Careers in public policy

Our graduates help shape the policy decisions that affect their neighborhoods, their countries, and people around the globe.

A world of possibilities

Ford School graduates understand the facts. They communicate clearly. They make ethical, principled decisions. They lead for positive change in our communities and nations.

Our world is in urgent need of those skills.

Ford School MPP and MPA alumni come from diverse academic and professional backgrounds. And they go on to lead nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and in the private sector. Some hold political office, or they advise policymakers on strategy and policy, and others passionately advocate for issues they care about.  

Our Bachelor of Arts in public policy graduates go on to a diverse array of careers—on Capitol Hill, in classrooms, at hospitals, nonprofits, consulting practices, and law firms. They include the chief of staff for a Member of Congress, an assistant attorney general, and a judge.

What will you do with your Ford School degree?

60% of our on-campus employers have an alumni connection

A growing and powerful network

Our alumni are active and engaged.
Post-grad plans by sector, five year average

MPP/MPA jobs

There are many paths to policy impact.
20% of MPP students intern outside of the U.S. each year

Internships

MPP students take internships around the world.

Alumni spotlights

Check out LinkedIn for additional information about the Ford School alumni.

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Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.

Dr. Demessie (PhD ‘10) advances underserved communities

“Data matters, and we actually have really good data that shows us why race continues to be a strong predictor of outcomes in education, employment, access to healthcare, and the list goes on.”
Read more about " Dr. Demessie (PhD ‘10) advances underserved communities"
State of Michigan (Executive Office of Governor Whitmer)

Brandy Johnson (MPP ‘09) makes college accessible in Michigan

“I’m so appreciative of the Ford School’s emphasis on the summer internship because it was so invaluable. The internship was the domino that set off the rest of my career. There’s no way I would have started MCAN or be where I am today without that experience.”
Read more about "Brandy Johnson (MPP ‘09) makes college accessible in Michigan"
Institute for Defense Analyses

Claudia Muñoz (MPP ‘09) improves U.S. defense and security

“I saw that Ford School students were really good because they were very strong quantitatively, they could write really well, and they were good team players."
Read more about " Claudia Muñoz (MPP ‘09) improves U.S. defense and security"
UNICEF

Tannistha Datta (MPA ‘09) protects children’s rights in India

"The Ford School gave me the ability to discern research easily. They built a strong framework to understand research methodologies and unpack what data is telling us and how we can use that to our advantage."
Read more about "Tannistha Datta (MPA ‘09) protects children’s rights in India"
U.S. Government Accountability Office

Latesha Love-Grayer (MPP ‘02) brings fact-based analyses for better government decision making

“I use the critical thinking, public speaking, and collaboration skills that I developed at the Ford School in just about every moment of my current work day.”
Read more about "Latesha Love-Grayer (MPP ‘02) brings fact-based analyses for better government decision making"
U.S. Senate, Office of Senator Gary Peters

Former Riecker Fellow Chelsea Davis (BA ‘15/MPP ‘19) tackles emergent issues on the Hill

"The Ford School is unique in that you can feel both completely at home yet challenged to push beyond your comfort zone to think and engage more deeply than you ever thought you could."
Read more about "Former Riecker Fellow Chelsea Davis (BA ‘15/MPP ‘19) tackles emergent issues on the Hill"
Global Detroit

Steve Tobocman (MPP/JD ‘97) advocates for immigrant economic inclusion

“I encourage students to concentrate on their writing and for different audiences, and, ultimately, applying those tools in the real world by taking theory and putting it into a complex system. The Ford School does a good job of balancing those things and preparing students for careers in the field.”
Read more about "Steve Tobocman (MPP/JD ‘97) advocates for immigrant economic inclusion"
State of Michigan, Dept. of Agriculture and Rural Development

Kenneth McFarlane (MPA ‘14) pivoted from highest profit to greatest outcome

“The Ford School was a good inflexion point for me and my career. I could get a lot done in a year. Plus, there were a lot of networking connections."
Read more about "Kenneth McFarlane (MPA ‘14) pivoted from highest profit to greatest outcome"
Guttmacher Institute

Zara Ahmed (MPP/MPH ‘09): Dual degree fostered her ‘Swiss Army Knife’ mindset

“The international experience that I gained at the Ford School gave me a perspective on what’s needed, how programs can work, and what they can do to change some people's lives.”
Read more about "Zara Ahmed (MPP/MPH ‘09): Dual degree fostered her ‘Swiss Army Knife’ mindset"
McKinsey & Company Japan

Yosuke Matsuda (MPP ‘03) marries economics and public policy for organizational efficiency

“I prioritized policy schools that are well connected to the economics departments because public policy has multifaceted aspects.”
Read more about "Yosuke Matsuda (MPP ‘03) marries economics and public policy for organizational efficiency"
Population Services International

Schneidewind (MPP/MBA ‘15) practices international development at home and abroad

“Wouldn’t it be great if non-profit organizations and public sector entities utilized some of the evaluation methods, commonly used by the private sector, to measure their performance?”
Read more about "Schneidewind (MPP/MBA ‘15) practices international development at home and abroad"
Center for American Progress

Alan Cohen (MPP ‘75) improves U.S. social security under 7 administrations

“When properly implemented, Social Security is an anti-poverty program. Social security is the biggest anti-poverty program in the country."
Read more about "Alan Cohen (MPP ‘75) improves U.S. social security under 7 administrations"
USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance

Caroline Andridge (BA ‘14) keeps a person-centered approach to humanitarian relief

“We must be willing to constantly reassess our assumptions to improve policies and programming to keep the people at the center.”
Read more about "Caroline Andridge (BA ‘14) keeps a person-centered approach to humanitarian relief"

Student opportunities lead to incredible learning

Skills development

Engaged Learning

Hands-on, practical policy experiences, including policy simulations, international travel, competitions, internships, and more.
Read more about "Engaged Learning"
Skills development

Preparing Leaders

The Ford School helps foster a professional growth mindset that contributes to their success in diverse environments.
Read more about "Preparing Leaders"

Policy Pitch Competition

Students returning from internships pitch their experiences, future goals.
Read more about "Policy Pitch Competition"

Q&A with Iqra Nasir, 2020 Riecker Fellow

Presidential impeachment proceedings, budget requests, and COVID-19 relief packages were part of her "eye-opening" fellowship experience.
Read more about "Q&A with Iqra Nasir, 2020 Riecker Fellow"

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