The mission of the doctor of public administration program is to advance the education of experienced practitioners interested in improving their understanding of public management and public policy. Graduates of the DPA program can make a significant contribution, bridging the worlds of practice and scholarship by developing a capacity to bring experience from the practitioner community to the scholarly community and translate the contributions of the scholarly community back to the world of practitioners.
In addition to satisfying the admission requirements, applicants must submit a portfolio providing evidence of some or all of the following preferred qualifications:
• A master's degree with a minimum grade-point average of 3.25 for graduate course work.
• An educational and professional goals statement of at least 600 words.
• Evidence of excellent oral and written communication skills.
• Three letters of recommendation with at least one letter from an individual at an academic institution from whom the applicant took courses, and
• An oral interview with the Program Admissions Committee.
Applications for admission must include all of the following:
• A master's degree in a public affairs discipline.
• A graduate GPA of 3.50 or higher.
• Significant work experience in a public affairs field.
• GRE scores above the 50th percentile.
• Completed UIS application.
• Official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended, showing undergraduate and graduate completion.
• Three letters of recommendation; at least one must be an academic reference attesting to the applicant's likelihood of success in a doctoral program.
• Three- to five-page statement of academic and career goals.
• A current writing sample, written solely by the applicant, such as a research paper or report.
• International students: Submit an official TOEFL score of at least 575 (paper based), 232 (computer based), or 88 (Internet based).
The program is a cohort program that admits new students in the fall of odd-numbered years. Prospective students are encouraged to apply by March 15 of the year in which they would like to begin the program; however late applications may be considered. Students will not be allowed to start the program separate from an entering cohort.
Grades Acceptable toward Doctoral Degrees Doctoral students are expected to do scholarly work of high caliber. Each student must complete at least 40 credit hours of course work plus a minimum of 12 hours of dissertation credit. Students must receive a grade of B or better in all courses. For more specific information related to acceptable grades, see the "Grades Acceptable Toward Graduate Degrees" section under the heading "Academic Standards for ALL Students." Closure Requirement Progress toward the Doctoral Degree
• Meet program matriculation requirements.
• Earn at least 52 doctoral-level hours with a grade-point average of at least 3.00, and a grade no lower than B in any course.
• Complete 12 semester hours of dissertation credit. During work on the dissertation, students are required to be enrolled in dissertation credit each fall and spring semester.
• Successfully pass a qualifying examination in the core courses.
• Develop, present, and have approved a dissertation proposal.
• Research, write, and present a dissertation to the Dissertation Committee and satisfactorily complete an oral defense.
• Complete a graduation contract and pay graduation fees.
Doctoral Closure Requirements
After successful completion of the qualifying exam and the 20 hours of elective course work, the student is admitted to candidacy and may officially begin working on a dissertation proposal. Each student's advisor will assist with selection of the dissertation committee from among the graduate faculty of the university. A written dissertation proposal must be formally approved by the student's dissertation committee before dissertation work proceeds. Preparation and defense of the dissertation proposal constitutes the beginning of the closure requirement, which includes preparation and successful defense of the dissertation. An oral examination on the dissertation will be conducted by the dissertation committee. The dissertation advisor will chair the oral dissertation defense which will be open to the campus community.