Jul 14, 2024  

Integrative Public Policy and Development, Ph.D.

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The 21st century is marked locally, nationally and internationally by increased competition for scarce resources - from production resources like land, financial resources (capital and credit), to food, to fuel, to services (legal, social, health). The United States is faced with the challenge of finding better ways of addressing these challenges through programs and policies that impact an increasingly globalized society. The Tuskegee University Integrative Public Policy and Development (IPPD) Ph.D. program is designed to develop professionals who have not only technical proficiency but who also possess the flexibility and adaptability to address the complexities of current challenges. The IPPD program has three major research and teaching areas: History and Public Policy, Agriculture and Resource Policy, and International Development Policy.

The Mission of the Program

Tuskegee University’s mission, through the IPPD Ph.D. program, is to contribute to local, state, regional, national and global policymaking through quality graduate education, research, discovery and engagement in public policy, including agricultural and resources policy, and international development.

This program proposes to:

  1. Provide an innovative research and education environment that stimulates learning and scholarship in interdisciplinary domestic and international development policy, including agriculture, natural resources and health as well as, the classic and persistent issues related to state building, peace, security and sustainable development.
  2. Teach individuals to create, implement, analyze, and interpret public policy in both the domestic and international arenas.
  3. Prepare our graduates for leadership in academia, industry, government and community based organizations and engagement in analysis of current and past policies and development of future public and international policies.
  4. Provide key data, analysis, and services to local, state, national and global communities that foster development in line with the vision of the program.

MA/Ph.D. Tracks
Master of Arts Degree in IPPD (Anticipated by August 2021)

While the IPPD program does not have separate Master’s and Ph.D. tracks, the beginning graduate student will complete a Master’s degree prior to work at the doctoral level. If a Master’s degree has already been obtained from another institution, the applicant may be considered for doctoral studies. Nevertheless, not all students wish to pursue a Ph.D., and instead seek employment or admission to a professional school after earning the Master’s degree. Once course requirements are fulfilled, the student is examined in two of the three clusters offered by the program. These examinations are evaluated by the faculty members in each area, and at that time, a decision is made about whether or not the student should pursue doctoral work in the program. A minimum of 32 credit hours is required to complete the Master’s program.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree in IPPD
The doctoral student is required to major in one of the three thrust areas, and minor in the other two areas. At this stage, the student becomes more deeply immersed in the process of scholarly research. Indeed, we encourage students to execute research projects in preparation for careers as scholars or scholar-activists/leaders. In addition, we seek to prepare doctoral students in our program for independent classroom instruction, teaching experience. Upon passing doctoral examinations and successfully completing a dissertation, the student receives a Ph.D. in Integrative Public Policy and Development. A minimum of 72 credit hours is required to complete the Ph.D. program.

Major Research and Teaching Areas

Agriculture and Resource Policy, International Development Policy and History and Public Policy

  • Agriculture and Resource Policy (ARP)
    This area of Public Policy prepares students in a unique way to become knowledgeable about and creators of policies that pertain to agriculture, the environment and natural resources, and related community development issues. It seeks to build on the collective disciplines and skill sets of the Tuskegee faculty in agricultural and resource economics, rural development and agricultural, natural resource, environmental, social, and health sciences. Through this area of focus, Tuskegee seeks to produce scholars and policy decision makers uniquely equipped to analyze, communicate and provide guidance on policy issues as they relate to agriculture, natural resources, the environment, and rural development.
  • International Development Policy (IDP)
    This focus area will add a scholarship dimension to more than 100 years of international development work at Tuskegee University, including research, education and engagement; and facilitate student learning and experience to acquire expertise needed for careers in international affairs. A key and unique strength of this focus will be in international rural development where Tuskegee’s present and future development work and study in Africa and other areas of the world are uniquely leveraged to provide innovative analysis and solutions to challenges and opportunities in rural areas regardless of location and culture.
  • History and Public Policy (HPP)
    The History and Public Policy area will be a signature element of the Tuskegee University IPPD Ph.D. program. The Department of History and political science and the Tuskegee University Archives will serve as fundamental resources for analysis of history and public policy from Black American perspectives, in such areas as education, agriculture, health, business, civil rights and military, especially as relates to Alabama, the South, and the United States.

Quality Inputs and Demonstrated Capabilities of CAENS and CAS Collaboration

  • Interdisciplinary strengths in research in Policy and International Development.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in interdisciplinary teams as manifested in major centers of excellence and projects.
  • Ability to consistently generate resources through grants and contracts for CAENS and CAS.
  • Political and Agency connections to leverage and increase resources from key funding sources-USAID, USDA, NSF, NIH, DOE, DOD, USGS, the State of Alabama and the private sector.
  • Substantial facilities-e.g., Research Core Facility, Carver Laboratories, John A. Kenney Hall, Milbank Hall, Armstrong Hall, Henderson Hall, Campbell Hall, and the library system.

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the Ph.D. Program in IPPD is determined by the IPPD Faculty with approval by the IPPD Council of Deans and the Dean of Graduate Studies, and is communicated to the candidates by the Office of Admissions and Records.
Candidates to the IPPD program must submit the following:

  • A resume or curriculum vitae documenting previous research or teaching experience, and a statement of interest, which details the applicant’s goals and potential research focus areas are required as part of the application.
  • Official transcripts from each institution attended.
  • Official GRE scores.
  • Competitive candidates for admission should have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.00 or higher in all previous studies, a GPA of 3.4 in upper division courses.
  • Candidates must have completed the B.S./B.A. and/or Master’s degree in areas related to Integrative Public Policy, e.g., the Political Science, Economics/Agricultural Economics, Sociology/Rural Sociology, Anthropology, and other related Social Sciences. If deemed necessary, the student may be required to take additional prerequisite courses.
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty/industry or others who have known the student in an academic research or professional capacity.
  • Non‐native speakers of English must submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). International students are required to submit scores for the internet based TOEFL exam. For admission, applicants must have an overall score of 90 with minimums in each component of 20 (writing), 25 (speaking), 14 (listening), and 20 (reading). The minimum paper‐based test score required for admission is 600 and the minimum computer‐based test score required for admission is 213.*
    *Waivers of this requirement may be granted only if requested in writing and if the examination is unavailable in the applicant’s country.
    Note that International students who are granted admission into the IPPD must consult with Tuskegee University’s Office of International Programs concerning legal documents to enter and/or stay in the United States for the duration of the program.

Academic Requirements
A minimum of 72 graduate credit hours leading to a dissertation is required for the Ph.D. A minimum of 32 graduate credit hours is required for the M.A.

  • Six to nine (6‐9) semester hours of graduate credit (500 or 600 level) in the core course for each cluster (Policy, History and International Affairs).
  • Nine to twelve (9‐12) semester hours of graduate credit (500 or 600 level) in IPPD/ core courses listed for an Area of Specialization.
  • Six to nine (6‐9) semester hours of graduate credit (500 or 600 level) from College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences.
  • Six to nine (6‐9) semester hours of graduate credit (500 or 600 level) from College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Three to six (3‐6) semester hours of graduate credit (500 or 600 level) from other departments including IPPD, and others in CAENS, and in CAS in courses that are relevant to area of study. Such courses must be approved by the program director and the student’s advisor.

Appropriate transferable graduate courses from other universities will be determined by the student’s advisor and the graduate school.

Advisory Committee

Students admitted to the IPPD Ph.D. program will be assigned provisional advisors who will be responsible for initial guidance. By the end of the first academic year, students are required to have identified two co-advisors and formed a Student Advisory Committee, which will be responsible for facilitating the development of the academic coursework plan and the research design. The co-advisors must be from two different disciplines, both of which must be integral to the proposed dissertation research. The Student Advisory Committee will consist of a minimum of four faculty members, at least two of whom must be knowledgeable in the student’s area of research; one must be from outside the student’s research area and at least three must be members of the IPPD Ph.D. program faculty. A key feature of the IPPD Ph.D. program is the co-advisor concept. These co-advisors will expose students to different perspectives and encourage and facilitate design and completion of a research dissertation that addresses a problem from at least two different but complementary perspectives.

Transfer Credits
Students having earned advanced course credits elsewhere may request their transfer. The determination of the IPPD Faculty concerning the number of credits to be transferred will be final.

Written and Qualifying Examination
All IPPD students must complete qualifying exams. The first qualifying exam is a comprehensive written exam that is given in December of the student’s third year to all members of a student’s entering class that have been enrolled full-time in the IPPD program and that includes topics covered in the IPPD Core Curriculum. The exam is graded pass/fail by the IPPD core instructors. A student has 2 chances to pass qualifiers. If the student does not pass qualifiers after the 2nd try the student must be terminated form the IPPD Program. The second Qualifying exam is given by the student’s dissertation committee during the spring of the students’ 3rd year.
This exam is also graded pass/fail and each fellow has up to 2 chances to pass. Failure to pass on the second try will result in termination from the program.

Research Proposal
All IPPD students must submit their dissertation proposal to the IPPD Dean’s Council by the end of the summer of their 3rd year.

Admission to Candidacy
Requirements for admission to candidacy are:

  • Completion of all course work required for the Ph.D. Program;
  • Passing a written qualifying exam;
  • Successful oral presentation of research proposed to the Student Advisory Committee;
  • Submission of an application for admission to candidacy by the end of the summer of the 3rd year.


  • Upon completion of the coursework and research for the program, the student-through his/her advisory committee-may request that the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research arrange a final oral examination to meet the degree requirements.
  • The Dean of Graduate Studies and Research will appoint a dissertation committee consisting of all Advisory Committee members and one member from outside the university.
  • The student must submit a completed copy of the dissertation to each member of the examination committee at least two weeks prior to the date of the exam.
  • The focus of the oral examination will be the student’s research.
  • Approval of at least four members of the dissertation committee is necessary for the student to pass the oral examination.
  • Students must submit seven corrected copies of their dissertation signed by all members of the Student Advisory Committee and respective College Dean(s) to the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.

Teaching and Internship Requirements
All IPPD students must teach at least one course that is approved by their co-advisors and all students must complete the equivalent of one semester-long internship in a non-academic setting, e.g., industry, research institute, government agency, or non-government organization-for “real world” professional experience and to demonstrate competency in leadership and communication skills.

Changes and Review of Progress
Only the IPPD Dean’s Council may approve changes in a student’s area of specialization, co-advisors, or Student Advisory Committee members, and such change(s) must be requested through the IPPD Ph.D. Program Office. In the event the approval cannot be secured, the student may directly petition the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research
The Student Advisory Committee will review the student’s progress at least once each semester and forward a formal report to the IPPD Ph.D. Program Office and the IPPD Dean’s Council. The Student Advisory Committee will recommend to the IPPD Dean’s Council whether to continue, place on probation, suspend or dismiss the student from the graduate program. A student whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 is allowed one semester to raise the GPA to 3.0. Failure to do so will result in expulsion from the program. Students who fail the qualifying examination after two attempts may apply for a terminal Master’s degree in any of the established programs at Tuskegee University. In such cases, the student will have to meet the oral examination requirements of the Graduate School.

Residency Requirement
IPPD Ph.D. students are required to be located at Tuskegee University for at least two years during the course of doctoral study.

Time Limit for Graduation
All graduate credit submitted in fulfillment of requirements for the Ph.D. degree must have been earned within the six years immediately preceding conferral of the degree.

Research assistantships and fellowships are available for students admitted to the program. Continuation of the financial support depends on student’s performance in course work and research, and availability of funds.

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Total: 72

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