Public Administration and Policy Online (PhD)

  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Strome College of Business
  • School of Public Service

Effective public administration and policy-making requires collaborative decisions and problem solving. Our PhD program takes a multi-sector approach. You'll focus on the challenges that arise where governments, nonprofits, businesses, community groups, and individuals intersect.

You will graduate with a solid grounding in the theory and issues of traditional public administration and public policy. You'll also gain the practical knowledge to influence decision makers and lead organizations involved in public service.

You will develop the skills to:

  • Conduct policy analyses
  • Design and conduct research studies in public administration
  • Report research findings and its implications to a variety of audiences and decision-makers
  • Make informed policy and administrative decisions
  • Assess policy and implementation issues
  • Establish, manage, and evaluate multi-sector programs and relationships
  • Teach courses in public administration and policy

Whether you're new to public administration or taking your public service career to the next level, you will be able to apply your experience and education to effect change in the public sphere.

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  • Best Online Doctorate in Public Administration, 2024 -

  • Most Affordable Online Doctoral Degrees, 2023 -

    • 49 credit hours total:
      • 37 credit hours of coursework
      • 12 credit hours for the dissertation

    You will be taught by ODU faculty with expertise in:

    • nonprofit and public management
    • public-private partnerships
    • public procurement and contract management
    • citizen participation
    • dispute resolution
    • economic development
    • and more
  • Participate in live, regularly scheduled online class meetings and access course materials online from any location. All courses follow ODU's regular academic calendar.

  • Public administration and policy is an interdisciplinary field. With ODU's PhD, you can apply your experience and education in other fields -- like political science, criminal justice, social work, business, engineering, fine arts, education, and more -- to effect change in the public or nonprofit sphere. 

    Our coursework will teach you how to create and disseminate knowledge to advance public service, whether you plan to become an instructor, conduct research, or take management positions in government or nonprofit environments.


  • In-state Virginia Residents
    $620 per credit hour*
    Out-of-state Students
    $642 per credit hour

    Rates are effective Fall 2024 and subject to change.
    * In-state rate assumes residency requirements are met.

You'll have a dedicated academic advisor for this program.

Contact us if you have questions about admission requirements, transferring credits, or application deadlines.

  • You may be able to take up to four courses (12 credit hours) as a non-degree graduate student, before you are accepted into this specific degree program. Please contact us through the form above to learn more from our enrollment team.

    Applications are accepted year-round, and new students start each fall semester. The deadline for completed applications is March 1. To apply, you will need:

    • A master's degree from a regionally-accredited institution or comparable foreign institution with a minimum 3.25 GPA (4.0 scale).
    • Two letters of recommendation from academic sources.
    • A professional resume.
    • A 3-6 page essay about your academic and professional goals and why you chose our program.
    • GRE/GMAT scores at 25th percentile for verbal and quant (taken within the last five years). A GRE waiver request is available here.
    • If your native language is not English and you do not have a U.S. graduate degree, a minimum score of 79 on the TOEFL, or 6.5 on the IELTS.