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PhD Management and Public Service

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Take your public administration leadership to the next level

The challenges faced by leaders often require cross-sector collaboration with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to work together to build solutions.

Hamline’s PhD in Management and Public Service is designed specifically for leaders looking to build their skills, gain new knowledge, and take the practical next step to meet the leadership needs of this century.

The coursework will enable you to:

  • Engage in a powerful exchange of ideas with a community of your peers
  • Expand your professional network across public, private, and nonprofit sectors
  • Learn how to lead more effectively, and increase your ability to forge partnerships across sectors

What will it take?

Cost per Credit
Time to Complete
Next Session Starts
August 25, 2025

PhD in Management and Public Service program details

Important Dates
Time to Complete
Application Requirements

Start dates and deadlines

Hamline's PhD in Management and Public Service program is a cohort program that starts every two years during the fall semester. Applications are reviewed after the application deadline. 

Deadline to apply: April 1, 2025

How to Apply

Fall 2025 term starts

PhD in Management and Public Service program format

Hamline's PhD in Management and Public Service courses are offered on-campus, with classes meeting once a week from 6 to 9 p.m.

Time to complete your PhD in Management and Public Service

The typical time to complete the PhD program is 4-5 years. You’ll complete your coursework in three years and then take an additional one to two years to complete your dissertation.

PhD in Management and Public Service courses

Core coursework

Year one (three courses)

  • Fall: Theory and Practice of Organizational Leadership (4 credits)
  • Spring: Research Methods I (4 credits)
  • Summer: Elective course (4 credits)

Year two (three courses)

  • Fall: Research Methods II (4 credits)
  • Spring: Public Policy and Advocacy (4 credits)
  • Summer: Elective course (4 credits)

Year three (three courses)

  • Fall: Research Methods III (4 credits)
  • Spring: Critical Issues in Change Leadership (4 credits)
  • Summer: Elective course (4 credits)

Dissertation and Comprehensive Exam

  • Comprehensive Exam: Must be passed before moving on to Dissertation II, but is usually taken in the summer of year three before Dissertation I
  • Dissertation I: Advanced Research Methods (4 credits)
  • Comprehensive Exam

After you have completed Dissertation I and your comprehensive exam, you will be guided through writing your dissertation in Dissertation II and III, which includes meetings with your chair and peers for feedback.

  • Dissertation II (4 credits)
  • Dissertation III (4 credits)
  • Final Defense

PhD in Management and Public Service course descriptions

How to apply to the PhD program

To apply to the PhD in Management and Public Service program, you must complete the following:

  • Online application (no fee)
  • Professional resume or curriculum vitae
  • A three- to five-page personal statement that answers the following questions:
    • What are some of the leadership or sector challenges that you have been grappling with or feel will be an increasing trend moving forward?
    • What role(s) do—or might—the public, private, and nonprofit sectors play in addressing these challenges?
    • How do you think the PhD in Management and Public Service will enhance your ability to deal with the issue(s) you discussed above as well as help you build your leadership skills and network?
  • Official transcript of master’s degree or transcript showing 36 credits completed toward a master's degree program with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA.
  • Official transcript of bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university.
    • This should be sent directly from the institution to Graduate Admission or provided in a sealed, signed envelope. Official electronic transcripts should be emailed from the institution to
    • You do not have to supply transcripts for courses taken at Hamline University.
  • Three recommendation forms detailing your qualifications to pursue advanced study written by people unrelated to you who are familiar with your academic and/or professional history.

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Being in the program with students from different backgrounds gave me a unique broader perspective. Before, I was well-versed in connecting regionally with different agencies. This program has really allowed me to go beyond that at a state and national level.

Mitchell Berg PhD ‘19; clinical assistant professor, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University

How we help make your PhD in Management and Public Service affordable

Competitive tuition

When you invest in a PhD from Hamline, you benefit from a prestigious degree from Minnesota’s first university. We work hard to ensure our tuition, and other financial aid, make your degree a worthwhile investment.

PhD Tuition

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The salary of those with a PhD is 25% more than those with a master's degree.*

What can you do with a PhD in Management and Public Service?

Our graduates serve in many leadership roles in both the public and nonprofit sectors. Career paths of our alums include:

  • Police Chief
  • County Administrator
  • City Administrator
  • CEO and President, Nonprofit 
  • CFO, Nonprofit
  • Director of Grants Administration 

PhD in Management and Public Service news

ASPA 2024
April 22 2024 / Inside Hamline News

Four Present at ASPA Annual Meeting

Four students from the Doctorate in Management and Public Service Program (DMPS) presented their dissertation research at the American Society for...

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