Program Curriculum

Course Sequence

 

Autumn Quarter

Winter Quarter

Spring Quarter

Year One

BPOLST 500 Policy Process (5)


BPOLST 501 Public Finance and Budgeting (5)

BPOLST 502 Statistics for Policy Studies (5)

Policy Elective (5)

BPOLST 503 Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation (5)

Policy Elective (5)

Year Two

BPOLST 504 Management and Organizations (5) 

Policy Elective (5)

* BPOLST 594 Research Design strongly encouraged as elective

BPOLST 505* Leadership and Organizations (5)

BPOLST 506 Capstone Research (5)

BPOLST 508 Capstone Project (5)

Policy Elective (5)

*As of academic year 2014-2015, BPOLST 505 will no longer be a required course in the core curriculum but will be offered as an elective.

Go to the Time Schedule page for current course offerings.

Our Curriculum

The curriculum of the MA in Policy Studies reflects an innovative, integrated approach to the study of contemporary policy issues in local and global contexts, and prepares students for policy related analyst and leadership careers in public, private and non-profit organizations. It is founded on the belief that students attain their highest levels of understanding and proficiency when combining practice with theory and connecting classroom and real life environments.

Through class seminars, small group collaboration, field research, internships, and a capstone project, students acquire the depth of knowledge, practical experiences, and professional skills that position them for success in the world of policy.

Policy Studies students enter the program as a cohort in autumn of each year. Core courses are offered as seminars that meet once a week. These seminars are combined with on-line and/or individual and small group discussions, workshops, case studies and analytical projects as well as field experiences, service learning and applied research opportunities. The course of study culminates with a Capstone Project.

Elective Credits

There are many options available to students when it comes to choosing electives.  The first place to look is at the BPOLST elective offerings, located for the year on the current courses page. Students can also take graduate level coursework in other degrees, such as Cultural Studies, or 400-level classes that are relevent to their field of study. Students wishing to receive Policy Studies elective credit for courses taken in other departments (either at UW Bothell or UW Seattle) must fill out a Request for Outside Coursework form and obtain faculty approval.

The Policy Studies program requires that students complete at least 10 of their 20 elective credits in BPOLST courses, excluding BPOLST 520: Policy Internship and BPOLST 598: Directed Research

Policy Studies vs. Public Administration

The Master of Arts in Policy Studies degree and a traditional Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree may overlap in some areas of content or focus, but there are some basic differences.

Because the MA in Policy Studies is part of the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, we take a deliberately interdisciplinary approach to Policy Studies, drawing on multiple areas of inquiry, including Political Science, Economics, Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy, and more. In the program you develop the skills that are considered to be the heart of liberal arts education: critical thinking, research, analysis, writing and speaking, philosophical and ethical analysis, and historical and cultural understanding. Many MPA programs, in contrast, focus more on building discrete skills in areas such as budgeting, management, or forecasting, and each course typically focuses on a single area. Because of its interdisciplinary approach, the Policy Studies program incorporates the learning of these and other skills within each class.

Moreover, because the Policy Studies program is a Master of Arts degree, it places emphasis on building a strong theoretical foundation for policy research, whereas an MPA program generally emphasizes public administration. The MA in Policy Studies can serve as an effective springboard for scholarly work at the doctoral level.

Summer Quarter

Students in summer quarter have the option of pursuing directed research, enrolling in policy electives, engaging in an internship or a field research project, or studying abroad.

Course Sequence Archive

View the Policy Studies course sequence up through Spring 2013