The mission of the Ph.D. in Public Affairs is to be the nexus between the academic community and the world of service and practice in the private, non-profit, and public sector.

The degree will prepare individuals to study issues facing society in the context of public, private, and non-profit organizations and institutions. The program is interdisciplinary and draws upon faculty from across the college.

The degree program is designed to prepare students to enter the academic world at the college or university level or to conduct research as an analyst within a public, private or nonprofit organization.


For information regarding accreditation at UNLV, please head over to Academic Program Accreditations.

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Apply theories from the social, political, and managerial sciences to explain government’s role in society.
  • Evaluate the literature from a topic relevant to public affairs and create a research question.
  • Identify and apply an appropriate research methods and data analysis to answer a research questions in public affairs.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of ethical principles in research.
  • Clearly communicate their knowledge in public affairs to different audiences such as other students, academicians, policymakers, and members of the general public.
  • Possess the skills to teach college courses.

Career Possibilities

The Ph.D. in Public Affairs program is designed to prepare students for several career options. First, students will be prepared for work in an academic career at the college or university level. Second, the degree provides students with the opportunity to work in a variety of organizations as a research analyst.


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Doctor of Philosophy - Public Affairs


School of Public Policy and Leadership

The School of Public Policy and Leadership employs an interdisciplinary approach to create knowledge and understanding to support effective policy and governance through collaborations of faculty, students, and the greater community. Our programs enable students to master the key principles of public management, research, and public policy so they can spark change, improvement, and resiliency in communities.


Greenspun College of Urban Affairs

The Greenspun College of Urban Affairs is committed to creating contemporary solutions for resilient communities. Our academic programs focus on making effective public policy, creating support structures to meet behavioral and mental health challenges, ensuring cities are safe and prepared to meet emergency situations, effective and ethical journalism, and interpersonal and public communication strategies.