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Doctoral Degrees in Public Service

Be the Leader Society Needs

Build on what you’ve already accomplished. Capella’s online public service doctoral degrees in Criminal Justice, Emergency Management, or Public Administration help career doors open in leadership, education, or research.


Doctor of Emergency Management

Focus on policy development and evaluation in crisis and emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation; develop policies for crisis intervention and resilience.


Doctor of Public Administration

Use case studies, conduct valid research, and evaluate current theories to prepare to teach, consult, or lead on issues involving public policy and public administration.

We believe in being transparent about the real cost, time, and value of a Capella degree. Learn more about Capella’s learning outcomes.

What's it like to be a doctoral student?

What does it take to earn a doctoral degree? Learn more about the experience, explore each step of the journey, and read stories from students who have successfully earned their doctorate.

Accredited & recognized

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Why Choose Capella?

At Capella, you’ll learn from experienced faculty in a flexible, online doctoral program to develop skills you can use immediately as you advance in your career as a leader in your field.

Professionally Aligned Programs

Our programs are aligned with professional standards–so you gain career-relevant skills and knowledge.

Supportive Doctoral Journey

You’ll be paired with a dedicated, experienced mentor and dissertation advisor to ensure you have support at every step.

Real-World Simulations

Take on real-world challenges in immersive simulations as you strengthen leadership skills in a risk-free environment.

Scholar-Practitioner Faculty

All our faculty hold doctoral degrees and bring years of experience, as well as the latest theories and practice to students.

Flexible Online Learning

Access your learning environment anytime, anywhere, with any device, and set your own schedule while meeting deadlines.

Respected in the Field

Capella’s hundreds of partnerships with leading U.S. public service organizations may mean discounts for affiliated students.

The curriculum at Capella is on track with current issues in criminal justice. That's important because, in this field, theory is good but knowing what’s current is essential.

Rick Decker*

PhD Criminal Justice

*Actual Capella learner who agreed to appear in promotional materials for Capella

Relevant blog posts

Whether you’re considering a return to school, exploring new career paths, or seeking ways to improve your job performance, the Capella Blog has relevant articles to support your goals.

PhD in Nonprofit Management vs. Doctor of Public Administration

Nonprofit management and public administration are similar. So which doctoral program is right for you?

Police Chief Alum Praises Continuing Education for Officers

Ken Davis is one of few police chiefs in the nation who can also be called doctor.

Their Journey to the PhD: Mark’s Story in Emergency Management

Firefighter Mark Warnick shares how he achieved his bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD at Capella.

Ready for the next step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.