Thank you for your interest in Public Policy at UNC Charlotte. We are an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program focusing on the development, implementation and evaluation of policy solutions to public problems. Public Policy offers students a strong program of scholarship and research in North Carolina’s urban research university. Our program stresses the acquisition of skills necessary to design and conduct policy-relevant research and allows students to develop individualized and innovative programs of study tailored to the policy field of their career interest. Students have the opportunity to work with Public Policy faculty and affiliates in three colleges and eight departments at UNC Charlotte who represent a wide range of research expertise.
Our program offers a strong core curriculum emphasizing research design, varieties of analytic techniques, economic analysis, evaluation research, policy ethics and an overall focus on policy development and implementation. Students completing their core curriculum may then focus their studies on a policy area of their choosing. Strengths of our faculty include economic policy, environmental/infrastructural policy, health policy, justice policy, social policy and urban and regional development policy, among others.
Another strength of our program is the diversity of the students and faculty. In the burgeoning science of team science, considerable research that interrogates the attributes of creative and innovative teams and research repeatedly demonstrates that “diversity” in teams promotes innovation and creativity. I think of our program as having many of the attributes of a research team that is focused on accomplishing our mission of being leaders in public policy scholarship, achieving excellence in education and advancing the design and conduct of public policy application and research. Thus, besides the normative commitment to being an inclusive and diverse program, that diversity is a core component of our excellence. Our students come from around the world, have diverse intellectual and disciplinary backgrounds, and vary in ethnicity, age, educational and work experience. Our faculty mirrors much of this diversity as well.
Ph.D. Graduates of Public Policy at UNC Charlotte advance in careers that contribute to society through the application of their training and the continuation of their scholarship. They are positioned to shape and inform policy in the local region and beyond. Career options include policy analysis, program evaluation, policy development, decision making and academic positions in the public, private and nonprofit sectors at the local, regional, state, national and international levels.