VCU Bulletins

Public Policy and Administration, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Admission requirements

Admission is open to qualified persons without regard to age, physical disability, national origin, race, religion or gender. Admission is competitive since it is limited by the number of places available. The admission process is intended to assure a reasonable fit between the student’s professional and research interests and faculty expertise. Consequently, otherwise qualified applicants may be denied admission.

Applicants to the program must hold a master’s degree or a recognized postbaccalaureate degree in one of the professions such as law or medicine from an accredited institution of higher education. A standardized test score, fewer than five years old, is required. Accepted examinations include the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) and the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). Professional experience is not required, but is considered desirable.

In order to apply for admission to the Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration program, prospective students must submit:

International applicants must submit the International Application and TOEFL scores. All students admitted to the program must have completed prior to admission, or are required to complete during their first year, the following graduate-level courses (or their equivalent):

The primary admissions deadline is Jan. 30 for enrollment to begin the following fall semester. However, for those students wishing to be considered for a limited number of assistantships, materials must be received no later than Dec. 15. A small number of special admissions may be made in the fall (Oct. 15 application deadline) for entry the following spring semester, however assistantships are only offered to fall enrollees. Applicants who wish to be considered for the Oct. 15 deadline must include a letter requesting and justifying early admission. If the request for early consideration is not accepted, the application will be held over to the Jan. 30 application date.

While university rules allow up to six credit hours of course work to be taken as a special student prior to formal admission, taking such courses in no way guarantees admission to the program. Graduate courses designated “doctoral students only” may not be taken prior to formal admission, although they may be taken by fully admitted doctoral students in other programs.

Application packets may be obtained from the program office or the Graduate School. International applicant materials are available from the International Admissions Office.


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Last update: 3/5/2014

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