Ph.D. in Public Administration

Whether you are just getting started on your journey toward a Ph.D. degree or are ready to apply, we’re glad you’re here. The FAU School of Public Administration is proud to offer a highly-competitive Ph.D. program that gives students a well-mentored, research-rich experience. Our doctoral degree offers concentrations in:

  • Organizational Studies
  • Public Administration Theory
  • Public Budgeting and Financial Administration
  • Public Policy Studies
  • Urban and Regional Planning

Our Ph.D. degree can accommodate a broad array of career goals and options, but the core curriculum is primarily designed for students pursuing careers in research, university teaching, and consultation. If you have a particular concentration you wish to pursue, our Advising Team will help you design a tailored program better suited to your academic goals.

“I could not have imagined completing a terminal degree at any other institution than FAU. The small class sizes, dedicated faculty, and mentorship opportunities have provided a beneficial environment for academic training and competitive placement in careers upon graduation.” – Anne K. Fennimore, Ph.D. graduate


How to Apply

Please view our 5-Step Guide to Applying for Admission to the School of Public Administration Ph.D. Program. If you have any questions, please contact the Ph.D. Program Coordinator Dr. Arthur Sementelli at (561) 297-2330 or sementel@fau.edu. To speak with an Academic Adviser, please call (561) 297-2316.

“I completed the MPA program in 2015 at FAU and had no doubt this is where I wanted to pursue my doctorate.  Working on my Ph.D. was a daunting task, but the professors in the School of Public Administration are not only highly invested in academic success; they are also driven to equip students with the tools to succeed through structured courses that are concise, cogent, and well-grounded.  From theory to practice, the faculty provide a top-notch education with invaluable feedback for student growth.” – Karen Sweeting, Ph.D. graduate


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the application deadline?
    February 15 for Fall terms (April 8 for late admission) and August 15 for Spring terms (November 8 for late admission).
  2. Does FAU accept transfer credits?
    Yes, but it is highly dependent on the pertinence of the credits to the FAU Ph.D. program. Credit transfers should occur at the time of admission, and there is a limit of six semester credits total. Additionally, transfer credit must be 1) a minimum of a “B”, or a 3.0 in a 4.0 grading system, and 2) unaffiliated with correspondence or extension work.
  3. What about credit duplication?
    Credit used toward another degree cannot be counted toward the Ph.D. degree.
  4. How many credits are needed to graduate with a Ph.D. in Public Administration from FAU?
    45 instructional credits and 18 dissertation research credits. View past dissertation titles here.
  5. What type of exams must be passed in order to graduate with a Ph.D. in Public Administration?
    Candidates must pass exams in three of the five concentration areas, as well as Epistemology and Methods.
  6. What type of coursework do Ph.D. students engage in outside of the classroom?
    Candidates are expected to participate in professional practica and colloquia, as well as attend dissertation defenses and conferences. They are also expected to participate in collegial activities.
  7. Are financial stipends available for qualifying students?
    Yes. Competitive stipends are available at $20,000 – $22,400 plus 80% – 100% tuition reimbursement.
  8. How long does it typically take to graduate?
    It really varies by student, but the program can be completed in as few as four years. We do require that all Ph.D. coursework be completed within a seven-consecutive-year period after initial registration in the graduate program.
  9. What type of careers do Public Administration Ph.D. graduates typically obtain?
    Our students have an excellent placement record in faculty, research, and executive positions upon graduation. If you have additional questions, please let us know. Please also feel free to browse these online resources:Helpful Links

    Dissertation Forms

Public Administration Ph.D. student James Capp shares his research on “The Bureaucratic Consciousness: Romantic and Critical Ways of Knowing” “The School of Public Administration provides its doctoral students with the theoretical foundations and the analytical skills to pursue rigorous and innovative research projects. … As a result, graduates of the program are highly competitive in the job market, with most of my peers landing excellent positions at research universities and public agencies all over the country.” – James Capp, current Ph.D. student


We’re Here to Help

For any questions regarding the Ph.D. in Public Administration, please contact the Program Coordinator Dr. Arthur Sementelli at (561) 297-2330 or sementel@fau.edu.

To speak with an Academic Adviser, please call (561) 297-2316.