Feb 28, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Doctor of Public Policy

Plan Description

This degree is a professional doctorate. It is designed for individuals interested in developing skills in policymaking and policy implementation at all levels of government. Completion of this degree will prepare students to conduct policy analysis, advocate for public policies and community-based solutions, or serve in decision-making positions. Its focus is to integrate what is known about the policy process into a set of skills and abilities so individuals can be competent actors in the policy arena. Course delivery is very structured with courses offered in a very specific sequence on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays over six semesters.

For more information about your program, including your graduate program handbook and learning outcomes, please visit the Degree Directory.

Plan Admission Requirements

Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

All applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements. 

Students may only begin the program in Fall. Only DPP courses taken in sequence at UNLV will be considered for transfer credit.

  1. Students must have at least a Masters degree.
  2. Students must submit three letters of reference
  3. Students must submit a resume and should have at least five years of professional work related experience
  4. An essay explaining student’s interest in the degree and how they believe the degree will aid in their professional development.  In addition, the letter must articulate a policy area that the student has a substantive interest in studying.  The letter must accompany the application.  (An interview will be required before a final admissions decision is made).
  5. At least one graduate level research and/or statistics course (if the student has not had a course in either of these two area, they may be eligible to remedy these deficiencies through a conditional admission).
  6. Interview.
  7. No transfer credits will be accepted.

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Plan Requirements

Total Credits Required: 51

Course Requirements

Degree Requirements

Students will complete a 12 credit policy proposal project. The final product will be a paper and presentation that will be evaluated as outlined below:

  1. The project will be completed in phases completed in 12 credits of coursework (see degree requirements above). Each phase requires a written paper that demonstrates competency in a specific objective. For example, the first phase requires a student to identify a problem and to frame the issue using both a narrative and data. Faculty will evaluate each phase and use the evaluations as an assessment tool. 
  2. In the last semester, students will travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with policy experts and members of Congress (staff) to present their policy analysis proposal.  Those presentations will be evaluated by a committee of both faculty and policy experts in Washington, D.C. with the presentations serving as a major means of assessing learning outcomes.

Plan Graduation Requirements

Students may apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing their degree requirements. All required forms must be submitted to the graduate college via the Grad Rebel Gateway.