UNC Public Policy offers the Ph.D. degree to students who aim to contribute new knowledge and address major domestic and global policy problems. The Ph.D. in public policy combines core foundations in theory, empirical and normative analysis and a policy field area. The curriculum is designed to help each doctoral student develop and use appropriate theoretical and analytical approaches to solve problems in policy areas such as education, innovation and entrepreneurship, labor markets, health and social policy, immigration, environment, national security, international development and global health and environment.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a distinguished tradition in public policy and is a charter member of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. Our Ph.D. program currently hosts approximately twenty-five students actively pursuing a Ph.D. with a variety of policy interests. Our graduate students work closely with faculty on policy-relevant research within our department and throughout the University and Research Triangle. Graduates from our program have gone on to employment at a variety of organizations. Click here for detailed information about all our graduates.

For detailed information on all our PhD graduates, please click here.


UNC Public Policy PhD graduates have earned fixed term and tenure track faculty positions at the following institutions:

  • Arizona State University
  • Brigham Young University
  • Brown University
  • Duke University
  • East Tennessee University
  • George Mason University
  • Indiana University- Bloomington
  • John Hopkins University
  • Leiden University (Netherlands)
  • National Cung Chong University (Taiwan)
  • National Open University (Taiwan)
  • National University of Singapore
  • North Carolina State University
  • Saint Augustine’s Unviersity
  • San Francisco State University
  • Soo Chow University (Taiwan)
  • Stony Brook University
  • Sungkykunkwon University (Korea)
  • Tung Hai University (Taiwan)
  • University of Alabama – Huntsville
  • University of Albany
  • University of California – Irvine
  • University of Colorado – Denver
  • University of Denver
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Missouri – Columbia
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of North Carolina – Asheville
  • University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
  • University of North Carolina – Greensboro
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Southern California
  • Vanderbilt University

    Graduates have also served in federal and state government or quasi-government organizations:

    • Maine Office of Innovation and Science
    • National Youth Commission Minister (Taiwan)
    • Pennsylvania State Education Association
    • United Nations
    • UNICEF
    • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • U.S. Department of Energy
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    • U.S. Government Accountability Office
    • U.S. Office of National Coordinator for Health IT
    • White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
    • World Bank


    Additionally, graduates have accepted positions at think tanks and policy research organizations:

    • Abt Associates
    • American Institutes for Research
    • Brookings Institution
    • CEB Global
    • Economic Policy Institute
    • Environmental Defense Fund
    • IMPAQ International
    • Innovative Policyworks
    • Merck
    • RAND
    • RTI
    • RxAnte
    • Scope International
    • Social and Scientific Systems, Inc.

    Research and Faculty Expertise

    UNC Public Policy has developed particular strengths in a range of social-science based policy research.  For further details, click here.


    The Philip and Jane Hammer Fund for the Enrichment of the PhD Curriculum in Public Policy was established in 1991 by Jane R. Hammer. The fund aides in the recruitment and support of exceptional graduate students in the PhD program in public policy.  Click here for further information.