Work-Compatible, Accelerated Format

Gain the skills and knowledge you need to excel as a leader with an EMPA from the nationally ranked University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy & Governance. This equity-centered, 18-month program is rigorous, yet practical, allowing you to apply coursework directly to the organizational challenges you’re facing.

The “E” in EMPA technically stands for “Executive,” because that’s the degree graduates will earn. At the Evans School, it also stands for “Equity.” To us, equity means discovering and daylighting disparities, taking anti-racist action, and dismantling systems of oppression. Whether students are learning about leading self, leading others, or leading through change, in this program, it is through an equity lens.

Learn more about our admissions process or sign up for more information.

Our Curriculum and Approach

This 18-month leadership learning experience features 11 courses. Foundation Week — a five-day on-campus course — provides the foundation for your journey. The remaining ten courses combine two-day on-campus sessions with synchronous and asynchronous online study. Online instruction includes independent tasks and assignments, collaborations with your cohort, and live sessions with faculty. Dates of in-person and live online sessions are communicated in advance of each quarter so you can plan ahead.

  • No exams, no 40-page research papers
  • Rigorous, yet practical
  • Apply lessons to real-world experiences and develop tools you can actually use back at work on Monday

The EMPA combines academic research and theory with practical application. Curriculum is iterative and cumulative; topics are all approached from a perspective of higher level management competencies: strategic planning, decision making, capacity building, and leadership development.

Instructors are experienced academics, researchers, and seasoned practitioners. Classes feature rich discussions of best practices drawn from the lived experiences of a diverse body of students.

Coaching is an essential part of growing a leadership skillset and mindset. As part of the EMPA program, students complete four coaching sessions in which they apply and individualize the program’s leadership and racial equity learning streams. These one-to-one sessions with EMPA executive coaches are confidential and intended to support leadership growth in general, as well as the personal growth plan created during Foundation week. The four, 30-minute virtual coaching sessions are typically spaced out to provide support at different points in the EMPA journey.

Questions about the course schedule or curriculum? Contact our EMPA office at