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Enhance competencies in public sector organizational design, leadership, and program evaluation that create public value and new theories in public administration. Advance skills in the use of resources; application of analysis, policy, and politics to societal issues; interaction with stakeholders in policy and regulations; and exemplary ethical practices. This program is designed for professionals who want to pursue leadership or faculty positions in the fields of public administration, public affairs, and political science.

Outcome goals and graduates' proficiency levels

Each doctoral program and specialization is designed around expected learning outcomes (see Expected Program Outcomes below). End of program performance is determined during the comprehensive exam and dissertation process. Because the work is unique to each learner's dissertation or research topic and the criteria for evaluation are aligned to that work, we do not collect data on proficiency levels for doctoral programs.

Quality and Professional Relevance

  • The DPA program was designed around national public administration curriculum standards.
  • Students will learn from faculty experts that bring both academic and professional experience into the courseroom from public administration and across the public service segments.

Expected Program Outcomes

  1. Evaluate current theories and practices in the public administration field.
  2. Conduct valid, reliable and ethical public administration research.
  3. Create public value through public administration policies, administrative processes, and leadership.
  4. Integrate citizen involvement and community advocacy in public sector decision-making.
  5. Evaluate and apply professional ethics and integrity.
  6. Create equitable solutions for diverse populations in the global community.
  7. Think critically and communicate effectively across the public administration discipline.

Doctoral Public Service Leadership Degree Program Graduates

Data from graduates across all Public Service Leadership doctoral programs have been combined for these Career Outcomes results.

The graphs below show some key findings from Capella's Alumni Outcomes Survey. We use this information to help improve our courses, programs and services and to give you an idea of how alumni are using their degrees.

Career Preparation
All Public Service Leadership Doctoral Graduates

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Career Preparation
All Public Service Leadership Doctoral Graduates

The skills and knowledge have been immediately applicable to my career: 78%

My degree has positioned me to achieve my professional ambitions: 78%

Capella's competency based curriculum has prepared me for the needs of my profession: 67%

Percentage of respondents who answered "strongly agree" or "agree"
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2017 - Q1 2018.

Career & Professional Accomplishments
All Public Service Leadership Doctoral Graduates

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Career and Professional Accomplishments
All Public Service Leadership Doctoral Graduates

  Made a significant contribution to my profession: 54%

  Successfully changed jobs and-or-careers: 54%

  Assumed leadership responsibilities: 54%

  Received a salary increase: 54%

  Received a promotion: 46%

Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography, and degree field, affect career outcomes, and Capella does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, or other career growth.

Percentage of respondents who indicated they had accomplished each item.

Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2017 – Q1 2018.

Doctoral Public Service Leadership Degree Program Graduates

Data from graduates across all Public Service Leadership doctoral programs have been combined for these Student Experience results.

The graphs below show some key findings from Capella's Alumni Outcomes Survey. We use this information to help improve our courses, programs and services and to give you an idea of how alumni feel about Capella and what general skills and abilities they gained.

Satisfaction With Capella
All Public Service Leadership Doctoral Graduates

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Satisfaction with Capella
All Public Service Leadership Doctoral Graduates

I have or intend to recommend Capella: 67%

I am satisfied with my Capella education: 89%

Capella gave me the most efficient direct path to completing my degree: 75%

Percentage of respondents who answered affirmatively.
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2017 – Q1 2018.

Our doctoral graduates report they have gained practical knowledge and expertise which are applicable in a range of professional settings.

Skills & Abilities
All Public Service Leadership Doctoral Graduates

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Skills & Abilities
All Public Service Leadership Doctoral Graduates

Write clearly, accurately, and professionally; use sources appropriately : 100%

Communicate thoughts and ideas in varied settings : 100%

Show ethical conduct reflecting values and beliefs of discipline : 100%

Show knowledge of field; respect contributions of other fields : 100%

Analyze theoretical issues or investigate real-world phenomena, create knowledge : 100%

Locate, evaluate and communicate information; address legal, professional, other issues : 100%

Critically examine, analyze, and evaluate thinking using intellectual standards and creativity : 100%

Critically evaluate, select, and use discipline-appropriate technology : 100%

Show appreciation for group and individual differences : 100%

Demonstrate effective leadership in diverse environments : 100%

Apply the specialized knowledge associated with professional practice area : 100%

Percentage of respondents who rated themselves as "proficient" or "exceptional" on ability to demonstrate the skill or ability on the job.
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2017 – Q2 2018.

Expense, completion, & career information (Gainful Employment)

Capella believes in being clear about the real cost, time, and value of a Capella degree The Gainful Employment disclosures, required by the US Department of Education (ED) (under 34 CFR 688.6), provide some information about completion, expenses, and occupations. Most of our students are part-time so they might not take a full course load or attend all 4 quarters each year. We took that into account in calculating these data. For example, we define program length for certificates and master's and doctoral degrees as the number of calendar quarters it takes a typical student to complete a program. The ED has defined time to complete for a bachelor's degree as 4 years. Program cost is based on the specific pricing structure for each program which is either a cost per credit or a cost per active quarter.

Other related information may be found on the Learning Outcomes, Career Outcomes, and Student Experience tabs on this page.

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See Gainful Employment data for this program's specializations

Earn Your Doctoral Degree

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Become an expert in your field. Enroll in an online PhD, PsyD, or EdD program at Capella.

"Another aspect that was very important was the partnership Capella has with the Federal Bureau of Investigation— it lent credibility to the program."

Laura Pettler, PhD

2011 Graduate

School of Public Service Leadership

Specialization in Criminal Justice