PhD in Public Policy and Administration Bocconi University, Italy

Publish Date: Oct 19, 2015

Deadline: Jan 15, 2016

About PhD Program

The PhD in Public Policy & Administration is a 4-year PhD program completely taught in English, which started in the academic year 2014-15.  The program is designed for highly qualified and motivated students who wish to acquire knowledge of the constantly evolving frameworks used to understand the dynamics of public policies, as well as cutting edge research skills used to evaluate both public policies and the social dynamics that are implicated in them.  A key feature of the program is the combination of multi-disciplinary training in both theory and methods and an evidence-based approach.  A core theme of the program is the implications of globalization and the need for an international comparative perspective for understanding policy formation, implementation, and outcomes.  The program strives for maximum social relevance and emphasizes major and minor specialisations that are highly appreciated for both academic and non-academic employment (e.g., NGOs, governmental agencies, the EU, UN departments, think tanks and public policy consultancies).  Successful graduates will be uniquely qualified for high-level policy analysis in sub-national, national, and international organizations.

More information

The program is organized around advanced study in two of four fields: economic and political institutions, health, social dynamics, and public administration. 

The economic and political institutions field is designed for students interested in the impacts of politics on economics processes and outcomes and the complementary effects of economics on political processes.  The program isparticularly oriented to those interested in political and economic dynamics on a global scale and the importance of the international arena for policy development and implementation.

The health field is designed for students interested in the complex interplay of social and political processes in shaping population health across the entire age-span.  Particular emphasis is placed on the intersection of epidemiology, health management services, and health economics as the necessary lenses for understanding population health.  Issues of global health are a particular focus of the program.

The social dynamics field is ‘discipline-plus’ in its orientation with the objective of providing a solid disciplinary foundation in sociology and demography with an orientation to the key social issues of our generation.  Here, special attention focuses on issues of work and education and opportunity, economic viability, family change, and immigration, and assessment of the institutional contexts that provide both challenges and opportunities for policies to enhance life chances.

The public administration field emphasizes the organization and inter-relations among public management organization and how these influence the delivery and efficacy of public policies.  This field provides students with an opportunity to shape the direction of public policy research on issues such as the environment, international economics, science and technology, security, regulation, and development. 

In the first year, students will acquire or hone basic skills in mathematics and statistics and complete applied course work in research methods, policy sciences, and the social sciences.  In the second year, students choose a major and a minor field among economic and political institutions, health, social dynamics, and public administration.  The third and four years are dedicated to research and include participation in a research workshop, participation in a field specific reading group, and attendance of department seminars with internationally known researchers.  In the third and fourth years, students will have opportunities for international exchange with many of the elite universities to which the department faculty are connected.

The program is open to Master’s level graduates in the social and management sciences (e.g., economics, political science, management and sociology), but also accepts applicants with other backgrounds (e.g., engineering, life sciences, philosophy) as long as students have demonstrated abilities for successful completion of the program.

You have to apply exclusively through the on-line application procedure which is available here from 1st October, 2015. The deadline for submitting your application is 15th January 2016 at 24:00 CET (1st February 2016 at 24:00 CET for the PhD program in Statistics). This deadline is not negotiable.

Please, consult the Technical Guidelines  before starting the on-line application procedure.The recommended browser to apply is Google Chrome.
For technical issues, please contact our Help Desk at:

In order to complete your application you will have to:

-      register in order to obtain Personal ID and password; please note that Bocconi students already have the required credentials;
-      enter the information in the spaces provided;
-      upload some documents;
-      submit the application.

Entering data and uploading documents:

You can access the on-line procedure more than once.
- Entering data:
You will enter data on each section, then click on SAVE for each section; data can be modified and then saved by clicking on SAVE.
- Uploading documents:
You will upload documents on each separate section; if changes are required, an uploaded document can be replaced with a new document, which will be saved automatically, or cancelled if you want no document to be uploaded.
If more than one document needs to be uploaded, a zip file is to be created and then uploaded.

Submitting application:

First step:
You will only click on SUBMIT DATA when no changes are needed in the DATA entered on each section. No data changes are allowed after clicking on SUBMIT DATA.
Second step:
You will only click on SUBMIT APPLICATION when no changes are needed in each UPLOADS section. No data and/or uploads can be changed after clicking on SUBMIT APPLICATION.
In summary, you will only click on SUBMIT DATA and SUBMIT APPLICATION when you have finalized your application.
Applications are completed and can only be assessed after clicking on SUBMIT DATA and SUBMIT APPLICATION.After submitting the application the icon APPLICATION RECEIPT will appear and you will be able to print out the application receipt, that you should to keep.

In order to close the application and be evaluated, the following documents (sections: personal details, language requirements; academic records) are strictly required:

  • personal CV;
  • documentary evidence of English language competence (except English native speakers): international certification, university or high school studies in English, …;
  • academic curriculum;
  • copy of the international passport;
  • passport format photo.

Documents of the remaining sections are strongly recommended and they contribute to increasing the score in the final ranking.
You are allowed to apply for more than one PhD program using the same ID and password; however, if you apply for more than one program, separate on-line procedures shall be used.
Please note that documents sent by post, email or fax are not accepted.
The application is free.

Students can be enrolled to each PhD program in the following ways:
1) with fellowship:         
     1.A – merit–based
     1.B – based on merit and financial conditions
2) without fellowship and with merit-based tuition waiver up to 100%
3) without fellowship and with payment of tuition fees.

See Full Official Call for information about merit-based fellowships, merit-based tuition waiver and payment of tuition fees for each PhD program.
Merit-based fellowships are awarded to the best ranked students, in relationship to the number of available fellowships.
The fellowships merit–based amount to € 13.838,47 per annum (before social security INPS contributions of about 10,2% per year, percentage that may vary, as a result of a law change), which is above the minimum amount of € 13.638,47, stated by law.
For study and research activities abroad authorized by the PhD Program Director, the fellowship will be increased by 50% of € 13.638,47, the minimum amount stated by law, in proportion to the duration of the stay abroad, which, in any case, cannot exceed a total of 18 months.
Fellowships are annual and are paid out every year from the end of October in twelve instalments at the end of each month.
Fellowships can be renewed in the following years if the PhD program necessary requirements are met.
Income from the fellowship is tax free.
All PhD students (with fellowship, with tuition waiver and paying students) are required to pay the current annual regional tax of € 140, whose amount may be modified by law at a later date.
Fellowships based on merit and financial conditions are managed by ISU Bocconi.
ISU Bocconi - Student Assistance and Financial Aid Center – coordinates and provides Bocconi students with grants and services which provide equal access to university studies as foreseen by regional law no. 33, December 13, 2004.

Tuition fees for students without fellowship amount to € 5,000 for each year and are to be paid according to the deadlines specified in the Full Official Call.

All students without Bocconi or ISU fellowship are allowed to receive fellowships by external institutions.
The University recommends that prospective students apply for fellowships or grants from national, international, industrial, or foundation sources for which they may be eligible. Information about these opportunities may be obtained from your Professors, from your university financial aid or career counseling offices, or from other references found in university libraries or on the internet.
In compliance with Italian law, a budget for studies and research activities is made available in the last two years of the program.
All PhD students can work part-time for the University, in particular as research assistants and teaching assistants, and can be remunerated for their work, within the limits and the rules stated by national and internal regulations.
These activities must be previously authorized by the Program Director, as students are above all committed to their PhD research and activities.

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