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Department of Public Administration & Policy


  • SPA: Public Administration
    Ward, Room

    Graduate programs: spagrad@american.edu

Mailing Address
DPAP PhD students
Credit: R. Hill

Our mission is to produce the next generation of leading scholars in public administration and public policy. We aim for our graduates to produce original research that is methodologically sound, socially relevant, and makes important contributions to knowledge and theory.

PhD Program

The PhD program in the Department of Public Administration and Policy is a full-time, cohort-based degree that prepares students for careers in research and teaching. From the first day of orientation to the final dissertation defense, each student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor to develop the skills needed for a career in academia. By the time they graduate, virtually all of our students have presented their research at key conferences and published their work in peer-reviewed academic journals.

Our philosophy is that doctoral education should be about much more than coursework. Our program provides a comprehensive, multifaceted introduction to the research enterprise and what it means to be a scholar in public administration and public policy. The following are illustrative of the opportunities available to our students:

We invite you to learn more about our programs by browsing the website. For additional general inquiries about the PhD program in the Department of Public Administration and Policy, please contact our administrative assistant, Serena Elizondo at elizondo@american.edu.

Alumni spotlight

Pablo Sanabria, SPA/PhD ’12

Pablo Sanabria, SPA/PhD ’12, won a $700,000 grant from the government of Colombia to design the framework of a comprehensive policy that promotes innovative and effective human resource management in the public sector.

Read more