School of Public Policy

1200 Thurgood Marshall Hall
Phone: 301-405-6330

Dean: Robert Orr, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs​: Nina P. Harris, Ph.D.

The school currently offers a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy, as well as minors in Nonprofit Leadership and Social Innovation, Sustainability Studies, Science, Technology, Ethics and Policy (STEP) and Public Leadership. Courses may be found under PLCY. These courses are suggested for students wishing to develop knowledge and experience in public policy and leadership. The school also offers a 5-year bachelor's/master of public policy program for selected students. For additional information on the wide range of undergraduate opportunities see

Admission to the Major

First-time freshmen students who wish to major in Public Policy at the University of Maryland are encouraged to apply for admission to the university by the early action deadline of November 1. There is no separate application for our major and seats in the major are guaranteed as we are NOT a limited enrollment program.

Current University of Maryland students who wish to add the Public Policy major should contact our advisors at for more information. Our major is not limited enrollment so all students are welcome assuming you have time to complete all the major requirements.

Professors: D. Besharov (Prof), A. Bhargava (Prof, Affiliate Prof), S. Fetter (Prof), R. Grimm (Prof Of Practice & Dir), N. Hultman (Prof & Dir), P. Joyce (Prof), B. Mussington (Prof Of Practice), R. Orr (Prof & Dean), S. Parker (Prof), A. Patwardhan (Prof), S. Pearson-Merkowitz (Prof), L. Qiu (Prof & Assoc Dean), P. Reuter (Dist Univ Prof), P. Swagel (Prof), K. Walsemann (Prof)

Associate Professors: A. Bies (Assoc Prof & Dir), N. Carter, (Assoc Prof), T. Egan (Assoc Prof),  C. Merritt (Assoc Prof), J. Ronquillo (Assoc Prof & Dir), J. Shifrinson (Assoc Prof), R. Sprinkle (Assoc Prof), M. Woldemariam (Assoc Prof)

Assistant Professors: A. Calderon (Asst Prof), C. Dunning (Asst Prof), J. Martinez Guzman (Asst Prof), L. Spreen (Asst Prof), J. Tremblay-Boire (Asst Prof), A. Worsnop (Asst Prof), C. Worsnop (Asst Prof)

Clinical Professors: P. Bory (Assoc Clin Prof), P. Brown (Assoc Clin Prof & Dir), E. Johnson Cooper (Assoc Clin Prof), E. Duke (Clin Prof), A. Hackshaw (Assoc Clin Prof), A. Kaiser (Clin Prof), B. Slaughter (Assoc Clin Prof), J. Stillwell (Assoc Clin Prof), S. Washburn (Clin Prof)

Research Professors: D. Backer (Res Prof), R. Bierbaum (Res Prof), U. Dadush (Res Prof), N. Gallagher (Res Prof & Dir), W. Lucyshyn (Res Prof), W. Nolte (Res Prof)

Associate Research Professors: L. Andrews (Assoc Res Prof), C. Bertram, Y. Cui (Assoc Res Prof), N. Dietz (Assoc Res Prof), C. Harry (Assoc Res Prof & Dir), T. Hilde (Assoc Res Prof)

Assistant Research Professors: K. Kennedy (Asst Res Prof), J. Lou (Asst Res Prof), T. Wild (Asst Res Prof), M. Zhu (Asst Res Prof)

The Public Policy major has mandatory advising every semester. Academic advising is an ongoing process that helps students clarify their educational and career goals, and then chart a meaningful plan for achieving those goals. Advising is the joint responsibility of the student and the advisor. The advisor assists students in evaluating their degree progress and helps them select appropriate courses and other educational experiences tailored to their personal goals. Ultimately, students are responsible for making decisions, setting and meeting identified goals and published requirements. More information for students can be found here. Students can contact the Public Policy advising office by calling 301-405-6330 or emailing  

Living-Learning Programs

Public Leadership Program in College Park Scholars

A living-learning program of the University's College Park Scholars, Public Leadership explores the theory and practice of leadership, empowering students to become social change agents through hands-on public service projects and examination of pressing social, political and economic issues. Join a community of students from across the university who are committed to developing their leadership skills for the common good.

Learn more about Public Leadership 

iGive: Carillon Community

A living-learning program in the University's Carillon Communities, iGive explores a big question that matters to our world - how can you use philanthropy, innovation and social change for good? Spend your freshman year with a group of like-minded students as you identify a social cause you share a passion for and then develop and practice leadership skills as you support a local nonprofit organization.

Learn more about iGive 

Specialized Academic Programs

Rawlings Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program

Honoring the legacy of Howard Peters "Pete" Rawlings and his decades of public service in the Maryland House of Delegates, the Rawlings Program provides students the opportunity to champion causes they are passionate about and advocate for those in the community that are underserved and marginalized. Combining mentorship, engagement with expert faculty and public leaders, and hands-on experiences working in the community, the Rawlings Program realizes students' commitment to ethical leadership and public service. 

Learn more about the Rawlings Program

Financial Assistance

Scholarships in the School of Public Policy

Opportunities for scholarship provide not just funding for your education, but the chance to be part of a legacy. The School of Public Policy’s prestigious scholarship awards, generously endowed by members of our community committed to helping finance education, are awarded to undergraduate students each year. The School of Public Policy offers funding for both admitted prospective students as well as current students. To learn more and apply for scholarships, please review the details found here

UMD Financial Aid

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OFSA) administers all types of federal, state, and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For more information, visit: