Research and Experiential Learning

Engage in Unique Student Research

Senior Capstone Project

As a Public Affairs Senior, you will investigate an identifiable public or social problem about which you are capable of gathering information.  

Recent Capstone Projects include:

  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of Rapid Rehousing in Reducing Family Homelessness
  • Food Literacy for the Future: Impact of School-Based Food Education on Youth
  • Bridging the Value-Action Gap for Reducing, Reusing, Recycling through Environmental Communication Best Practices
  • The Efficacy of Community Based and Restorative Justice Programs in Lowering Juvenile Recidivism Rates
  • Alternative Discipline: A National Review and Recommendations for Program Implementation
  • Syringe Services Program as HIV Prevention: Addressing Critiques and Geographic Disparity of Coverage
  • Effective Methods of Arts Advocacy and Funding for Seattle’s Creative Advantage Initiative

Present Your Work

You may choose to present your research at the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research. Through this annual conference, NCUR creates a unique environment for the celebration and promotion of undergraduate student achievement, provides models of exemplary research and scholarship and helps to improve the state of undergraduate education.

Apply for a Scholarship, Fellowship or Research Grant

Contact Us

Kevin Ward, PhD

Associate Professor and Director Casey 210-18


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Engage with the Local Community

Seattle University’s Center for Community Engagement s the main entry point for students, faculty, and staff for all forms of community engagement. The volunteer portal for all of their programs, including the Seattle University Youth Initiative, is a good place to get started if interested in volunteering. 

Isabel Gilbertson '22

A headshot of a student

Dr. Chengxin Xu and PUBA student Isabel have been investigating discrimination against immigrants in the U.S. healthcare market. "My work on this project has allowed me to contribute to research related to health equity and access and learn about the research process. This project's examination of discrimination is important, but even more so because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has increased racism and xenophobia in the United States." 

  • The Udall Foundation awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service and commitment to issues related to Native American nations or to the environment.  Contact Tanya Hayes for additional information.
  • The Truman Scholarship is the premier graduate fellowship in the United States for those pursuing careers as public service leaders.
  • The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers research, study and teaching opportunities in over 140 countries to recent graduates.
  • The Public Policy and International Affairs Program helps students achieve a Master’s or joint degree, typically in public policy, public administration, international affairs or a related field.
  • The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management offers a fellowship that supports the travel and participation of up to 40 students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds at the APPAM Fall Research Conference. 


  • The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) brings ten (10) undergraduates from underrepresented groups to the ARNOVA annual conference to attend a workshop on paths to higher education, ideally in the field of nonprofit, philanthropic and voluntary action studies.  
  • The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation
  • Challenge Detroit is a competitive leadership and professional development program that invites tomorrow's leaders to live, work, play, give and lead in and around the greater Detroit area.
  • Gortons Leadership Program offers ten-month fellowships to undergraduate students in the Pacific Northwest to participate in monthly roundtables with foreign policy experts and to support their professional development.
  • Learn about additional fellowships and receive application support at the SU Office of Fellowships