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School of Public ServicePh.D. Admission

Ph.D. in Public Administration Program


Applications to the program are accepted throughout the year for Fall admissions. However, all application materials must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions by March 1st. The decision to admit an applicant to the PAAP program is based on a balanced review of the application package submitted by the prospective student.

Application Materials

Please visit the Office of Graduate Admissions for all application materials. To be considered for admission to the Ph.D. in Public Administration program, applicants must submit the following:

2 Letters of Recommendation

Two (2) letters of recommendation from academic sources (e.g., professors from previous degree work). If it is not possible to secure two academic references, please contact the GPD for advice on acceptable substitutes.

Written Statement of Goals

A three- to six-page double-spaced written statement of academic and professional goals. The focus of the essay should be on how the Ph.D. degree in Public Administration and Policy will assist the applicant in advancing his/her professional development, and why the applicant wishes to pursue these goals at Old Dominion University and in the School of Public Service.

Professional Resumé

A copy of your professional resume or CV.


Transcripts from a regionally-accredited institution or a comparable foreign institution showing completion of a master's degree by the time of enrollment with a minimum GPA of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale.

GRE or GRE Waiver

Aptitude scores on the GRE, or in cases of substitution, the GMAT, taken within five years prior to applying for admission. Scores at the 25th percentile or higher for quantitative and verbal components of the GRE or GMAT are required. Scores from the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) are not accepted or considered for admission.

GRE Waiver option:
To waive the requirement for the School of Public Service Ph.D. Admissions Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) requirement, applicants must have at least a grade of B or higher in a graduate level statistics or research methods course OR a 3.5 or above GPA in a regionally accredited master's degree program

TOEFL or IELTS score* (*for students whose native language is not English)

For students whose native language is not English, a minimum score of 79 on the TOEFL, or 6.5 on the IELTS is required. There are no conditional admissions to waive this requirement.

  Financial Assistance

All application materials must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions by March 1st for applicants seeking funding.

We currently offer three types of financial assistance: Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA), Graduate Research Fellowships (GRF), and Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA). Each type of assistance carries a stipend and in-state tuition waiver.

GRA positions require a twenty hour per week work assignment in the department; assignments are made by the Graduate Program Director and Department Chair; GRA funding is available for a maximum of four years (eight semesters). GRF positions do not carry a work requirement, require the recipient to carry a full class load (nine semester hours), and are available for a maximum of one year (two semesters). GTAs must successfully complete the Graduate Teaching Assistant Instructor Institute (GTAI Institute).

The various types of assistance are highly competitive, and are subject to the availability of funds. Please note that funding is intended to support full-time students, and cannot be combined with full-time outside employment or assistantships from other units within the university. Assistance is typically awarded for an academic year (August through May); summer funding is very limited.

Other forms of financial assistance may be available through the university's Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid.

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Graduate Admissions

At ODU, graduate students engage in small classes with dedicated faculty who are professionals in their fields. Each of our graduate programs offer challenging courses as well as excellent research opportunities.


International Admissions

Adjacent to Norfolk's urban center, ODU is a state assisted, regionally accredited doctoral research institution, enrolling an international student and scholar population of over 1,100.

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