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

Applying to the Ford School BA program

Interested in the Ford School's bachelor's degree in public policy? Students apply to the program during their sophomore year and are admitted to the Ford School for their final two years. Read on to learn more.


Undergraduate applications are due by February 1 of each year. Students will be notified about admissions decisions by the end of March.


Before beginning the program, students must have junior standing at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and must complete the following prerequisites:

  • Principles of Economics I (Econ 101)
  • Principles of Economics II (Econ 102)*
  • One introductory social science course, such as:
    • Systematic Thinking about Problems of the Day (PUBPOL 201)
    • World Politics (PS 160)
    • U.S. History, 1865 to the Present (Hist 161)
    • Contemporary Social Issues (Soc 102)
    • The Mass Media (Comm 101)

Apply online

The short application form can be completed online, and is available beginning in November. The application involves a series of questions, two short essays, a resume, and a transcript, as described below: 

  • Essay #1: Explain how your background, experiences inside and outside of the classroom, career aspirations, etc., compel you to pursue a degree in public policy. (300 words)
  • Essay #2: Identify a contemporary policy issue that interests you and discuss the most important considerations that a successful solution to the problem would have to take into account (400 words)
  • Resume: Upload an up-to-date resume, with extracurricular activities, past work experiences, internships, student leadership positions, volunteer work, etc.
  • Transcript: An unofficial copy of your University of Michigan transcript is required.**

Please upload all documents in Microsoft Word, PDF, or plain text format.

* Most applicants to the undergraduate program complete all prerequisites in advance of their application; however, there is some flexibility. Please feel free to contact us to discuss.

** Additional transcripts are required for any college-level coursework completed outside the University of Michigan.