Are you considering a career in research or academia? Since its inception, the Glenn College has offered a selective, research-oriented doctoral program in public policy and management. This academically rigorous program is preparation for individuals pursuing university careers in teaching and research, and for senior-level research roles in government, consulting, and nonprofit organizations.

The program is tailored to individual needs and interests and enrolls 25-30 students. Students work closely with faculty advisors in developing programs of study that allow students to attain:

  • A basic knowledge of the public policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation processes
  • A thorough preparation in analytical foundations and competence in advanced quantitative tools required for investigating public policy and management problems
  • Competence in public sector economic theory and its application to policy analysis and management problems
  • An understanding of the concepts, methods, and techniques of organization theory and administrative processes applicable to the public sector environment
  • An intensive concentration in an advanced specialization field emphasizing multidisciplinary contributions to the solution of public sector problems

The John Glenn College of Public Affairs includes a core full-time faculty accompanied by other faculty members who divide their time between public policy and related academic disciplines. A wide range of academic disciplines and professional fields are represented on the faculty including public administration and public policy, economics, political science, law, history, geography, engineering, operations research, nonprofit management, food, environmental, and innovation policy, and quantitative methods. Many have experience in either government or private research organizations.


Our doctoral alumni hold leadership positions in some of the top public affairs programs in the country. Recent placements include faculty positions at Louisiana State University, the University of Kansas, and Virginia Tech, and government agency positions in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ecuador Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Next Steps…?

Check out our admissions page for information on applicant checklists, visiting the College, and additional resources. Don’t forget to complete the inquiry card before submitting any materials. This will make sure you get more information about the Glenn College and the programs we offer.


Admission to the PhD program is highly selective. The faculty is committed to maintaining small seminars, individual tutorials, and close student-faculty collaboration on research projects. Talented men and women from the United States and abroad with superior academic records and a strong interest in careers emphasizing research and scholarship are encouraged to apply. Our students come from a variety of academic backgrounds, including public administration, the social and behavioral sciences, business administration, accounting, history, engineering, the physical sciences, mathematics, the biological sciences, education, law, and social work. The common bond among our faculty and students is a dedication to the solution of public policy and management problems through the integration of multidisciplinary research contributions.

The Glenn College accepts applications to begin Autumn Semester ONLY. The deadline to submit a completed application for domestic and international applicants is March 15th. Applications received after this date will be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants with a cumulative, undergraduate GPA below a 3.0 are encouraged to contact the Glenn College prior to applying for more information about OSU Graduate School admissions standards.

For step by step instructions on how to apply to our PhD program, please check out our Graduate Admissions page.
In developing the intellectual foundation necessary to advance the knowledge and practice of public policy and management, the PhD curriculum incorporates a wide array of courses and doctoral seminars. A substantial portion of this coursework is concentrated in four core areas of instruction: public policy, analytical foundations and quantitative methods, public sector economics, and public sector organizational theory and management. These core areas provide a common body of knowledge and skills for all doctoral students with an eye toward careers in multidisciplinary research environments.

Students choose a set of elective courses to develop advanced specialized knowledge in a field (or fields) that compliments their core coursework. Examples of specialized topic areas selected by PhD students include public sector economics, public finance, information technology policy, energy and environmental policy, education and workforce policy, housing policy, health policy, food policy, and management science. In addition, most students take advanced specialized coursework in qualitative or quantitative methods.

For more information related to the PhD program, including course offerings and program plans, please review the PhD student handbook.

Please read "Should you pursue a PhD in public affairs?"

Below are the course requirements for the PhD in Public Policy and Management. These courses are organized into four parts: foundation courses, content area courses, research design and methods courses and specialization courses. The foundation, content area and research design and methods courses are taken by all students. Students are also required to take at least four methods courses and three specialization courses. Methods and specialization course offerings vary from year to year. Each student works closely with his or her adviser to decide on a set of methods and specialization courses appropriate for the dissertation and future research interests.

Foundation Course Summary

  • PUBAFRS 8000 Public Policy and Management: Foundations and Approaches
    In-depth introduction to research and theory of public administration intended to familiarize students with major research streams in the field and issues and debates involved therein. Assists students in planning research directions. 3 credit hours
  • PUBAFRS 8890.01-8890.03- First & Second Year Doctoral Seminar
    Seminar sequence develops the skills and capacities for first-year Glenn College doctoral students to succeed and thrive as scholars, including the development and presentation of a first year paper.
  • PUBAFRS 8890.04 College Teaching in Public Affairs
    This interactive seminar assists advanced graduate students in developing the necessary skills for college level teaching in public affairs: pedagogical strategies; theoretical and interdisciplinary practices; instructor professional development. 2 credit hours

Content Area Courses

Public Policy

  • PUBAFRS 8030 Seminar in Public Policy
    Designed to heighten graduate students’ ability to think critically about public policy processes and policy analysis. It emphasizes the critical assessment of public policy research on policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation. 3 credit hours

Public Sector Economics

  • PUBAFRS 8050 Seminar in Public Sector Economics
    The applications of rational choice modeling to public policy analysis, and organizational decision-making. 3 credit hours

Management and Organizational Theory

  • PUBAFRS 8040 Seminar in Public Management and Organizational Theory
    Provides an in-depth introduction to research and theory about public management. Survey of the major perspectives in organizational theory and their application to public management. 3 credit hours

Methods Elective Courses

Students take at least four additional methods courses, two of which should be statistics or econometrics courses. Course selections are tailored to the skills and interests of students, ranging from introductory econometrics to advanced statistical modeling. Students work with their advisor to select courses from departments across campus, including economics, sociology, education, psychology and political science.

Specialization Courses

Student take at least three specialization courses, and these courses will constitute in-depth study of a particular research area. Each student identifies specialized course work that will advance his or her own research pursuits. The objective is for students to develop sufficient depth in a topical area to be able to work successfully as researchers and scholars in the field. In designing their specialization, students select from a wide variety of world class graduate courses offered across OSU’s campus. In completing their specialization coursework, students may also pursue graduate minors in fields such as economics, statistics, research methods or demography. More than half of our doctoral students complete a graduate minor.
The Glenn College currently funds 100 percent of our students for at least 4 years of study. Funding includes stipend, benefits and tuition.

Resources for Current Students



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614-292-8696



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