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SPPA ALUMNI IN ACTION
  • Alex Greer
    M.S. and B.A. '15 - Experience in quick response fieldwork, teaching emergency management.
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  • Andrew Haines
    MPA '03 – An accomplished local governmental leader and elected official.
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  • Chunjing Liu
    M.S. '14 – On the front lines of marine disaster mitigation through effective policy planning in China.
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  • Cimone Philpotts
    MPA '13 - Experience in assistantships and Legislative Fellows supports career growth assisting legislators.
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  • Gwen Angalet
    Ph.D. '00 - Ensuring programmatic and research opportunities for the promotion of children's health.
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  • Hira Rashid
    M.A. '15 – Fulbright scholar now in the Ph.D. program studying global health economics and urbanization.
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  • Hsien-Ho (Ray) Chang
    Ph.D. '15 - Utilizing his knowledge of disaster science to educate students on fire and emergency management.
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  • James B. Goetschius
    Ph.D. '14 - Serves in the U.S. Army improving health care facilities in the eastern United States.
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  • Jenna Bucsak
    B.A. and MPA '14 - Provides support for legislative and external affairs.
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  • John Carney
    MPA '86 – Newly elected Governor of the State of Delaware
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  • Kelsey Edmond
    M.S. '14 - OCL program prepared her for success in the MPA program in pursuit of an interdisciplinary career.
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  • Lindsey Interlante
    MPA '07 - Advocates for enriched, hands-on learning experiences at higher education institutions.
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  • Mark Rucci
    B.A. and MPA '15 – Continuing his public policy education internationally.
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  • Meredith Rubin
    B.A. '11 - Practicing leadership and collaboration in the financial services sector.
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  • Paige Gugerty
    B.A. '15 - Coordinating electronic connections bewteen healthcare providers and resources.
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  • Paul Ruiz
    B.A. and M.A. '13 - Advocating for alternative fuels and reducing America's depencdence on oil.
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  • Stephanie Ottino
    B.S. '11 - Executing leadership skills in higher education.
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  • Tom DeWire
    MPA '04 - Developing strategies for education systems to improve student achievement.
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  • Yuliya Brel
    M.A. '15 - Continuing her public policy education and assisting with research at the University of Delaware.
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  • Megan Wakelee
    B.S. '11 - Executing leadership in a corporate setting.
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  • Zack Adinoff
    M.S. '13 - Experience in coordinating public safety, logistics, planning, and general disaster continuity.
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  • Jissell Martinez
    MPA '10 - Manages fiscal affairs and serves as a liaison for the Dept of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
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  • Scott Beale
    MPA '07 - Successful nonprofit entrepreneur with experience in diplomacy and national politics.
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  • Matthew Garlipp
    B.A. '13 - Measuring perfomance and running analyses for a federal government agency.
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  • Merritt Burke IV
    MPA '98 - Various experiences in town management and community involvement.
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  • Ryan Burke
    Ph.D. '15 - Vast experience with military strategy and conducting military research.
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  • Allison Becker
    B.A. '13 and M.A. '15 - Experienced and published media policy researcher.
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  • Serita Porter
    M.A. '15 - Continuing her behavioral health education at the University of Delaware.
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  • Kirsten Jones
    M.A. '16 - Contributing to policies that strengthen transportation and trade in New York and New Jersey.e
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  • Elizabeth Burland
    M.A. '15 - Studying for a doctoral degree in Sociology and Public Policy at the University of Michigan.
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  • Elizabeth Lockman
    M.A. '15 - Education policy and equity in the urban landscape; improving advocacy efforts in Wilmington.
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  • Thomas Martin
    Ph.D. '14 - Directing the M.S. in Health Informatics program in the College of Public Health at Temple Univ.
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  • Angela Gladwell
    M.A. ’98 – Instrumental in environmental planning and federal emergency management decision making.
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  • Mark D. Stevens
    MPA '09 – Integral in the leadership and financial management of federal agencies.
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  • Courtney Mogavero
    B.S. '12 – Translating leadership education into a successful early career path in major tech corporations.
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  • Melanie Ross Levin
    B.A. and MPA '05 – Developing education and advocacy campaigns on public policy relating to women's issues.
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  • Dená Brummer
    MPA '05 – Successful private sector business partner drawing upon public sector experiences.
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  • Eric Johnson
    Ph.D. '03 – Revitalizing a community through the application of theory and practical experience.
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  • David Rudder
    Ph.D. '03 – Practicing effective leadership to academic programs that promote service to the community.
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  • Erin Kennedy
    MPA '06 – Drives health care organizations towards improving quality of patient care and clinical outcomes.
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  • Tom Friedman
    MPA '07 – Manages government relations, strategic & financial plan, and policy analysis for State Health Plan.
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  • Mike Morton
    MPA '86 – Oversees budgetary analysis and legislative information systems for the Delaware General Assembly.
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  • Jonathan Kirch
    MPA '07 – Advocating for public policy that promotes better health for all Americans.
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  • Albert Shields
    MPA '07 – Developing strategies to best communicate Governor Carney's positions on diverse policy issues.
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  • Kim Gomes
    MPA '04 – Strategically lobbying for client interests on a number of policy issues.
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  • Erika Farris
    M.A. '09 – Developing policies to better manage water drainage and promote environmental sustainability.
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  • Mike Fortner
    MPA '02 – Overseeing city planning for housing, land use, economic development, and transportation.
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  • Emily Gonce
    MPA '02 – Leading lobbying efforts to show members of Congress the value of life insurance to constituents.
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  • Bill Clark
    MPA '03 – Supervising a team of consultants to support projects for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
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  • Anastasia Kuzmina
    MPA '02 – Supporting two general managers with product and employee management in 14 countries.
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  • Barrett Edwards
    MPA '06 – Assisting municipalities with legal issues including planning, human resources, and finance.
    Read More
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Ph.D. in Urban Affairs & Public Policy: Plan of Study

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Year One: core curriculum and qualifying exam

​The Ph.D. Program Plan of Study form must be completed by the student in consultation with his or her academic advisor, approved by the advisor and the Ph.D. program director, and submitted to the SPPA academic administration office (184 Graham Hall) no later than the end of the second semester of study. This plan of study should be reviewed each semester and updated as necessary; each update must be re-approved and re-submitted to SPPA. Students should consult with the Ph.D. program director about possible course waivers or substitutions.

Required Courses

  • UAPP822 – Proseminar in Governance, Planning & Policy (3 credits)
  • UAPP830 – Proseminar in Public Management & Leadership (3 credits)
  • UAPP801 – Processes of Social Inquiry (3 credits)
  • UAPP861 – Academic & Professional Development for Doctoral Students (1 credit)

Research Design and Methods Requirements (6+ credits)

Upon admission, students are expected to have knowledge of statistics at the level of UAPP691 – Quantitative Analysis in Public & Nonprofit Sectors; those without such knowledge should enroll in UAPP691.

Unless granted a waiver for prior graduate work, all doctoral students should enroll in UAPP702 Research Methods in Urban & Public Policy and UAPP808 Qualitative Methods. In addition, students must take additional coursework in research methods as appropriate to their research plan and the advice of the student's academic advisor.

Qualifying Exam

The qualifying exam is administered after the first year of full-time study and the completion of the core curriculum.

Year Two: development and approval of doctoral dissertation proposal

The central requirement of the second year of doctoral study is the development and approval of the doctoral dissertation proposal. Students should enter the second year with a preliminary design based on the work completed in UAPP801 and additional refinements over the summer.

All students must register for UAPP863 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal in the fall semester of the second year. All doctoral students enrolled in UAPP863 will participate in a dissertation proposal workshop that will continue in the spring semester through enrollment in UAPP865 Doctoral Dissertation Workshop.  

The student’s prospective doctoral dissertation supervisor (who will become the chair of the doctoral dissertation committee) should be identified as early as possible in the second year of study. The doctoral dissertation supervisor must hold a faculty appointment in the School of Public Policy & Administration.

Coursework in support of the doctoral dissertation proposal

All coursework selected in the second year should be in support of the development of the doctoral dissertation proposal. Before the start of the third year of full-time study, students should formally defend their doctoral dissertation proposals for their full dissertation committees.

Entry into official candidacy for the Ph.D. degree occurs after the dissertation proposal has been successfully defended and approved. To accomplish this, student should obtain the Recommendation for Candidacy for Doctoral Degree form from the SPPA academic administration office (184 Graham Hall) prior to their defense, and then obtain the signatures of committee members on this form upon the successful defense of their proposal. The completed form must then be submitted to the SPPA academic administration office. Once the dissertation proposal is approved, final grades are submitted for UAPP863 and UAPP865.

The committee must be composed of at least four and no more than six members. The committee chair and at least one other member must hold faculty appointments in the School of Public Policy &Administration. In close consultation with the faculty member who will be the chairperson of the committee, the student then identifies the remaining members of the dissertation proposal committee. Each dissertation committee must have one individual from outside of SPPA: from another academic department of the university or from outside the university.

Year Three: dissertation research and and teaching experience

​Doctoral dissertation research

The defended proposal must be approved by the beginning of the fall semester of the third year in order for the student to enter doctoral candidacy and to register for the required 9 credits of doctoral dissertation research in the fall semester of the third year. After registering for these 9 credits, doctoral candidates may then enter sustaining status in the spring semester of the third year.

The focus of the third year is on carrying out the approved research design. The typical benchmark for the end of the third year is the completion of the conceptualization, data acquisition, and analysis approved in the dissertation proposal. At the end of the third year, this work should be completed. During the third year, portions of the dissertation manuscript (such as the problem statement, conceptualization, and literature review) should be drafted on a timetable agreed upon with the chair of the student’s dissertation committee. 

Teaching and research experience

Because students are typically engaged in their doctoral research, the third year of study is an appropriate time for doctoral students to fulfill the teaching and research requirements.

Year Four: dissertation completion

The fourth year of study should be devoted to completing the doctoral dissertation. Drafting the full dissertation manuscript is a formidable task and typically involves multiple revisions of chapters. Students should plan to submit a full draft of the manuscript to the dissertation committee chair for review by the end of the fall semester of the fourth year. The chair will advise the student on when the manuscript should be reviewed by other members of the committee, but in all cases, the members of the committee must have the opportunity to review and comment on a draft of the dissertation prior to the formal defense.

The formal defense should be scheduled by March of the fourth year of full-time study in order to enable the student to make any necessary revisions prior to submitting the final manuscript for graduation in May of the fourth year.

The defense of a doctoral dissertation is a formal public event. The chair of each committee and the doctoral student must coordinate with Linda Boyd on the scheduling and public announcement of the dissertation defense.

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Ph.D. in Urban Affairs & Public Policy program curriculum and plan of study in the School of Public Policy and Administration at University of Delaware.
PhD urban affairs curriculum, public policy doctorate curriculum
  • School of Public Policy & Administration
  • 184 Graham Hall
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-1687
  • sppa@udel.edu
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