What will I learn?

Solutions to society's greatest challenges require an interdisciplinary approach and broad and deep understanding of the many factors that shape and drive policy decisions.

The Evans School Ph.D. program is a rigorous and rewarding educational experience for those who believe in the necessity of evidence-based, values-driven solutions.

The first year of Ph.D. coursework prepares students for independent research in public policy and management. Prior coursework in calculus, intermediate microeconomics, and multivariate statistics is required before matriculation. The first-year curriculum is full-time, worth at least 30 quarter credits:

Research Design

Perspectives on Institutions

Advanced Microeconomics for Policy Analysis

Public Policy Processes

Policy Analysis & Evaluation

Quantitative Methods (two courses)

Two elective courses

Professional Development Seminar (Proseminar)

Qualifying Exam (must be passed to enter second year)

The second year of coursework enhances research skills while focusing on a chosen research specialization in public policy, management, or a related policy field (e.g. education, environment, poverty, nonprofit management, international development). Second-year curriculum is full-time, worth over 30 credits, and is chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor:

Data Analysis Practicum

Organizations, Management and Theory

Electives in qualitative and quantitative methods

Three or more courses in the chosen research specialization

Courses in a chosen cognate discipline (e.g. economics, sociology, political science)

An elective teaching seminar and three-quarter teaching assistantship at the Evans School or elsewhere on the University of Washington campus

Professional Development Seminar (Proseminar)

Major Area Paper (a critical literature synthesis designed to help identify a dissertation topic)

Ph.D. students have the option to acquire a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management degree upon successful completion of the first two years of coursework, qualifying exam, and Major Area Paper.

The third year includes preparation for and completion of the dissertation proposal and general examination. Students with financial support from the university must maintain a fulltime status of 10 credits a quarter excluding summer.

The fourth year (and possible fifth year) of study focuses on researching, writing, and defending a dissertation. A minimum of 27 dissertation quarter credits are required for degree completion. Students with financial support from the university must maintain a fulltime status of 10 credits a quarter excluding summer.

Which department am I in?

Evans School of Public Policy and Governance

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
US$30,208.00 per year
Start date

Expected September 2022


University of Washington

Schmitz Hall, 1410 NE Campus Parkway,



98195, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Prospective graduate students must meet the following minimum requirements: Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S.1or its equivalent from a foreign institution; Have earned at least a 3.0 grade-point-average (on a 4 point scale) for the last 90 graded quarter credits or 60 graded semester credits. Other English Language Requirements: 580 paper-based TOEFL.

For international students

If you only have a bachelor’s degree, your application will be considered; however, we believe that students with master’s degrees in public policy, public administration, economics, sociology, political science, or related disciplines are, in general, better prepared for our Ph.D. program.

English Proficiency:

The Graduate School is temporarily accepting official test scores for both the Duolingo English Test and the TOEFL ITP Plus For China to assist international students with remote testing options. This policy is currently in effect through the autumn 2021 admission cycle (i.e., students enrolling in autumn 2021).

TOEFL iBT - Minimum Required Score (ELP Required): 80; Recommended Score (ELP Satisfied): 92 or higher

TOEFL pBT - Minimum Required Score: 500

Duolingo: Minimum Required Score (ELP Required): 105; Recommended Score (ELP Satisfied): 120 or higher

IELTS: Minimum Required Score 6.5

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.