Fields of Study: Overview

Students choose two fields of study and must pass a Comprehensive Exam for each field at the end of the second year of study.

  • A core doctoral field (Management, Public Finance and Financial Management, or Public Policy)
  • Another established field or a customized field. For this field students have three options:  
    1. Choose another core field
    2. Choose one of the existing specialty fields: Education Policy, Health Policy, International Development or Urban Policy
    3. Develop a customized field (upon consultation with the student's advisor and subject to approval by the Doctoral Board)

Fields of study are defined by a coherent body of knowledge: concepts and theories, research, and professional literature. A field is more than just a cluster of courses; however, coursework does contribute to identifying theoretical and substantive bases of a field. Fields are not mutually exclusive even though each represents a distinctive set of intellectual concerns expressed in theories, topics, approaches and research emphases.