Doctor of Philosophy with a Major in Public Policy

The PhD in Public Policy is a research-oriented program that prepares students for advanced professional work or for academic careers. Georgia Tech houses two PhD programs in Public Policy, including one offered jointly with Georgia State University. The programs stress intellectual and methodological rigor, building upon the theory and applications of political and organizational analysis, research design, quantitative analysis, and economics.

Financial Aid

Most PhD students receive financial assistance, chiefly through sponsored research projects and teaching assistantships.

All students must have completed the equivalent of the core courses for the Master of Science in Public Policy before they begin the doctoral core curriculum. The doctoral core curriculum consists of six three-credit-hour courses (seven in the joint program). These courses are designed to provide students with a theoretical and methodological foundation for conducting public policy research.

Core Courses
PUBP 8200Adv Research Methods I3
PUBP 8205Adv Research Methods II3
PUBP 8211Microeconomic Theory3
PUBP 8500Research Seminar3
PUBP 8510Logic of Policy Inquiry3
PUBP 8520Scope&Theory-Public Plcy3

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy (Joint Degree with Georgia State University)

Core Courses
PUBP 8200Adv Research Methods I3
PUBP 8205Adv Research Methods II3
PUBP 8211Microeconomic Theory3
PUBP 8500Research Seminar3
PUBP 8510Logic of Policy Inquiry3
PUBP 8520Scope&Theory-Public Plcy3
PUBP 8813Special Topics (Advanced Topics in Analysis and Evaluation)3

Details on the requirements of the joint program, including equivalent courses at Georgia State University, are available on the website.

This core is supplemented with in-depth study of a substantive area of public policy. The Georgia Tech program focuses on science and technology policy, environmental and energy policy, and urban and regional economic development policy. The joint program includes several additional majors, including health policy, policy and program evaluation, and public finance. Students may pursue concentrations with groups of courses already developed by the faculty or an individualized concentration with the written approval of the student's advisor and the Graduate Committee.

In the Georgia Tech program, the major area of concentration consists of four courses and has a capstone seminar at the PhD level that majors are required to complete. The minor concentration is a three-course area of study, preferably taken outside the School of Public Policy.

Other requirements for the PhD include completion of the one-year residency requirement; admission to candidacy for the degree through successful completion of qualifying exams and a dissertation proposal; and completion and successful defense of a doctoral dissertation (9 credit hours).

In summary, the credits required for the PhD are usually as follows:

Core18
Major12
Minor9
Qualifiers - Written Exam3
Colloquium - oral exam: presentation of dissertation proposal3
Dissertation9
Total Credit Hours54

Joint Program Requirements

Core21
Major12
Minor9
Qualifiers - Written Exam3
Colloquium - oral exam: presentation of dissertation proposal3
Dissertation9
Total Credit Hours57

This total assumes that a student already has satisfied the core requirements of the master's degree (at most an additional twenty-five hours).