• Program Details

    The Doctorate of Public Administration (DPA) is a cohort program that starts every other fall term. A cohort is a group of students who start the program together. This program is available at the Hamline University Saint Paul Campus. The Hamline University Doctorate of Public Administration (DPA) is ideal for professionals who wish to build on the knowledge and experience they have already attained, who are anticipating their next career step, or who want to pursue the highest qualification in their profession.

    The Hamline University Doctorate of Public Administration (DPA) is a part-time program designed for working professionals interested in the in-depth analysis of state and local public policy issues. The program integrates theory and practice, service and values to foster students’ critical thinking skills and scholarship. Students completing the Hamline University Doctorate of Public Administration (DPA) program should expect to achieve:

    • Advanced public leadership skills and knowledge, with a focus on critical issues and challenges facing senior managers in governance and politics
    • Mastery of the field of public administration, due to an in-depth exploration of contemporary ideas and practices related to public administration
    • A substantial ability to work with, synthesize, and integrate public administration concepts
    • Enhanced skills as producers and consumers of public administration research, applying this advanced knowledge to the field and to the workplace
    • An improved ability to communicate public administration concepts to diverse audiences
    • Enrichment through interaction with other reflective public administration practitioners

    NOTE: Hamline recognizes that many professionals interested in public administration may have received master’s degrees or extensive graduate-level education in fields other than public administration. To accommodate these students, the Hamline University School of Business offers options to prepare academically prior to entering the program.

    Degree Requirements

    Core Courses (24 credits)

    • DPA 8501 - Historical Foundations and Professional Development
    • DPA 8502 - Research Methods
    • DPA 8503 - Critical Issues for Public Administrators
    • DPA 8504 - Advanced Organizational Theory and Leadership
    • DPA 8506 - Advanced Seminar in Public Policy
    • DPA 8507 - Dissertation I: Advanced Research Methods

    Elective Courses (16 credits)

    Choose from any School of Business course level 8500 or above.

    Comprehensive Exam

    After Completion of core and elective coursework, students must complete and pass the written comprehensive exam before defending a dissertation proposal.

    Doctoral Dissertation (8 credits)

    The completion and defense of a dissertation is the final requirement in the doctorate of public administration (DPA) program. The DPA candidate must demonstrate a high level of academic competence, which typically results in a significant contribution of new knowledge in the field. The DPA dissertation usually focuses on applying theory to practice in the contexts of critical public issues and the student’s professional experience. To advance to degree candidacy, the DPA student is required to complete the Dissertation I course then register for dissertation work (Dissertation II through Dissertation V) for four consecutive semesters. Students must successfully defend the first three chapters (dissertation proposal) after Dissertation III before advancing to candidacy and registering for Dissertation IV and V.

    • DPA 8992 - Dissertation II
    • DPA 8993 - Dissertation III
    • DPA 8994 - Dissertation IV
    • DPA 8995 - Dissertation V

    Time Limit

    New students enter in the fall semester, and normally complete most or all of their core courses together. (Exceptions can be arranged with the approval of a student’s advisor and the program director.) Satisfactory/steady progress is typically completion of one course per term, two or three terms per year. Normally students complete all required core courses within the first three years of study.

    Note: Seven years is the maximum time allowed for students to finish their core coursework in the doctorate of public administration (DPA program). Ten years is the maximum time allowed for students to complete the doctorate of public administration including the dissertation (DPA) program.


    These requirements are consistent with other doctoral program requirements (as per the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs Administration Committee on Doctoral Programs, 1993).

  • Learn More

    Contact a Graduate Admission counselor and request information to learn more about pursuing a Doctorate of Public Administration.

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