All MPA students must complete an approved values elective course. Please note that this course must be taken for a grade.

Learning Objectives

Values, ethics, and equity elective courses must provide students with:

  1. Opportunities for critical reflection and examination of various aspects of their own values, biases, and ethical commitments, and how these commitments might be pursued;
  2. Deeper understanding of the frameworks that explain how policy and management shape and are shaped by values, cultural norms,  or structural inequities (overall or in a specific policy area);
  3. The means to engage respectfully with the values and ethical ideals of others in a diverse and pluralistic society;
  4. The capacity to understand and evaluate ethical claims and arguments in public policy, management, and deliberation;
  5. The practical knowledge and tools needed for ethical service as a public leader.

To be considered as a values elective, a course must have at least one major assignment focused on values, ethics, or equity and values, ethics, and equity must be pervasive in the syllabus. The following courses meet these criteria.

Approved List of Values, Ethics, and Equity Elective Courses

PUBPOL 502 Strategy for Public Leaders
PUBPOL 503 Executive Leadership
PUBPOL 504 Leadership Ethics in the Public Interest
PUBPOL 506 Ethics and Public Policy
PUBPOL 510 Foundations of American Democracy
PUBPOL 531 Development Management and Governance
PUBPOL 536 Diagnosing and Reforming Corrupt Systems (formerly PUBPOL 537)
PUBPOL 539 Values in International Development
PUBPOL 541 The Role of NGOs in International Development
PUBPOL 559 Advanced Performance Management: Quadruple Bottom Line Lab (formerly Quadruple Bottom Line Performance)
PUBPOL 563 Intergroup Relations and Public Policy
PUBPOL 566 Community Economic Development
PUBPOL 569 Race and Public Policy
PUBPOL 573 Crime and Punishment Policy
PUBPOL 573 Employment Equity and Discrimination (formerly Equity in Employment)
PUBPOL 573 Homelessness and Social Justice
PUBPOL 576 Poverty and Anti-Poverty in the U.S.
PUBPOL 582 Communicating Climate Change
PUBPOL 596 Environmental Risks and Values
PUBPOL 599 Values and Bias

To see which PUBPOL values electives will be offered this year, please view the MPA Course Planning Guide

Courses in Other UW Departments

MGMT 504 Ethical Leadership and Decision Making (note: this course is currently only open to Foster MBA students. Any concurrent MPA/MBA students are welcome to count this course as their values elective.)
URBDP 564 Planning History, Theory, Ethics

Students may also petition to satisfy the values elective requirement with courses not on the approved list by emailing Student Services with the course number and name as well as a copy of the syllabus and getting written approval.