PhD in Public Affairs

PhD Contact: Dr. Irma Arteaga
(573) 882-2718

About the PhD Program in Public Affairs

The Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri offers an interdisciplinary PhD in Public Affairs that prepares graduates for careers in universities, colleges and applied research settings in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Students complete core sequences in public policy and management as well as research methods, and specializations tailored to students’ research interests.

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Acceptance Criteria

In making its decision, the PhD committee considers:

  • The applicant’s record of academic achievement (Applicants typically have undergraduate GPAs higher than 3.0, and graduate GPAs higher than 3.5.)
  • The quality of the written statement explaining why the applicant wants to pursue the degree
  • The quality of the applicant’s writing sample
  • Evaluations contained in letters of recommendation
  • Acceptable performance on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Applicants typically have combined scores of 310 or higher
  • Results of a personal interview with the applicant in person or by telephone
  • Other factors bearing upon the candidate's potential for success

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Application Procedure

  1. Applications for the PhD program are accepted for fall entrance only. For a prospective student’s application to be complete, the Truman School must receive all required materials by January 4.
  2. Applicants are required to upload application materials to the MU Graduate School Application for Admission.
  3. Official transcripts must be mailed to the Graduate School and GRE/TOEFL scores directed to institution code 6875, department code 2204.

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Required Application Materials

A student’s application is complete when all of the following materials have been received. The Truman School’s downloadable checklist contains more information on the following required application materials:

  • University of Missouri Office of Graduate Studies application (application fee required)
  • Statement of interest
  • Curriculum vitae/Résumé
  • Writing sample
  • Personal data sheet
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Unofficial undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score report (must be sent by ETS)
  • Official TOEFL score report (must be sent by ETS; required of applicants whose native language is not English)

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Entrance Exams

  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required of all applicants.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must achieve a score of 625 (107 iBT) in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • Use the following codes to submit test scores to the Truman School:
    • University of Missouri-Columbia Institution Code: 6875
    • Truman School Department Code: 2204

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Cost of Attendance and Financial Aid

Prospective students should visit the Office of Graduate Studies' financial information and support web page for current information about tuition and fees. The University’s Office of Student Financial Aid provides information about other types of aid students can obtain, including federally financed student loans. 

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