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MPP and MPA Programs

University of Washington, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance (Evans) - MPA

Program Comparison Highlights

Institutional Structure: The Evans School of Public Policy and Governance is one of 16 colleges and schools at the University of Washington.

Curriculum Design: The Washington Evans Master of Public Affairs (MPA) degree requirement of 18 semester-equivalent courses (18 4-credit quarter courses plus a required internship) is in the top decile of the programs reviewed. Our PEACO calculations below suggest that typical students take about 64% of their coursework in policy-oriented subjects and 36% in management-oriented subjects. Typical students take about 27% of their coursework in subjects with high math-economics content. This places the Washington Evans MPA in the "high course requirement, policy-oriented, higher math-economics content" curricular type, along with such programs as the Columbia MPA and the Harvard MPP. Among peers in its curricular type, the Washington Evans MPA has an average proportion of required courses, a relatively high number of program-specific courses on offer and a very high proportion of the coursework of a typical students is in program-specific courses taught within the school. The competency gap analysis below suggests that a Washington Evans MPA student taking the required courses and a random selection of listed electives would, on average, graduate with approximately 18 course-weeks of shortfall in the core-competency subject matter identified in MPP/MPA Core Competencies (the lowest of all the programs reviewed to date except for the Harvard MPP, which has 17), including shortfalls of 4 course-weeks in Leadership Skills and in Macroeconomic Policy and 3 course-weeks in each in Human Resource Management.

Professional Program Features: The Washington Evans MPA makes extensive use of current and former practitioners in its teaching. Students have access to professional development modules, career counselling services and co-curricular activities with a professional focus. Graduation requirements include both applied projects and an internship. Many of the faculty have an active practice-orientation in their research. The 10 centres and initiatives featured on the school's site are: Benefit-Cost Analysis Center; Marc Lindenberg Center; Nancy Bell Evans Center; West Coast Poverty Center; William D. Ruckelshaus Center; Consortium on Collaborative Governance; Electronic Hallway; Economic Opportunity Applied Research Project; EPAR (Policy Analysis & Research Group); and Seattle Minimum Wage Study. 

Program Summary


University: University of Washington

Location: Seattle, Washington

Degree: Master of Public Affairs (MPA)

Marketing Approach: "Over the past 50 years, the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance has built a reputation as one of the best public policy schools in the nation. The school is defined by a tradition of rigorous study, innovative research, and, most importantly, a commitment to public service. Our graduates and faculty provide the ideas, expertise, and leadership that guide government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private companies around the country and throughout the world...The Evans School Master of Public Administration (MPA) program emphasizes fundamentals in public policy and management, with specializations available in current public policy fields." (At, accessed 4 September 2015.)

Degrees Awarded per Year: Approximately 200 (based on the MPA student body in 2014-15 of 405, at, accessed 4 September 2015). 

Academic Unit within University: The Evans School of Public Policy and Governance is one of 16 colleges and schools at the University of Washington.

Related Academic Units and Degrees: The Evans School offers a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Management and an 18-month Executive Master in Public Administration.  

Posted Tuition: MPA Program: $20,328 (resident); $35,619 (non-resident) per year, at, accessed 4 September 2015.

Concentration/Curriculum Overview

MPA Degree Requirements

Summary: Students must complete 72 quarter credit hours of coursework, a 400-hour internship, and a capstone project or approved certificate program. The 72 quarter credit hours of required coursework includes core courses and electives, and must include a minimum of 60 quarter credit hours from within the Evans School. The Evans School 36-credit core curriculum provides MPA students with a solid base of knowledge from which they can pursue a wide range of academic courses and professional opportunities in public policy and management. The core courses introduce students to those analytical and managerial skills and perspectives most important in the public and nonprofit environments. 

  • Managing Politics and the Policy Process (PBAF 511)
  • Managing Organizational Performance (PBAF 512)
  • Public Budgeting and Financial Management (PBAF 522)
  • Microeconomic Policy Analysis (PBAF 516)
  • Microeconomic Management Analysis (PBAF 517)
  • Quantitative Analysis I (PBAF 527)
  • Quantitative Analysis II (PBAF 528)
  • Public Policy Analysis (PBAF 513)
  • Program Evaluation (PBAF 526)

Three to four elective credits must be used for an approved values elective course. The remaining elective credits can focus on one or more areas of specialization:

Duration: 2 years

Academic Prerequisite: All applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA during their last 90 undergraduate credit hours of a quarterly schedule (60 credit hours of a semester schedule).

Number of One-Semester-Equivalent Courses Required for Completion: 18 (72 credit hours, equivalent to 16 one-semester course + three-month internship counting as 2 one-semester equivalents)

Note 1: Washington uses a quarter rather than a semester system. We are using the an equivalency of one 4-credit hour Washington courses = 8/9 one-semester course equivalents (given that a full Evans course load appears to be 3 4-credit courses in each of 3 quarters each year and a full course load in semestered systems is typically 4 courses in each of two semesters per year). 

Number of Required Courses: 11 one-semester course equivalents: 9 core courses (equivalent to 8 one-semester courses) plus a capstone project plus a 3-month internship (assigned a value of 2 one-semester course equivalents).

Number of Electives Typically Taken (difference between above two entries): 7

Number of Electives Offered within Program: x.

Comprehensive Examination: No

Thesis Required: No

Internship Required: Yes

International Study Required: No

Co-curricular Activities Supportive to Degree

Professional Development and Career Support: Yes, see Career Services website at

Student-run Journal: The Evans School Review at

Applied Projects: Yes, see Career Services website at

Pro Bono Consulting: Not referenced on program website.

Courses Offered: The full list of courses is found at, accessed 4 September 2015.

Course Material Online: Brief course descriptions are available at but the syllabi are only available to registered users. 

Instructional Distribution (PEACO Profile): The table below indicates the distribution of instruction offered, based on the course assignments to subjects in the Course Map below, weighted by estimated enrolment determined by the PEACO Algorithm. 

Curricular Type Parameters

Number of Courses Required for Graduation


Math-Economics Subjects (EA, QM, Macro, Fin Markets)


Policy-Oriented Subjects


Management-Oriented Subjects


Enrolment-Adjusted Course Distribution

Analysis and Skill Subjects


  - Policy and Management Analysis


  - Economic Analysis



  - Quantitative  and Analytic Methods


  - Leadership and Communication Skills


Institutions and Context Subjects


  - Democratic Institutions and Policy Process


  - Ethics, Rights and Accountability


  - Socioeconomic, Political, and Global Contexts


Management Function Subjects


  - Public Financial Management


  - Evaluation and Performance Measurement


  - Other Management Functions


Policy Sector Subjects


  - Macroeconomic Policy


  - International Development


  - Health


  - Other Policy Sectors




Competency Gap Analysis (in Course-Weeks of Instruction)

Course-Weeks in Core Subjects taken by Typical Student


Surplus or Shortfall Relative to Core Competency Requirement

  - Policy and Management Analysis (CCR = 18 course-weeks)


  - Economic Analysis (CCR = 12)


  - Quantitative Methods (CCR = 12)


  - Analytic Methods (CCR = 6)


  - Leadership Skills (CCR = 9)


  - Communication Skills (CCR = 3 courses)


  - Democratic Institutions and Policy Process (CCR = 18)


  - Ethics, Rights and Accountability (CCR = 6 courses)


  - Socioeconomic and Political Context (CCR = 6)


  - Global Context (CCR = 3)


  - Public Financial Management (CCR = 6)


  - Evaluation and Performance Measurement (CCR = 6)


  - Human Resource Management (CCR = 3)


  - Information and Technology Management (CCR = 3)


  - Macroeconomic Policy (CCR = 6)


  - Environment and Sustainability (CCR = 3)


Subject-Matter Shortfall for Typical Student (Sum of Shortfalls)


Additional Parameters

Total Courses Listed


Courses Designated as Required (inc. Specialization Reqs)


Archetypal Public Affairs Subjects (P&MA, EA, QM, DI&PP)


Archetypal International Affairs Subjects (GC, ID, DS&FR)


Courses Required and Offered

Courses Required to Graduate


Required Courses


Elective Courses Taken by Typical Student


Elective Courses Listed


Enrolment Weight of Elective Course


Total Courses Listed



Source: At and related sites (accessed 4 September 2015).

Page Created By: Ian Clark on 4 September 2015, last updated 5 September 2015.

Washington Evans MPA Course Map
Courses Offered, listed by Public Policy and Management Subject

Analysis and Skills

 Policy and Management Analysis

  PB AF 508 Management Approaches to Service Delivery
  PB AF 512 Managing Organizational Performance (R)
  PB AF 513 Public Policy Analysis (R)
  PB AF 514 Psychology for Policy Analysis
  PB AF 519 Law and Economics
  PB AF 556 Public-Private Partnerships
  PB AF 558 Collaboration and Management Across Sectors
  PB AF 599: Special Topics - Performance Management for Public Service Organizations
  PB AF 599: Special Topics - Quadruple Bottom Line Performance

 Economic Analysis

  PB AF 516 Economics for Policy Analysis and Management I (R)
  PB AF 517 Economics for Policy Analysis and Management II (R)

 Quantitative Methods

  PB AF 527 Quantitative Analysis I (R)
  PB AF 528 Quantitative Analysis II (R)

 Analytic Methods

  PB AF 507 Mediation and Negotiation as Instruments of Public Management and Policy-Making
  PB AF 515 Decision Making for Public Managers (0.75)
  PB AF 518 Applied Cost Benefit Analysis
  PB AF 525 Qualitative Field Methods and Analysis
  PB AF 598: Administrative and Policy Skills Workshop - Project Management (0.25)

 Leadership Skills

  PB AF 403 Professional Leadership
  PB AF 503 Executive Leadership
  PB AF 509 Managing People in Public and Nonprofit Agencies
  PB AF 545 Public Leadership Seminars (0.75)
  PB AF 598: Administrative and Policy Skills Workshop - Effective Collaboration in Diverse Teams (0.25)
  PB AF 598: Administrative and Policy Skills Workshop - Leadership in Public Service (0.25)
  PB AF 598: Administrative and Policy Skills Workshop - Group Decision Making (0.25)
  PB AF 598: Administrative and Policy Skills Workshop - Board Management (0.25)

 Communication Skills

  PB AF 598: Administrative and Policy Skills Workshop - Oral Communication (0.25)
  PB AF 598: Administrative and Policy Skills Workshop - Storytelling for Social Good (0.25)
  PB AF 598: Administrative and Policy Skills Workshop - Writing for Decision Makers (0.25)
  PB AF 598: Administrative and Policy Skills Workshop - Social Media Strategies for Government and Nonprofits (0.25)
  PB AF 599: Special Topics - Social Marketing
  PB AF 599: Special Topics - Becoming Media Savvy
  PB AF 599: Special Topics - Campaign Management and Political Communication


Multiple Subjects

 Internships, Major Projects, Theses, Capstones, etc.

  PB AF 546 Professional Development: Hubert H. Humphrey Seminar (0.25)
  PB AF 605 Degree Project
  PB AF 606 Public Service Clinic
  PB AF 608 Capstone Project (2R)
  Internship (9R/4)

Institutions and Context

 Democratic Institutions and Policy Process

  PB AF 501 Legislative Relations
  PB AF 505 The Law of Public Administration (0.75)
  PB AF 510 Foundations of American Democracy
  PB AF 511 Managing Politics and the Policy Process (R)
  PB AF 520 Intergovernmental Relations (0.75)

 Ethics, Rights and Accountability

  PB AF 504 Leadership Ethics in the Public Interest
  PB AF 506 Ethics and Public Policy
  PB AF 568 Social Justice and Public Policy
  PB AF 573: Topics in Education and Social Policy - Civil Rights Policy

 Socioeconomic and Political Context

  PB AF 560 Inequality, Governance, and Policy in the Metropolitan Region
  PB AF 563 Intergroup Relations and Public Policy
  PB AF 569 Race and Public Policy
  PB AF 570 Foundations of Social Policy (0.75)
  PB AF 574 Economics of Race and Inequality in the United States
  PB AF 576 Poverty and Anti-Poverty in the United States
  PB AF 576 Poverty and Anti-Poverty in the United States

 Global Context

  PB AF 530 International Affairs (0.75)
  PB AF 538 International Organizations and Ocean Management (0.75)

Management Functions

 Public Financial Management

  PB AF 522 Financial Management and Budgeting (R)
  PB AF 523 Advanced Budgeting in the Public Sector
  PB AF 524 Public Sector Financing

 Evaluation and Performance Measurement

  PB AF 526 Program Evaluation (R)

 Human Resource Management

 Information Management and Technology

  PB AF 581 Information Technology and the Policy-Making Process (0.75)

 Regulatory Policy and Management

  PB AF 542 The Law and Economics of Regulation

 Local Government Management

  PB AF 565: Topics in Urban Affairs - Municipal Management

 Nonprofit Management and Advocacy

  PB AF 355 Special Topics in Nonprofits
  PB AF 550 Management of Nonprofit Organizations
  PB AF 551 Nonprofit Management Capstone
  PB AF 552 Philanthropy and Society
  PB AF 553 Nonprofit Financial Management
  PB AF 554 Nonprofit Organizations and Public Policy (0.75)
  PB AF 555 Topics in Nonprofit Management - Marketing for Mision-Driven Organizations
  PB AF 555 Topics in Nonprofit Management - Grant Writing
  PB AF 555: Topics in Nonprofit Management - Public Policy Advocay by Nonprofit Organizations
  PB AF 598: Administrative and Policy Skills Workshop - Fundraising (0.25)
  PB AF 598: Administrative and Policy Skills Workshop - Volunteer Management (0.25)
  PB AF 598: Administrative and Policy Skills Workshop - Social Enterprises (0.25)

Policy Sectors

 Macroeconomic Policy

  PB AF 599: Special Topics - Budgeting and Finance: An International Context
  PB AF 599: Special Topics - Current Issues in Tax Policy

 International Development

  PB AF 531 Development Management in the Twenty-First Century
  PB AF 534 Food and Agricultural Policy in Developing Countries
  PB AF 536 Program Evaluation in the Developing World
  PB AF 539 Values in International Development
  PB AF 540 African Development Challenges (0.75)
  PB AF 541 The Role of Nongovernmental Organizations in International Development (0.75)
  PB AF 587 Water and Sanitation Policy in Economically Developing Countries
  PB AF 537: Topics in International Affairs - Development Practice: Financial Inclusion and Poverty Reduction
  PB AF 537: Topics in International Affairs - Food and Agriculutural Policy in Developing Courntries

 Public Finance and Social Policy

  PB AF 564 Housing and Social Policy
  PB AF 578 Asset Building for Low Income Families
  PB AF 573: Topics in Education and Social Policy - Child and Well-Being and Public Policy


  PB AF 579 Topics in Health Policy


  PB AF 572 Higher Education and Public Policy
  PB AF 575 Economics of Education Policy

 Employment, Labour and Immigration

 Cities, Urban and Regional Development

  PB AF 565 Topics in Urban Affairs - Immigration and immigrants
  PB AF 566 Community Economic Development
  PB AF 567 Community Engagement and Urban Governance
  PB AF 562 Introduction to Neighborhood Planning and Community Development (0.75)

 Environment and Sustainability

  PB AF 582 Communicating Climate Change
  PB AF 588 Environmental Risk Analysis
  PB AF 589 Risk Assessment for Environmental Health Hazards
  PB AF 590 Environmental Policy Processes
  PB AF 593 Climate Change and Energy Policy
  PB AF 594 Economic Approaches to Environmental Management
  PB AF 595 Topics in Environmental Policy and Management: Ethics adn Proactice of Climate Change: Communication and Community Engagement Strategies
  PB AF 596 Ethics and Values in Environmental and Natural Resource Policy (0.75)
  PB AF 597 Role of Scientific Information in Environmental Decisions

 Agriculture and Resources

  PB AF 547 Water Resource Economics
  PB AF 591 Seminar in Resource Policy and Management (0.25)
  PB AF 592 Resource Policy and Administration

 Science, Technology and Innovation

  PB AF 585 Topics in Science, Technology, and Public Policy
  PB AF 586 International Science and Technology Policy (0.75)

 Industry, Trade and Investment

 Energy, Transport and Infrastructure

  PB AF 544 Land Use and Transportation Policy

 Defence, Security and Foreign Relations

  PB AF 535 Seminar in American Foreign Policy (0.75)
  PB AF 599: Special Topics - Emerging Issues in Cyperspace Policy

 Policing and Justice Administration

 Arts and Culture

 Financial Markets

  PB AF 548 Management and Public Capital Markets
  PB AF 577 Topics in Microfinance (0.75)

Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance