Joint PhD program celebrates 20 years

December 13, 2021

Since 2001, nearly 100 students have earned a doctoral degree from the Ford School's pioneering joint PhD program. Students receive grounding in their discipline of choice from Michigan's top-ranked social science departments—economics, sociology, or political science—as well as training in the analytic tools and interdisciplinary approaches key to the field of public policy.

We're very proud of the impact our alumni are having in the world. They've gone to work improving communities and policies in top academic institutions, prestigious think tanks such as Mathematica and Brookings, and public sector organizations such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Reserve Bank.

"My sociological training wasn't sacrificed for policy training, but rather it was in conjunction with and on top of it. The Ford School allowed me to get the full disciplinary training of a sociology PhD with the added emphasis on public policy," says Kennedy Turner (PhD ‘19), director of graduate education and fellowships at the Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America.


To mark the 20th anniversary, we hosted a virtual event moderated by Center for Racial Justice director Celeste Watkins-Hayes. A panel of our PhD alums reflected on key issues, challenges, and solutions around racial justice.

Kaltura Video


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