The study of public affairs and community development takes place at the intersection of increasingly complex economic, political, legal, and social systems. Our rigorous interdisciplinary program, brings together scholarship and applied research from the fields of public policy, public administration, law, business, and the social sciences to prepare graduates to assume leadership positions in academia, the non-profit sector, and government.

Your coursework affords you the opportunity to work closely with first rate research faculty as you explore the economic, political, social and global dimensions of community development. Click here for a list of course descriptions.

You can also download the Ph.D. curriculum worksheet (PDF) and the current Ph.D./M.S. Handbook.

*Students may transfer up to 12 credits (4 courses) from another graduate program.

CORE CURRICULUM (8 courses/ 24 credits)

Introductory and Overview Courses (3 courses/ 9 credits)

  • 824:701 Theory and History of Community Development
  • 824:703 Logic of Social Inquiry
  • 824:710 Planning, Markets and Community Development

Methods Courses (4 courses/ 12 credits)    

  • 824:702 Quantitative Methods I      
  • 824:709 Quantitative Methods II
  • 824:714 Qualitative Methods
  • One Additional Methods Course Offered under the 824 Program

Research Design (1 course/ 3 credits)

  • 824:713 Research Design (Prerequisites – 701, 709, 714)

ELECTIVE COURSES (9 courses/ 27 credits)

The elective requirement includes nine graduate level courses relevant to community development and/or the student’s core research interests, only six of which may be taken in the Department of Public Policy and Administration. Related courses may be taken at the Rutgers-Camden School of Law or School of Business, or any department in the Rutgers-Camden Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (i.e., Childhood Studies, Social Work, Criminal Justice, Economics, etc.).

DISSERTATION (15 credits)

A dissertation committee consists of a minimum of three members, and the chair must be a tenured faculty member of the Department of Public Policy and Administration. One member of the committee may be from outside the university, either from another university, government agency, or non-profit organization.


*This limit includes ‘transient’ credits, which are those completed at Rutgers University schools other than the Camden Graduate, Business or Law School.  All transfer and transient credits should be related to the Ph.D. program coursework and must be approved by the Ph.D./M.S. Public Affairs Program Graduate Director and the Graduate School Dean’s office, and may not be transferred until the student has completed 12 hours of coursework.