Integrated Policy Exercise

2021 is off to a busy start at the Ford School! We kicked off the Winter semester with the annual Integrated Policy Exercise (IPE). The IPE requirement is a three-day simulation requiring Ford students to collaborate, make decisions, and offer solutions to address a real world policy issue. 

This year, Fordies tackled the issue of climate-induced migration on the international stage in a simulation spearheaded by Professor Ann Lin. Participants assumed the roles of nations, non-governmental organizations, and media outlets as they worked to build consensus and determine the best approach for addressing climate change and responding to its impacts. 

Over winter break, students prepared policy memos and other documents to accurately represent their stakeholder’s views during the simulation. During the three-day activity, participants met with regional coalitions to discuss policy priorities before breaking off into negotiated task forces of like-minded nations and NGOs. 

At the conclusion of the event, students in the “UN General Assembly” approved three resolutions affirming the need to address climate change and proposed the convening of another conference to discuss the legal status of climate refugees. One resolution, championed by several nations focused on preserving state sovereignty, was defeated. 

The Ford School’s Integrated Policy Exercise gives students the chance to take a hands-on approach to the policy ideas they’ve discussed in their studies. It’s one of numerous ways the Ford School program provides students with the tools to become effective policy professionals. 

Stay tuned for more information on life here at the Ford School!

GCS Career Expo

This past week at the Ford School saw the return of our Graduate Career Services January Career Expo! The annual event brings together current Ford students with alumni and policy professionals from around the country and globe. This year’s event was held from Tuesday, January 12th, to Thursday, January 14th.

While this year’s expo was held virtually, Fordies still had numerous opportunities to hear from Ford School alumni and distinguished professionals in a wide range of policy disciplines in both the public and private sectors.

Over the course of three days of panels, students were asked to reflect on their career aspirations and received advice and insight from alumni about navigating the field of public policy. Participants heard from panelists based in London, Boston, Washington, D.C., and other locales.

Be on the lookout for future events from the Ford School’s Office of Graduate Career Services!

Inauguration Day

Yesterday, we witnessed the inauguration of the 46th president of the United States, President Joe Biden. We also watched as Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman, first Black person, and first South Asian American to take on the role, was sworn into office. Today we invite you to join University of Michigan community members in upcoming conversations, which will provide post-inauguration reflection and thoughts on what is next for our nation.


The University of Michigan launched a Democracy & Debate Theme Semester in the summer of 2020. The semester afforded students, staff, and faculty many opportunities to explore the intricacies of democracy, at the local, state, and federal levels, during this recent election year. Join U-M for one of the final events of this theme semester, “Kamala Harris and the Reframing of the Vice Presidency: A Conversation on History, Identity, and Politics in Honor of the 2021 Inaguration.” Register to attend here.


For more information about the theme semester and other events, check here.

You have submitted your application, now what?

Congratulations on submitting your application to the Ford School! After months of researching schools, drafting essays, and studying for exams you’ve officially applied to grad school.

We know this can be a stressful time as you wait for admissions decisions to return in mid-March, and may have some questions about what comes next. Below are a few recommendations to keep top of mind over the next few months.

  1. Submit outstanding application materials: The admissions committee will reach out to you via email if you have any missing documents (i.e transcripts, letters of recommendation, English language proficiency exam). Please be sure to email these items to Applications missing required documentation, will be considered incomplete, but may be reviewed as documents arrive. We welcome your application, but any delay in the submission of documentation may delay its review.
  2. For U.S. citizens and permanent residents, don’t forget to fill out the FAFSA by March 31st. If you intend to apply for federal student loans and other sources of funding, you’ll want to submit a completed 2021-2022 FAFSA application by the deadline.
  3. Check out resources to search for scholarships. Pursuing a graduate degree is an investment and can be overwhelming when planning how to finance. There are many resources out there to search for scholarship opportunities – below are a few to kickstart your search:
    • Check out the fellowships offered through the Ford School.
    • University of Michigan Rackham School for graduate studies also offers funding opportunities to Master’s and PhD students.
    • Some students find it helpful to subscribe to search engines such as FastWeb and College Board’s Scholarship Search. *You should never pay a fee in order to compete for a scholarship. Any group that asks for even a small payment is suspect.
  4. Interested in speaking with a current Fordie? Visit our student ambassadors page to be connected with a student. They were in your exact shoes not so long ago. Whether you’re curious about what it’s like to attend a football game in the Big House or wonder how the internship process works, it’s always helpful to hear firsthand from your peers.

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact our staff in the Student and Academic Services Office by emailing or by calling 734-764-0453.

Please note our office is working remotely, so if you call, please leave us a voicemail with your name, number, and question and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the Ford School

Join the Ford School of Public Policy and the University of Michigan today, Monday, January 18, as we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

The Ford School will host moderator Christina Olsen, director of the University of Michigan’s Museum of Art; Mitch Landrieu, former Mayor of New Orleans; Earl Lewis, founding director of University of Michigan’s Center for Social Solutions; and Kristin Hass, Associate Professor of American Culture for a discussion on Public monuments and our histories: Reframing the memories of our nation. Register here for a reminder, and stream the event at 1:00pm ET on January 18.

Earlier in the day, from 10:00-11:30am ET, members of the public will be able to join this year’s University of Michigan symposium, which features speakers Gloria House and Malik Yakini. For more information about the speakers, see their bios here.

We invite you to join us in continuing to honor Dr. King throughout the month of January, with a host of events across the University. The University’s Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives also compiles a list of events that support the mission of the symposium and occur throughout the month of January. Many of these events are open to the public, and we encourage you to participate in as many as you’re interested in.

One event in particular that you may find of interest: U.S. race relations and foreign policy with speaker Ambassador (ret.) Susan D. Page. Register here to join the event at 4:00pm on January 27th.

Master of Public Policy & Master of Public Affairs Deadlines are Friday

Our master’s application deadline is quickly approaching! As a reminder, your application must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST on January 15, 2021 to be considered for admission. This includes all supporting materials, such as letters of recommendation.

Review our application checklist here to make sure you have everything complete before you hit the submit button! And check out our five tips for completing your master’s application as you take care of any final details.

We have received a number of questions about the new, additional question in the application that asks about your quantitative and analytical preparation. Respond with information about courses you may have taken in college and/or work experiences where you have utilized quantitative skills. Please include this information on page 10 of the application, under the “Additional Information” section.

If you have any questions, please email our admissions mailbox,

New webinar recording available: Meet Dean Barr

Yesterday, prospective students had the opportunity to hear from Dean Michael S. Barr about what he is most looking forward to in the year ahead. Student and Academic Services staff were also on hand to answer any lingering questions about the application process and the Ford School. If you were unable to join us yesterday, check out the recording of the session here.

REMINDER: Graduate applications are due in 8 days (January 15)! Please feel free to email us at with any final questions.

Happy New Year: Join us for a Q&A with Dean Barr

Happy New Year!

Get your last-minute questions answered about the application or just come meet the dean in a special webinar tomorrow, January 6 at 8pm ET.

Hear about Dean Barr’s priorities for the school and what he’s most excited about for the upcoming year.

Register for the webinar and submit a question for the dean.

REMINDER: Graduate applications are due in 10 days (January 15)!