Evans School of Public Policy & Governance

Expand your advanced studies with an Evans School Ph.D.

Solutions to society’s greatest challenges require an interdisciplinary approach and broad and deep understanding of the many factors that shape and drive policy decisions. The Evans School Ph.D. program is a rigorous and rewarding educational experience for those who believe in the necessity of evidence-based, values-driven solutions.

Where Our Graduates Go

With $10 million in external research funding, Evans School Ph.D. students and faculty are studying:

  • Effects of adopting higher minimum wages
  • Collaborative network governance of natural resources
  • Life cycle analyses of innovative energy solutions for climate change
  • Cognitive interviews and survey experiments to learn how high school students use federally mandated scorecards in their college choices

Evans School doctoral students acquire advanced skills to study policy problems, drawing on resources from across the University of Washington campus:

Our Ph.D. graduates are:

  • Social scientists, using cutting edge techniques to address some of the world’s most challenging policy problems
  • Professors at top policy schools, educating the next generation of policy scholars and leaders

Are funding or scholarships available?

We offer all students admitted into our doctoral program four to five years of full funding through a mix of research and teaching assistantships at the Evans School. Full funding consists of a tuition waiver, a monthly stipend of approximately $2300-2600, and health insurance coverage. Research and teaching assistantships have a 20 hour a week work obligation. Students are assigned to a research assistantship with an Evans School faculty member in their first year in the program, and then complete a mix of research and teaching assistantships in subsequent quarters. Evans School doctoral students serve as teaching assistants for six quarters on average while in the program.

I haven’t previously taken calculus. Can I still apply?

Yes. If you haven’t previously taken a college-level course in calculus, you can detail your plan to do so if admitted into the program in this section of the application. However, having previously taken a course in calculus can help to make your application more competitive.

Are there minimum GRE scores?

There are no minimum required GRE scores. We review applications holistically, taking into account your prior coursework and grades, your letters of recommendation, your research experience and writing sample, your personal statement, and your test scores. There is not a quantifiable importance or weight to the GRE scores because it can vary even from applicant to applicant. For example, for an applicant with strong prior grades in economics, statistics, and policy-related courses and with strong research experience, GRE scores may be of less significance than they would be for an applicant without very much prior academic experience related to policy.

Can I see job placements of previous Ph.D. graduates?

You can see the profiles of our Ph.D. graduates here, with their current positions listed.

I have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a U.S. institution. Do I need to submit TOEFL scores?

If you will have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a U.S. institution by the time you would start in the program, you do not need to submit TOEFL scores as part of your application.

If you will have a bachelor’s or master’s degree that was taught in English from an institution outside of the U.S., please contact us at evansphd@uw.edu to see if you need to submit TOEFL scores.

I have an MPA/MPP. Can I waive out of courses/credits in your Ph.D. program?

Our Ph.D. program is an academic degree program designed to prepare graduates for careers as tenure-track academics or senior researchers at think tanks or NGO’s. The curriculum of the program focuses on research skill development and professional development within the academic field. For that reason, the curriculum of our Ph.D. program differs in its focus from MPA/MPP programs, and an MPA/MPP is not equivalent to the first two years of doctoral coursework. Students in our doctoral program earn a Master of Science in public policy and management degree upon completion of their first two years of coursework and their Major Area Paper (the literature review of the dissertation proposal).

Ph.D. Student and Alumni News

Explore Ph.D. Courses at the Evans School