Governance of the Doctoral Program

The governance of the Doctoral Program is delegated to the Doctoral Board, comprised of six tenured or tenure-track faculty members and chaired by the Director of the Doctoral Program. The Board ensures faculty representation in the effective management of the program. The Program Director works closely with the program’s Assistant Director and Graduate Assistant and with the Doctoral Board to ensure the smooth operation of the program.

The Doctoral Board establishes academic policy for doctoral studies and defines specific strategies to implement this policy in areas such as recruitment, admissions, advisement and curriculum development. Board members take primary responsibility for admitting each year’s incoming cohort of doctoral students. Along with the other Wagner faculty, they also advise students about doctoral field preparation, approve student proposals for special fields, guide dissertations, and prepare and grade the Preliminary Qualifying Examination (PQE) and Comprehensive Exams.

The Director of the Doctoral Program leads the effort to sustain the program and improve its quality. S/he works with the Board to ensure the effective design and implementation of policy in matters affecting the academic quality of the program as well as the educational experience of doctoral students.

The Director and Assistant Director are responsible for the daily operation of the program and are in close communication with doctoral students, facilitating their academic progress and troubleshooting when problems arise. Questions related to administrative concerns, such as how to sign up for courses outside Wagner or what form is required for a particular benchmark, are best directed to the Assistant Director. The Director and the student’s primary advisor handle questions related to academic concerns, such as course selection or what fields of study to choose.