The Ph.D. in Public Affairs with a concentration in Community Development is designed to give students a strong theoretical grounding in the interdisciplinary nature of public affairs and community development by incorporating courses from our Department of Public Policy and Administration (DPPA) and the Law and Business schools at Rutgers University–Camden, a distinctive feature of the program. Admitted students may request acceptance of up to 12 credits of previous graduate coursework toward the degree. The campus offers a variety of research opportunities and resources including the Rutgers University–Camden Center for Urban Research and Education, the Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs, the Community Leadership Center and LEAP Academy University charter schools, and the Technology Campus business incubator. Graduate students in public affairs have been awarded a variety of grants and fellowships. Many regularly present at regional, national, and international conferences and publish in a variety journals and edited books. The program also has a strong record of placing graduates in tenure-track academic positions.

Admission Requirements

  • Official graduate school admissions test scores (GRE preferred, LSAT and GMAT accepted)
  • A transcript of all undergraduate and graduate coursework completed or in progress (Master’s degree preferred)
  • Three letters of recommendation that indicate potential for success in the Ph.D. program, with at least two from persons familiar with your work in an academic setting
    Résumé (including relevant professional experience)
  • Personal statement indicating your motivation to earn a Ph.D., assets you will bring to the class, a description of your background and experience, and how a Ph.D. will benefit your future
  • A statement of evidence of an ability to succeed in graduate-level quantitative methods courses, such as successfully completed coursework in statistics, research methods, or economics (may be included in personal statement)
  • Writing sample

Admission Deadlines:
Fall Admission Deadline: February 1 (requests for financial support will not be considered after this date)

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Degree Requirements

66 total credits

  • Core Curriculum (8 courses/24 credits)
    Community Development History, Theory and Practice Courses (3 courses/9 credits) Methods Courses (4 courses/12 credits), and Research Design (1 course/3 credits).
  • Elective Courses (9 courses/27 credits)
    The elective requirement includes nine graduate level courses relevant to community development and/or the student’s core research interests, only six of which may be taken in the Department of Public Policy and Administration. Related courses may be taken at the Rutgers-Camden School of Law or School of Business, or any department in the Rutgers-Camden Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (i.e., Childhood Studies, Social Work, Criminal Justice, Economics, etc.).
  • Dissertation (15 credits)
    A dissertation committee consists of a minimum of three members, and the chair must be a tenured faculty member of the Department of Public Policy and Administration. One member of the committee may be from outside the university, either from another university, government agency, or non-profit organization.