PhD Program Description


“The Truman School offers doctoral students the opportunity to collaborate with a multidisciplinary and diverse group of faculty and scholars in a vibrant intellectual community.”

        Dr. Laron K. Williams, PhD Program Director                                                                         

Dr. Laron K. Williams

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 education policy where you will create change?  Drs. Brian Kisida and Oded Gurantz are experts in education policy. Dr. Kisida’s research examines K-12 education policy and focuses on school integration, teacher diversity, art and civics education, school-community partnerships, and charter schools. Dr. Gurantz focuses on higher education policy and gaps in college enrollment and completion between students from historically underserved groups and their more privileged peers. Both researchers use cutting-edge research designs to examine the causal impact of programs and policies that intend to address educational disparities.

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

    Dr. Andrew Wesemann

    Andrew Wesemann, PhD

    Assistant Professor, Public Administration & Policy Analysis

    Southern Illinois University

    Edwardsville, Illinois

    Dr. Felix Ndashimye

    Jean Felix Ndashimye, PhD

    Post Doc Research

    Peabody College of Education, Vanderbilt

    Nashville, TN

    Dr. Sarah Parsons

    Sarah Parsons, PhD

    Director of Institutional Research

    Westminster College

    Fulton, MO