Build a career in making a difference.
With a degree in public policy, you put your passion to work. We welcome you to join our community — a vibrant group of Policy Terps from around the world and across disciplines. Depending on your current status, the path to becoming a Policy Terp varies. If you have any questions along the way, do not hesitate to contact us.
First-time Freshman Students
We encourage you to apply for admission to the University by the priority 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. Please refer to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for assistance with your online application for freshman admission and further information about the application process.
Current University of Maryland Students
Declare a public policy major and join our program. Speak to our academic advisors for more information and to plan out your coursework.
Transfer Students from Another Institution
Thank you for your interest in studying public policy at the University of Maryland! We encourage you to carefully review the expectations for academic rigor in upper-level coursework at the University. Most students transferring from 2-year community colleges find that the academic expectations are more demanding than what they have experienced in community college. Full-time students should anticipate a Monday-Friday class schedule on campus. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions can help you become familiar with the University and assist you with your online application.
Meet Your Undergraduate Student Ambassadors
Hello! My name is Gizelle Alvarez and my pronouns are she/her. I am glad to call Maryland home, I grew up here and hope to graduate from here in December. As a policy major, I am very interested in social justice issues such as fair housing, closing the achievement gap in education, immigration issues, and reducing the national recidivism rate. Since high school, I have gained experience through several different jobs; I have worked in leasing, and volunteered in non-profits. As a DMV native, I love exploring new restaurants in DC and activities in the area. I also love to travel and learn about new regions. I also like to cook and try new recipes that I find. With the combined skills I have learned in my jobs and passions for global issues, I hope to work for the World Bank after I graduate UMD.
Hi, my name is Amanda Baranick (she/her/hers), and I am a sophomore studying Public Policy! I am from Rockville, Maryland, but I have lived all over the world. I was born in Nicaragua (which is where I am from) and moved to India, Armenia, El Salvador, Peru, and Panama before moving to Rockville. Living in such different countries is a big part of the reason I am so interested in studying Public Policy! I was in the College Park Scholars: Media, Self, Society living-learning program where I learned a lot about the role media plays in every part of life. I love working with kids, so during the summer, I work as a camp counselor. For fun, I love to read, go on walks, and hang out with friends and family! In the future, I hope to work in international development.
Hi! My name is Amanda Eason and my pronouns are she/her. This is my second semester being an SPP Ambassador and I am a sophomore majoring in Public Policy with a focus in gender and racial justice with a minor in History. I’m from Frederick, Maryland. On campus, I am in Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority, Policy Student Government Association exec board, Preventing Sexual Assault at UMD, and am currently interning for a lawyer in College Park.
My name is Clara Miller (she/her), and I’m a sophomore here at UMD! I was born and raised in Athens, GA, and I also attended college in Saint Paul, MN for a year and a half before deciding to transfer to Maryland. Outside of the classroom, I was involved in my former college’s SGA, where I planned entertaining and educational events for our student body. I’m also particularly interested in and passionate about access to reproductive care, so I worked as a consent and sexual health peer educator. Here at UMD, I’m a member of QTiPP (Queer and Trans in Public Policy), which is a group for UMD students interested in the intersection of policy and queer issues and identity. I’m still getting acquainted with UMD, and I can’t wait to get more involved outside of the classroom here in College Park. My dream job in public policy is to staff in the offices of either of the Senators from Georgia. A fun policy-related fact about me is that I voted for the first time on my 18th birthday in Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock’s 2021 runoff elections, which ended up being a great historical election in Georgia’s history. That was one of my proudest moments! I still have my ‘I voted!’ sticker to commemorate such a special birthday!
Hi all! My name is Antea Pasa. My pronouns are she/her and I am a junior Public Policy major. My hometown is Greenwich, CT. Some of my hobbies include reading, journaling, and painting. I also love traveling but have not done as much this year other than visiting family in Croatia over the summer. I have done lots of volunteering in the past in my Croatian School and local community before coming to UMD. After coming to campus, I got involved with Alpha Phi Omega, which is a community service Greek organization on campus. I am currently serving as a Leadership Vice President for the spring semester and am excited for what it will entail. I am interested in Immigration Policy, Healthcare, and Housing Policy.
My name is Sophie Schrantz, and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am from Germantown, Maryland in Montgomery County. I am a sophomore studying Public Policy with a focus on Gender and Racial Justice and a minor in Nonprofit Leadership and Social Innovation. Outside of ambassadors, I am also a part of the Media, Self, and Society Scholars Program. I have worked in retail and management, and now I am a server at a local restaurant right outside of campus. One of my favorite things to do in my free time is trying new recipes and cooking for my friends. After college, I want to work in the nonprofit field, writing policies that will bring about lasting change on the local and federal level.
Hi everyone, I’m Oliver Slade and I use he/him pronouns. I’m a freshman in Public Policy with minors in History and Sociology. I’m also in the University Honors program here on campus. I’m interested in Education and Housing policy, particularly how they intersect. I’m on the Social, Health, and Economic Policy Board (SHEP) as the Undergraduate Representative. For fun I like to mountain bike and I’ve biked everywhere from Utah to West Virginia to New Hampshire and loved every minute of it. I like to watch all sorts of sitcoms, my favorite of which are Parks and Rec and How I Met Your Mother. I’m looking forward to meeting more of you all in the policy college!
My name is Aoy Staples and my pronouns are she/her. I am from Montgomery County, MD. I am a sophomore studying Public Policy on the Pre-Law track. I am also part of the International Studies Scholar Program and am a peer mentor. This summer, I interned for Congressman Jamie Raskin and the Royal Thai Embassy. It was an amazing experience. Earlier in the summer, I went to Thailand and had the best time of my life! During my free time, I like to hang out with my friends and family, do outdoor activities, and read. I plan on attending law school after my undergraduate study and becoming a corporate lawyer. I would also like to start a foundation to help victims of sexual violations and disadvantaged children.
Hi everyone! My name is Kaitlyn Zhou (she/her/hers) and I am so excited to be a SPP ambassador! I am a sophomore pursuing a double major in Family Science and Public Policy. This interdisciplinary course load provides me with unique opportunities to learn about the power of public policy and create innovative tactics to tackle the complex health challenges families are currently facing. In the future, I aim to be a legislator and advocate for the youth and their families in the United States. Specifically I want to draft policies that can alleviate the systemic pressures for children in the foster care and adoption system. Aside from academics, I am actively involved in campus life through various organizations. Some notable involvements include the Student Alumni Leadership Council, the Office of New Student Orientation and Transition, Ballet Company M, STARs Tutoring, and the College Park Scholars Public Leadership.
Here are some fun facts about me! I grew up in St. Mary’s County, but was originally born in Brooklyn, NY! I love to dance (ballerina for 13 years and counting!), hike, try new cuisines, watch films/tv shows, read, and hangout with friends and families. I am always open to new book, film, and tv shows recommendations! I love to read mystery, romance, and fantasy novels and my current favorite tv show is Criminal Minds. Final fact, my top artists are The Weeknd, Khalid, Zayn, and Niall Horan.