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College of Arts and Sciences School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs


Welcome to the website of the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs at Washington State University.  The School offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate courses leading to the B.A. degrees in Political Science and in Philosophy, the M.A. degree in Political Science (Certificate in Global Justice and Security Studies), the Master of Public Affairs degree (offered at the Vancouver campus), and a Ph.D. degree in Political Science.  Students who graduate from our programs are imbued with a desire to engage in life-long learning and are also very competitive in a variety of job markets.

In addition to teaching and public service, faculty and graduate students engage in problem-oriented research addressing some of the most pressing political and philosophical issues of our time including global climate change and environmental policy, bioethics, health policy, national security and international terrorism, political communication, global justice, and political psychology. Many of the faculty embrace interdisciplinary research programs which allows for a multi-dimensional approach to addressing societal issues and problems.

We welcome inquiries from current and prospective students, alumni, news organizations, and the general public.

Steven Stehr
Interim Director

News and Events

Former Ph.D. student Susanna (Sanne) A.M. Rijkhoff (Political Science, Ph.D., 8/2015), was awarded the 2016 Dissertation Award from the Western Politics Science Association for the best doctoral dissertation completed at a university within the regional groupings of the WPSA between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. The search committee wrote the following about her dissertation:

“Out of a very strong field of nominees, your dissertation showed conceptual nuance and theoretical sophistication, and excellent use of data with novel and appropriate methodological techniques.  It articulated an interesting – and important – set of questions about political cynicism and political participation in the United States, and gave us a counter-intuitive answer that contributes to distinguishing disengagement and demobilization from affective cynicism (and helps us imagine ways that cynicism can be mobilizing and energizing).  And, it was clearly written – such that even those of us who do not specialize in the methods you employed were able to understand and evaluate the work. In short, it is an exceptionally good dissertation, and we are happy to be able to honor it at the WPSA.”

This is the first time a student from WSU has received the dissertation award from WPSA.

Congratulations Sanne!

Read more at CAS News