IUPUI Bulletins » Schools » IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI » Graduate Programs » Doctoral Degree in Philanthropic Studies

Doctoral Degree in Philanthropic Studies

The doctoral program at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy trains future scholars and professionals in conducting original research on philanthropy and related topics. The Ph.D. program engages both humanities and social science theory to prepare students to make an original contribution to the field. Doctoral students have examined a wide range of topics including the history of philanthropy, why people give, the role of nonprofits in policy, the effectiveness of foundations and faith-based initiatives, and the role of social movements in society.

Students take two years of coursework on campus, pass qualifying exams, defend a dissertation proposal, then research, write, and defend a final dissertation. Students should plan to complete coursework, pass their exams, and defend their dissertation proposal within three years of full-time enrollment. All doctoral students submit annual progress reviews to the Director of Graduate Programs and their Research Committee Chair.

Admission Eligibility
Students apply online through the IUPUI Graduate School. Students must have a master’s degree in a field relevant to philanthropic studies. Other requirements include a statement of research interest that identifies Lilly Family School of Philanthropy faculty with whom the student seeks to work, résumé, undergraduate and graduate school transcripts, standardized test scores such as the GRE, letters of recommendation that attest to the student’s ability to conduct original research.

Time to Completion and Outcomes
The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy admits approximately four or five full-time students annually to the doctoral program. From 2004–2015, doctoral students completed their degree in an average of 6.25 years. One hundred percent of Ph.D. graduates who sought employment were employed in tenure track (75 percent) or high-level philanthropic professional positions (25 percent).

Financial support
One hundred percent of our Ph.D. students, who are enrolled full-time, receive financial support in the form of tuition scholarships, health insurance, and an assistantship stipend for up to four years. Tuition scholarships are 88 percent of tuition for in-state students and 95 percent of tuition for non-resident students. To be eligible, students must work 20 hours per week as a research assistant or teaching assistant, attend monthly doctoral student meetings, and attend regular research seminars.

Students must complete at least 90 credit hours, 30 of which often can transfer from a completed master’s degree program. Of the remaining 60 credit hours, 42 credit hours are coursework and 18 hours are dissertation research credits. Course work includes five core courses, three methodology courses, four courses in the student’s minor field, and two electives. Students identify their minor field of study and minor field advisor within their first year on campus, and have pursued a variety of minor fields including Africana studies, business, economics, higher education, history, nonprofit management, philosophy, political science, religious studies, and sociology.

Core Courses (15 credits)
PHST-P660 Ethical, Moral, and Religious Aspects of Philanthropy
PHST-P662 Historical and Cultural Perspectives on Philanthropy
PHST-P664 Philanthropy and Nonprofit Organizations in Society I
PHST-P665 Philanthropy and Nonprofit Organizations in Society II
PHST-P790 Dissertation Research Seminar

Methodology Courses (9 credits)
PHST-P602 Qualitative Methods in the Third Sector
PHST-P690 Quantitative Behavioral Research Methods
Graduate-level Research Methods approved by director of graduate programs

Minor Field Courses (12 credits)
Graduate-level courses approved by director of graduate programs and minor field advisor

Electives (6 credits)

Dissertation (18 credits)*
*Students are required to have taken PHST-P521, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector, or its equivalent. Students who have not met this requirement enroll in PHST-P521 in their first semester and dissertation credits change from 18 to 15.

Last updated: May 2021