Ph.D. in Philanthropic Studies

Doctoral students have examined a wide range of topics including the history of philanthropy, why people give, the role of nonprofits in policy, the effectiveness of foundations and faith-based initiatives, and the role of social movements in society.

Students take two years of coursework on campus, pass qualifying exams, defend a dissertation proposal, then research, write, and defend a final dissertation. You should plan to complete coursework, pass exams, and defend your dissertation proposal within three years of full-time enrollment.

All doctoral students submit annual progress reviews to the director of graduate programs and their research committee chair.

Admission eligibility

Students apply online through the IUPUI Graduate School. You must have a master’s degree in a field relevant to philanthropic studies. Other requirements include a statement of research interest that identifies Lilly Family School of Philanthropy faculty with whom you seek to work, a résumé, undergraduate and graduate school transcripts, standardized test scores such as the GRE, and letters of recommendation that attest to the your ability to conduct original research.

Ph.D. outcomes

We admit approximately four or five full-time students annually to the doctoral program. From 2004–2015, doctoral students completed their degree in an average of 6.25 years. One hundred percent of Ph.D. graduates who sought employment were employed in tenure track (75 percent) or high-level philanthropic professional positions (25 percent).

Financial support

One hundred percent of our Ph.D. students, who are enrolled full-time, receive financial support in the form of tuition scholarships, health insurance, and an assistantship stipend for up to four years. Tuition scholarships are 88 percent of tuition for in-state students and 95 percent of tuition for non-resident students. To be eligible, you must work 20 hours per week as a research assistant or teaching assistant, attend monthly doctoral student meetings, and attend regular research seminars.

Travel funds

IUPUI Graduate Office

  • Apply online: click on “Admissions” then “Financial Support,” then “Travel Fellowships”
  • Up to $1,000 reimbursed to full-time students who are the first author on a conference presentation (oral or poster)

Requirements

Students must complete at least 90 credit hours, 30 of which often can transfer from a completed master’s degree program. Of the remaining 60 credit hours, 42 credit hours are coursework and 18 hours are dissertation research credits. Course work includes five core courses, three methodology courses, four courses in your minor field, and two electives.

You will identify your minor field of study and minor field advisor within your first year on campus, and pursue a variety of minor fields including Africana studies, business, economics, higher education, history, nonprofit management, philosophy, political science, religious studies, and sociology.

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