Currently enrolled in the PhD in Public Policy program at the SPPA? On this page you will find degree requirements for your program, important forms for completing your thesis, information on awards and funding opportunities for students, and ways to further develop in your career through the program.

Current Students

Degree Requirements

All the degree requirements for the PhD in Public Policy are outlined in the Graduate Calendar. These include four single-semester core courses and a research seminar, as well as comprehensive exams, electives and thesis. Degree requirements for the specialization in Political Economy are also detailed in the Graduate Calendar.

Extension Request

PhD students who would like to request an extension should complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the extension request form.
  2. Compose and include a letter explaining the circumstance.
  3. Provide a realistic timeline schedule for the completion of the remaining research activities that has been approved by all members of the thesis committee.
  4. Include a letter from the thesis supervisor supporting the extension request.
  5. Include letters or emails from committee members noting their support of the proposed extension and timeline.

All these materials should be submitted to the Graduate Administrator no later than a month prior to the start of the semester.

Thesis and Thesis Defence

All the detailed requirements for your thesis are available on the Graduate Students website.

PhD candidates should reach out to the Graduate Administrator the semester before they plan to defend their thesis in order to discuss the logistics of the thesis examination.

The candidate is expected to notify their thesis supervisor, the Graduate Supervisor and the Graduate Administer at least two weeks before the date on which they intend to submit their completed thesis.

The candidate is then expected to submit the examinable thesis to the department at least six weeks in advance of the intended defence date. The candidate’s supervisor is responsible for obtaining an internal and external examiner, as well as a Chair for the defence.

Program Forms

Awards and Funding

Carleton offers a variety of funding opportunities to our students. New and current students can apply for several internal, external and special awards. Seeking competitive funding for PhD studies is a critical part of professional development.

Application deadlines vary. Students should consult the specifics of the awards to understand the eligibility requirements, application materials and necessary internal deadlines. Please visit the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs (FGPA) website for more information.

Professional Development

Carleton wants doctoral students to excel in their programs of study. The FGPA offers ongoing professional development programming to develop your skills in writing, presenting, research planning and more. They offer one-on-one support as well as regularly scheduled workshops.

Thesis Archive

Writing a PhD thesis can be daunting. The task takes care, patience and dedication. But many others have made it to the end before and their success can be a source of inspiration. The Carleton Library has a full, searchable archive of PhD theses completed by students at the School.

Emerging Perspectives Conference

For several years, the Faculty of Public Affairs (FPA) has held an Emerging Perspectives graduate conference as an event to support and celebrate the excellence of students’ graduate research. Presenting your work offers a chance to practice presenting in a professional environment, receive feedback from peers and faculty, and build ties with students and faculty members across FPA.

Academic Associations

Becoming an active member of an academic association can open doors as a PhD student. Associations offer a chance to meet other scholars working on similar topics, present work to receive feedback from peers, receive mentorship from senior scholars and develop a network to support your ongoing career.

Faculty and students at the School are involved in a wide range of academic associations:

Career Services

Carleton’s career services website is a wealth of information and opportunities for students looking for help with job searches or career advice. Career services offers one-on-one advising sessions, help with job searches, and career and networking events.