Policy Studies


A Master of Arts in Policy Studies degree leads to career options within public, non-profit, and private sectors, as well as a launching pad for further graduate education. 

Organizational Pathways

Graduates of the program often become:

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Policy Analysts or Researchers
Program Managers or Evaluators
Public Administrators
Non-profit Executives
City or Community Planners
Government Affairs Officers
Policy Advocates

The Policy Studies program provides students with a rich toolkit of skills and vital network of relationships to enhance their future careers. Students are encouraged to draw from their own strengths and experiences to develop a career path unique to their passions and interests.

Academic Pathways

Other graduates go on to complete further graduate education.  The Master of Arts in Policy Studies can be an ideal way to prepare for doctoral programs because of its emphasis on liberal arts skills such as critical thinking, research and analysis, writing and speaking, philosophical and ethical analysis, and historical and cultural understandings.  Graduates have gone onto doctoral programs including: Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Public Policy and Management, and Public Health.

For those interested in further academic study, these resources address the PhD discernment process and provide advice on searching and applying for doctoral programs:

  • The Chronicle of Higher Education contains many articles concerning academic careers.  Browse The Chronicle for information, opinions and advice around trends in academia.
  • The UW Seattle Career Center hosts a series of guides for students pursuing Academic Careers. While geared toward current PhD students, these resources contain useful tips and insights.

As a way of gaining academic experience, students are encouraged to pursue academic opportunities such as conferences and journal publications.

Alumni Storiesstudents in graduation robes

Policy Studies graduates are working in a variety of roles and sectors. Learn about some of our alumni, where they are now and how the MA in Policy Studies program has contributed to their career success and personal development.

Career Resources

Students and alumni can find information on employment, assistantships, and other career resources at UW Bothell Career Services.

Policy Studies graduates have excelled in many of the sectors that recruit MPAs. More information on these professional sectors can be found here.

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"The neat thing about the UW Bothell campus is that it is still a relatively small, tight knit community, and you can make connections that take you places.  This experience steered me into higher education policy, which is where I am now.  It was a direct link to my career path."

-Andi Smith, '05
Executive Director of External Affairs, Governor Jay Inslee