He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, then went on to study at the University of Southern California (USC) School of Cinema-Television.
Polk served briefly as a producer's assistant for Amblin Entertainment's TV series known sea Quest DSV.
It is about the marriage and wedding of the main character, Noah Nicolson, and his boyfriend Wade Robinson at Martha's Vineyard.
It received three NAACP Image Award nominations: Outstanding Independent Feature Film, Outstanding Writing in a Feature Film and Outstanding Directing in a Feature Film.
In 2012, Patrik Ian Polk released the film The Skinny, in which he wrote, directed and produced.
He was then hired to work for MTV as a development executive in the newly formed, Paramount-based film division known as MTV Films.
He helped with development of many productions including Beavis and Butt-head Do America and Election.
The film tells the story of five friends who are Brown University classmates -four gay men and one lesbian- as they reunite in New York City for Gay Pride weekend, in which secrets are exposed, lies and lots of drama. Polk's portrayal of the gay African-American community is considered one of his best achievements.
Among other things, Polk notes one experience where he was confronted by one transitioning person that they were experiencing exactly what Noah's Arc characters went through and that they were extremely grateful to him.The latter, a scandalous story about a high school election starring Reese Witherspoon, was nominated for an Oscar in 1999.Polk then began to work for Edmond's Entertainment, or E2 Filmworks.The movie then began showing at theaters in Philadelphia and Dallas in at the end of November and performed well on a per-screen basis.Polk's film received much acclaim throughout the gay community.Polk made his feature film directorial debut with Punks, an independent feature that he also wrote and produced.