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Research Guides

Political science

The department offers a BA, MA, and PhD degree. Students can also participate in undergraduate certificate programs in political economy and international security. Students typically develop expertise in at least two of the five major fields in political science: political theory, American politics, international relations, comparative politics, and research methods.


Undergraduate students of political science examine the theory and practice of government and politics. They acquire knowledge of political institutions and processes, both in the United States and around the world. Students learn to think critically about public policies and their consequences. They learn how to evaluate individual, group, and mass behavior in political settings, and explore the relationship between such behavior and political institutions responsible for creating and implementing policy. 


Students are taught to communicate ideas about politics clearly and to evaluate and make
arguments about politics and policy. The doctoral program focuses on the development of
students’ mastery of the discipline, the development of their research skills and teaching skills,
and the evolution of a scholarly engagement and professionalism that will ensure a successful
transition to a career.

Affiliated research centers include the Center for American Politics and Public Policy; the Center for
Civic Communication & Engagement; the Comparative Historical Analysis of Organizations and States Center; the Comparative Law and Society Studies Center;Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Sexuality; and The Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies.

Public affairs

The Evans School of Public Affairs offers a number of graduate degrees and certificates in public administration, as well as a PhD in Public Policy & Management.  The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is the primary program, emphasizing fundamentals in policy analysis and management.  MPA candidates can also choose a course of specialization in any of a number of related areas, including leadership, environment & natural resources, international development, and metropolitan & regional policy, among others.  

The Evans School hosts a number of centers and projects that provide public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions a wide variety of resources, support, and expertise.  These include Evans School Policy Analysis and Research Group (EPAR),  the West Coast Poverty Center, the Nancy Bell Evans Center, and the William D. Ruckleshaus Center, among others.