Doctor of Public Administration

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The Doctor of Public Administration (D.P.A.) is a terminal applied-research doctoral degree in the field of public administration (public service). The D.P.A. requires significant coursework beyond the masters level and a dissertation that contributes to theory or practice. Upon successful completion, the title of "Doctor" is awarded and the post-nominal letters of D.P.A. or DPA can be used.

Contents

Overview

Like a Ph.D., a D.P.A. is normally a terminal research degree. The U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) recognize the D.P.A. as an academically equivalent degree to the more common Ph.D. and they do not discriminate between the two degrees.

In many cases, D.P.A. programs are identical to Ph.D. programs. Additionally, the D.P.A. dissertation is usually at the same level as a Ph.D. in terms of effort, rigor, contribution to knowledge, supervision and assessment. A study published by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration titled What's in a Name? Comparing DPA and Ph.D. Programs concluded that there was "few differences between the programs, noting that degree title is more informative about the type of students recruited than outputs" [1]

D.P.A. research is both theoretical and practical, but the research focus of the typical D.P.A. addresses applied issues, with the results providing professional outcomes that are of direct relevance to practice. While also intended to prepare graduates for academic careers, the D.P.A., by virtue of its focus on application of theory, has more practical application in managerial settings than the Ph.D. degree. Most D.P.A. graduates lead careers as senior-level practitioners, while others enter academia. This is similar to other professional research doctorates such as the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and Doctor of Education (Ed.D.).

A Ph.D. is more concentrated on developing theory and conducting specialized scholarly research. This degree is more appropriate for people who wish to become professional researchers, or who wish to pursue a career in academia. Most Ph.D. graduates lead careers as university researchers and professors or as senior researchers in business or government.

Purpose

The Doctor of Public Administration program is designed to provide senior-level public managers, or quasi-public managers, with the substantive skills, knowledge and values necessary in this area. Students in most programs develop a thorough knowledge of the legal, ethical and political environments of public administrators. Students understand the administrative functions of governmental agencies and gain expertise in strategic planning, advanced management techniques, program implementation and results-based leadership.

The official policy of Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) is that the doctorate is a research degree, regardless of degree title. Its "Policy on Doctoral Education in Public Affairs/Public Administration" (1983,1987,1) states that: "Doctoral programs in public administration...should prepare students to undertake significant research in their subsequent careers, whether in government, academic life, or other settings; the capacity to do significant research, rather than access to a particular career setting, is the appropriate goal of doctoral training."

Structure of programs

Most D.P.A. programs require about 90 credit hours of combined graduate coursework. Students are expected to take a number of core classes, electives, research/method classes, and dissertation credits. Some programs also require comprehensive examinations. All programs require a doctoral dissertation that contributes to knowledge. Candidates typically work with a committee and advisors throughout the process and the dissertation eventually requires an oral defense to the student's committee. Curricula may be offered on a full-time or part-time basis. The normal duration of a doctorate should correspond to 3–5 years of full-time graduate study or 7–10 years of sustained part-time graduate study.

The D.P.A. is preceded by a master's degree, typically the Master of Public Administration or the Master of Public Policy. D.P.A. programs are most common in the United States and the Philippines. The D.P.A. degree may have a specialization such as management science, organizational behavior, implementation, non-profit management, public finance, national security, defense policy, education policy, environmental policy, international trade and immigration, policy making, policy evaluation, program evaluation, criminal justice, civil rights, health and welfare, federalism, strategic management, public health, administrative law, social welfare, tax policy, government-business relations, economic policy, and public management.

See also

Related Research Articles

Postgraduate education involves learning and studying for academic or professional degrees, academic or professional certificates, academic or professional diplomas, or other qualifications for which a first or bachelor's degree generally is required, and it is normally considered to be part of higher education. In North America, this level is typically referred to as graduate school.

Doctorate Academic or professional degree

A doctorate or doctor's degree or doctoral degree, is an academic degree awarded by universities, derived from the ancient formalism licentia docendi. In most countries, it is a research degree that qualifies the holder to teach at university level in the degree's field, or to work in a specific profession. There are a number of doctoral degrees; the most common is the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), which is awarded in many different fields, ranging from the humanities to scientific disciplines.

Graduate school School that awards advanced academic degrees (i.e. masters and doctoral degrees) with the general requirement that students must have earned a previous undergraduate (bachelors) degree

A graduate school is a school that awards advanced academic degrees with the general requirement that students must have earned a previous undergraduate (bachelor's) degree. A distinction is typically made between graduate schools and professional schools, which offer specialized advanced degrees in professional fields such as medicine, nursing, business, engineering, speech-language pathology, or law. The distinction between graduate schools and professional schools is not absolute since various professional schools offer graduate degrees and vice versa.

The Doctor of Education is both a research and professional doctoral degree that focuses on the field of education. As the highest degree in the field, it prepares the holder for academic, research, administrative, clinical, or professional positions in educational, civil, private organizations, or public institutions.

The Doctor of Business Administration is a research doctorate awarded on the basis of advanced study, examinations, project work and research in business administration. The D.B.A. is a terminal degree in business administration. Although, some universities also combine the business administration field with technology-related disciplines.Along with the Ph.D. or D.Phil., it represents the highest academic qualification in business administration, and is typically required to gain employment as a full-time, tenure-track university professor or postdoctoral researcher in the field. As with other earned doctorates, individuals with the degree are awarded the academic title doctor, which is often represented via the English honorific "Dr." or the post-nominal letters "DBA" or "PhD."

The Master of Philosophy is a postgraduate degree. An MPhil typically includes a taught portion and a significant research portion, during which a thesis project is conducted under supervision. An MPhil may be awarded to postgraduate students after completing taught coursework and one to two years of original research, which may also serve as a provisional enrollment for a PhD programme.

Comprehensive examination

In higher education, a comprehensive examination, often abbreviated as "comps", is a specific type of examination that must be completed by graduate students in some disciplines and courses of study, and also by undergraduate students in some institutions and departments. Unlike final examinations, comprehensive examinations are not linked to any particular course, but rather test knowledge across one or more general fields of study.

A terminal degree is a university degree that can signify one of two outcomes. In some cases, it is the highest degree that can be awarded in a specific academic or professional track. In other cases, it is a degree that is awarded when a candidate completes a certain amount of coursework but does not go on to doctoral work. Some students enroll in a terminal Master's program with the goal of preparing to enter a PhD program. For certain professions and research grants it means the lowest degree to be considered qualified.

The Doctor of Engineering, or Engineering Doctorate, is a doctoral degree awarded on the basis of advanced study and research in engineering and applied sciences. In most countries, it is a terminal research doctorate. In the United Kingdom and Germany it is a higher doctorate. An EngD degree is essentially an engineering PhD with a solid industrial base and an additional taught element.

The Doctor of Health Administration (D.H.A.) is a doctoral degree focused with the development of theoretical knowledge in health administration and on the applied application of the said knowledge in the field of health administration. The D.H.A. requires significant coursework beyond the masters level and often requires a dissertation or capstone project that contributes to knowledge or practice.

The Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) is one of 17 schools comprising the University of Pittsburgh. Founded in 1957 to study national and international public administration, GSPIA prides itself on its "Local to Global" distinction. As of 2018, it is one of only two policy schools with programs in the top 20 for both International Relations and City Management and Urban Policy. The current mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto, is a GSPIA alumnus.

Doctor of Public Health

A Doctor of Public Health is a doctoral degree awarded in the field of Public Health. DrPH is an advanced and terminal degree that prepares its recipients for a career in advancing public health practice, leadership, research, teaching, or administration. The first DrPH degree was awarded by Harvard Medical School in 1911.

The Doctor of Management (DM) is a professional doctorate with a degree focus in management, leadership, and organizational topics. The intention of the DM is to advance the skills of professionals in research, analysis, theory, and practice in organizations. The DM combines theory and applied research to understand practical outcomes and implications of research in several different business environments. The degree was first offered at Case Western Reserve in 1995.

Doctor of Philosophy Postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities in many countries

A Doctor of Philosophy is the most common degree at the highest academic level awarded following a course of study. PhDs are awarded for programs across the whole breadth of academic fields. Because it is an earned research degree, those studying for a PhD are usually required to produce original research that expands the boundaries of knowledge, normally in the form of a thesis or dissertation, and defend their work against experts in the field. The completion of a PhD is often a requirement for employment as a university professor, researcher, or scientist in many fields. Individuals who have earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree may, in many jurisdictions, use the title Doctor with their name, although the proper etiquette associated with this usage may also be subject to the professional ethics of their own scholarly field, culture, or society. Those who teach at universities or work in academic, educational, or research fields are usually addressed by this title "professionally and socially in a salutation or conversation." Alternatively, holders may use post-nominal letters such as "Ph.D.", "PhD", or "DPhil". It is, however, considered incorrect to use both the title and post-nominals at the same time.

PhD in management is the highest academic degree awarded in the study of management science. The degree was designed for those seeking academic research and teaching careers as faculty or professors in the study of management at business schools worldwide.

Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration

The Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration is the graduate school of public policy and public administration in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences of the George Washington University, in Washington, D.C. The Trachtenberg School is one of the most prestigious schools of public policy and public management in the United States.

The School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) is the public policy school of Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Established in 1953, it is Canada's oldest graduate school in the field of policy studies and public management. Since its establishment, it has produced several prominent leaders within the Canadian public and non-profit sectors, and has led research activities in this area.

In the United States, the PhD degree is the highest academic degree awarded by universities in most fields of study. American students typically undergo a series of three phases in the course of their work toward the PhD degree. The first phase consists of coursework in the student's field of study and requires one to three years to complete. This often is followed by a preliminary, a comprehensive examination, or a series of cumulative examinations where the emphasis is on breadth rather than depth of knowledge. The student is often later required to pass oral and written examinations in the field of specialization within the discipline, and here, depth is emphasized. After the comprehensive examination the student is a "PhD Candidate", which is the academic equivalent of a master's degree. Some universities will award terminal Master's for students who drop out of the PhD program at this stage, and some, like Columbia University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, award a Master's en route to the PhD. Some PhD programs require the candidate to successfully complete requirements in pedagogy or applied science.

References

  1. Brewer, Gene A.; Facer II, Rex L.; O'Toole Jr., Laurence J.; Douglas, James W. (1999-10-17). "What's in a Name? Comparing DPA and Ph.D. Programs". Journal of Public Affairs Education. National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). 5 (4): 309–317. ISSN   1523-6803. JSTOR   40215453. few differences between the programs, noting that degree title is more informative about the type of students recruited than outputs