Major Field/Core includes four doctoral seminars that are foundational to the study of public administration and management. The following courses are required and constitute the knowledge base for the major field component of the qualifying exam.

  1. PADM 6010. Introduction to the Study of Public Administration
  2. PADM 6015. Public Organization Theory and Research
  3. PADM 6025. Institutional Context of Public Administration
  4. PADM 6110. Public Management  

2. Research Methods (12 credit hours): The doctoral program emphasizes the development of research skills that include statistical analysis and other methods appropriate for a student’s field of study. All students in the first-year cohort must take a methods exam in the Spring semester which covers social science methods and linear regression. The following courses are required as specified.

  1. PADM 6035. Social Science Inquiry. (required of all students).
  2. PADM 5510. Administrative Methods II.  Graduates of UNT’s MPA program cannot use these hours on their degree plan. As a substitute, they must take two electives from the list in Section 2e below.
  3. One of the following courses in advanced regression: SOCI 6200 (Multivariate Regression), PSCI 6320, BUSI 6220, BUSI 6240, ECON 5640
  4. Pass research tool exam taken at the end of the Spring semester during Year 1.
  5. One of the following courses as a research tool elective.
    1. Quantitative Methods (Statistics)
      1.  PSCI courses: 6340
      2.  SOCI courses: 6200 (Structural Equation Models)
      3.  BUSI courses: 6280
      4.  DSCI courses: 5220, 5230, 5250, 5310
      5.  ECON courses: 5645, 5650, 5655, 5660, 5670
    2. Qualitative Methods
      1. PADM 6710 (Field Research Methods)
      2. SOCI 6900 (Qualitative Research Methods)
      3. SCBS 6170 at UNT-HSC.
      4. JOUR 5260
      5. ANTH 5031, 5110
    3. Geographic Methods: PADM 6710, GEOG 5110, GEOG 5130, GEOG 5190  

3. Minor field (15 credit hours): Four specializations or minor fields of study are available. Students are required to select one and only one minor field.  

  1. Emergency Management
    1. Required courses
      1.  PADM 5610
      2.  PADM 5700 (Homeland Security)
      3.  PADM 5700 (Challenges of Disaster Response)
    2. Six (6) hours of electives to be determined in consultation with your major professor and advisory committee.  
  2. Financial Management
    1. Required courses
      1.  PADM 5430
      2.  PADM 5700 (New Regionalism)
      3.  PADM 6400 (Public Financial Policy and Administration) 
    2. Six (6) hours of electives to be determined in consultation with your major professor and advisory committee.
    3. Students with an insufficient background may be required to take PADM 5400/5420.  
  3. Nonprofit Management
    1. Required courses
      1. PADM 5040
      2. PADM 5700 (Fund Development for NPOs)
      3. PADM 5700 (Topics in Nonprofit Mgmt)
    2. Six (6) hours of electives to be determined in consultation with your major professor and advisory committee.  
  4. Urban Management
    1. Required courses
      1. PADM 5100
      2. PADM 5300
      3. PADM 5310
    2. Six (6) hours of electives to be determined in consultation with your major professor and advisory committee.  

4. Non-dissertation research (12 hours): These are applied research hours designed to produce publishable scholarly work, dissertation proposal, and grants.

  1. PADM 6700.  Research practicum in which students assist faculty on research projects and complete professionalization activities.
  2. PADM 6700.  Research practicum in which students produce a defensible manuscript in collaboration with faculty. It is expected that the student would be the first author or major contributor when manuscript is submitted for publication. Students will also complete professionalization activities.
  3. PADM 6700.  Research practicum in which students produce a dissertation proposal and grant proposal for research funding. 
  4. PADM 6940.  Directed research in public administration. All students are required to take 3 hours of PADM 6940 in the Fall semester of the third year with his or her dissertation chair or field exam chair. The course should be a readings course to help the student prepare for the field exams and dissertation proposal.

5. Dissertation hours (9 hours minimum).  Students must complete 9 hours of dissertation research. Students are eligible to register for dissertation hours once they have completed the core and field exam process.

In addition to the courses in the Program, you will be required to successfully complete three exams as part of the Program of Study:

  1. The Core Comprehensive Exam is a multi-day exam that explores all aspects of the Core Courses outlined in Section 1: Major Field above.
  2. The Field Exam is a multi-day exam that explores all the field courses you will take as outlined in Section 3: Minor Field above.
  3. The Research Tools Exam is a one-day exam to assess your progress in adopting the social science research methodologies as outlined in Section 2: Research Methods above.

If you have questions about this Program of Study, or any other aspects of the PhD in Public Administration and Management, please feel free to contact the PhD Program Coordinator via email at PhD.padm@unt.edu.

For the Public Administration and Management, PhD program description: UNT Graduate Catalog