Supplemental Studies in Public Policy Program

The Supplemental Studies in Public Policy program is no longer accepting new applications. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

The Supplemental Studies in Public Policy (SSPP) program is a 10-credit course sequence for students outside of the BA program in Public Policy. This was currently only available to undergraduate students in the School of Information, the School of Public Health, or the Ross School of Business. This program provides an opportunity to acquire a formal specialization in the fundamental and broadly applicable skills of policy analysis, as well as appreciation of key methods and skills necessary to analyze critical social problems. 


Students currently enrolled in the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor School of InformationSchool of Public Health, and Ross School of Business are eligible to complete the SSPP program. 
Students from these school must have: 

  • Taken Public Policy 201 by FALL 2019
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.0
  • Completed PubPol 201 with a minimum grade of B-
  • Attained at least sophomore standing (25 to 54 credits) 


The educational objects for the SSPP are: 

  • Introduce students to social science perspectives on policy analysis;
  • Emphasize critical thinking skills as well as written and oral communication skills;
  • Demonstrate the value of engaging on social issues with people from diverse backgrounds and with policy solutions from diverse perspectives. 


The SSPP requires at least 10 credits. The core course, PubPol 201, is required of all students. The other 6+ credits consist of two or more Public Policy electives. 

1)    Core: PubPol 201: Systematic Thinking About the Problems of the Day 
This course introduces students to the field of public policy. The course is focused on exploring how systematic thinking – largely from the social sciences, but also with the application of scientific methods and knowledge more generally – can make a difference in the way that we approach and solve current problems. The course will consider four or five current problems in some detail, drawing on the expertise of faculty in the relevant areas. The topics can change somewhat from year to year due to events in the world and availability of faculty. The course also examines current events to amplify and illustrate its major themes, and stresses the value of constructive disagreement as a tool to improve the quality of both understanding the policy. There is extensive discussion among students and between students and faculty.

2)    Electives: A minimum of two (2) Public Policy course and six (6) credits 
The Ford School offers a variety of elective courses each year. The common goal is to draw on a range of disciplinary perspectives to explore societal concerns involving politics and public affairs. At least one of these electives must be at the 300 or 400 level, which includes almost all of the Ford electives.