The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of MichiganThe Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan

Our curriculum

The Joint PhD Program in Public Policy is a collaborative effort between the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and the University of Michigan's departments of Economics, Political Science, and Sociology. Students become both full members of their disciplinary departments and active participants in an interdisciplinary public policy community.

Joint PhD program public policy requirements

Three important elements of the public policy component of the joint PhD program requirements include: the policy seminar, the research internship, and the third-year paper.

Policy seminar

First and second year joint students attend a biweekly seminar series offered for one credit (PUBPOL 810). This biweekly seminar is intended to introduce students to applied policy research early in their doctoral career. The seminar series consists of six to eight presentations per term of applied policy research papers. Both domestic and international policy issues are addressed. Students have the opportunity to serve as presenters or respondents in the seminar series in their third, fourth, and fifth year in the program.

Research internship

Joint students must complete a research internship by the end of their third year in the program. This requirement can be satisfied through a paid summer internship with a faculty member, through a research assistantship, or by collaborating on a paper with a faculty member. The internship, like the biweekly seminar, is designed to involve students in the research process early in the doctoral program.

Third-year paper

In order to help students make the transition from coursework to research, the joint program requires students to write a third year original research paper on a policy-related topic under the supervision of two faculty supervisors (PUBPOL 830).

Joint program discipline-specific requirements

Economics and Public Policy

Political Science and Public Policy

Sociology and Public Policy