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University Graduate School  
Kirkwood Hall 111 
Indiana University 
Bloomington, IN 47405 
(812) 855-8853 
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Public Policy

Combined Degree Program

College of Arts and Sciences

School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Professor Roger Parks

Departmental e-mail:

Note: Be sure to specify the program in which you are interested in when sending mail.

Departmental URL:

Graduate Faculty

Department of Political Science
(See listing under Political Science.)

School of Public and Environmental Affairs
(See listing under Public Affairs.)

Academic Advisor
Professor Roger Parks, SPEA 441, (812) 855-2457

Degree Offered
Doctor of Philosophy

Special Departmental and School Requirements

(See also general University Graduate School requirements.)

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The Joint Ph.D. Program in Public Policy is a collaborative endeavor of the Department of Political Science and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA).

The broad emphasis is on the field of public policy, which includes a concern with the environment of public policy; the processes of policy formation, management, and implementation; and the analysis and evaluation of policy outputs and results. The institutional setting and design of the program offer a unique educational opportunity. Students participating in the program receive social science training and gain a knowledge of government decision-making processes and problem-solving capabilities, and an understanding of the substantive aspects of public problems and their effects on public institutions.

All applicants seeking admission to the public policy program are subject to approval by a joint SPEA-Department of Political Science program admissions committee. Applicants for admission and for financial assistance are required to submit a statement of career goals, official results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), official transcripts of all college-level and graduate work completed, and a minimum of three letters of recommendation. Students whose native language is not English must also submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The Joint Program Committee in Admissions and Financial Aid examines each application closely, seeking to determine suitability for the program. The committee goes beyond the formal academic record, looking also at the maturity and experience of the applicant, demonstrated ability to pursue independent study, and language and research-skill training.

Advisory Committee
The advisory committee will consist of at least two faculty members from SPEA and two from the Department of Political Science. Members of the committee who hold joint appointments will be considered representatives of their primary unit. The chairperson of the committee serves as the studentís principal advisor. Early in the studentís program, but in no case later than the third semester after admission to the program, the committee will provide the student with a formal review of the progress made toward the degree.

Degree Requirements

Fields of Study
All students will be required to have public policy as a major field of preparation and specialization. In addition, each student must select one field of concentration in political science from the following: American politics, comparative politics, international relations, or political theory and methodology; and one field of concentration in public and environmental affairs from the following: environmental policy, public finance, urban affairs, and public management.

Course Requirements
During the first year of study, all students will be expected to take Political Science Y570 Introduction to the Study of Politics; a research skill course such as Y575/Y576; and SPEA V690 Seminar in the Public Policy Process. Students are also required to take SPEA V691 Workshop in Public Policy for six semesters during their program. Due to the unique and sensitive issues surrounding professional ethics and public teaching, all doctoral students are required to complete a seminar in the professional ethics and teaching of public affairs. This seminar is usually taken over two semesters. All course work in the public policy field and the two concentration fields (one each in political science and SPEA) must be approved by the program director or the advisory committee after it is appointed. All courses must be completed with an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 before nomination to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. For specific courses acceptable for this degree, consult with the public policy doctoral advisor.

Language and Research-Skill Requirements
During the first year of study, students are required to take a basic research-skill course (such as Y575/Y576, S554/S650, or the equivalent) in statistics approved by the major advisor and the dean of the University Graduate School. Students are also required to demonstrate proficiency-in-depth in a foreign language or to take one or more advanced research skill courses. Students will not be permitted to take qualifying examinations until these requirements are satisfied.

Qualifying Examination
The qualifying examination is both written and oral. It covers the primary field of public policy and the two concentration fields.

Following successful completion of the qualifying examination, the student shall arrange a dissertation committee subject to the approval of the program director. The committee shall consist of a chairperson, who shall serve as the studentís principal advisor; at least two members from the Department of Political Science; and at least two members from SPEA. The responsibilities of the dissertation committee include granting formal approval of the studentís research proposal, guiding the studentís research agenda to completion, and conducting the formal defense of the dissertation. Following a satisfactory defense of the dissertation, the committee will recommend to the University Graduate School that the candidate be awarded the degree Doctor of Philosophy.

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