Description of Program
The Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) program is a 54-credit program designed for mid and senior managers to enhance their knowledge and build competencies appropriate to a leadership role in public administration. This curriculum offers a solid grounding in applied research with a wide range of public management and policy topics. The degree program is intended to engage students in their application of theoretical knowledge to advance the practice of public administration. Students will review literature and apply research methods for practical application. The curriculum lays the foundation for students to evaluate theories and practice models in the field as well as contribute to the current body of public administration knowledge.
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- Evaluate current problems and ethical issues in public organizations
- Formulate domestic and global solutions to public service and policy issues
- Create practical strategies for public organizations from evidence-based research
- Contribute to the applied literature within the field of public administration
Basis for Admissions
Admission to the Doctor of Public Administration program requires a conferred master’s degree and/or doctoral degree from a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution.
The University may accept a maximum of 12 semester credit hours in transfer toward the doctoral degree for graduate coursework completed at an accredited college or university with a grade of “B” or better.
The DPA degree programs have the following graduation requirements:
- A minimum of 48 credit hours of graduate instruction must be completed through NCU
- Grade Point Average of 3.0 (letter grade of “B”) or higher
- Satisfactory completion of the DPA Pre-Candidacy Prospectus
- University Approval of Dissertation Manuscript and Oral Defense completed
- Submission of the approved final dissertation manuscript to the University Registrar, including the original unbound dissertation manuscript and an electronic copy
- Official documents on file for basis of admission: a conferred master’s degree from an accredited academic institution
- Official transcripts on file for all transfer credit hours accepted by the University
- All financial obligations must be met before the student will be issued their complimentary diploma and/or degree posted transcript
Dissertation Completion Pathway
The NCU mission is dedicated to assisting students in achieving their academic aspirations and helping them become valuable contributors to their community and profession. To support our mission, NCU now offers a dissertation completion pathway for students who have successfully completed their doctoral coursework and achieved doctoral candidacy at a previous institution but were unable to complete their dissertation. NCU’s Dissertation Completion Pathway (DCP) offers a unique opportunity for students to complete their doctorate in one of the doctoral programs offered at NCU (excluding the PhD in MFT, DMFT, DNP, and DHA). Students successfully meeting the entrance and application requirements will complete a minimum of 23 credit hours to earn their doctorate.
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Dissertation Completion Pathway
Time to Completion
NCU allows 7 years to complete all doctoral programs of 60 credits or less.
The median time to completion for this program is 45 months.
Time to completion varies depending upon the pace in which a student completes courses and the number of transfer credits accepted. As most NCU students are working adults, balancing educational, professional, and personal commitments, our academic and finance advisors will work with you to develop a program schedule that works best for your needs.
Students following the preferred schedule designed by the Dean for this program, and applying no transfer credits, can expect to finish in as little as 41 months.
Faculty assists each NCU Doctoral student to reach this high goal through a systematic process leading to a high-quality completed dissertation. This process requires care in choosing a topic, documenting its importance, planning the methodology, and conducting the research. These activities lead smoothly into the writing and oral presentation of the dissertation.
A doctoral candidate must be continuously enrolled throughout the series of dissertation courses. Dissertation courses are automatically scheduled and accepted without a break in scheduling to ensure that students remain in continuous enrollment throughout the dissertation course sequence. If additional time is required to complete any of the dissertation courses, students must re-enroll and pay the tuition for that course. Continuous enrollment will only be permitted when students demonstrate progress toward completing dissertation requirements. The Dissertation Committee determines progress.
This program can be completed with a minimum of 54 credit hours, but may require additional credit hours, depending on the time required to complete the dissertation research. If needed, additional courses will be added to the student degree program in alignment with the SAP and Academic Maximum Time to Completion policies. Students who do not complete their program in accordance with these policies may be dismissed.