Admission Requirements

Admission to the Ph.D. program is a two-tiered process that requires applicants to make simultaneous application to the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies and the Department of Public Administration’s Ph.D program. Students must first be admitted to the Toulouse Graduate School. Once admitted, students must then receive admission to the department’s PhD program.

Students are strongly encouraged to complete the application process by January 15th or each year. Students can apply after this deadline, but doing so reduces access to financial assistance and the cohort entering in the Fall semester of each year is limited.

Admission Process and Requirements

1.   Apply for admission to the Toulouse Graduate School (hereafter TGS) (www.tsgs.unt.edu)

  • Submit TGS application forms and pay associated fees.
  • Submit transcripts from all universities/colleges attended.
  • Meet minimum GPA requirements of TGS.
  • Submit complete GRE scores to the TGS.
  • Submit TOEFEL scores to TGS (international students only).

2.   Apply for admission to the PhD program in the Department of Public Administration.  You may email the following documents to PhD.padm@unt.edu :

  • Submit department application form.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s ability to complete doctoral-level studies and complete a dissertation. We prefer these be written on institutional letterhead and signed. 
  • Submit a sole-authored academic writing sample of no more than 5000 words. 
  • Submit a Statement of Purpose (saved in a separate file: PDF or MS-Word)
  • Submit a current CV or resume.
  • Suggested submission date: January 15th.   Applications are accepted after this date.

The Department will review the portfolio of materials above to inform the admissions decision. Admission to the Ph.D. program is based on an assessment of the applicant's academic ability and potential to meet the demands of a doctoral program. Criteria  include, but are not limited to, the student’s cumulative academic performance and potential as indicated by the quality of the student’s undergraduate preparation for advanced study; the quality of their master’s degree level of study; commitment to the study of public administration; potential to contribute significantly to the field of public administration through research, teaching, and service; and the extent to which the applicant’s interests and professional goals correspond to those offered by the program and the faculty.

There are two categories of admission to the program: unconditional and conditional admissions. First, an applicant may receive unconditional admission to the program if the portfolio provides evidence that the applicant is highly likely to complete all requirements of the PhD program. Unconditional admission is available to students who have completed an MPA degree or the core MPA competencies as established by NASPAA. If an applicant has not completed an MPA, but is otherwise qualified, then the applicant may obtain a conditional admission. Students accepted into the program under conditional admission must complete leveling coursework. In most cases, leveling coursework constitutes 12 to 24 hours of coursework to be completed before beginning doctoral seminars in the department.