Agree with @Dustyfeathers.
Liberty is a 100% online PhD. Is your MPA also online?
The why for a graduate degree is important. A Masters in PP is useful for work in consulting / think tanks / government departments & agencies (and for an unreasonable number of jobs it is a requirement).
If you want to go into academia, a PhD is essential. But, whether you want to do research or teach, the nature of that PhD will matter. A recent study found that “graduates of the top 11 programs occupy almost 50 percent of all tenured or tenure-track openings in the top 100 departments in the discipline.”. On the other hand an unpublished (and informal/not rigorous) study of hiring in departments outside the top 100 found that teaching skills mattered more, and they tended not to hire from the top tier- b/c those schools are research, not teaching focused. Obviously, an online program means that you won’t have any teaching experience.
For consulting, it’s all about prestige (and they really aren’t particularly into PhDs in general).
For local government and many NGOs, it likely doesn’t matter where your degree came from (and in some areas, Liberty will be a positive).
For regional/national government, your work experience will matter. Public policy grad degrees tend to be mid-career (the top-tier ones require a minimum of 5 years of work experience before you can even apply), so your work before and after will matter. Which leads to @Dustyfeathers point:
One of the reasons that Liberty law school has been so effective at job placement is the connections the faculty have, and the relationships with their students.
Also, ‘politics’ at Liberty is not the same thing as ‘politics’ at the “extremely liberal” university you went to: I don’t know of any ‘liberal’ university that has a specific set of underlying principles by which they teach. The Econ department may largely follow the orthodoxy of x school of economic thought- but nothing as specific as what Liberty’s objective states;
After completing this program, you will have gained the historical and philosophical background needed to help shape public policy from a Christian worldview. Our program is unique in that it offers you points of biblical integration and application and speaks specifically to the biblical perspective on public policy and statesmanship./quote
If your Masters is online, you may well have what it takes to complete an online PhD- but be aware that the big difference between the two is the dissertation, which is meant to be actual research (original research is one of the defining characteristics of a PhD). Not one single person starts a PhD thinking that they will be in the majority: students who don’t ever complete the degree. Online completion rates are lower for lots of reasons, but one is that you don’t have the direct relationship of supervisor & peers to help you ride out the tough parts.
Finally, fwiw there are fully funded PP PhD programs (off hand, AU, Georgia State, UWa, USC, UMi, CMU, Duke, Princeton, etc). Not as fast a degree (4-6 years), but you get full tuition + a stipend for living. You won’t be surprised to learn that they are competitive- but by your stats, so are you