A world class graduate degree in public policy


The PhD program at the School of Public Policy, Chiang Mai University offers two degree plans, which differ in the requirement to complete coursework and the number of credits for PhD thesis. The curriculum is designed to train new policy scholars in cutting-edge techniques for policy analysis. Methods include dynamic systems modeling, content analysis using software, network analysis, large-scale online surveys, and various quasi-experimental approaches.



Required Documents

  • Letter of Intent/ Motivation letter
  • CMU-SPP Doctoral Program Application Form
  • Application endorsed by potential advisor and approved by SPP Curriculum Committee.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Research Ideas
  • Coursework Track: 1,000-2,000 words
  • Thesis-only Track: maximum 5,000 words
  • Master thesis abstract
  • One copy of official Master’s Degree certificate and transcript
  • Certified proficiency in English, awarded within the last 2 years: choices are between TOEFL (523 points paper-based; 193 computer-based; 69 iBT) or IELTS (score 5.5) and CMU-eTEGS (score 65).
    *This is not necessary for native English speakers or students who have had English as language of instruction at the university they previously studied at (certified by the university).
  • Two letters of recommendation from people who are familiar with your academic and/or professional background.
  • One copy of Thai National ID or Passport
  • Test results such as GRE, GMAT, list of publications (optional)


PhD Course Structure

PhD : Thesis-Only track




PhD Thesis (48 credits)

Total credits

48 credits

PhD : Coursework and Thesis track


4 Compulsory courses (12 credits)

  • Theories of Public Policy
  • Qualitative Methods for Policy Research
  • Quantitative Methods for Policy Research
  • Seminar in Public Policy

PhD Thesis (36 credits)

Total credits

48 credits

950801 : Theories of Public Policy

Advanced introduction to public policy; policy paradox; garbage can models; multiple streams; punctuated equilibrium theory; critical perspectives on agenda setting; policy networks; advocacy coalition framework; discourse coalitions; institutionalism; institutional analysis and development framework; comparative policy analysis; policy transfer; technocratic policy analysis; critical, interpretive, and discursive policy analysis; deliberative policy analysis; policy design, policy instruments & policy implementation; policy monitoring, evaluation, feedback & learning; policy innovation, policy diffusion, behavioral public policy; complexity theory in public policy; foresight; public policy in post-truth politics

950802 : Qualitative Methods for Policy Research

Introduction to qualitative methods for policy research, ontology and epistemology, validity, reliability and trustability and the role of theory, designing qualitative & mixed methods research, data sources, measurement and qualitative data collection tools, designing questions for interview and survey techniques, fieldwork strategies and ethics for research, case study research, mixing data and triangulation, narratives, grounded theory, types of qualitative data analyses, coding qualitative data, writing up qualitative & mixed research, and theoretical debates, issues and ethical dilemmas of qualitative policy research

950803 : Quantitative Methods for Policy Research

Basic methodologies used in quantitative social description, the role of quantitative analysis in public policy analysis and evaluation, quantitative research design, data collection and measurement, data description: descriptive statistics; measures of dispersion, probability: different quantitative techniques; introduction to statistical inference, hypothesis testing: null hypothesis; logic of testing; sample t-test, Cross-Tabulation: Comparisons of group means; cross-tabs; chi2 statistics, correlation and introduction to regression basic concepts; correlation; bivariate regression, assumptions of regression analysis: 5 classical assumptions; properties of an estimator, multiple regressions: extension of bivariate model; partial slope coefficients, time series analysis: an introduction, basic regression analysis with time series data, conducting empirical policy research

950804 : Seminar in Public Policy

Introduction to wicked problems and public policy, debates in public policy analysis and design, politics of public policy, public policy and international relations, just sustainable development and public policy, issues and challenges in environmental policy, issues and challenges in urban management policy, issues and challenges in digital and governance policy, contemporary issues in public policy

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