Our undergraduate alumni have pursued graduate degrees at many universities. Recent graduates have gone to Stanford University, American University, Seton Hall University, Oregon State University, Portland State University, University of Oregon, University of Washington, Washington State University, Willamette University, and other schools. While they often enroll in Masters in Public Administration (MPA) programs, they also pursue graduate degrees in political science, public policy, international relations, and business administration (MBA). Typically, students pursue a Master’s degree in their applied field first, and some continue on to obtain a Ph.D.

Many students from the legal studies program and our majors have gone to law school. The greatest number go to Willamette University School of Law, but in recent years our graduates have also studied law at the University of Oregon, Gonzaga University, Seattle University, Western State University, and Whittier Law School. In addition, students in other majors and minors attending Western Oregon University have gone to these schools and many others as well. More information on our legal studies program and law schools that our students have gone to can be found here.

When pursuing graduate school, there are some general requirements for the application process to be aware of. To apply for graduate school, you will need to write a personal statement. This is what distinguishes you from all other applicants and helps the admissions committee decide who gets funding, so this statement is of special importance. In addition, you will need to submit letters of recommendation. These should come from faculty in your discipline who know you best and can comment positively on your academic performance. Finally, you will probably need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Most schools use this test as a general academic assessment, and some require you to take it in your discipline. Their website provides practice test information, so you can prepare for this important test. The Service Learning and Career Center has prepared a packet of information regarding graduate school that may be especially helpful as well. If you would like more information on graduate schools, please feel free to contact any of the faculty in the Politics, Policy and Administration Department.

Below are links to common programs at various universities that PPA students enroll in for graduate education.

American University

  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Public Administration and Policy
  • Master of International Relations
  • Master of Political Science
  • Master of Political Communication

Oregon State University

  • Master of Public Policy
  • Ph.D. in Public Policy
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Ph.D. in Business Administration

Portland State University

  • Master of Conflict Resolution
  • Master of Political Science
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Executive Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Public Health: Health Management and Policy
  • Master of Public Administration: Health Administration
  • Master of Public Policy
  • Ph.D. in Health Systems and Policy
  • Ph.D. in Public Affairs and Policy

Stanford University

  • Master of Public Policy
  • Master of Arts in Public Policy (1 year program)

University of Oregon

  • Master of Conflict Dispute and Resolution
  • Master of Environmental Studies
  • Master of Political Science
  • Master of Public Administration

University of Washington

  • Master of Jurisprudence
  • Master of Public Administration in eight areas of concentration
  • Executive Master of Public Administration

Washington State University

  • Master of Health Policy and Administration
  • Master of Political Science with an emphasis in Global Justice and Security Studies
  • Master of Public Affairs
  • Ph.D. in Political Science

Willamette University

  • Master of Business Administration
Sharyne Ryals, Administrative Assistant

Division of Social Sciences 

503-838-8288 | or e-mail: | Location: BELL 231

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