What counts as an introductory social science course for the prerequisites? Any course with a social science designation in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts--courses that are an entry point into that unit’s curriculum--will be considered. Many applicants take more than one such course, in addition to Econ 101 and 102.
Can I take prerequisite courses on a pass/fail basis? While there is no rule against taking prerequisite courses on a pass/fail basis, we recommend that you take these courses for a grade. It will provide the Admissions Committee with more evidence about your academic preparation for the program.
What is the average class size in the Ford School? The policy seminars (PUBPOL 495) are restricted to Ford School BA students and have approximately 25 students. Many other classes typically have around 40-50 students, and they often have a GSI in addition to the faculty member teaching the class.
What are the degree requirements for the BA in public policy? Coursework combines classes in economics, political science, and other social sciences disciplines with integrative policy seminars that provide opportunities for students to work together in teams to apply their skills in the analysis of contemporary policy problems. The complete degree requirements are available online.
What is a focus area? The focus area is the keystone of the BA curriculum, allowing students to obtain valuable insight into a policy area of interest. Students choose a combination of 12 credits related to their policy area of interest for their focus area. These can be LSA courses, Ford School electives (separate from the electives used to meet core requirements), or courses taken during study abroad or study away.
Can I pursue a minor? Yes. Courses that fulfill a U-M minor can also be included in the focus area requirement for the public policy degree.
Can I pursue a dual-degree? No. This policy allows us to keep the BA program small and allows students to focus their academic work during their two years in the program. However, students have the option of pursuing more than one minor, if they remain on track for graduation.
I have quite a few credit hours already because of AP credit and study during the summer. Can I complete the BA in one year? No. We expect students to be enrolled in the program for at least three terms so that they can take a policy seminar in each of two years.
What are my study abroad options? We encourage students to think about study abroad, Michigan in Washington, or Semester in Detroit, and will work with students to fit one of these programs into their coursework. Approximately 30 percent of the students in our program spent at least one term in an off-campus program. We require students to be enrolled in Ann Arbor their first and last terms in the program, which means that students should plan their off-campus study for the winter term of the junior year, the fall term of their senior year, or the summer between their junior and senior years.
Are internships required? No, however many students choose to complete an internship when their schedules allow.
What if I would like to do an internship? The Public Service Intern Program , administered by the U-M Career Center, is one prominent option. The Ford School does not arrange for undergraduate internships, but information about a variety of internships is available on the CTools site for Ford School undergraduates. The school also works with the U-M Career Center to provide additional resources and opportunities for students.
Can I get credit for an internship? We do not give academic credit for internships unless they are part of a formal academic program (e.g., Michigan in Washington).
Do you offer an honors thesis option? No. The projects students will pursue in the policy seminars (one each year) will provide an alternative to the traditional honors thesis.
What are the language requirements? Fourth term proficiency, the same as LSA.
Do you offer night or online classes? We do not offer online courses. Courses are offered in the evening only if that is the only time a faculty member is available to teach the course.
Can transfer credit be used to fulfill program requirements? Yes, transfer credit, including study abroad credit, may be used to fulfill program requirements. First, you must check if the course is transferable to U-M. Information can be obtained at the Undergraduate Admissions Office (1220 SAB) or by visiting LSA’s helpful transfer credit website . Please also be aware that a maximum of 60 transfer credits are allowed to count toward your degree, and that once you reach junior status at U-M (55 or more credits), you may not transfer credit from a community or junior college.
Can I take major courses on a pass/fail basis? No. All courses counted toward your major should be taken on a graded basis. The only exception to this rule is for independent study courses offered through other departments, which may be offered only on a credit/no credit or a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. These may be counted toward the major if approval from an advisor is received in advance.
Can I take courses in the Ford School even if I’m not in the BA program? Yes, we welcome students from across campus to take our classes. With the exception of the policy seminars (PUBPOL 495) and an occasional special case, Ford School undergraduate classes are open to all undergraduate students at U-M.
How often do you offer PUBPOL 201: Systematic Thinking About Problems of the Day? Once a year, in the fall term.
Can study abroad classes be included in my focus area? What if they don't count for U-M credit or directly correspond to U-M classes? Yes, you can use up to two study abroad courses for your focus area (out of a minimum of four). This is true even if your courses weren’t taken through a U-M program and your letter grades won't show up on your transcript except as Pass/Fail. Also, you can check if your study abroad program’s courses will transfer as U-M credits using this link. Importantly, when you list study abroad classes in your focus area, you must also attach your syllabi and any other relevant information. (This is in place of filling out a petition form as you would for appealing area distribution classifications.) Your study abroad classes are subject to the same review process as your other classes.
Can my AP classes from high school fulfill distribution requirements? No, like most U-M undergraduate schools and colleges, the Ford School does not allow AP credit to be applied toward distribution requirements (see page 16 of the BA Handbook).
What courses can be taken Pass/Fall? BA students may use a maximum of 30 credits of classes taken on a pass/fail (P/F) basis toward their total 120 degree credits. Students may not take public policy core classes or focus area classes P/F.
Can I take the equivalent of Econ 101, Econ 102 or Stats 250 at another university? How about using AP credit for these requirements? You will need to take 101 and 102 before you can matriculate in the fall. As long as the courses you take are approved for credit on the University transfer equivalencies page, the Ford School will accept them. As for taking classes elsewhere, not all community colleges offer rigorous economics classes, so be mindful of that when enrolling, as you want to be well-prepared for our curriculum. You may take Stats 250 at a different university to fulfill your requirement. Use this link to find a class and university near you that will count as Stats 250. Once you've completed the course, send your transcript to Undergraduate Admissions and they will add the course to your U-M transcript.
What is the process for completing a minor? Many Ford School BA students complete minors. Please follow instructions from the department in which you are seeking a minor. If your classes are not showing up properly on Wolverine Access, please contact the Ford School Registrar, Mandy Ciacelli. Also, if relevant, courses that fulfill a minor can also double-count toward a focus area.