Ph.D. Program

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Program Overview

The School of Public Administration at Florida Atlantic University offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Administration with concentrations in Administrative Theory & Inquiry; Public Policy Studies, Organizational Studies, and Public Budgeting and Financial Administration. Also, students are allowed to assemble concentrations of their own devising. This doctoral program, while primarily designed to qualify students in research, university teaching and consultation, can accommodate a broad array of career goals and options.

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Admission Requirements

Admission into the Ph.D. program will be granted to students of superior ability who have demonstrated a record of previous academic success, good potential for continued success in doctoral studies, and a desire to prepare for acareer in which scholarship and research are major elements.

Normally an applicant must have earned a master’s degree and should also take these courses if they have not already taken the equivalents elsewhere.

  • Introduction to Public Administration
  • Public Policy
  • Organization Behavior or Structure
  • Public Budgeting or Finance
  • Personnel/HRM/Labor Relations

In special situations, students with a bachelor’s degree may be admitted into the doctoral program.  In such cases, the applicant must complete the above five courses plus quantitative methods at the graduate level.

Applicants should have a minimum graduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher, a score of at least 150 on the verbal and 150 on the quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and a minimum score of 4.5 on the analytical writing section. Official GRE scores must be submitted and an online application form completed. In addition, students who have attended a college/university outside the United States must have a professional transcript evaluation by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or an accredited agency. Transcripts, GRE scores and, if applicable, Transcript evaluations should be sent directly to the Graduate College: or

Florida Atlantic University-Graduate College
777 Glades Road, SU 80, Room 101,
Boca Raton, FL, 33431

In addition, the Ph.D. Admissions Committee will need:

  • Three letters of recommendation (especially from academic sources);
  • Resume
  • Two samples of academic writing
  • Statement of intent and interests

These material can be uploaded electronically via the Graduate College application process. Letter writers will be sent an email asking them to submit their letters of support electronically.

Program Information

  • Competitive stipends are available at $12,000 - $16,000 plus 80% - 100% tuition reimbursement
  • Application deadlines are February 15 for Fall term and August 15 for Spring term of each year.

    Note: All students who have attended a college/university outside the United States must have a professional transcript evaluation by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Or accredited recognized agency. Transcript evaluations should be sent directly to the Graduate College. For additional information, please visit:

  • Excellent placement record in faculty, research, and executive positions upon graduation.
  • The program is composed or 45 instructional credits and 18 dissertation research credits.
  • Candidates must pass exams in three of the four concentration areas.
  • Candidates must successfully complete and defend a qualifying paper.
  • Candidates are expected to participate in professional practica, colloquia, attend dissertation defenses and conferences and participate in collegial activities.

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Transfer Credits

Acceptance of transfer credits from approved institutions is dependent on the pertinence of the work to the Ph.D. program. Transfer of credits should occur at the time of admission and is limited to six semester credits subject to the following restrictions:

  1. Grades on all transfer credits must be a minimum of "B" (3.0 in a 4.0 grading system).
  2. No graduate credit will be allowed for correspondence or extension work.

Credit Duplication

No credit used for another degree or may be counted toward the Ph.D. degree.

Time Limitations

Candidates for the Ph.D. degree must complete all work within a seven-consecutive-year period after initial registration in the graduate program.

Academic Standing

Continuation in the graduate program requires satisfactory progress toward the graduate degree. Evidence of such progress includes maintenance of a 3.25 cumulative average throughout the course of academic study.

Students who do not maintain the required 3.25 cumulative GPA will be placed on academic probation in the semester immediately following the semester in which the cumulative GPA drops below 3.25. Failure to regain a 3.25 cumulative average within two successive semesters following the semester in which the deficiency first occurred can result in dismissal.


Faculty and the Students

Ph.D students work closely with distinguished professors, including:

Efraim Ben-Zadok
Rosalyn Carter
Floydette Cory-Scruggs
Ali Farazmand
Leslie Leip
Gao Liu
Clifford P. McCue
Hugh T. Miller
Patricia Patterson
Ronald C. Nyhan
Alka Sapat
Arthur Sementelli
Khi Thai

Some recent dissertation titles include:

Content Last Updated on: June 19, 2015
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