Why the DPA at the University of Illinois Springfield?

Below are views from faculty, students, and alumni on how the DPA program at UIS offers unique learning experiences.

From the Dean

Robert SmithThe DPA is a highly specialized and applied doctoral program that is truly interdisciplinary in nature. Each contributing department provides a diversity of conceptual, methodological and practical approaches to help students understand and solve the problems and issues they face in their respective organizations, positions and fields.

Robert W. Smith, Ph. D.
Dean, College of Public Affairs and Administration


From the Director of the DPA Program

J. Travis BlandThe DPA is the College of Public Affairs and Administration’s primary mechanism for partnering with highly accomplished social sector leaders for the common good. As such, our students already hold a wealth of knowledge that when linked with our scholarly community creates an environment of deep learning. I am excited about the future of our program and the opportunity to work with our students to craft innovative solutions to public problems.

J. Travis Bland, Ph. D.
Associate Professor and Director of the DPA


From Faculty

Josiah AlamuThe University of Illinois Springfield is a world-class institution of learning with incredible facilities and support for students. With its rigorous and robust curriculum, the DPA from UIS offers a complete educational experience to professionals who aspire to learn from seasoned professors.

Josiah Alamu, Ph. D.
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Public Health



Kim WileyThe UIS Doctorate of Public Administration provides a unique opportunity for experienced public and third sector professionals to tailor their coursework and research to their long term career plans. The five Fields of Specialization allow students to select a complementary set of courses that combine analytical tools with practical application. Graduates reinvest these new skills and growth in knowledge into local communities in ways that, for instance, enrich nonprofit programming or enhance public policy development.

Kim Wiley, Ph. D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration


From Current DPA Students

Yetunde AgbesolaFor me, one key benefit in the UIS DPA program is the opportunity it affords individuals to become erudite scholars in public administration while also enhancing their current or potential productiveness as public servants. The program’s emphasis on the often overlooked but essential bridge that links academics to practical applications in public administration, and its relevance for diverse fields attracted me to the DPA program.

Yetunde Agbesola
2015 Cohort, Member of the US Armed Forces


Kofi Abaidoo-AsieduAs a DPA student, it was necessary to have dedicated faculty willing to guide me through my journey. The faculty has been reliable and informative through my process. The breadth of knowledge and different expertise has created a level of comfort for me in reaching out to any of them for assistance. The combination of Springfield being Illinois’ capital and the academic environment at UIS makes this program unique for those looking to infuse academia into their profession. I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity.

Kofi Abaidoo-Asiedu
Program & Policy Analyst, Wisconsin Department of Public Health


From DPA Alumni

Sarah MackeyI was looking for a program that would enable me to hone my research skills, while at the same time not only enabling, but supporting me to continue to grow as a nonprofit professional. I selected the DPA program because of its focus on valuing the roles and contributions of practitioners. The skills I learned in the program continue to support my growth in the nonprofit sector. From writing concept papers based on literature reviews to doing statistical analysis of data sets and presenting it in a way that can inform our discussions, it is exciting for me to see how applicable the skills I learned throughout the DPA program are and how they have enhanced my ability to successfully fulfill my role with Habitat for Humanity International.

Sarah Mackey
Senior Director, Habitat for Humanity International

Matt Montgomery

The DPA Program at UIS was one of the best career decisions I have ever made. As with any opportunity, it required commitment and sacrifice—plenty of hard work, and there were moments when I questioned if I could reach my defense. On this side, looking back, every hour was worth it. Professionally, my doctoral degree carries value and prestige in the marketplace leading to career opportunities that I would not have had otherwise.

Academically, the program introduced me to new fields of study such as political science, sociology, psychology, public health, and economics. I now approach issues and opportunities with a new and unique perspective, a more holistic perspective, better itemizing costs, benefits, and spillover effects. Most importantly, the program impacted me on a personal level. My cohort helped change my perspective as the rigors of the program taught me that I can succeed in a rigorous world. This degree has dramatically improved my income potential and opened doors for my family that would not have been possible before.

Matt Montgomery