Start your journey with Ph.D. Admissions

The Ph.D. admissions team enrolls approximately five new students in our Ph.D. program each year with the expectation that it will take four or five years to complete the degree. All admitted Ph.D. students will be provided with a funding offer at the time of admission. Students in other degree programs at UW may be interested in augmenting their degrees with our Ph.D. Concentration in Public Policy and Management.

Application Deadline: December 15

Find out about the Ph.D. degree requirementscurrent Ph.D. students and more by contacting the Evans School Student Services office at or 206.543.4900.

Gather your required University of Washington (UW) Graduate School – Evans School application materials:

  • Application fee of $85 (U.S.).
  • Resume, including:
    • Relevant academic, professional, volunteer, or military experience
    • Academic and/or professional honors, prizes, or scholarships
    • Leadership positions and professional affiliations
  • Writing sample of a sole-authored piece of work showing your analytic and writing capacity. The sample should be cut down to 30 pages or fewer if taken from a longer document.
  • Statement of purpose, describing in 750 words or less:
    • Yourself and your experience in the context of your decision to purse the Ph.D. in public policy and management
    • Your expectations of the Ph.D. program in furthering your career objectives
    • Your research interests and how you see them matching the strengths of the Evans School
    • Your academic background, research, professional, and other experiences as well as any other factors relevant to your interest in public policy and management
  • Unofficial transcripts from each college or university you have attended. Upon acceptance into the program, students will be asked to send an official copy of their transcript to the UW Graduate School office for degree verification purposes.
    • If you only have a bachelor’s degree, your application will be considered; however, we believe that students with master’s degrees in public policy, public administration, economics, sociology, political science, or related disciplines are, in general, better prepared for our Ph.D. program.
    • Admitted students will be required to complete a college-level course in calculus before enrolling in the Ph.D. program. The application asks about your prior calculus coursework. If you haven’t previously taken calculus, you can briefly detail (in two sentences or fewer) your plan to do so if admitted into the program.
  • Three letters of recommendation, to be submitted electronically by your references after you complete the online application. At least two of the letters should be from faculty familiar with your academic work, and all three should address your capacity for pursuing an advanced research degree. You may designate up to five recommenders in the application system, but only three letters are required for your application to be complete.
  • GRE Scores or Quantitative/Analytic Resume: For the 2022-23 application year, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants to the Evans School Ph.D. program have the option of either submitting official GRE scores OR addressing their quantitative and analytic preparation in a Quantitative/Analytic Resume. Applications without one of these components will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.
    • Applicants who choose to submit GRE scores need to have official scores sent from ETS. GMAT scores can be submitted in place of the GRE, but the GRE is preferred. Scores should be sent to the University of Washington (institution code: 4854).
    • Applicants who choose to submit a Quantitative/Analytic Resume should use the template provided. The template collects complete information about quantitative and analytic coursework and professional experience.
  • TOEFL scores, or other demonstration of English language proficiency, for applicants whose native language is not English. See the full list of ways to establish English language proficiency.
    • As of May 1, 2017, the Evans School no longer accepts IELTS scores as a measure of English language proficiency. Please contact the admissions team at or 206-543-4900 if you have any questions.
  • A research proposal is not required for the application, but we ask applicants review Potential Ph.D. Advisors and identify 2-3 whose research aligns with your interests. You may include a 1 or 2 sentence explanation for each faculty member about why you have selected them. 

Complete the UW Graduate School online application for the Evans School. During this process, you will be asked to identify which Evans School program you are applying to. Select Public Policy & Governance – Daniel J. Evans School – Ph.D. (Public Policy & Management) as your degree option. You will then be directed to the appropriate Evans School portion of the application to submit the majority of your required application materials.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 $2,300-2,600, 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.

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.

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.

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

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 to see if you need to submit TOEFL scores.

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).