Can I earn a Doctorate of Public Administration degree through an online program?

If your schedule demands the flexibility and convenience of an online Doctorate of Public Administration degree program, it may take some extensive research to find one that is 100% online. Most doctorate level programs in Public Administration are offered through hybrid programs.

To enter a doctorate program, most online schools will require applicants to have previously earned a master’s degree from an accredited school. You may also be asked to submit your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores, as well as, letters of recommendation.  Many schools would like for you to submit a letter of intent stating your expectations and career goals. Some schools require that you have previous work experience in a related field, as well.

Hybrid programs are designed for those individuals who already have a full-time job and personal responsibilities that will not allow for attendance at the traditional brick and mortar university. The hybrid program allows for a majority of your coursework to be completed online, however, a hybrid program may require that you spend at least ten to twenty days in a clinical residency setting or seminar. If you decide to enroll in this type of format, please check with your program’s requirements to make sure you can attend in person when needed. In most cases, a school will make this as convenient for you as possible.

Since your online courses will be accessible through the Internet, be sure to have an adequate computer, as well as, an Internet connection that will accommodate your needs and will be dependable. Most online classes are considered asynchronous, meaning that you may access your assignments anytime, from anywhere. Although this is convenient, don’t be tempted to wait till the last minute to complete your assignments, for you will have deadlines for each assignment. Remember that time management and discipline is key to the success of an online degree program.

While earning your online Doctorate of Public Administration degree, the main goal will be to prepare you for a role in either leadership or perhaps, a role in academia as a university Professor. Most often, the course of study in the realm of Public Administration includes coursework that focuses on problem-solving and critical thinking skills that are needed in governmental management positions and non-profit organizations.

Through an online Doctorate of Public Administration degree program, you may be asked to choose a specialization, such as in global leadership or law and public policy. Your program can be tailored to your passion or interests. Your dissertation will also need to be related to your concentration.

Generally, coursework may include urban political topics such as, planning and zoning, in addition to, unemployment, budgeting and healthcare. Students will learn about federal and state laws and how they affect public policy and the community. You will also learn the different management techniques within the areas of non-profit or for-profit organizations. Classes may also include economics, public organizational theory, statistical analysis and research methods.

If you would like to learn more about online classes in this field, please check out our list of the Top 5 Online Doctorate of Public Administration degree programs.