Public Policy

Doctor of Philosophy

For More Information

Campus address: Sid Richardson Hall (SRH) 3.107, phone (512) 471-4292, fax (512) 471-8455; campus mail code: E2700

Mailing address: The University of Texas at Austin, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, P O Box Y, Austin TX 78713



Facilities for Graduate Work

The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs is housed in Sid Richardson Hall, adjacent to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum.

The school’s computation center maintains a computer laboratory and provides access to the Internet and to the University’s computer infrastructure. The laboratory is reserved for public affairs students and is available twenty-four hours a day.

Areas of Study

The doctoral degree program in public policy is a research-oriented program designed to give the student substantial knowledge of one or more disciplines, an understanding of the policy process, and technical mastery of advanced research skills. It is intended to develop research scholars and university teachers who can make substantive contributions to our understanding of complex public policy problems and who can conduct research in multidisciplinary settings.

Graduate Studies Committee

The following faculty members served on the Graduate Studies Committee in the spring 2019 semester.

Gordon B Abner
Abigail Rosemary ann Aiken
Jacqueline L Angel
Joshua W Busby
Robert M Chesney
David J Eaton
Joshua David Eisenman
Raissa Fabregas Robles Gil
Kenneth Flamm
James K Galbraith
Robert L Hutchings
William Inboden
Peniel E Joseph
Donald Kettl
Alan J Kuperman
Erin Lentz
Martin Joseph Luby
Ji Ma
Sheila M Olmstead
Todd A Olmstead
Cynthia Osborne
Francie Ostrower
Varun Rai
Victoria E Rodriguez
Jaganath Sankaran
William G Spelman
David W Springer
Chandler W Stolp
Jeremi Suri
Philip U Treisman
Paul Von hippel
Peter Ward
Andrew Waxman
Catherine Elizabeth Weaver
Patrick P Wong

Admission Requirements

Admission decisions are made by the Admissions Committee. The committee considers applicants' academic and employment records, their scores on the Graduate Record Examinations General Test, three letters of recommendation from professors or employers, and a statement of purpose addressing the applicant’s background and interest in public policy. A résumé and transcripts for all college coursework are also required. 

Additional information on degree requirements and the application process is available from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs website.

Degree Requirements

The doctoral program in public policy requires at least 36 hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree (in addition to the dissertation reading and writing courses) and includes supporting work in courses outside public affairs. The supporting work is intended to deepen the student’s understanding of an organized discipline and its application to public policy. Doctoral degree candidates must fulfill the following general requirements: (1) complete four core courses in public affairs, Public Affairs 390C390E392C , and 392D ; (2) complete two research methods courses typically taken in the first two years of study; (3) complete three courses in their substantive area of research; (4) pass comprehensive qualifying examinations; (5) defend a dissertation proposal; and (6) write and defend a dissertation. A student without a graduate degree from a policy-related academic or professional program may be required to complete supplementary coursework in addition to the number of hours required for the doctoral degree. Additional information on specific requirements and procedures is available from the school.


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