Doctoral Programs (On-Campus)

Our PhD programs position students in the national center of influence and relevancy. Here in our nation’s capital, they dive into research that addresses today’s most pressing challenges and produce scholarship with real-world connection and immediate impact.

Our doctoral programs are full-time, cohort-based degrees that draw from the breadth and depth of resources across American University. This rigorous training is rooted in contemporary theory, principles, practices, and research methods in public administration and policy; government and politics; and justice, law, and criminology. Students come to American University for the chance to study firsthand with experts and work closely with prominent scholars whose cutting-edge research activities and professional roles play key roles in national and global issues.

We pride ourselves on growing the next generation of leading scholars. Indeed, we encourage students throughout the course of their graduate careers to present papers at major academic conferences, co-author papers with faculty members, publish in top journals, and seek prestigious awards. By the time our students complete the program, they have already produced methodologically sound, socially relevant research advancing knowledge and theory. They are prepared for university teaching and research or a career as an authority and leader within their respective fields.

Our graduates are competent in areas critical to success as academics and researchers. They are able to:

  • Identify, explain, and connect key theories and controversies to policy implications;
  • Critique extant scholarship independently, and point out, where relevant, weaknesses in theoretical frameworks, study designs, data analyses, and conclusions;
  • Synthesize scholarly literature to support an original argument;
  • Formulate sound research questions or hypotheses that address limitations of existing scholarship;
  • Design sound empirical studies to test specific research questions or hypotheses;
  • Analyze data and draw conclusions to answer research questions or hypotheses; and
  • Communicate in a clear and organized manner.
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More Information: On-Campus Doctoral Programs

PhD in Justice, Law & Criminology

PhD Justice, Law & Criminology

Prepare for university teaching and research, and a career as an authority and leader in these fields.

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PhD in Political Science

PhD Political Science

Dive deeply into the policy and politics of official Washington and produce meaningful research with profound impact.

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PhD in Public Administration

PhD Public Administration & Policy

Produce methodologically sound, socially relevant research that makes important contributions to knowledge and theory.

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