The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of MichiganThe Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan

Applied Policy Seminar

This graduate-level course allows Ford School students to complete a commissioned policy research project for a public-sector client. Under the direction of a faculty advisor, students have tackled dozens of significant public policy problems for organizations like Amnesty International, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, and government officials. 

(L-R) Christopher Falcone (MPP ’14), Jessica Teng (MPP '14), Erin Sullivan (MPP ’14), Matthew Papadapoluos (MPP/MA ’13) testifying before Michigan's House Commerce Committee
Applied Policy Seminar students


The Ford School’s Applied Policy Seminar (PubPol 578) is a semester-long master's level elective that engages students in a supervised consulting project with a real-world client. Teams of 3-6 students work with a faculty coordinator and client representative to develop a project work plan, collect relevant materials and information, conduct research and analysis, prepare a written report, and present findings and recommendations to the client.

Students produce professional-quality work at minimal cost to their clients. In return, clients provide students with real-world experience tackling a meaningful public policy challenge. 

For more information

To discuss the process and outcomes or for more information about how to submit a proposal, interested clients can contact Jennifer Niggemeier, director of Graduate Career Services and Alumni Relations, at

Applied Policy Seminar projects, Winter 2013

Success stories

Guidelines, next steps for organizations interested in participating