Admissions Season 2022

Hello from Ann Arbor, Michigan! Since the application window for the Ford School’s MPP and MPA programs closed on January 15th, our team has been hard at work to verify the receipt of all required materials and prepare for the admissions process. 

At Ford, we are extremely fortunate to receive applications from numerous eminently qualified, talented individuals with a deep passion for public service. Our admissions team is dedicated to giving each application a holistic review to assemble diverse, dynamic cohorts for our graduate programs. 

We know that prospective students are eager to know the timeline for decisions, so in this post we wanted to give some insight into the calendar going forward. 

Throughout the month of February, applications will be reviewed by the committee to select individuals for admission. Prospective students can expect to receive admissions decisions by the end of the second week of March.

Following the release of decisions, the Ford School will host a Spring Preview for admitted students on Friday, April 8th, 2022. Newly-admitted Fordies will have the chance to learn about life at the Ford School and the incredible community found at Weill Hall. 

As always, keep a lookout for updates from the Ford School. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at


GRE requirement for 2022-2023 application cycle

GRE scores are optional for applicants seeking admission to the MPP program for the 2022-2023 academic year.

GRE scores are typically required of MPP applicants, as we have found them to be useful indicators of academic preparation for our core curriculum. However, in light of ongoing disruptions caused by COVID-19 to people’s ability to prepare for and take the GRE, the Ford School is extending our policy on optional GRE scores from the 2021-2022 application cycle into the 2022-2023 application cycle.

All masters’ applicants will be required to answer a supplemental question on the application about their quantitative and qualitative skills in lieu of submitting GRE scores. Applications without GRE scores will not be disadvantaged in our holistic application review process. If you choose to submit GRE scores, test scores dated before August 2016 are no longer valid. GRE scores are due the same day your completed application is due (January 15, 2022). Our institution code is 1839.

Students who are applying for a joint degree with another program at the University of Michigan should check with that program about their standardized test requirements. 

Applicants to the Master of Public Affairs (MPA) program: The submission of GRE scores is not required.

As you begin preparing your application, remember to check our master’s application checklist to ensure that you have all the necessary materials and email if you have any questions.

MPP & MPA admissions decision release

We have released decisions to students who submitted their completed application for the Master of Public Policy or the Master of Public Affairs program on January 15, 2021. We thank you all for considering the University of Michigan as your next home in your academic journey, and for sharing your stories and your commitment to public policy with us.

Please check your emails for your decisions, and carefully review the messages that you receive for further information about how to accept your offer and upcoming opportunities to connect.

Congratulations! We look forward to welcoming the class of 2021 home to the Ford School!

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.

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)!

New webinar recording available!

Interested in learning more about what a career in public policy could look like for you? With professional, personalized career services and a powerful, deeply committed alumni network, the Ford School is dedicated to helping students achieve their career goals. 


In our latest webinar, hear from Jennifer Niggemeier, director of graduate career services and alumni relations, about these services and our leadership coaching initiative. Ford School alumni join Jennifer to discuss how Graduate Career Services helped them find internships during their time at Ford, and career opportunities upon graduation.


Watch the recording here, and don’t forget to register for our final webinar in this series, a special session with Dean Michael S. Barr. Hear about his priorities for the school and what he’s most excited about for the upcoming year.

One month left to apply – find out how to make your Ford School degree affordable

Pursuing a graduate degree is an investment and we know planning how to finance your degree can be overwhelming.

Whether it’s a fellowship, grants, or work-study, there are many opportunities for graduate students. In fact, nearly two-thirds of Ford School students receive some sort of fellowship support.

Here are several resources to help you make this important decision and search for funding opportunities:

  • Consider the costs for the degree.
  • Explore the fellowships offered through the Ford School. For many of our fellowships, applicants are automatically considered.
  • University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School also offers funding opportunities to master’s and doctoral students.
  • Student employment opportunities on campus Graduate teaching or research positions are available for any graduate student to apply.
  • 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.

Interested in speaking with a current Fordie? Visit our student ambassadors page to connect with a current master’s 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.

Have you reached out to your references yet? Check out our application tips!

New webinar recording available!

Missed our latest webinar? Visit our website to watch recordings of all our previous webinars including:

November 19 | Why Now? Why Ford School?
Hear from the Ford School’s associate deans on how a Ford School master’s degree can help you make an impact on the public good at this critical time. This session features Luke Shaefer, director of Poverty Solutions and associate dean of policy engagement, and Paula Lantz, the James B. Hudak Professor of Health Policy and associate dean of academic affairs.

December 3 | Tools for influence and action
With a firm grounding in social science research and quantitative analysis, real-world policy issues are woven throughout our rigorous, hands-on curriculum. In this webinar, learn about opportunities to practice these skills in and out of the classroom and how they provide a toolbox of research, analytical, and management skills that are highly transferable across sectors and issue areas.

December 10 | Hands-on, practical experiences
We believe in an applied approach to learning, including interactions with people and organizations outside the university actively working on public policy. In this session, learn about the wide range of opportunities for students to engage with real-world policy issues in the classroom and through research, activities, and workshops.

Interested in learning more about the Ford School? Register to attend our upcoming webinars here, and sign up to receive more information from us here.