The application deadline for 2020 entrance into the Ph.D. program is December 10, 2019. The Graduate School anticipates applications becoming available in August.
To apply online, please visit the Graduate School website and select Public Policy from the drop-down menu. When you are completing the online application, please upload the following supplemental information required by our department when prompted:
- Statement of Purpose
- Three Letters of Recommendations
- (At least two from faculty members familiar with your academic ability. For applicants with substantial work experience after college, letters from individuals who can describe applicant’s ability to be successful in doctoral level work may be substituted).
All official Graduate School deadlines are here. Applicants are encouraged to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) at the earliest possible date, preferably by October prior to the academic year for which you are applying. An Advanced Test, if one is given in the field of your undergraduate major, is optional. You may obtain a bulletin of information concerning the GRE from the nearest university, or by writing to:
Educational Testing Service, Box 6000, Princeton, NJ 08541-6000
International Students: All international applicants must submit acceptable, official TOEFL (reported directly from ETS.org) or IELTS (reported directly from IELTS.org) scores. We accept no other English Language tests. Additional instructions on testing requirements can be found here. The required minimum total score on the exams are:
- The internet-based TOEFL exam = 90
- The IELTS exam = 7
Detailed application instructions can be found on the graduate school website.
Additional questions concerning the departmental requirements for the application or application process procedures should be directed to:
Student Services and External Affairs
The Ph.D. Program, UNC Public Policy
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Campus Box #3435, Abernethy Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3435
Telephone: (919) 962-1600
Fax: (919) 962-5824
Frequently Asked Questions
When are applications due?
Email invitations will be sent to recommenders once you select Save in the online application. You can also send reminder emails to your recommenders within the online application.
Details about how your PID is assigned can be found here.
Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6151
P.O. Box 6000
Princeton, NJ 08541-6000.
We accept TOEFL scores that were taken within the last 2 years. In some exceptional cases, if you have a BA or MA degree from an English speaking University in the US, Canada or UK we may waive the TOEFL requirement, but this is done on a case by case basis and is not automatic. We recommend that you take the TOEFL if you are a foreign student and English.
- Education and Labor Markets
- Environment and Human Welfare
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Science and Technology Policy
- Social Policy and Inequality
- Health Policy, Bioethics, and Human Rights
- International Development Policy
- Global Conflict and Cooperation
A Ph.D. in public policy from UNC-CH requires students to complete a 1-year sequence in advanced microeconomic theory for public policy analysis. Exposure to multivariable calculus and intermediate microeconomic theory with calculus are required for entry into the program. Students who have not completed these prerequisites at the time that they apply to the doctoral program in public policy may be conditionally admitted. These students may complete these prerequisites prior to their matriculation in the Fall.
- Chiang, A. and Wainwright, K. (2005). Fundamental Methods of Mathematical Economics, 4th Edition.
- Nicholson, W. (2011) Microeconomic Theory: Basic Principles and Extensions, 11th Edition.
All matriculating PhD students will be required to take our Math Review Class during the two weeks prior to the initiation of Fall semester classes. For many applicants who have had Algebra II and Calculus some time ago, this course will be a sufficient review to prepare you for the program.
UNC’s PhD Program in Public Policy is a full-time, cohort-based degree that prepares students for careers in research and teaching. The Department helps secure funding for all graduate students making good academic progress in their studies. Sources of funding include a combination of fellowships, traineeships, graduate teaching assistantships and graduate research assistantships. Each PhD student receives full tuition reimbursement, health insurance and a stipend of at least $17,500 per year, and a conference travel fund of $1,000.
Highly qualified doctoral students can be awarded 1-year to 5-year merit awards and other fellowships from The Graduate School. Additional fellowships are available to members of underrepresented groups. For teaching assistantships, students typically work 15-20 hours per week and can gain hands-on experience in teaching undergraduate courses in public policy. In their third and fourth years, many students are also offered graduate research assistantships with their faculty advisers. Graduate research assistantships also require students to work 15-20 hours per week and provide students with the opportunity to collaborate with their advisers on research.
Students interested in health, demography, minority populations, gender, and environmental policy should also apply separately to traineeships in these areas. For more information, please contact Ashu Handa and review information on traineeships available through the Carolina Population Center and the Sheps Center for Health Services Research.
Additional research support and funding is available for students who are completing their dissertations. Doctoral students in the Department of Public Policy have received dissertation research support from the UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School, federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, and private foundations such as the Spencer Foundation and the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
For more information on Tuition and Costs.
For more information on Financial Aid.
For the Graduate School Handbook.