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Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance

School Overview


Sandra O. Archibald
208E Parrington Hall

Associate Deans

Leigh Anderson

Joaquin Herranz

Robert Plotnick

The Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance is a graduate professional school providing education and research for current and future leaders in pursuing challenging public-service careers in government, nonprofit, or private-sector organizations. To address the educational needs and professional interests of individuals at different stages of their careers, the school offers the Master of Public Administration (MPA), the Executive Master of Public Administration (Executive MPA), Peace Corps Master's International (PCMI), and the PhD in Public Policy and Management.

Master's-level programs enable students to acquire the policy analysis techniques, management knowledge, problem-solving skills, and political acumen required for effective leadership across sector boundaries and in regional, national, and international policy. MPA graduates hold leadership positions such as mayors and city managers; local and regional government administrators; foreign service officers; senior military and public safety positions; assistants to elected officials; analysts with budget offices, legislative staff units, and city councils; directors of social service agencies; leaders and managers of nonprofit organizations; and administrators of arts organizations. In addition, a number of alumni are employed in private sector positions involving substantial contact with public agencies.

The PhD program focuses on research that prepares students with a strong interdisciplinary perspective and a solid foundation of theory and methodology in policy analysis and management. The PhD program prepares students for successful careers as faculty in university programs in public policy and management, and in research positions in the public and nonprofit sectors.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
109 Parrington Hall, Box 353055
(206) 543-4900

Master of Public Administration

Evans School MPA Program

Evans School MPA is designed for present and future leaders of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, emphasizing broad-based public policy analysis and management knowledge. Degree requirements for the program are flexible and can be tailored for students who are early in their careers, as well as those who have additional years of progressively responsible work experience. While most students enroll full-time and generally take two years to complete their degree, flexible evening and part-time options are also available.

Degree Requirements

72 credits, with a minimum 60 credits from within the Evans School, as follows:

  1. Core Curriculum (36 credits):
    1. Managing Politics and the Policy Process (PB AF 511)
    2. Managing Organizational Performance (PB AF 512)
    3. Public Policy Analysis (PB AF 513)
    4. Microeconomics (PB AF 516, PB AF 517)
    5. Public Budgeting and Financial Management (PB AF 522)
    6. Program Evaluation (PB AF 526)
    7. Quantitative Analisys (PB AF 527, PB AF 528)
  2. Concentrated study in a field of specialization, three courses minimum (12 credits)
  3. Public affairs electives, two-course minimum (8 credits)
  4. An internship (minimum 400 non-credit work hours)
  5. 8-credit degree project (PB AF 608) or Public Service Clinics (PB AF 606, PB AF 607)

For full program details, visit

Executive MPA Program

The Executive MPA program is a cohort-based, modular program designed to meet the needs of senior-level managers and executives with 10 or more years of progressively responsible, professional experience (typically directors, senior managers in or near leadership positions, and high-level technical staff). Students must successfully complete 45 credits of coursework within a specially designed curriculum combining one intensive week, several weekend modules and numerous online assignments. Intensive learning emphasizes a variety of critical concepts in executive leadership, including: performance management and accountability; change management; communication skills; ethics and leadership; executive decision making; human resource management; strategic financial management; and strategic leadership. Emphasis is on decision making, practical application, and integration of learning with experience. The program relies on a cohort model, so entering students must begin their studies with a seven-day residential retreat. Students complete the program in approximately 18 months.

Degree Requirements

45 credits, as follows:

  1. One "Foundation Week" in Strategic Leadership and Performance Challenges: PA EX 501
  2. Twelve three-day weekend core modules in Executive Decision Making (PA EX 502), Strategic Financial Management (PA EX 503, PA EX 505), Executive Economics (PA EX 504), Mission Integrity (PA EX 506), Values and Personal Integrity (PA EX 507), Leading for Human Development (PA EX 508), Leading Across Boundaries (PA EX 509), Negotiation and Mediation (PA EX 510), and Strategic Communication (PA EX 511), Strategic Policy Making (PA EX 512), and Leading for a Legacy (PA EX 513)
  3. Online assignments
  4. Degree project not required

For full program details, visit

Peace Corps Master's International

Peace Corps Master's International (PCMI) students must successfully complete 51 credits of coursework along with two years of Peace Corps service in international nongovernmental organization development and a degree project. PCMI students generally complete all core courses in three quarters prior to leaving for Peace Corps service; upon returning to UW, students complete their coursework and a final degree project in one or two quarters. While on assignment overseas, students remain in touch with their faculty adviser and a returned volunteer from the Evans School. PCMI students generally create a plan of study focused on international nongovernmental management or other international management and policy issues, such as environmental or health policy. Students complete the program in approximately three to three-and-a-half years.

Degree Requirements

51 credits, as follows:

  1. Core curriculum:
    1. Managing Politics and the Policy Process (PB AF 511)
    2. Managing Organizational Performance (PB AF 512)
    3. Public Policy Analysis (PB AF 513)
    4. Microeconomics (PB AF 516, PB AF 517)
    5. Public Budgeting and Financial Management (PB AF 522)
    6. Program Evaluation (PB AF 526 or PB AF 536)
    7. Quantitative Analysis (PB AF 527, PB AF 528)
  2. Electives (including 9 credits of restricted electives: 3 credits each in economics, analysis, and values) (17 credits)
  3. Two years of Peace Corps service
  4. 6-credit degree project related to Peace Corps fieldwork

For full program details, visit

Doctor of Philosophy

The PhD in public policy and management is a research program that prepares its graduates for careers as faculty in university programs in public policy and management, and for research positions in the public and non-profit sectors. The interdisciplinary curriculum draws broadly on theoretical and methodological foundations in policy analysis and management. Substantive policy areas reflect such diverse faculty research agendas as education and social policy, environmental policy, international development, nonprofit management, and urban policy.

This highly competitive and selective program admits three to five excellent applicants each year, and provides funding and mentoring to help them succeed. The program aims to be one of the top programs in the field of public policy and management, serving not only the Pacific Northwest, but the national and the global market for scholars in this field.

Degree Requirements

90 credits, as follows:

Two years, or six full-time academic quarters, of coursework and examinations, research, and the writing of a dissertation beyond the two years.

The first-year core curriculum prepares doctoral students to undertake independent scholarship in public policy and management: Research Design (PPM 502), Institutional Perspectives on Management and Leadership (PPM 504), Microeconomics (PPM 506), Public Policy Processes (PPM 508), Policy Analysis and Evaluation (PPM 510), Quantitative Methods Sequence (SOC 505 and SOC 506 or ECON 580 and ECON 581), and a qualifying examination.

Second year doctoral students increase their analytic and methodological skills. Requirements include Data Analysis Practicum (PPM 512) at least one qualitative methods and one additional quantitative methods course, proposed by the student and approved by the PhD Program Coordinator. Students are encouraged to consider obtaining a statistics certificate from CSSS. At least three courses in a substantive policy field or in management studies are required.

Beyond the second year, requirements include: a general examination/dissertation proposal (advancing to candidacy), preparation of a dissertation of original research, and a final examination (dissertation defense).

Students are expected to complete the degree in four to five years, depending on the individual student. Prior coursework in calculus is expected before matriculation.

For full program details, visit:

Concurrent Degree Programs

The Evans School offers the MPA degree concurrently with the following five programs: Master of Urban Planning (MUP), Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS), Master of Public Health (MPH), Master of Science in Forest Resources (MS), Juris Doctor (JD). Concurrent degree applicants must apply through, and be accepted into, both programs. Admission criteria are those of each individual program.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Evans School is highly competitive and selective, and is based primarily on the applicant's demonstrated ability to complete the graduate program while sustaining a high level of achievement. The School's Admissions Committee reviews previous undergraduate or graduate (if applicable) coursework, grades and GRE test scores, and gives considerable weight to professional experience, previous academic awards or scholarships, volunteer work, letters of recommendation, and the applicant's writing skills as demonstrated in a personal essay. The School admits students annually for autumn quarter.

General Requirements

Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in the United States, or its equivalent from a foreign institution, and have achieved a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 90-quarter (or 60 semester) credits of undergraduate work.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores are required for admission to all programs except the Executive Master of Public Administration. TOEFL scores are required for international students only.

Visit for specific requirements of each program.

Application Deadlines

Because of class-size limitations in the competitive programs, applicants are encouraged to submit applications as early as possible.

Application materials to the MPA program and to the Peace Corps Master's International program must be received online and postmarked by January 15 for priority consideration. Applications received after this date are accepted for review on a space available basis until March 1.

Application materials for the Executive MPA degree program must be received online and postmarked by May 1. Applications received after this date are accepted for review on a space-available basis until July 1.

Application materials for the PhD program in public policy and management must be submitted and postmarked by February 1. Applications postmarked after February 1st are not reviewed.

Applicants to all programs must also apply to the UW Graduate School by the specific program deadlines above.

Financial Aid

For further information, visit:

Evans School Fellowships

The Evans School offers several fellowships to entering students each year from the School's endowed fellowship funds. These typically consist of $4000-$5000 stipends awarded primarily on the basis of academic achievement and/or excellence in public service. Applicants interested in school fellowships must submit the Evans School Financial Aid Form with their Evans School application.

  • Daniel J. Evans Endowment for Excellence in Public Service: Fellowships support students aspiring to excellence in public service.
  • Nancy Bell Evans Endowment for Excellence in Nonprofit Service: Fellowships support students who aspire to excellence in nonprofit service and philanthropy.
  • Jon Brock Endowed Fellowship: Supports outstanding master's students studying conflict resolution and management in public and nonprofit sectors.
  • Elaine Chang Endowed Fellowship: Provides support to outstanding students pursuing studies in international peace and development.
  • Brewster C. Denny Endowed Fellowship: Supports students committed to excellence in public service.
  • Robert J. and Micki E. Flowers Endowed Fellowship: Provides support to outstanding students from diverse backgrounds pursuing careers in public and nonprofit service.
  • Margaret T. Gordon Endowed Fellowship: Supports outstanding Evans School students.
  • Henry M. Jackson Endowed Fellowship: Supports students pursuing careers in environmental policy and natural resources management.
  • Morton Kroll Endowed Fellowship: Provides support to top students pursuing arts management internships.
  • Robert J. Lavoie Fellowship: Provides funds to outstanding students preparing to work in public service.
  • Governor Gary Locke Endowed Fellowship: Supports Asian/Pacific Islander students pursuing studies in public service and politics.
  • Hubert G. Locke Endowed Fellowship: Provides support for students pursuing internships in nonprofit organizations devoted to social justice issues.
  • George A. Shipman Endowed Fellowship: Supports outstanding students pursuing careers in public service.
  • Evans School Alumni Endowed Fellowship: Supports recruiting of outstanding students.
  • Home Street Bank Fellowship: Supports an outstanding graduate student pursuing a career in public affairs.
  • Scottish Rite Scholarship Foundation of Washington PCMI Fellowship: Provides a stipend to an entering student accepted to the Peace Corps Master's International degree program.
  • William Shelton Fellowships: Funded by the Scottish Rite Scholarship Foundation of Washington to promote better government through education.


The Evans School offers many research, teaching, and staff assistantship positions each year. Typically 10 to 20 hours per week, these positions include a monthly stipend, benefits, paid tuition, and health insurance. Hiring is competitive. Most announcements are posted in the spring, or as positions become available, on the Evans School Intranet.

Research assistantships are open to first- and second-year MPA students and to PhD students. First-year MPA students are eligible to apply upon acceptance. Students typically work on grant-funded studies, special conferences, and public policy colloquia series sponsored by the school's research centers. Research assistants are exposed to a wide range of policy issues, including regional growth management, international trade, state and federal entitlement programs, health-and-human-services delivery, and education reform. In addition, some research fellowships are offered each year to highly qualified applicants during the admission process. These fellowships guarantee a paid research assistantship for the first year of study and tuition support.

Teaching and staff assistantships are reserved for second year students and PhD students. Teaching assistants are hired for most core courses. Staff assistantships include such positions as coordinators for international programs, peer advisers, public service clinic/career services coordinators, and computer lab managers.

Work-Study Status

When hiring for hourly positions, the school often gives preference to students possessing work-study status. Work-study positions have included research assistance for faculty and grants, and staff support for the school's centers. Work-study status is one of several forms of aid granted by the University of Washington Financial Aid Office.


Research Facilities

The school promotes the application of research to real-world policy contexts and its integration with the teaching enterprise. In addition to supporting the independent research of faculty members, the school houses several research and policy centers focusing on regional development, family and child welfare, poverty alleviation, nonprofit management and leadership, international development, consensus building and conflict resolution, and education reform.

These centers shape students' educational experiences by offering research assistantships, special events, career networking, degree-project advising, teaching, and guest lecturing in classes taught by center faculty. The availability of research assistantships is based on current projects.

Human Services Policy Center (HSPC)

The center pairs applied analytic research, preventive approaches, and promotion of comprehensive policies to improve the lives of children, families, and communities, especially those who are disadvantaged. Public communications and strategic partnerships ensure that the HSPC's research affects policy. Core programs include educating and caring for young children; communicating about policies for children and families; and profiling child well being (Washington Kids Count).

Marc Lindenberg Center for Humanitarian Action, International Development, and Global Citizenship

The Lindenberg Center prepares students and faculty for life and work in a global society through partnerships that expand teaching, research, and service opportunities in humanitarian action, international development, and global citizenship. The center's programs enable students to understand connections between poverty, hunger, health, and human security, and equip them with the skills and knowledge to create a better, more humane world. In partnership with international organizations, the center conducts research and multi-disciplinary academic training programs that prepare students for work in emergency and humanitarian relief and international development. The center also promotes responsible global citizenship through exchanges with developing countries, internationalization of curriculum, and collaboration with K-12 schools to change the way students see the world and think about global issues.

Nancy Bell Evans Center on Nonprofit Leadership and Philanthropy

The center enhances the understanding and vitality of the nonprofit sector through research, education, and community engagement. The center conducts research of importance to scholars, policy-makers, and practitioners. It also strives to connect scholars doing research with practitioners in the field. A special research focus is the changing service and policy roles of nonprofit organizations, particularly in the context of devolution, privatization, and globalization. The center serves as the hub of nonprofit studies across the UW campus and, in conjunction with the Cascade Center for Public Service, provides growth and learning opportunities for senior-level nonprofit professionals in the Pacific Northwest.

The William D. Ruckelshaus Center

The William D. Ruckelshaus Center, formerly known as the Policy Consensus Center, is a joint venture between the UW and WSU. The center draws together representatives from a wide network of agencies, advocacy groups, businesses, agribusiness, tribal governments, university researchers, and others to find long-term solutions to policy conflicts in Washington State, enhancing the region's capacity for effective, sustainable policy making and problem solving. Policy areas range from natural resources and economic development to labor issues in the business community and elsewhere. The center's activities focus on four major areas: providing an objective forum for conflict resolution or policy enhancement; building capacities through assessment, training, and consulting to broaden stakeholders' perspectives and improve collaboration; researching and disseminating best practices in conflict resolution and policy problem solving; and closing the gap between science and policy.

West Coast Poverty Center

This center serves as a regional hub for research, education, and policy analysis on the causes and consequences of poverty in the west coast states. At the UW, the center is a collaborative venture of the Evans School, the School of Social Work, and the College of Arts and Sciences, and is the newest of three regional poverty centers funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The center fosters opportunities for cross-disciplinary exchanges and collaboration among poverty researchers and practitioners. It supports research on a broad range of poverty-related topics, such as labor market changes and consequences for economic security and social well-being; new patterns of work and family life, including transformations in family formation, employment, and care-giving arrangements for parents and children; and demographic trends and implications for poverty and public policy. Key activities include awarding grants to established and emerging poverty scholars and doctoral students; hosting seminars and research conferences on poverty and public policy; conducting outreach, dissemination, and dialogue with policymakers and practitioners; and mentoring the next generation of poverty scholars and practitioners.

Executive Training, Civic Engagement, and Outreach

Cascade Center for Public Service and Leadership

The Cascade Center, a public and nonprofit leadership training unit, provides executive and mid-level public and nonprofit sector leaders professional development opportunities to strengthen their management skills. A diverse complement of two-day, three-day, and five-day management courses, as well as a two-week executive program, helps meet a wide range of management training needs in the Northwest and the United States.

Cascade Center courses are offered at the UW campus in Seattle. With prior permission, traditional and mid-career MPA students may apply for a maximum of 12 elective credits to be waived from their degree requirements upon completion of Cascade courses, with approval from their adviser. Executive MPA students may apply for up to nine elective credits to be waived from their degree program, with approval from their adviser. Cascade courses are not graded and participants do not earn academic credits. Rather, the Evans School may accept completed Cascade coursework in lieu of required elective credit hours.

Civic Engagement

An important convener of public policy deliberations in the Puget Sound region, the Evans School provides a neutral forum in which leading scholars and practitioners can talk about practical solutions to emerging policy issues. Groups wanting a university partner in public events often turn to the Evans School. Through strategic alliances, the school attracts many people to engage in dialogue with faculty, students, and the greater policy community. Public lectures, conference, symposia, and panel discussions help students enrich their policy studies beyond the classroom. These include the Daniel J. Evans Lessons in Leadership Seminars, the Dael L. Wolfle Memorial Lecture in Science and Public Policy, the Betty Jane Narver Lecture on Women in Public Policy, the Civic Engagement for the Twenty-First Century Seminar Series, the Forum at the Evans School, and the quarterly Dean's Forum.

In addition, through service on commissions, organizational boards, and other means, Evans School professors and students actively assist governments, NGOs, nonprofits, community organizations, and companies to improve society in the United States and abroad. Whether through public service clinics or internships, trainings, or volunteer service projects, students can actively engage their knowledge in serving the public good.

Electronic Hallway

The Electronic Hallway,, is an internationally recognized, online resource for public affairs teaching and curriculum development. It supports the Evans School teaching mission and distributes cases and skill exercises to educators in public policy and management.