Societal needs—for economic growth, better health care, environmental protection, etc.—and resource limitations challenge policymakers to make difficult public policy choices. The doctoral program in public policy prepares its graduates to conduct original research to help scholars and policymakers understand the tradeoffs involved in such choices across a broad range of critical issues. In particular, students can focus on:

  • Policy analysis and program evaluation: How can we predict the consequences of our policy choices? What values should drive those choices? How can we determine which government and nonprofit programs work – producing benefits that exceed their costs?
  • Public budgeting and finance: How can governments raise the funds necessary to provide public services in as equitable a manner as possible without impeding economic growth? How should and do governments decide which services and programs to fund? How can taxes achieve socially desirable goals?
  • Public and nonprofit management: How should functions be divided among the governmental, nonprofit, and for-profit sectors? How should managers allocate financial and human resources to meet public needs? How should managers balance equity and efficiency claims?

Students can also choose to focus on such substantive policy areas as health, education, economic development, social policy, and disaster management.

The doctoral program prepares its graduates to take positions as college professors or as research-oriented policy analysts in research centers, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. The program assumes that new students have a master’s degree in public policy, public administration, health policy, or a related field, but students may also fulfill master’s prerequisite courses after entering the program. The core courses in the doctoral program build on those master’s prerequisites, providing a strong foundation in policy analysis, program evaluation, microeconomics, quantitative methods, and research design and implementation. Students choose two fields of specialization in which to focus their coursework and research.

The program is intended primarily for full-time students, and the Andrew Young School has been able to fund virtually all full-time students for at least three years. Graduate research assistants work with individual faculty members or with one of the Andrew Young School’s policy research centers, including the Fiscal Research Center, the International Studies Program, the Health Policy Center, and the Nonprofit Studies Program. Over the course of their studies, most students work on both academic and more practical policy-related research projects. Third- and fourth-year students typically have opportunities to teach undergraduate classes.

In recent years, graduates have taken positions with universities (e.g., Syracuse University, Indiana University, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, American University, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Florida International University, Sam Houston State University, and California State University- both the Monterey Bay and Stanislaus County campuses) and research-oriented government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and consulting firms (e.g., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Government Accountability Office, the World Bank, the International Food Policy Research Institute, CARE International, RTI International, and BearingPoint).

Georgia State also participates in a joint doctoral program in public policy with Georgia Tech. Students in both programs take core courses on both campuses, but students in the joint program may also major in science and technology policy, economic development policy, and environmental policy – which are also fields of research interest for the Georgia Tech faculty.

A Top Ranked Program: The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies (AYSPS) is nationally recognized as a top school in public policy and management. Its many research centers and community outreach efforts provide opportunities to enhance students’ education, as well as often opening doors to attractive jobs. In its 2009 Edition America’s Best Graduate Schools,” the U.S. News and World Report ranked the AYSPS 27th overall among the 269 public affairs schools in the United States. It also ranked AYSPS in the top dozen programs in public finance and budgeting, city management and urban policy, and information and technology management and in the top 25 programs in nonprofit management, public policy analysis and public management administration.
Doctoral Program Information 

Application Deadlines*

Fall Semester
Deadline – January 15

*Online applications must be submitted and all materials received by the deadline to be reviewed for admission.

Application Submission Instructions

  • Create an account.
  • Start a new application.
    • Select application type: “2018 Graduate Programs”
    • Click “Create an application”
    • Click “Open Application” to begin your application
  • On the “Program Selection” page:
    • Select College: “Andrew Young School of Policy Studies”
    • Select Program: “Public Policy; Doctor of Philosophy”
Start Your Application and Apply Now 


Application Requirements

A completed application includes:

  1. Submitted Online Application. All online applications must be submitted by the deadline. Paper applications are not available.
  2. Application fee: A nonrefundable fee of $50 is required for each application. This fee must be paid online by credit card.
  3. Personal/Goal Statement: Two to three page, typed statement of interest covering personal and professional goals as they relate to the Ph.D. in Public Policy, including desired area of specialization, research interests, and faculty with whom applicant would like to work. Statement should discuss your reasons for applying to the doctoral program, expectations for completion of the coursework and dissertation, and prospective employment. Include special circumstances, if any, or other information not covered in the application that you think would be helpful in evaluating your application.
  4. Biographical Statement: Two page Biographical Statement that includes biographical information and defines how you have prepared yourself for doctoral study. It may include schools attended, areas of study and formative experiences (particularly those that are relevant to pursuing a Ph.D.). This statement is intended to help the committee better know the applicant and to see why pursuing a doctoral program is the next logical step.
  5. Official GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores: Official scores must be reported to institution code 5251. More information can be found at our Admissions FAQ page or, to schedule the test, at
  6. TOEFL or IELTS Academic scores (International applicants only): All international applicants are required to submit official TOEFL or IELTS Academic scores.
  7. Three letters of recommendation: All letters should be submitted through the online application.
  8. Copies of Official Transcripts from each post-secondary college/university attended:
    • Official transcripts are not required at this stage of application review.** Do not send paper copies unless instructed to do so.
    • Transcripts should be uploaded to the Academic History section of the online application and must be copies of university transcripts. This can either be an official electronic transcript, or a paper copy that you have scanned and uploaded.
    • Copy of transcript must have one or more of the following features: registrar’s seal, registrar signature, or watermark of the institution.
    • Documents such as self-printed academic histories, web-based academic evaluations, and anything hand-written are not acceptable for review process and should not be uploaded. Doing so will significantly delay the review of your application.
    • Submit one copy of transcript for each post-secondary institution attended, regardless of length of time you attended, your status, whether grades are listed, or where your final degree(s) were received. This would include community colleges, study abroad programs and AP credit. If you received college level credit, a transcript should be submitted for review.
      **Official transcripts will only be required if an applicant is admitted to the program.

If you need assistance with the application process, please contact the Office of Admissions – Graduate Programs.

If you want to learn more about our programs, please contact the Office of Academic Assistance for the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at

Upon Graduation


2013_diphatblueBlake, Sarah
Assistant Professor
Emory University
2016diphatblueDzigbede, Komla
Assistant Professor
SUNY Binghampton
2011diphatblueEdwards, Lauren
Assistant Professor
Sam Houston University
2007diphatblueErtas, Nevbahar
Assistant Professor
University of Alabama
 2011diphatblueFaulk, Lewis
Assistant Professor
American University
2014diphatblueFerroussier-Davis, Odile
Center for Disease Control
2014diphatblueFlowers, Jim
University System of Georgia
2012diphatblueGalope, Reynold V. 
Asian Development Bank, Phillippines
2016diphatblueGehl, Sarah Beth
Temporary Assistant Professor
University of Georgia
2007diphatblueGuo, Hai
Assistant Professor
Florida International University
2004diphatblueHorne, Christopher
Associate Professor
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
2016diphatblueKarmakar, Krishanu
Assistant Professor
Jindal University, India
2013_diphatblueKhieu, Samphors
Asian Development Bank
2007diphatblueKim, Jungbu
Assistant Professor
International University of Japan
2015diphatblueKing, Christian
Assistant Professor
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
2017diphatblueKolenda, Ric
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of Illinois at Chicago
2012diphatblueMcGinnis, Jasmine A.
Assistant Professor
George Washington University
2008diphatblueNavarro, Ignacio
Assistant Professor
California State University–Monteray Bay
2008diphatblueOrdóñez-Matamoros, Gonzalo
Assistant Professor
University of Twente, Netherlands
2014diphatbluePasha, Obed
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
2003diphatblueRein, David
Principal Research Scientist
NORC at the University of Chicago
2009diphatblueSadiq, Abdul-Akeem
Assistant Professor
School of Public and Environmental Affairs Indianapolis
2016diphatblueSai, Na
Assistant Professor
Bridgewater State University
2016diphatblueSearing, Elizabeth
Assistant Professor
SUNY Albany
2016diphatblueSu, Min
Assistant Professor
Louisiana State University
2014diphatblueUzochukwu, Kelechi
Assistant Professor
University of Baltimore
2008diphatblueWenbin, Xiao
IT Evaluator, CEO
Software Park Venture Capital
2017diphatblueZook, Sandy
Assistant Professor
University of Colorado, Denver


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