Return to: Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy: Programs/Courses
Open to current UVA undergraduates from all majors, the Accelerated Bachelor/MPP Program allows admitted students to complete both a bachelor’s degree and a master of public policy degree in five years, rather than the normal six.
UVA undergraduate students typically apply for admission during their third year. Applicants must demonstrate that they will have earned at least 90 undergraduate credits before the start of their fourth year. Summer coursework before the fall semester in which the student begins the program is also an option. In addition, prior to enrollment in the Accelerated Bachelor/MPP program, students are required to have completed and earned a C or higher in ECON 2010 (or equivalent) and any one of the following math courses: MATH 1190 - A Survey of Calculus I with Algebra; MATH 1210 - A Survey of Calculus I; MATH 1310 - Calculus I; APMA 1090 - Single Variable Calculus I; or any more advanced calculus course. The math prerequisite can be fulfilled through either coursework or AP credit.
Once admitted to and enrolled in the Accelerated Bachelor/MPP Program, students begin their professional studies at the Batten School while completing their remaining undergraduate coursework to receive their bachelor’s degree. They will take three Batten core courses per semester of their first year with Batten, for a total of six Batten courses during the first year of the program. The remaining two courses per semester of their final undergraduate year are available for students to complete their major, minor, other undergraduate requirements, or electives relevant to the MPP program.
Students must complete all of the academic requirements for and receive their undergraduate degree by the end of their fourth year in order to be eligible to advance to graduate standing and receive the MPP degree.
During the summer in between their fourth and fifth years, Batten students participate in a required internship in a public policy field of the students’ interest. At the conclusion of the summer internship, Batten students return for their fifth year as graduate students completing their MPP coursework.
Curricular Requirements: Accelerated Bachelor/MPP
The Master of Public Policy curriculum instills four distinctive elements into the traditional study of policy analysis:
- A focus on leadership skills.
- A multidisciplinary perspective on the evolving context of public policy.
- Attention to the role of psychological and non-rational factors in decision-making and group behavior.
- A fully realized commitment to experiential learning through hands–on projects, policy simulations, and field experiences.
The core curriculum consists of eleven required Batten School courses.
- Four courses on the concepts and tools of problem solving and policy analysis:
- Two courses on leadership
- One course on the foundations and contexts of public policy
- Four courses centered on applied, experiential learning
The core curriculum provides students with a solid foundation in the concepts, methods and strategies of policy analysis and effective leadership. The program emphasizes teamwork and close interaction among students and faculty.
In addition to core courses, students are required to take 18 elective credits. Electives give students an opportunity to gain substantive expertise in their areas of policy interest. Students may enroll in electives offered by the Batten School and by other graduate and professional schools across the University. Batten students regularly enroll in courses at the Law School, the Darden Graduate School of Business, the Curry School of Education, the School of Architecture, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Students are required to complete an internship in the summer between the first and second years. Students may intern in international, federal, state, or local government agencies; non-profit organizations; or private sector corporations and consulting firms; in the United States or abroad. Students select their internships based on their interests and in consultation with program faculty.
The capstone of the program is an Applied Policy Project in which students perform a professional-quality study for a real-world client under faculty supervision. For some students, the project is an outgrowth of the summer internship, and in some cases, it may lead to a post-graduation position with the client organization. Upon graduation, students are prepared for public service careers in government, non-profit organizations, and private firms engaged in public-private partnerships.