Research and Collaboration

The Master of Arts in Policy Studies program places strong emphasis on research and analysis. Students engage in multiple forms of research utilizing various methodologies. Through coursework, internships, directed research, and independent study, students develop a solid theoretical base while honing their skills in research and analysis.

Capstone Research Projectstudents presenting capstone projects

The Capstone research project represents one of the most significant portions of the Policy Studies curriculum. The project is the integration of all facets of the learning experience, allowing each student to utilize the tools of policy research by examining a selected contemporary policy issue. Learn what Capstone research projects have been completed by our students.

Community-based Learning and Research

students outside at community site

 The Policy Studies program is committed to mutually-beneficial relationships with local organizations for the purposes of education and growth. Collaboration is a regular practice within the program and takes various forms, including targeted research, program evaluation, and policy analysis.  Learn about collaborative projects that have enriched the lives of our students and community. 


Applied Course Projectsstudent group holding up project flyers

Policy Studies students are trained in analytical methods and given opportunities to examine real-world public policy issues through applied course projects. These experiences refine students' abilities to define policy problems, identify stakeholders, and propose viable solutions. Read about past applied course projects covering the topics of climate change and traffic congestion.

Conferences and Publications

Graduate students in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences are encouraged to pursue academic opportunities such as conferences and journal publications. Students often present at local, regional, and international conferences to gain professional experience and enhance their portfolios. Additionally, conferences are an excellent way to connect with other scholars who may become future colleagues and collaborators. There are funding opportunities available for students to attend and present at conferences.  

The following resources are identified as useful gateways to academic opportunities:

  • faculty member speaking at podiumCall for Papers - This website is provided by the Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania as a courtesy to the academic community.  CFP's are posted by category. 
  • H-Net Academic Announcements - Search for academic conferences, calls for papers, and programs that may be of interest. 
  • Association for Cultural Studies - Find out about Cultural Studies conferences worldwide!  Other resources may be accessed by ACS registered members. 
  • Conference Paper Guides - Published by the Writing Center Staff at Claremont Graduate University, this resource offers helpful tips on writing conference papers. 

Students often ask for recommendations on conferences that align well with their areas of study. Here are a few that are recommended by students and faculty:

Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management
Conference website; Date: fall
Conference website; Date: spring
The Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving public policy and management by fostering excellence in research, analysis and education. With over 1,500 academic, practitioner, organizational and institutional members, APPAM promotes its mission through the annual Fall Research Conference, with the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (JPAM), the association's journal, several award programs and various activities including international and national conferences and workshops.

Cultural Studies Association
Conference website; Date: spring
The Cultural Studies Association provides a forum for scholars of cultural studies, in all its diverse manifestations, to exchange their work and ideas across disciplinary lines and institutional locations. The Annual Meeting of the CSA provides a venue for scholars, students, and other persons interested in cultural studies to exchange their work and ideas and to collaborate on current or future projects.
Global Washington
Conference website; Date: fall or winter
Global Washington is a catalyst for strengthening the global development sector and its member organizations by leveraging resources, increasing visibility, sharing best practices, convening the sector by country, issue and organization type, and advocating around education and global engagement and foreign policy.

Global Washington is a convener of Washington State-based nonprofits engaged in global development work. The annual conferences are an important gathering for over 450 top policymakers and thought leaders and members of the international development community, who will explore how our region can best harness resources to tackle today’s most challenging issues, in global health, the environment, poverty alleviation and global education.
Imagining America
Conference website; Date: fall
Imagining America emphasizes the possibilities of humanities, arts, and design in knowledge-generating initiatives. Such activity can span disciplines through collaborations with public health, environmental issues, community education, neighborhood development, and others.

Annual national conferences are sites of collaboration, active dialogue, and problem solving around national issues. Each conference explores political, social, cultural, and physical contexts particular to the host city that inform local engagement initiatives, and reflect the national agenda that IA’s board and membership have defined in any given year.Topics are discussed at various levels of scale ranging from the course to campus-wide initiatives and beyond, and from local organizing to national policy and international exchange.

Women Who Rock
Conference website; Date: winter
Women Who Rock Research Project supports, develops, and circulates scholarship and cultural production by faculty, graduate students, undergraduates and cultural producers across disciplines, both within and outside the University of Washington, who examine the politics of gender, race, and sexuality generated by popular music. Its goal is to generate dialogue between academic researchers and music practitioners, and provide a focal point from which to build and strengthen relationships between local musicians and their communities, and educational institutions.