What's in a name? Comparing DPA and Ph.D. programs

Laurence J. O'Toole, Gene A. Brewer, Rex L. Facer II, James W. Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

7 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores two questions: What are the main similarities and differences between the current sets of DPA and Ph.D. programs? And how, if at all, do these types compare on one important measure of program quality--the research productivity of program participants and graduates? After comparing DPA and Ph.D. programs and the research productivity of their graduates, the authors conclude that there is very little difference in DPA and Ph.D. programs. Degree title is more informative about the type of students recruited than outputs, such as journal publications. While DPA programs tend to be aimed more at practitioner training, that does not translate into lower levels of scholarly productivity for those graduates. The most noteworthy finding is the overall low research productivity of public administration graduates. Finally, the article raises several critical questions about the scholarly output of public afíairs program graduates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-317
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of public affairs education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • METIS-100229
  • IR-1702


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