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


 2017diphatblue rickolenda-aysps-headshot-08-2011Kolenda, Richard
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of Illinois at Chicago“Growing an Industrial Cluster?: Movie Production Incentives and State Film Industries”

rsz_1rahulpathak_compressedPathak, Rahul

Baruch College, CUNY

“Essays on Fiscal Institutions, Public Expenditures, and Debt”

Eric Van HolmVan Holm, Eric

“Minor League Metropolis: Urban Redevelopment Surrounding Minor League Baseball Stadiums”

rsz_chris_wyczalkowski_150Wyczalkowski, Christopher Postdoctoral Fellow

Urban Studies Institute, Georgia State University

“Evaluation of the Effect of Rail Intra-Urban Transit Stations on Neighborhood Change”

Sandy ZookZook, Sandy
Assistant Professor
University of Colorado, Denver“Subsistence Urban Markets and In-Country Remittances: A Social Network Analysis of Urban Street Vendors in Ghana and the Transfer of Resources to Rural Villages”


 2016diphatblue 20110830KomLaDzigbedePSFDzigbede, Komla
Assistant Professor
SUNY Binghampton“Essays in State and Local Government Debt Management: Networks, Strategic Refinancing, and Regulatory Disclosure”
Sarah-Beth-Gehl-2011small-e1453219574609Gehl, Sarah Beth 
Temporary Assistant Professor
University of Georgia“Pay for Performance, Position, or Place: The Effect of Institutions on Salary Equity for Women and Minority Faculty in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics”
KrishanuKarmakar05psKarmakar, Krishanu
Assistant Professor
Jindal University, India“Essays in Fiscal Policy and Budgeting”
20100225NaSai013PSFSai, Na
Assistant Professor
Bridgewater State University“Site-based Management, Job Autonomy, and Principal Turnover in the Public Education System”
Elizabeth Searing

Elizabeth Searing

Searing, Elizabeth
Assistant Professor
SUNY Albany

“Beyond Liabilities: Survival Skills for the Young, Small, and Not-for-profit”

su_min_d3b-2408Su, Min
Assistant Professor
Louisiana State University“American Cities in Turbulent Economic Times: An Exploration of Financial Slack in Municipal Finance”
 2015diphatblue christian_king_picKing, Christian
Assistant Professor
University of Nebraska, Lincoln“Explaining the Relationship between Paternal Incarceration and Family Well-Being: A Mediating Model Using Food Insecurity”


 2014diphatblue Ferroussier-Davis, Odile 
Center for Disease Control“Is Targeted Testing and Treatment for Latent Tuberculosis Infection Cost-effective? The Experience of Tennessee”
Flowers, Jim 
University System of Georgia“Explaining Policy Differences as a Function of Diverse Governance Institutions”
picture_obedPasha, Obed 
University of Massachusetts at Amherst“Performance Management System Design and Implementation in Police Agencies: Is Following Recommended Practices Worth It?” 
kelechi_uzochukwu_picUzochukwu, Kelechi 
Assistant Professor
University of Baltimore“Assessing the Prevalence, Participants, and Predictors of Coproduction: The Case of Atlanta, Georgia”
 2013_diphatblue Blake, Sarah
Assistant Professor
Emory University“From Policy to Practice: Implementation of Georgia’s Medicaid Family Planning Waiver Program”
Khieu, Samphors
Asian Development Bank“Essays on the Impact of Aid and Institutions on Income Inequality and Human Welfare”


 2012diphatblue Galope, Reynold V. 
Asian Development Bank, Phillippines“Public Financing of Risky Early-Stage Technology”
jasminemcginnis02ps2McGinnis, Jasmine A. 
Assistant Professor
George Washington University

Bal, Ravtosh

“Public Participation in Science and Technology Policy: Consensus Conferences and Social Inclusion”

Leonardo, Gabriel M.



Arnett, Sarah B.

Senior Analyst


“Fiscal Stress in the U.S. States: An Analysis of Measures and Responses”

Brien, Spencer T.

Naval Postgraduate School


“Three Essays on the Formation and Finance of Local Governments”


Dean, Kelley M.

Junior Achievement


“The Effects of Gifted Programming on Student Achievement: Differential Results by Race/Ethnicity and Income”


laurene0099-1Edwards, Lauren
Assistant Professor
Sam Houston University 

“Strategic Planning in Local Government: Is the Promise of Performance a Reality?”

Faulk, Lewis
Assistant Professor
American University “Nonprofit and Foundation Behavior in Competitive Markets for Grants”

Frank, Sue A.

General Services Administration


“What Does It Take To Motivate Better Performance and Productivity in the Federal Workplace? Ask the Employees.”


rsz_nicholas_harvey (1)Harvey, Nicholas L.

Visiting Assistant Professor

Georgia State University


“Towards a theory of Clergy Executive Compensation”

Stoycheva, Rayna L.

Visiting Professor

University of Miami

 “Sustainable Governance and Management of Defined Benefit Plans in the Public Sector: Lessons From the Turbulent Decade of 2000-2009”



Fortner, C. Kevin

Assistant Professor

Georgia State University, College of Education

“Within Classroom Peer Effects and Tracking: Assessing the Impact of Classroom Peer Variation and Ability Tracking with Disaggregated High School Data”

Gomez, Juan L.

Asia Development Bank

“Essays on Optimal Jurisdictional Size for Local Service Delivery”




Chikoto, Grace

Assistant Professor

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

“Government Funding and INGO Autonomy: From Resource Dependence and Tool Choice Perspectives”

DeGroff, Amy

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“New Public Management and Governance Collide: Federal-Level Performance Measurement in Networked Public Management Networks”


Jung, Taehyun


Lund University (Sweden)

“Uses and Non-uses of Patented Inventions”


Oh, Seong See

California State University, Stanislaus County

“The Impact of Performance Ratings on Federal Personnel Decisions”


Saavedra, Pablo

World Bank (Ukraine)

“A Study of the Impact of Decentralization on Access to Service Delivery”


Sadiq, Abdul-Akeem
Assistant Professor
School of Public and Environmental Affairs Indianapolis “Mitigating and Preparing for Disasters: A Survey of Memphis Organizations”



Andam, Kwaw S.

International Food Policy Research Institute

“Essays on the Evaluation of Land Use Policy: The Effects of Regulatory Protection on Land Use and Social Welfare”



Navarro, Ignacio
Assistant Professor
California State University–Monterey Bay “Housing Tenure, Property Rights, and Urban Development in Developing Countries”

Oliver, Monica L.

Behavioral Scientist/ Evaluator

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Evaluation of Emergency Response: Humanitarian Aid Agencies and Evaluation Influence”

Ordóñez-Matamoros, Gonzalo
Assistant Professor
University of Twente, Netherlands “International Research Collaboration, Research Team Performance, and Scientific and Technological Capabilities in Colombia: A Bottom-Up Perspective” 

Slade, Catherine P.

Department of Public Administration and Policy

University of Georgia

“Does Patient-Centered Care affect Racial Disparities in Health?”

Tanyildiz, Zeynep E.

Public Management and Policy

Georgia State University

“The Effects of Networks on Institution Selection by Foreign Doctoral Students in the U.S.”

Wenbin, Xiao
IT Evaluator, CEO
Software Park Venture Capital“Determinants of New Technology-Based Firms’ Performance in Catch-Up Regions: Evidence from the U.S. Biopharmaceutical and IT Service Industries”

Zhang, Lei

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“Uncompensated Care Provision and the Economic Behavior of Hospitals: the Influence of the Regulatory Environment”





Ashley, Shena R.


“Overcoming the “Do-Gooder Fallacy”: Explaining the Adoption of Effectiveness Best Practices in Philanthropic Foundations”

Curry, Cheryl J.

“Predicting the Effects of Extrinsic and Intrinsic Job Factors on Overall Job Satisfaction for Generation X and Baby Boomers in a Regional Healthcare Organization”




Ertas, Nevbahar
Assistant Professor
University of Alabama “Public School Responses to Charter School Presence”
Guo, Hai
Assistant ProfessorFlorida International University

“Setting Discretionary Fiscal Policy within the Limits of Budgetary Institutions: Evidence from American State Governments”

Kim, Jungbu
Fiscal Research CenterGeorgia State University

“Do Different Expenditure Mechanisms Invite Different Influences? Evidence from Research Expenditures of the National Institutes of Health”



Hu, Zhenhua


“Two Essays on Corporate Income Taxes and Organizational Forms in the United States”

MatthewsJohnWPThumb1Matthews, John W.

Fiscal Research Center

Georgia State University


“The Effect of Proximity to Commercial Uses on Residential Prices”

Park, Hyun Jung

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn, Germany


“A Study to Develop Strategies for Proactive Water-Loss Management”



Brice, Kathryn T.

Director, Community Economic Development Institute

Georgia Tech

“The Effect of Linkages on Science and Technology at Historically Black Colleges and Universities”



Gordon, Craig S.

Department of Homeland Security

Horne, Christopher 
Associate Professor
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga “Toward an Understanding of the Revenue of Nonprofit Organizations”



Hutchinson, Angela B.

Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Oneill, Kathryn S.

Senior Human Resources Director

Rock Tennessee

Rein, David
Principal Research Scientist
NORC at the University of Chicago


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