A Professional Doctorate for the Civic Minded

The Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) program is devoted to bridging the worlds of scholarship and practice. We intend to spark discussions and stimulate research that improves public and nonprofit management and public policy in Illinois, the nation, and the broader global community.

Thus, we admit and want to work with students who wish to serve the public interest, drive social change, and make a difference in their communities and workplaces. As such, we offer a high-level academic experience designed for mid-range and advanced professionals in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Program Facts

52 Total Credits
Remote & On-Campus Options
Earn your degree synchronously online, in-person, or a hybrid of both.
3-4 Years
Accommodates the Schedules of Working Professionals
Cohort Model
A built-in peer support group and professional network of 12-15

Join us in Changing Policy & Changing Lives

Why the DPA @ UIS?

Become an Agent of Change

Our students are scholar-practitioners and typically start with a problem of interest and then master the methods needed to solve those problems. Some of the most common problems of interest include racial and social inequities, environmental health, climate change, debt management, organizational inefficiencies, and workforce motivation and performance.

Some of our DPA graduates go into academia as researchers and faculty members devoted to producing new knowledge and training the next generation of public service professionals. However, as a professional doctorate, we are also committed to developing a network of advanced professionals who will stay in practice.


DPA Curriculum

Our students progress with a group of colleagues (cohort) through six core courses covering public sector leadership and innovation, public policy, public management, research methods, and research design. Then, we recommend that they use their 16-credit hours of elective coursework to pursue one of three Fields of Specialization.

Choose a Specialization

Organizational Leadership & Management

This specialization supports students' professional and scholarly interests in the design and leadership of impactful public and nonprofit organizations. The subject matter includes formal organization structures; organizational design, motivation, leadership; organizational change and effectiveness; human resource (capital) management; performance management; strategic planning; and ethics.

Data Modeling & Analytics

This specialization supports students' professional and scholarly interests in developing solutions to organizational and community problems through an advanced understanding and use of data modeling, analytics, interpretation, and presentation techniques. The subject matter includes using various statistical software packages, advanced statistics, database systems, and object-oriented programming and development using JAVA.

Policy Analysis & Program Evaluation

This specialization supports the professional and scholarly interests in investigating the consequences of policy choices and evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of public programs—both locally and in general. This specialization emphasizes developing the skills and knowledge to assess the social impact of a policy or a program. Students may pick from a series of courses related to specific problems or policy areas by choosing one of four sub-fields of specialization: public health policyenvironmental policysocial policy, and education policy.

Hear from our Students


Helpful Links

Tuition & Fees

We are committed to making higher education accessible and affordable. Estimate your education costs.

Doctoral Fellowship

Earn a stipend and cover most of your education costs w/ our Doctoral Fellowship Program.

Aid & Scholarships

See the financial aid and scholarships that are available to help fund your education.