UNT’s Ph.D. in Public Administration and Management emphasizes the development of new knowledge through research and theoretical inquiry.

The Department of Public Administration at the University of North Texas offers a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Public Administration and Management, in addition to the nationally ranked Master of Public Administration. The program admits a selective number of students (8 to 10) each Fall semester. The program is full-time and on-campus, which prioritizes collaboration with faculty and optimizes students’ research and academic career success.

Students are trained for research-oriented scholarly careers in the field of public administration with specializations in urban management, nonprofit management, public financial management and emergency management.

Both faculty and students benefit from access to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, which presents a superb laboratory for research into the complex and compelling issues facing the public today. Our collegial and distinguished faculty have established research agendas, excellent reputations, and a collaborative spirit that provides a strong foundation for students who want to become the academic leaders and scholars of the future.

Please peruse the web pages for our PhD Program, and do not hesitate to get in touch with the PhD Program Coordinator or any of the faculty in the Department of Public Administration.

Thank you for your interest in the PhD at UNT!

PHD Admissions

Admission to the Ph.D. program is a two-tiered process that requires applicants to make simultaneous application to the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies and the Department of Public Administration's Ph.D program. Students must first be admitted to the Toulouse Graduate School. Once admitted, students must then receive admission to the department's Ph.D program.

Students are strongly encouraged to complete the application process by January 15th of each year. Students can apply after this deadline, but doing so reduces access to financial assistance and the cohort entering in the Fall semester of each year is limited.

Admission Process and Requirements:

1. Apply for admission to the Toulouse Graduate School (hereafter TGS):

  • Submit TGS application forms and pay associated fees.
  • Submit transcripts from all universities/colleges attended.
  • Meet minimum GPA requirements of TGS.
  • Students may submit GRE scores if they believe the scores enhance their application. If self-reported GRE test scores are made on the application, students must submit the official test scores as a required component of their application.
  • Submit TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test to TGS (international students only).

2. Apply for admission to the PhD program in the Department of Public Administration. You may email the following documents to PhD.padm@unt.edu:

  • Submit department application form.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant's ability to complete doctoral-level studies and complete a dissertation. We prefer these be written on institutional letterhead and signed.
  • Submit a sole-authored academic writing sample of no more than 5000 words. 
  • Submit a Statement of Purpose (saved in a separate file:PDF or MS-Word).
  • Submit a current CV or resume. 
  • Suggested submission date: January 15th. Applications are accepted after this date.

The Department will review the portfolio of materials above to inform the admissions decision. Admission to the Ph.D. program is based on an assessment of the applicant's academic ability and potential to meet the demands of a doctoral program. Criteria include, but are not limited to, the student's cumulative academic performance and potential as indicated by the quality of the student's undergraduate preparation for advanced study; the quality of their master's degree level of study; commitment to the study of public administration; potential to contribute significantly to the field of public administration through research, teaching, and service; and the extent to which the applicant's interests and professional goals correspond to those offered by the program and the faculty.

Students may submit GRE scores if they believe the scores enhance their application. If self-reported GRE test scores are made on the application, students must submit the official test scores as a required component of their application.

There are two categories of admission to the program: unconditional and conditional admissions. First, an applicant may receive unconditional admission to the program if the portfolio provides evidence that the applicant is highly likely to complete all requirements of the Ph.D program. Unconditional admission is available to students who have completed an MPA degree or the core MPA competencies as established by NASPAA. If an applicant has not completed an MPA, but is otherwise qualified, then the applicant may obtain a conditional admission. Students accepted into the program under conditional admission must complete leveling coursework. In most cases, leveling coursework constitutes 12 to 24 hours of coursework to be completed before beginning doctoral seminars in the department.

Recent graduates are employed as:

  • Professor
  • Analyst
  • Public Sector Specialist, Public Sector and Governance, Africa Region
  • Education Director
  • Senior Investment Operations/Senior Analyst

Recent graduates are employed by:

  • The World Bank, Washington, D.C.
  • Mississippi State University, MS
  • Incheon Development Institute, South Korea
  • Andrew Young School of Public Policy, Georgia State University
  • University of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

Scholarships & more

The Department of Public Administration in UNT’s College of Health and Public Service offers about $100,000 in scholarships and research assistantships each year, including:

  • Lynn F. Anderson Fellowship
  • Clarence E. Ridley Scholarship
  • E. Ray Griffin Scholarship

Your Academic Advisor

Graduate students are advised by department faculty. Dr. Simon Andrew, PhD program coordinator, can help connect you with potential faculty advisors based on your unique interests.

Simon Andrew, Ph.D.
Chair, Professor
Chilton 204A

PhD Financial Support

The Department of Public Administration at the University of North Texas proudly provides a small number of funded fellowships to well-qualified applicants as part of the Newell Fellows Program.

Newell Fellows work toward their PhD in Public Administration while completing important research projects with the department’s world-class faculty and assisting with course instruction. 

This exciting program is named for a renowned scholar in the field and former UNT professor, Charldean Newell. It provides financial support for the tuition and fees associated with attending the PhD program full time and a stipend for living costs. 

Newell Fellows are selected on a competitive basis in the Spring of each year from among applicants who will start the PhD program the following Fall semester. Applications should be submitted by February 1, and must include GRE scores. 

This is an exciting time to earn a PhD at UNT, and we would be happy to discuss how a Newell Fellowship could help make that a reality for you!  Please feel free to contact us for more information.

Please stop by or call:
Department of Public Administration
University of North Texas
Chilton Hall Room 204
Or reach us by mail:
Department of Public Administration
University of North Texas
1155 Union Circle 310617
Denton, TX 76203

Or email your interest and questions to us:  phd.padm@unt.edu

The Department of Public Administration partners with the Toulouse Graduate School and the College of Health and Public Service (HPS) to support the Newell Fellows program each year.

Major funding for the programs is also provided by the Graduate School and allocated by the College, and students must meet all requirements of these program partners to qualify.

Please note that funding is contingent on availability and requires that students successfully meet all obligations of the university, department, and program, as well as any stipulations of the Newell Fellows program.

PhD Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees for the program can be calculated at the https://admissions.unt.edu/tuition-costs-aid

Public Administration

Founded in 1992, the Department of Public Administration is located in the College of Health and Public Service.

Today the department's ten faculty and five professional staff serve more than 350 majors in these three programs. Student-centered education is a hallmark of this dedicated faculty who take personal interest in every student's progress from the first day they enter and beyond graduation to their professional career.

 Chilton Hall 204