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					    The Status of Doctoral Programs in Public Affairs and Administration

                         Marc Holzer, Hua Xu and Tiankai Wang

                       School of Public Affairs and Administration

                          Rutgers University-Campus at Newark

                                    Final Draft 1-26-07



Doctoral education in public affairs and administration has generated more programs and

Ph.Ds over recent decades. There are now at least seventy-two programs, almost all of which

are Ph.Ds. Doctoral degrees awarded by NASPAA institutions in 2003-2006 (Public

Administration Times) were 169, 155, 195, and 208 respectively. The National Research

Council formally recognized the Ph.D. in “public policy, public administration and public

affairs” as a field in its 2006 Assessment of Research Doctorate Programs. In the context

of this momentum, then, it is important to assess the current status of Ph.D. programs in

public affairs and administration. The purpose of this article is to provide that snapshot

of the field, with particular attention to trends and questions grounded in data collection.



                      Research Methodology and Data Collection



This research is based on a series of endeavors. The primary part of the data is drawn

from a 2003 questionnaire survey to NASPAA doctoral programs. That survey was

distributed to sixty-four NASPAA member institutions with Ph.D. and D.P.A. doctoral

programs at the time, and 37 responses to questionnaires were received online, via fax or

in the mail. Prior to questionnaire distribution, a pilot questionnaire had been sent to a

small number of programs and some necessary revisions on the questionnaire were made


                                              1
in accordance with the feedback from several participating schools. The questionnaire

covered key aspects of doctoral programs such as curricular requirements and student

characteristics. The second part of the data was collected online in the Academic Year

2005-2006 from a list of schools that offer doctoral programs in public policy, public

administration and public affairs (including urban affairs), with particular attention to the

curricula for those programs. The third part of the data was derived from a revisit in 2006

to websites of the initial 37 programs that responded to the NASPAA questionnaire

survey as an updating and reconfirmation of the data collected in 2003. That revisit

largely confirmed the validity of the 2003 survey. The final part of the data is from

secondary sources, including publications of NASPAA and ASPA, such as the Almanac

at the NASPAA website where the results of annual online surveys on the master and

doctoral enrollments and degrees awarded by member institutions are published, and

issues of ASPA’s Public Administration Times that announce the doctoral degrees

awarded each year.



                                          Findings



Data analysis was carried out and some parts of the preliminary findings were presented

at the NASPAA doctoral education committee annual meetings and at associated

conference panels; the questions and comments posed at those meetings helped sharpen

this analysis.




                                              2
The data from the 2006 online search provides a rather complete list of programs. Of a

total of 69 universities offering Ph.D. programs in Public Affairs and Administration

(including similar programs) at that time, only 54 universities posted their curricula

online. In our analysis, we attempted to categorize the courses offered by these 54

programs into several groups and examine which requirements are common across these

programs. Types of requirements are categorized as prerequisite, required, and elective.

Courses are subdivided into nine course groups, which include Core; Additional Public

Administration; Politics; Organizational Theory and Human Resources; Economics and

Financial Administration; Methodology; Urban, Environment and Health; E-

Government/Technology, Criminal Justice and Sociology/Social Policy; and Other.

Coursework within these clusters is differentiated in terms of prerequisite, elective and

required courses, with virtually all coursework in the elective and required categories, as

indicated in the charts below. Note that Prerequisite denotes Prior Required Courses;

Required denotes Core Courses (inclusive of elective core courses and core

methodology courses); Elective denotes Elective Courses (including Ph.D. Specialization

or Major Required Courses).




      Core courses include: Public administration, Public Policy, Research Design,

       Research Methodology I and II, Public Finance, Human Resource Management,

       and Organization Theory. Courses on Research Methods I and II, public policy,

       public administration and organization theory are required by a large number of

       programs.




                                             3
                                                             Chart 1: Core Courses

                                          40
                                                        1
                                          35            5
    # of Programs offering the courses




                                          30
                                                   1                       1              6
                                                   4
                                          25
                                                                                               Prerequisite
                                          20                 0                  9              Elective
                                                             3    36                           Required
                                                        32
                                          15
                                                                           28        14
                                                                                          26
                                                   24
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                                                             16                 15
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   Additional public administration courses: Advanced Topics in Public

    Administration, Administrative Law, Intergovernmental relations, Environment of




                                                                       4
                                     Public Administration, Ethical Issues in Public Administration, Constitutional

                                     Foundation of Public Administration, Politics and Administration, Public

                                     Management, Decision Making, Strategic Management, Conflict Management,

                                     and Legal Process. Courses on ethics in public administration, public management,

                                     decision-making, administrative law, and advanced topics in public administration

                                     are among the most frequent of the non-core courses. Politics and Administration

                                     is categorized as an Additional Public Administration course, rather than a

                                     Politics course, as those courses are grounded in the public administration, rather

                                     than political science, literature.




                                           Chart 2: Additional Public Administration Courses
# of Programs offering the courses




                                     16
                                     14
                                     12
                                     10                            7
                                                                                                              Elective
                                       8    6                                      6
                                                                                           8                  Required
                                       6          9
                                                                                       7
                                       4                                       1
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                                                                               5
     Politics Courses: Theory/Foundation of Governance/Government, State and Local

     Government, Federalism, Bureaucratic Politics, Democracy Theory, Politics and

     Public Policy, Advanced Topics in Policy Administration, Scope and Theory in

     Public Policy/Administration, Political Economy and Public Policy, Comparative

     Politics and Public Policy, Law and Public Policy, Policy Implementation, Policy

     Making, and Policy Administration. It is apparent that courses on comparative

     politics and public policy, state and local government, politics and public policy, and

     advanced topics in policy analysis are among the most popular “politics” courses for

     the doctoral programs.




                                                            Chart 3: Politics Courses
# of Programs offering the courses




                                          14
                                          12
                                                                          4
                                          10
                                           8                                                               Elective
                                                                      4               10
                                           6       12                                                      Required
                                           4                              9   1
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                                                                          6
                                    Organizational Theory and Human Resources Management Courses:

                                     Organization Behavior, Organization Change and Development, Organizational

                                     Psychology, (Adv) Human Resources Management, Leadership in Public

                                     Organizations, and Labor-Management Relations in Public Organizations.

                                     Courses on leadership stand out as the most common across programs.




                                             Chart 4: Organizational theory and Human
                                                         Resource Courses
# of Programs offering the courses




                                       10
                                        9
                                        8
                                        7
                                        6                                                6              Elective
                                        5
                                        4                                                               Required
                                        3
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                                        2
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                                                                          7
          Economics and Financial Administration Courses: Advanced Economics,

           Micro Economic Theory, Macro Economic Theory, Economics in Policy Analysis,

           Economic Analysis, Cost Benefit Analysis, Public Economy, Public Finance,

           Financial Analysis, Financial Management, State/Local Public Finance, Capital

           Budgeting, and Government Accounting. Economics courses on policy analysis,

           and courses on microeconomics and public economics, are among the most

           common courses. Of note, courses on financial management and courses on

           state/local public finance are offered by quite a few programs.


                                              Chart 5: Economics and Finance Administration
                                                                Courses
    # of Programs offering the courses




                                          12
                                          10                     3
                                              8          5
                                                                                                             Elective
                                              6
                                                                     3           6                           Required
                                              4              3   8                   3       6   7
                                                         5               4               1
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• Methodology Courses: Political Science Methodology, Program Evaluation, Logic

of Inquiry, Applied Research Seminar I and II, Econometrics, Regression and

Correlation, Advanced Quantitative Techniques, Multivariate Statistical Analysis,


                                                                             8
Statistics, and Qualitative Methods. In this cluster, courses on qualitative methods,

program evaluation, and research seminars are common to many programs.




                                                        Chart 6: Methodology Courses
# of Programs offering the courses




                                               25
                                               20                  5                               2

                                               15                                                          Elective
                                                          9
                                               10                                        4    2   20       Required
                                                                   18           2
                                                              13            1
                                               5          8                              8   10
                                                    7                   7   5   7   6
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                                    Urban, Environment and Health Courses: Urban Policy, Urban Administration,

                                     Urban History, Economics in Urban Policy, Urban Economic Development,

                                     Urban Development Policy, Urban Planning, Environmental Policy,

                                     Environmental Economics, Environmental Management, GIS, Health Care

                                     Administration, Health Policy, Epidemiology, and Economics of Health. It is

                                     evident that courses on urban policy, environmental policy, health care

                                     administration, and health policy are offered by many programs. A course on

                                     urban policy is required by the largest number of programs that offer this

                                     particular course.




                                                                            9
                                              Chart 7: Urban, Environment and Health Courses

                                         12
# of Programs offering the courses



                                         10

                                               5
                                          8

                                                                                                             Elective
                                          6                                                 10
                                                   5                       11                    9           Required
                                                                       5
                                          4                    8
                                               6           2       4
                                                       1
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                                    E-government/Technology, Criminal Justice and Sociology/Social Policy

                                     Courses: E-Government/Governance, Technology and Information Policy,

                                     Techniques in Public Administration, Criminal Justice, Corrections, Theory of

                                     Criminal Justice, Social Policy/Welfare, and Sociology. In this cluster, courses on

                                     E-government, techniques in public administration, and social policy are among

                                     the most commonly offered, even though the total number of programs offering

                                     these courses is relatively small.




                                                                           10
                                           Chart 8: Egov, Criminal Justice and Sociology Courses


                                      9
# of Programs offering the courses

                                      8

                                      7

                                      6

                                      5                                                                 Elective
                                                7
                                      4                                                                 Required
                                                           7                            5
                                      3
                                                     5            5
                                      2                                          4             2
                                                                         3
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                                    Other Courses: Public Affairs, Foreign Policy, Education Policy, Administration

                                     of NGOs, and Financial Management in NGOs. It appears that NGO

                                     administration is offered by a significant number of programs. Together with

                                     Financial Management in NGOs, a focus on NGOs is even more significant.




                                                                        11
                                                             Chart 9: Other Courses
    # of Programs offering the courses
                                         12

                                         10

                                         8
                                                                                                    Elective
                                         6                                        10
                                                                                                    Required
                                         4

                                         2                    3         3                   4
                                                  2                               1
                                         0
                                              Pub Affairs   Foreign   Educ     NGO Adm Fin Mgt in
                                                             Policy   Policy              NGO




The 2003 NASPAA survey identified a number of trends and issues, and there is every

reason to believe that these patterns are virtually unchanged.



The Admissions Process: The 2003 NASPAA survey probed the policies and standards

applied to the admission process by incorporating a series of questions in this regard.

Based on the 2003 data:

1. Requirements as to Masters Degree. Most programs (twenty-two out of 37 responses)

   require a master’s degree for admission, but only three responses specifically require

   an MPA degree. About 85% of the admitted students have a master’s degree. It is

   evident that applicants with masters degrees are favored in the admission process,

   though overall there is no strict requirement as to an earned masters degree before

   entering a doctoral program.




                                                                         12
2. Prior course preparation: The survey results indicate that 14 out of 37 respondents set

   some sort of course requirements for admission. Such course requirements differ

   greatly from program to program. For instance, one program uses a prior course in

   calculus as a requirement, while some others use introductory PA courses or core

   MPA course competencies, or economics or statistics basics. Though the majority of

   the programs surveyed do not explicitly require any courses prior to admission, they

   indicate that prior coursework on certain subjects are preferred and remedial work is

   required to fulfill such preparation after students are admitted to the doctoral

   programs (in many cases such remedial coursework is not counted toward the credit

   hours for the normal doctoral curriculum). It is clear that some introductory level

   courses in public administration, public policy, organization theory, elementary

   quantitative and research methods, (public/political) economics and the like are most

   commonly desirable, although the admission policies in this regard vary greatly.

3. The use of standardized tests scores such as the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, etc. Some 34 of

   36 responses indicate that programs are using standardized test scores in admissions

   decisions. Only two had no such requirements. Among the standardized tests, use of

   the GRE predominates, with a few programs using GMAT or other types of

   standardized tests to substitute for the GRE. However, when it comes to the

   importance accorded to these standardized test scores, it appears that only about half

   of the respondents regard such scores as extremely important (18 programs), while 12

   answered “somewhat important.” Only one respondent indicated such scores are not

   important at all.




                                            13
The Commitment and Resources Allocated to Doctoral Education: The commitment

and resources allocated to doctoral programs are measured by the following key

indicators, which include student to core faculty ratio, average number of dissertations

supervised per faculty member, workload compensation for dissertation committee

members, course offerings, and financial support to doctoral students:

1. Doctoral students to core faculty ratio and number of dissertations supervised per

   faculty member per year. The ratio of students to core faculty is believed to be

   instrumental to ensuring that PA doctoral students have a chance to obtain a sufficient

   amount of time and attention from faculty. The survey shows that this ratio varies

   from sixteen to one to less than four to one, with an average of 3.3. Although this

   ratio is highly important in determining the quality of doctoral programs, the

   inconsistency resulting from the arbitrariness and ambiguity in the definition and

   understanding of “core faculty” may make this ratio less comparable from program to

   program. Furthermore, we may presume that if the orientation of the program is more

   multidisciplinary and liberal, the home department/schools tend to have fewer core

   faculty. Complementary to this measurement is the number of dissertations

   supervised per faculty member per year. The average number is slightly less than two

   students per faculty member, but there is a great variation among programs, with the

   highest level at 6. It is reasonable to assume that a program with a smaller ratio of

   doctoral students to core faculty has less of a workload in terms of supervising

   dissertations on the part of faculty members.

2. Service on dissertation committees for teaching credit. Out of 34 responses, 20

   indicated a policy of awarding teaching credits for advising and serving on doctoral




                                            14
   dissertation committees, while 12 have no teaching credits, and 2 have mixed answers.

   Mixed answers are those programs awarding merit raises or some workload reduction,

   or providing economic compensation to those serving on the committees but not to

   the extent of giving teaching credits. The time and attention dedicated to advising

   dissertation committees may be a factor affecting the quality of the dissertations since

   it is one of the crucial stages in producing dissertations. This factor also may be

   viewed as a good indicator of the importance that programs place on guiding doctoral

   students, as well as the resources that are available to programs of doctoral education.

3. Seminars and regular interchanges between faculty and doctoral students. Half of the

   34 respondents require formal mechanisms for regular (periodic) scholarly

   interchange between faculty and Ph.D. students, whereas the other half did not have

   such mechanisms, but did indicate that such exchanges between faculty and students

   are encouraged or that they are attempting to make those exchanges a requirement.

   Interestingly, the comments pertaining to this question indicate that several programs

   are tapping the existence of university-wide faculty lecture series or doctoral-level

   seminars/pro-seminars/colloquia by requiring doctoral students to attend. Exposing

   doctoral students in PA to multidisciplinary environments is certainly beneficial to

   the intellectual growth of these students.

4. Course Offerings. Approximately seven courses on average are offered solely to

   doctoral students for each program. But there is large variation (with a standard

   deviation over 4). We believe that the validity of this measure to some extent depends

   on the goals and training modules of the programs. For instance, if the program

   stresses a multidisciplinary approach, or the home department of the program has




                                            15
   insufficient resources, then the number of courses solely offered to doctoral students

   (more likely by the home department) may be less than programs that place more

   emphasis on a singular training approach and programs that have sufficient resources.

   Further, when asked about what percent of coursework doctoral students take at the

   MPA level, on average of 30% are MPA-level courses, with the highest level at 80%.

   There has been criticism of the high portion of MPA courses in doctoral programs,

   with some critics suggesting that such doctoral programs are a simple extension of

   MPA education, thus jeopardizing the quality and rigor of those programs. With

   regard to the question of day or evening classes, 12 are daytime only, 17 evening only,

   and 8 both daytime and evening. A relatively higher percent of part-time students was

   indicative of courses offered in the evening, and some may suspect evening classes

   may not be as rigorous as daytime classes. The average size of the entering class each

   year is just over nine for the responding programs. There is certainly added value for

   this small cohort of students as it helps encourage group learning dynamics, but only

   if there is an appropriate faculty-to-student ratio.

5. Funding Coverage, Funding Level, and the Sources of Funding. The survey reveals

   that about 80% of full-time students are funded by the programs, whereas less than

   1% of part-time students are funded. Twenty-nine out of 31 programs with financial

   support provide some financing for stipends as well as tuition and fees, whereas only

   two programs limit assistance to tuition and fees. Thirty-one programs require

   students to be a TA/RA in order to receive financial support. We found that almost

   none of the part-time doctoral students are receiving financial support from the




                                             16
   programs, and thus have almost no opportunities to work as TAs/RAs to obtain

   important academic experiences such as teaching and research.



The Rigor of Doctoral Programs: Adams and White (1994) developed a comparative

assessment of the methods and quality of dissertation research in public administration

and cognate fields, and found dissertation research on public administration was rather

problematic, while a more recent study by Cleary (2000) indicates there are substantial

improvements in dissertation research. We believe that rigor in the programs is one of the

key elements for improved dissertation research. The 2003 NASPAA survey utilized a

battery of questions to measure rigor. These key indicators included training in research

methodology, academic standing measured by GPA, qualifying and candidacy exams,

attrition and dropout rates, on-campus caseload and daytime/nighttime attendance

requirements, number of years to complete the degree, and the breadth of training

measured by number of concentrations.

1. Training in research methodology in the doctoral curriculum is fundamental to

   doctoral education, according to Felbinger, Holzer and White (1999). Specifically,

   they list Philosophy of Social Science, Quantitative Methods and Qualitative Methods

   as three foundational courses for training in methods of research inquiry. With these

   in mind, the survey investigated the offering of these courses:

          When asked about whether programs have a foundational course in

           methodology, such as the Logic of Social Inquiry; 28 of 34 responses

           answered yes and only 6 no. Further, there are 33 responses to the question on

           specifics of the courses in quantitative methods. The names and emphases of




                                            17
           such courses differ greatly: some focus on statistics, some on economics

           and/or econometrics, some on research design; some use general terms such as

           quantitative analysis and data analysis, and some are more tailored to PA

           research.

          Qualitative Methods: When asked about qualitative courses in the doctoral

           programs, we received 27 responses, which varied greatly depending on the

           interpretation of the question. Some regarded courses in public management,

           political philosophy, politics, organization theory, public administration

           theory or other similar topics as qualitative-method training components.

           Generally, there seem to be less stringent requirements for qualitative methods

           relative to requirements on quantitative methods, which was evidenced by

           responses treating qualitative methods as “electives”, “none required…taught

           and encouraged” or even “none.”

          Non-method courses required for all doctoral students. There were 28

           responses.

       These findings were to a large extent consistent with the analysis of the curricula

       in the first part of this article.



2. Qualifying exams, research proposals/papers, requirements on doctoral candidacy.

   Some 35 of 37 responses indicated that the programs have comprehensive exams.

   This question was further supplemented by an open-ended question indicating that the

   comprehensive exams take varied forms such as written and oral exams covering

   theories or methods or the selected field of concentration or/and the coursework taken




                                            18
   so far; approval or colloquium/defense on dissertation proposal/prospectus;

   research/analytical papers; passing exams covering MPA materials; or any

   combination of these criteria. But there are also other types of requirements on

   candidacy that seem more lax, such as a 3.5 GPA, and successful completion of a

   certain number of credit hours or a certain amount of coursework, as a substitute for

   separate comprehensive exams. Regarding the format of qualifying exams, we found

   17 programs use supervised exams, 12 use take-home exams, and 5 use mixed

   methods. Further, out of 34 responses, equal numbers of programs offer the

   qualifying exams separately versus taking them as a group.

3. Screening and Checkpoints. Thirty out of 33 responses confirm that doctoral students

   are screened at some point in the programs. Although the stringency of the screening

   process may vary from program to program, the presence of the “checkpoints” is a

   proof of program administers’ awareness of the necessity for this type of review, and

   therefore efforts to ensure the quality of doctoral education.

4. Size of student body and attrition rate. The average size of each entering class was

   nine for the responding programs, with a large variation indicating that cohort size

   varies quite a bit across programs surveyed. The average number of graduates per

   program in 2003 was four. But there is a relatively larger variation in terms of number

   of graduates that year. In the extreme case, there was no graduate that year for some

   programs, while other programs had as many as 21 graduates. Our survey asked about

   dropouts before the second year. Overall, there was about a 10% dropout rate before

   the second year, 14% before comprehensive exams, and 20% after comprehensive

   exams. It is clear that a considerable proportion of admitted doctoral students drop out




                                            19
   along the way. However, it is hard to tell if these numbers are cumulative or not. In

   other words, we are not sure whether these numbers are mutually exclusive or not.

5. GPA requirements. Out of 31 responses, 29 require a GPA no lower than 3.5 for

   public administration doctoral students in order to maintain their doctoral status,

   whereas only two programs require a GPA no lower than 2.7. A benchmark is that a

   3.5 GPA is generally a result of half grades of A and half of B for all graduate-level

   courses taken for the doctoral program. Thus, a 3.5 GPA may indicate that the Ph.D.

   students’ performance is above average. Nevertheless, lower GPA requirements do

   not necessarily imply that the programs are less rigorous since the rigor of grading

   and the level of difficulty of the courses may vary across programs.

6. Time Requirements or minimum course load on campus. Fifteen of 24 responses

   indicated that there is some form of requirement regarding the minimum course load

   completed on campus or minimum number of credit hours per semester. This is a key

   measure to ensure the full-time status and/or residency of the doctoral students, which

   is believed to be important to demonstrating the commitment of the students and that

   they have an appropriate amount of free time to interact with faculty and their peers.

   Other responses indicate there is a limit on the number of years for completion of the

   programs. Setting a ceiling of number of years for completing the program or limits

   on the number of credit hours transferred from other programs may also be

   interpreted as a sign of the intensity and rigor of the programs.

7. Timeframe in which classes are primarily offered, daytime or evening; proportions of

   full-time and part-time students. Out of 37 responses, 12 are offered mainly in the day,

   17 in the evening, and 8 are mixed. The majority of programs offer classes in the




                                            20
   evening, indicating that they are primarily aimed at serving part-time doctoral

   students. Of students in the responding programs, 58% are full-time and 42% are

   part-time. What is striking is that 24 of the 34 programs have a larger portion of full-

   time students than of part-time students, and six have only full-time students. The

   other perspective is that six out of the 34 responding programs have over 80% of the

   part-time students. It is natural to associate this finding with the fact that some

   programs, faced with difficulty in funding and the increased needs for doctoral

   education, increase the number of part-time students as a strategy for responding to

   these problems. It could be also interpreted as a sign of compromising the traditional

   goal of cultivating productive scholars, as supporting only full-time students is

   increasingly more difficult.

8. Years needed to graduate. According to the survey, 38% of the students in the

   responding programs graduate between 3-5 years, 50% between 5-7 years, and 19%

   between 7-9 years. The survey also indicates that it typically takes about 5 years to

   graduate from the first date of registration. Although these numbers are

   approximations, apparently about 80% of students graduate within 7 years.

9. Concentrations/Specializations. Although 14 responses indicated they have more than

   one area of concentration, we suspect that in fact there are a larger number of

   programs have more than one concentration in view of the un-standardized answers

   given in the survey. In counting the number of concentrations, we did not

   differentiate minors from majors. There is great variation in this regard among the

   programs surveyed. But there is greater variation with regard to what concentration

   each program has. Some programs simply state that, for instance, there are no limits




                                             21
   on the concentrations as long as the proposed concentrations are approved by the

   faculty. When asked about the number of courses required for each concentration, the

   responses gave a maximum of 24 and minimum of 2. We suspect the maximum

   number given in the survey is not correct, and that the abnormally high number of

   courses is more probably the number of credits required for each concentration

   instead of the number of courses. Nevertheless, the average number of course

   required for each concentration is about 6, which is quite plausible.



Orientation, Career Preparation, and the Placement: Traditionally, doctoral

education in public affairs and public administration largely prepares doctoral students to

be future scholars and teachers in this field. Felbinger, Holzer, and White (1999) raise

concerns on the increasingly non-academic orientation of doctoral education in light of

the facts that the majority of doctoral degree holders never publish and enter (or remain

in) professional, not academic, positions. White, Adams, and Forrester (1996) also

observed the rather limited contribution to the knowledge and theory by doctoral

education and research. Experiences in publication and teaching, however, would

effectively prepare them for future academic careers. The 2003 NASPAA survey

examined these two important factors to re-examine these issues.



Publication requirements: Out of 37 responses on whether publishing a peer-reviewed

article is required, 13 said yes and 14 said no. The negative answers sometimes are

accompanied with comments like “not required but encouraged.” Furthermore, most of

these positive answers indicate that publications can be either co-authored or solely




                                            22
authored. Accordingly, only 17 out of 37 responses indicate that the program has a

distinct practicum (or portion of a course) that focuses on writing (either journal articles

or dissertations) and/or how to publish. To some extent the inconsistency in requirements

as to publications reinforces criticisms of the scholarly productivity of the doctoral

programs and their contributions to the scholarship of public affairs and administration

(Raadschelders and Douglas, 2003; Brewer, Douglas, et al., 1999; Douglas, 1999).



Attention to teaching experiences and teaching training. If training future instructors is

one of the goals of the doctoral programs, then the curriculum or the overall design of the

program should reflect and help meet this need. The survey shows that 20 responses

indicate encouraging or requiring undergraduate or graduate teaching experiences, and

that 9 have a distinct course on pedagogy. It is clear that the majority of programs still

have a strong orientation toward training future teachers. We were not surprised to see a

smaller number of responses indicating a distinct pedagogy course as only 3 out of 20

actually require teaching experiences. In many cases taking a course on pedagogy may

not be a prerequisite for undertaking teaching assignments.



Career Interests, Hiring Records, and Recruitment Patterns: Our data shows the

hiring patterns of doctoral programs speak to the multidisciplinary nature of the field. The

projected hires of these programs are not limited to public policy, public administration,

or public affairs. Instead, a considerable portion of programs expect to recruit PhD

students from other fields such as economics or political science.




                                             23
   1. We have reservations about the answers to career interests after graduation. We

believe that because the responses we obtained from the survey represent the faculty’s

judgment about doctoral students’ career interests, these answers may not entirely be

accurate. That is, we doubt whether faculty perceptions accurately reflect the real, long-

term intentions of students or not. Nevertheless, our survey shows that about half of

doctoral students are identified by faculty as pursuing an academic/teaching career and an

equal percent of doctoral students are considered as full-time practitioners. About one-

quarter of students (or about half of part-time students) in the surveyed programs intend

to be part-time faculty, a number we consider as understating teaching interests; in our

opinion it is very likely that career interests may shift toward teaching as the academic

interests of students develop during the program, and it is especially likely that virtually

all “practitioner” graduates in public affairs and administration will eventually teach on a

part-time basis. The actual placement record shows that the number of graduates per

program placed in academic positions during 2000-01, 2001-2002, 2002-03 averaged 2.0,

2.1 and 1.6 per program respectively, with a maximum of 5 for any one institution.

   2. The Hiring Record. The survey asked about the number of hires in doctoral

programs in the past five years and the degrees and specialties of these hires. A rough

tally of the survey shows that the 37 doctoral programs have made about 100 Assistant

Professor hires over the past 5 years. In another words, there were about 2.7 hires for

each program over the past five years. As for the degrees and specialties of these hires, a

more complex picture from the survey does not give us a clear conclusion. Rough

categorization of hires indicates that there were 16 doctoral degrees in political science,

13 in public policy or policy analysis, 21 in economics or economics in a particular field,




                                             24
24 in public administration, and 26 in various fields such as urban studies, IT, sociology,

methods, business (/administration), health services research and policy, etc. What is

harder to comprehend is that under these broad categorizations of degrees, there are

varying concentrations or specialties that fall into more than one category. For instance,

holders of the Ph.D. in political science may have specialties in public policy or public

administration or methods. Likewise, holders of the Ph.D. in public administration may

have a specialty in health policy or quantitative methodology or IT. While this made the

categorization less useful, it does suggest what types of degrees hires hold over a period

of five years.

    3. Recruitment Expectations: The number of projected hires of Assistant Professors

for the period 2003-2008 was about 80, or 20 per year, which is somewhat smaller than

the number of hires for the preceding five years. Some responses indicate that the number

of new hires is largely subject to the availability of funding. With regard to the specialties

of projected hires, it is apparent that certain specialties that are desired of the new hires

include public administration/management, public policy, human resources development,

management and policy, (public) budgeting and finance, economics, political science,

American government, nonprofit management and policy, health and education, urban

studies/policies, policy analysis and methods. A quick grouping shows that the number of

projected hires with a specialty in public administration or with other specialties central

to public administration, including (public) budget and finance, human resources, politics

and administration, urban administration, local government administration, IT

management and the like, totals 34, which is less than half of the total projected hires. It

may be the result of the multidisciplinary nature of public affairs and administration




                                              25
studies. We also noted that some questionnaires left the questions on the new hires

unanswered and we may infer that these programs may not expect to have new hires in

the near future.



                                        Conclusion



The multidisciplinary nature of the field is apparent throughout the data on these

programs and is embodied in the various aspects of the programs. A wide array of

concentrations and courses is provided to doctoral students. In addition to the traditional

scope of public administration, other concentrations such as economics, sociology, justice,

and international relations are also choices of doctoral students. Furthermore, the

recruitment records and projections show that doctoral graduates from other fields are

also in demand.



As indicated in the mission statements of some programs, as well as from our data,

doctoral programs not only prepare scholars and teachers, but also future practitioners in

the public sector. The rigor of doctoral training is apparent when measured by a number

of indicators and the commitment of schools to doctoral education is strong. While

publication and teaching experiences are emphasized by the majority of programs, some

are not.



The data we compiled represent relatively comprehensive, in-depth information on

doctoral programs in public affairs and administration. Though the responses to the 2003




                                             26
NASPAA survey did not cover all doctoral programs in the field, they are indicative of

the current status of doctoral education. Our recommendation is that this sort of in-depth

survey should be conducted on a regular basis to ensure the consistency and continuity of

the data.




                                            27
                                       References


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        Fields: An Assessment of Methods and Quality. Public Administration Review.
        November/December 1994, Vol.54, No.6. 565-576.

American Society for Public Administration. (2003) Doctoral Degrees Awarded in Public
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_______. (2004) Doctoral Degrees Awarded in Public Affairs and Administration at
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Felbinger, C. L., Holzer, M., & White, J. D. (1999) The Doctorate in Public
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Raadschelders, C. N. J. & Douglas, J. W. (2003) The Doctoral Graduate in Public
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White, J. D., Adams, Guy. B., & Forrester, J. P. (1996) Knowledge and Theory
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          No.5. 441-452


Acknowledgements:

The research for this article relied on substantial input and comments from Laurel
McFarland of NASPAA and Kathryn Newcomer of George Washington University.




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