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Doctoral Program

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Policy Studies, offered through the School of Public Policy, is an advanced scholarly degree appropriate for students seeking a career in university teaching and research or a leadership position in public policy in the public, private or non-profit sector.


Admission to PhD Policy Studies:

Admission to the Ph.D. program requires a formal application with supporting documents, a full resume, and evidence of research ability. All applications are reviewed by the Faculty of the Doctoral Program. In most cases, only applicants who have completed a master’s degree or its equivalent are considered for admission. In rare instances, exceptional students may be considered after they receive their bachelor’s degree.

GRE scores are required for all doctoral level candidates. If you are submitting GRE scores, please use ETS school code 5814 when reporting your scores. A department code is not required.

The number of students admitted to doctoral study is dependent on 1) the number of applicants who display a high level of performance and 2) the faculty’s capacity to provide high quality supervision in the students’ areas of interest. Completion of the doctoral degree generally takes a minimum of four to five years. Student progress toward the degree is reviewed each semester by the doctoral faculty as part of a broad program of student advising, networking, and mentoring between faculty and students and among doctoral student peers.

School of Public Policy doctoral students have received a wide variety of awards and fellowships and graduates have obtained senior positions in universities, research organizations, governments, non-profit organizations, and the private sector.


Application Requirements:

  • Online application to program code POSI
  • Personal Statement
  • Statement of Research Interests
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts (uploaded directly by the applicant)
  • Resume
  • Writing sample

Application Deadlines:

  • Priority for admission and funding:  December 15, 2017
  • Final deadline for all fall 2018 applicants:  March 15, 2018
All admissions related questions should be directed to the Office of Student Affairs, policy-applications@umd.edu or 301-405-6331.