Degree Requirements

The coursework requirements for the PhD in Community and Public Affairs include 6 core courses (18 credits); a required 2 course in-situ based research project sequence (6-8 credits); a required Interdisciplinary Case Conferencing Course (3 credits); and 5 electives (graduate courses from any University department, with approval of student's advisory committee) for a total of 40 post-masters credits. A "B" (3.0) average must be maintained.

Course Sequence

Year One (All Core Courses)


  • Interdisciplinary Doctoral Seminar I: Community Based Research and Cultural Competence (3 credits)
  • Interdisciplinary Doctoral Seminar II: Community Systems (3 credits)
  • Research Design (3 credits)


  • Quantitative Analysis (3 credits)
  • Qualitative Analysis (3 credits)
  • Interdisciplinary Doctoral Seminar III: Organizational Context and Leadership (3 credits)

Year Two


  • Interdisciplinary Case Conferencing Seminar (3 credits)
  • Proseminar I: Becoming an Effective Teacher (1 Credit)
  • In Situ Based Research Project I (3-4 credits)
  • Elective or Supervised Independent Study Course (3-4 credits)


  • Proseminar II: Leadership in Community Human Service Agencies/Organizations (1 Credit)
  • In Situ Based Research Project II (3-4 credits)
  • Elective or Supervised Independent Predissertation Research Course (3-4 credits)
  • Elective or Supervised Independent Study Course (3-4 credits)

Year Three


  • Dissertation Seminar I CCPA 699 (1 credit)


  • Dissertation Seminar II CCPA 699 (1 credit)


Though course and project work, Years One and Two lay the foundation for the dissertation, including preparation of drafts or even published chapters as elements of the dissertation. Year Three is devoted to organizing and completing the dissertation.

The PhD will be awarded for original investigation leading to the advancement of knowledge at the intersections of at least two disciplines and/or professions. In discussing the results obtained, the student will address next steps for further research, policy developments and possible interventions that could reasonably be derived from the completed work. An oral defense of the dissertation is also required for the student to complete the program.

In addition to the traditional format, alternatively, the dissertation may include chapters that are a series of publishable papers or published journal articles, emanating from course and project work during the program. If this option is chosen, the student will write an introductory chapter that provides the foundation for the dissertation and then explains how the subsequent chapters (the journal articles) are related. The final chapter will provide a synthesis with conclusions and recommendations for further research, policy changes, and possible interventions. When published "journal article" chapters with multiple authors are included in a dissertation, the contribution of each author must be explained.

Last Updated: 9/3/14