Interdisciplinary, Flexible and Powerful

False knowledge can be more dangerous than ignorance, as sages have noted. But much of what we think we know about public policy, finance, and management is based on exactly that - making well-designed research in these areas critical.

Through theoretical and methodological training, Wagner's doctoral students learn how to produce insights required for effective and equitable public and nonprofit programs and policies. Our program is interdisciplinary just like our faculty, so students can draw on economics, political science, sociology, psychology, organization studies and other fields, and it is flexible, allowing students to design a plan of study that takes advantage of the many courses offered at Wagner and NYU's other graduate schools.

We encourage students to study the questions that drive them, while providing the guidance necessary to have the greatest impact. And we emphasize research and teaching experience. Students have many opportunities to participate in research projects with individual faculty or through our affiliated research centers, as well as opportunties to lead classes as teaching colleagues and instructors.


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Program Milestones

Critical milestones in the Doctoral Program include advanced coursework, a preliminary qualifying examination, three comprehensive field examinations (including one in research methods), participation in the NYU Wagner Research Colloquium, and a dissertation based on independent and original research defended before a faculty committee.


The program prepares graduates for careers at academic institutions, in think tanks, research firms, and research units of public, quasi-public and private organizations, as well as for other positions with substantial responsibilities for the supervision and administration of research.


Because the program has considerable flexibility in terms of course selection and preparation for the key milestones, faculty advisors play a pivotal role in the doctoral education process. For an overview of advisement relationships in the Doctoral Program, please visit the student advisement web page.

Recent Dissertation Abstracts