Our Vision:

To empower collaborative and innovative leadership and research to address evolving policy challenges.


OSU is home to world class scientists working on many issues significant to 21st century citizens.  As populations continue to become more connected and interdependent, these issues promise to affect us more broadly, more quickly, and with more impact than ever before.  As an interdisciplinary program, the PhD in Public Policy is uniquely positioned to develop the next generation of scholars to integrate groundbreaking science into emerging policies, practices, and understandings of the world that will impact and influence local, regional and international policy decisions. To successfully complete the program, students entering with an MPP degree (or equivalent) will be expected to take courses, pass exams, and complete a dissertation, as follows:

  • Coursework will include an established core of research methods and theory, courses in an area of concentration, and elective courses. Most students will complete coursework by the end of year two.
  • Students must complete a written preliminary exam (covering theory, methods, and the student's substantive concentration area) and an oral preliminary exam. These exams will be developed and assessed by the student's dissertation committee. Most students will complete the preliminary exams by the end of year two. The student will become a doctoral candidate upon completion of required course credits and the preliminary exams.
  • Students will write a dissertation proposal to be defended in front of their committee. After successfully defending the dissertation proposal, the student will research and write a doctoral dissertation, which will be submitted for oral defense in front of the student's committee. With all other degree requirements fulfilled, the student will be awarded the Ph.D. upon successful defense and submission of the dissertation. Most students will complete this requirement by the end of year four.
  • Students will also fulfill a teaching requirement, which can include classroom instruction or related activities.

PhD Assessment Plan