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Ph.D. Curriculum

It is expected that students will complete the required coursework in years one and two of the PhD program.  Years three and four are dedicated to the dissertation proposal and dissertation.  Upon completing Comprehensive Exams--at the close of the second year--students focus on the dissertation proposal.  Dissertation proposal preparation courses are offered in three, six, and nine unit options.  In years three and four, and assuming that the required 36 credit units are complete, students are only required to enroll in a minimum of three credit units. Additional credits may be undertaken as required by conditions of funding and desires of the individual student. Students who are employed in 20-hour Teaching or Research Assistant positions are required to enroll in nine credit units. These units are typically funded by the employer and can be electives or dissertation proposal, research, or writing courses.

Once the student successfully completes the comprehensive exams and the dissertation proposal, he or she moves onto candidacy. Candidacy is expected to be and is typically achieved in the fifth or sixth semester (i.e. year 3) of the program. In candidacy, the student will take the dissertation courses.  The first dissertation course--as assigned by the Graduate School--is the dissertation research course.  The second course in the dissertation sequence is the dissertation writing course.  The dissertation research and writing courses are offered in three, six, and nine credit units.  The full-time credit requirement for students in candidacy is three credit units.  Students may take more units based on the conditions of their individual funding or desires.  The dissertation research and writing courses may be taken multiple times for credit in order to maintain registration requirements.

For each year of the PhD, students participate in the Research Colloquium.  The PhD Research Colloquium is a course in which faculty, students, and guests engage in a discussion of current policy research.  Topics change weekly based on the interests of the students and the faculty and both students and faculty are highly encouraged to present and to engage in sometimes difficult and always lively debate.  The course is delineated as a zero credit course so that tuition fees are not incurred, but it is an integral and required part of the core coursework. All resident students (including those in candidacy) are expected to attend and to participate.

Dissertation Proposal and Dissertation Courses

Ph.D. Dissertation

P A 390D - Dissertation Proposal Prep
3 credit hours

P A 399R - Dissertation Research
3 credit hours
Each student will conduct research and write a dissertation on a public policy topic, under the direction of his or her committee. This course is open to Ph.D. students only.
 
P A 399W - Dissertation Writing
3 credit hours
Upon completion of the research phase, each student will write a dissertation (prerequisite: PA 399R, 699R, 999R). This course is open to Ph.D. students only.
 
P A 690D - Dissertation Proposal Prep
6 credit hours
 
P A 699R - Dissertation Research
6 credit hours
Each student will conduct research and write a dissertation on a public policy topic, under the direction of his or her committee. This course is open to Ph.D. students only.
 
P A 699W - Dissertation Writing
6 credit hours
Upon completion of the research phase, each student will write a dissertation (prerequisite: PA 399R, 699R, 999R). This course is open to Ph.D. students only.
 
P A 990D - Dissertation Proposal Prep
9 credit hours
 
P A 999R - Dissertation Research
9 credit hours
Each student will conduct research and write a dissertation on a public policy topic, under the direction of his or her committee. This course is open to Ph.D. students only.
 
P A 999W - Dissertation Writing
9 credit hours
Upon completion of the research phase, each student will write a dissertation (prerequisite: PA 399R, 699R, 999R). This course is open to Ph.D. students only.