PhD in Public Administration and Public Policy Admissions

Contact: CAPPA Admissions at


The Public Administration and Public Policy (PAPP) Ph.D. provides students theory-based and applied knowledge that integrates public administration and public policy. It is a unique interdisciplinary approach to preparing students for a variety of academic, research and senior public management positions in higher education institutions, public and nonprofit organizations. The PAPP Ph.D. stresses interdisciplinary courses, given CAPPA’s mission and multiple programs, providing students considerable flexibility in choosing their specialty/emphasis. Faculty specializations include economic and community development, education, environmental, transportation and welfare policies, intergovernmental relations, organizational structure and change, and public finance/budgeting. PAPP graduates pursue teaching and research careers at regional or national universities, seek advancement in their current professional career path or change their career trajectory.

The curriculum is based on the synergy between the social dynamics of public policy and the administration of policies designed to address social issues. Public policies result from the interaction of social conditions that give rise to them and are further affected by the way they are administered by the public and non-profit organizations of society. This premise is applicable regardless of public policy arena; environment, economic or community development, transportation, housing or health.


Students are required to complete a specific set of eight courses, listed below, that comprise the core curriculum. The core courses address the social sciences and public administration literature critical to the integrative approach of the program. Descriptions of these courses are available in the University Catalog. Equal weight is given to social sciences and Public Administration with the goal of integrating them and providing context to understanding policy formation and implementation. A student can expect to complete these courses in no more than two academic years. They contain the foundation knowledge over which students are tested in the written comprehensive examination. Students are also required to take twelve hours of coursework in research methods. The courses concern theory and theory construction, research design, and quantitative and qualitative research methods. Students also declare an emphasis on three hours chosen to enhance their particular research focus in consultation with their advisor.

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Degree and Course Requirements

Course Code Course Name Hours
PAPP 5309 Local Politics in the Intergovernmental Setting 3
PAPP 5305 Theories of Urban Society 3
PAPP 5306 The Urban Economy 3
PAPP 5311 Public Policy Formation and Analysis 3
PAPP 6320 Advanced Organization Theory 3
PAPP 6315 Public Administration Theory 3
PAPP 6326 Public Budgeting and Finance 3
PAPP 6349 Decision Making and Public Policy Analysis 3

Total Hours: 24 

Course Code Course Name Hours
PAPP 5342 Intermediate Data Analysis 3
PAPP 5344 Qualitative Methods 3
PAPP 6301 Theoretical Foundations and PhD Workshop 3
PAPP 6346 Advanced Data Analysis in Urban and Public Affairs 3

Total Hours: 12



2023-2024 Edition

A guide to doctoral studies at the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs (CAPPA), The University of Texas - Arlington. The PAPP Ph.D. handbook attempts to provide guidance and useful information to new and current UPPP students. We trust that your experience will be academically, professionally, and personally rewarding.

PAPP Handbook


CAPPA Ph.D. Orientation

Learn more about two doctoral degree opportunities that provide very distinct programs guided by different objectives. 



Graduate Teaching Assistantship packages are available on a competitive basis to students beginning their first semester of study in UT Arlington doctoral programs. Requirements include full-time enrollment and unconditional admission.