Program Curriculum

Program Changes Begin 2017-2018

Policy Studies has streamlined and focused its curriculum, enabling students to obtain their master’s degree in just 12 months. 

The new curriculum provides a slightly thicker core curriculum, intended to build essential policy analysis skills, structure professional development and academic advising, and scaffold design and execution of research capstone projects.

The new curriculum expands structured opportunities for applied research, community engagement, and professional development.  It deepens support for quantitative learning, and emphasizes equity and diversity as normative values.


The Policy Studies curriculum 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, a practicum, 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.

New Policy Studies Curriculum

(Begins Fall 2017)
12-month program/4 quarter
Total required credits= 45

6 core courses (5 at 5 credits; 1 at 1 credit x 4 quarters) = 29 credits
1 research methods course requirement = 5 credits
1 elective course = 5 credits
Capstone requirements = 6 credits

12 Month Program
Quarter Courses
Early Fall BPOLST 510 Statistics Fundamentals for Policy Studies (5)
Autumn BPOLST 511 Policy Process and Analysis (5)
BPOLST 509 Pro-seminar (1)
Policy Elective (5): Sustainability, Social Policy, Leadership etc.
Winter BPOLST 502 Statistics for Policy Studies (5)
BPOLST 513 Practicum (5)
BPOLST 509 Pro-seminar (1)
Spring BPOLST 514 Management and Program Evaluation (5)
Research Methods Requirement (5): BPOLST 594 Research Design, BPOLST 520 Internship, or BPOLST 598 Directed Research in Advanced Quantitative Methods
BPOLST 509 Pro-seminar (1)
Summer BPOLST 507 Capstone Project (6)
BPOLST 509 Pro-seminar (1)


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 relevant to their field of study. To find other UWB courses, please refer to the UWB Time Schedule. To find courses on the Seattle campus, please refer to the UWS Time Schedule.

Students wishing to receive elective credit for courses taken in other departments (either at UW Bothell or UW Seattle) must fill out a Petition for Outside Coursework and obtain faculty approval.

Course Sequence (for students admitted prior to Fall 2017)

Total required credits=60
18 month/6 quarter program

5 core courses (5 credits each) = 25 credits
5 elective courses (5 credits each) = 25 credits
Capstone requirements = 10 credits

Two year program

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 506 Capstone Research (5)

Policy Elective (5)

BPOLST 508 Capstone Project (5)

Policy Elective (5)

The 2016-2018 cohort will take BPOLST 514 instead of BPOLST 504 in Spring 2018.  Students in this cohort may also opt to modify their 10-credit capstone sequence to participate in the practicum opportunities.

Students admitted prior to 2017 are required to complete at least 10 of their 25 elective credits in BPOLST courses, excluding BPOLST 520: Policy Internship and BPOLST 598: Directed Research. If you wish to modify these requirements, in light of the current curriculum changes, you must submit a General Petition.

Go to the Time Schedule page for current course offerings.


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