PhD Program Description

Dr. Irma Arteaga


      The Truman School offers small classes, close relationships with faculty mentors, and opportunities to participate in ongoing research. Students gain a rich academic experience on the path to successful and fulfilling careers in public affairs.  By the time our students graduate, they are fully engaged experts in their subfield with broad perspectives.

                                                                                                                      Dr. Irma Arteaga

Interdisciplinary Education

The Truman School is deeply interdisciplinary. The diverse academic training of our faculty gives students an opportunity to explore many theoretical and methodological perspectives and multiple ways of thinking about social science research.

Outstanding Faculty

Doctoral students take classes and conduct research with faculty from a variety of disciplines in the Truman School and throughout the University of Missouri. Close work with faculty through research assistantships and the dissertation process encourages students to apply varying perspectives to real-world problems and to develop novel ways of addressing issues in public policy and public administration.

Cutting-Edge Scholarship

Are you interested in how public policies are implemented and in understanding the relationships between the bureaucracy and other political institutions? Dr. Lael Keiser is an expert on political institutions, representative bureaucracy, and their intersection with social welfare and education policy.

Or will you forge a path in child policy? Dr. Irma Arteaga is an expert on program evaluation of early childhood interventions in both national and international contexts. Dr. Arteaga conducts evaluations of social programs designed to reduce poverty, child malnutrition, and gender and ethnic gaps in food insecurity, health, and achievement; she has advised the governments of Guatemala and Panama on health programs aimed to reduce maternal and infant mortality for the rural and indigenous population.

Or is immigration policy where you will create change?  Dr. Stephanie Potochnick is an expert on immigration policy. Her research examines the social demography of immigration and how programs and policies can promote the education and health of immigrant youth. She has developed an interdisciplinary perceptive that examines how social, political, and economic constraints influence immigrant assimilation and shape the context of migrant reception.

These are just a few areas of expertise that Truman School faculty represent.  You can explore the research areas of other faculty members by accessing their individual pages from the doctoral advisor page. 


The Truman School funds doctoral students through a mix of research and teaching assistantships, grants, fellowships, and scholarships.

Doctoral students in qualifying appointments earn a stipend of $18,000 for nine months, along with tuition remission and health insurance coverage. This funding ensures that students develop strong and lasting relationships with faculty and peers and receive the support they need to make substantive contributions to the field of public affairs.

The Truman School also gives generous travel funds for graduate students to attend national and international conferences and awards funds for dissertation expenses.

Program Options

Most of our students enroll in the program full time, but a part-time option also exists for students employed full time.

    Graduate Success

    We prepare the next generation of scholars. Our interdisciplinary Ph.D. prepares graduates for careers in teaching, research and applied research settings in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.


    Recently, our doctoral students have presented at the following national conferences:

    • Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
    • Association for Education Finance and Policy
    • Population Association of America
    • Midwest Political Science Association
    • International Comparative Rural Policy Studies


    Graduates and current students have published in journals such as:

    • American Politics Research
    • American Journal of Education
    • Entrepreneurship Research Journal
    • Evaluation and Program Planning
    • Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition
    • State and Local Government Review

    Recent Placements

    Ashley Price, PhD

    Ashley Price, PhD

    Research Associate

    Duke Center for Research on Personalized Health Care

    Raleigh-Durham, NC

    Awarded 2018 APPAM 40 for 40 Fellowship

    Leslie Hodges, PhD

    Leslie Hodges, PhD

    Post Doc Research Associate

    Institute for Research on Poverty, Univ. of Wisconsin

    Madison, WI

    Sarah Parsons, PhD

    Sarah Parsons, PhD

    Director of Institutional Research

    Westminster College

    Fulton, MO