Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University

The Public and Social Policy Ph.D. is a revision of a prior degree, the Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis. Students who began in the program before Fall 2014 need to fulfill the requirements listed on this page. New students will not be accepted into this program.

Advancing technology, a complex pattern of social problems, and the changing service oriented set of public demands have created the need for highly skilled and creative administrators in the public and private sectors. The combination of knowledge gained through the interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Public Policy prepares the student to meet that challenge.

The doctoral program was established by the Board of Trustees of Saint Louis University in 1976. Graduates have gone on to become leaders in the private and public sectors, excelling in such areas as business, commerce, governmental affairs, health and human services, criminal justice, and academia.


Most doctoral students take a minimum of 36 hours of graduate work above previous master's level work and exclusive of the dissertation. Prerequisites include graduate-level inferential statistics, graduate-level research methodology, micro or macro economics, computer literacy and data processing skills, budgeting and finance and significant policymaking experience.

The concentration areas are composed of 9 to 15 hours of study, depending upon previous course work and policy background. The concentration should center the student in studies aimed at his/her dissertation. Concentrations are available in one of the following areas:

  • Policy Management & Implementation
  • Public Policy Analysis & Evaluation
  • Urban and Community Development Policy
  • Health Policy

Final comprehensive written and oral examinations are given twice a year. The examinations are composed of questions covering both the core and concentration curriculum.

The final requirement for the doctoral degree is the writing of a research dissertation of publishable quality representing an original contribution to the field. Upon completion of the dissertation and after review by committee, the student stands for a public oral defense of the dissertation. You can read the Doctorate in Public Policy Analysis Program Guide .

Required Courses

The core curriculum is divided into two sections: Methods of Policy Analysis & Research and Public Policy Theory. A total of nine core courses (27 credit-hours) are required for the degree.

Methods of Policy Analysis & Research

PPS 506 - Qualitative Research & Evaluation (3)
PPS 578 - Program Evaluation (3)
PPS 600 - Scope & Methods of Policy Analysis (3)
PPS 689 - Advanced Quantitative Analysis

Public Policy Theory

PPS 540 - Organizational Theory & Behavior (3)
PPS 545 - The Policy Process (3)
PPS 605 - Policy Ethics (3)
PPS 611 - Economics of Government-Federal Sector (3)
PPS 612 - Financing the Public Sector (3)

Specialization Courses

The areas listed below are the specializations available within the Ph.D. program in Public Policy Analysis. A specialization consists of 15 hours beyond the core curriculum. The specific courses affiliated with each concentration are listed under each category. Other appropriate courses may be substituted for those identified within each area. The Director of the doctoral program has the primary responsibility for determining appropriate course work for the individual student.

Policy Management & Implementation

PPS 503 - Issues in American Public Administration (3)
PPS 512 - Public Sector Budgeting (3)
PPS 541 - Administrative Law (3)
PPS 546 - Organizational Psychology (3)
PPS 649 - Organizational Change and Development (3)
PPS 663 - Consultation Skills (3)
PPS 681 - Policy Implementation Theory (3)
PPS 630 - Power, Coalitions, and Decision Theory (3)
SWS 798 - Non-Profit Organizational Management (3)

Public Policy Analysis & Evaluation

PPS 536 - Science, Technology, and Public Policy (3)
RMI 580 - Survey Research Methods (3)
RMI 625 - Analysis of Variance (3)
RMI 650 - Multivariate Statistical Analysis (3)
RMI 680 - Structural Equation Modeling (3)

Urban & Community Development Policy

PPS 500 - The Metropolis (3)
PPS 510 - Urban Economic Development (3)
PPS 525 - Urban Systems and Services (3)
PPS 530 - Planning the Metropolis (3)
PPS 531 - Land Use Development (3)
PPS 543 - Environmental Planning and Risk Management (3)
PPS 550 - History of Cities and Planning (3)
PPS 593 - Urban and Community Development Policy (3)
PPS 593 - Urban Real Estate (3)
FIN 628 - Real Estate Finance (3)
ECN 616 - Economic Development (3)
ECN 652 - Macro Economics (3)

Health Policy & Administration

Courses offered through the College of Public Service, particularly in the School of Social Work, and through the School of Public Health can meet the requirements for this area of concentration. Specific courses would be developed in close collaboration with the Doctoral Program Advisor.