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Degree requirements and Length of curriculum

The Ph.D. program lasts for 2 years, and the entire duration of the program does not last longer than 6 years.

Credit and Grade Requirements

  • Credit Requirements
    ① Candidates need a minimum of 39 credits (including core courses) and must maintain a grade of B (3.0) or better to graduate.
    ② Candidates can take up to 12 credits per semester.
    ③ All students must take more than one class in their final semester.
  • Grade evaluation
    ① Each course grade will be an aggregate evaluation score based on attendance, learning attitude, exam scores, research reports. Students will be graded on a curve and will be ranked using a forced distribution system.
    ② In order to receive credits for a course, students must attend more than 3/4 of the classes held for that particular course and maintain grades above a D-. However, if students retake a course, the higher of the two grades will be considered the student's final grade for that course.
    ③ Students that receive a grade of F for an elective course, they are not obligated to retake that course. However, students are still required to maintain an overall GPA of 3.0/B.
    ④ Student GPA is calculated by multiplying the number of credits of a course by the student's grade for that course, then by diving that number by the number of total number of credits that the student applied for. GPA is rounded to the thousandth decimal.


  • How the curriculum is organized
    ① GSPA’a curriculum is organized according to article 9 of the official SNU Regulations; all of GSPA’s requirements for the fulfillment of this curriculum are considered supplemental regulations to the official SNU Regulations.
    ② GSPA offers its master’s degree programs as a part of its degree program and provides doctoral programs through SNU’s graduate school.
  • Curriculum System
    ① Courses offered through the doctoral program are divided into “Courses in Common” and “Elective Courses”
    ② Courses in Common are composed of Core Courses, Major-specific Core Courses, and Elective Courses. Core Courses are required for both Public Administration and Public Policy majors, Major-specific core courses are separated into core courses for each major, and Elective courses are offered to both majors.
    ③ Core courses (within Courses in Common) consist of 'Research Methodology' and 'Advanced Quantitative Analysis 1.'
    ④ From the major-specific courses (within Course in Common) for Public Administration and Public Policy, students must choose between ‘Qualitative Research Methodology’ and 'Advanced Quantitative Analysis 2.'
    ⑤ Elective courses (within Courses in Common) consist of ‘Dissertation Research’ and 'Special Lecture.'
    ③ Students must select at least four elective courses related to their major.
Doctoral Degree
Classification Description
Additional Provisions
(Major-specific Core Courses)
For class of 2008 and prior (similar to current provision), students selected three courses from the following: ‘Research Methodology’, ‘Advanced Quantitative Analysis 1’, ‘Advanced Quantitative Analysis 2’, ‘Public Administration and Ideas’.
If students take ‘Social Science Methodology’, ‘Research Planning (combined with Research Methodology)’, ‘Public Administration and Ideas’ courses, they will be acknowledged as having taken separate major-specific core courses. However, if students change majors students will have to take two core courses (within courses in common) and one major-specific core course necessary for degree requirements.
Additional Provisions
(Elective Courses)
For class of 2008 and prior: if students complete ‘Economic Theory and Public Administration Analysis’, ‘Urban Policy Research’, ‘Electronic Government Research’ courses, they will be acknowledged as having received credits prior to a change in majors (from Public Management major or Public Policy major); they will also be acknowledged as having taken the ‘Public Administration and Ideas’ course as a major-specific core course.
Retaking Combined/Changed Courses Retaking courses
Two courses have been combined or changed into one course
(existing) Social Science Methodology, Research Planning → (changed) Research Methodology
Because two courses have been combined into one, students must take the following equivalent/replacement courses:
* Research Planning → Research Methodology (equivalent course)
* Social Science Methodology → Qualitative Research Methodology (replacement course)
  • Thesis Research Course
    ① Dissertation Research course offers up to six course credits for both Public Administration and Public Policy majors. However, for class of 2003 and prior, the credits from this course will not count towards the students’ Major-specific course credits.
    ② This is a pass/fail course in which students receive either a Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U).
  • Special Lectures
    ① If the subjects of special lectures differ, students may attend over two lectures and receive credits for each lecture attended.
    ② Students cannot retake special lecture courses, if the subject of the special lecture changes.
  • Courses offered at other universities (national or international)
    ① Ph.D. candidates cannot receive credits for taking undergraduate courses.
    ② Candidates will receive credits for taking major-specific courses from graduate schools outside GSPA.
    ③ Candidates can take up to 18 credits (major-specific courses) from graduate schools outside GSPA.
    ④ When registering for such courses, candidates must receive the dean’s approval. GSPA will not recognize credits from courses that have not been approved by the dean.
  • Master’s Degree Courses
    ① With the exception of MPA core courses (Investigation Methodology, Quantitative Analysis, Public Administration Theory, Public Policy Theory, Economic Analysis), Ph.D. candidates can take up to five master’s level courses. However, students (from class of 2008 and prior) that have taken Economic Analysis will be acknowledged as having taken an elective course.
    ② Ph.D. candidates will not receive credits for taking master’s level courses that they have already taken as master’s students. However, (beginning with class of 2009) Ph.D. candidates that received their master’s degree outside of SNU are able to take any master’s level courses (including core courses). However, they are still limited to only five master’s level courses.
    ③ If candidates decide to take a master’s level course, they must receive approval from the course professor and the Dean in order to receive credit. However, students can take the Dissertation Research course without prior approval.
    ④ Course requirements for Ph.D. candidates taking master’s level courses will be different.
  • English Courses
    Beginning with the class of 2008, students must take more than six credits of English Courses.
  • Public Enterprise Policy Courses
    Public Enterprise Policy Courses are not offered to Ph.D. candidates.


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