Doctoral Program

Students must demonstrate familiarity with three fields of study by passing a separate Comprehensive Exam for each field. The three fields must include:

  • Research Methods
  • A core doctoral field (Finance, Policy or Management)
  • 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: Health, Urban Policy or International Development
    3. Develop a customized field (subject to approval by the Wagner School Doctoral Board)

Fields of concentration 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. Further, fields are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they tend to overlap, even though each field represents a distinctive set of intellectual concerns expressed in theories, topics, approaches and research emphases.

Please see the links for thorough descriptions of each established field. The customized field option is available under special circumstances and upon consultation with the student's advisor. Click here if you are potentially interested in creating a customized field.