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
My name is Alira Abdullai, and I am from Baltimore Maryland with roots originating in Nigeria. I am a second-year student pursuing a major in public policy. While I have yet to pinpoint a specific focus within this field, I am passionately drawn to the realms of international affairs and resource allocation. I have lived in both America and Nigeria for extended periods of time. Beyond academics, I love reading, immersing myself in international dramas, exploring thrift stores and enjoying the great outdoors. As I look toward my career path, I am dedicated to contributing positively to society through the influence of policymaking. Although I do not have a predefined dream policy position yet, my overarching goal is to wield my influence in a manner that betters the lives of individuals through the enactment of impactful legislation.
Hi, I’m Andrew. I’m a third-year public policy and history double major at UMD, originally from Waldorf, Maryland in Charles County. I enjoy studying public policy relating to the nonprofit sector. This past summer, I worked for an organization called Maryland Nonprofits as a nonprofit management and governance intern, creating educational materials about how nonprofits can effectively engage in public policy. On campus, I also serve as a teaching
assistant for a public policy class about nonprofits, social justice and philanthropy. Outside of school, I love running. I’ve run three half marathons previously, and I’m currently training for the 2023 Baltimore Marathon. I'm also a huge fan of hot chocolate and review hot cocoa on Instagram with a friend.
Hi, my name is Amanda Eason and I am a junior public policy major and history minor at UMD. I’m from Frederick, Maryland and came to UMD for the close-knit Terp community and its proximity to DC. I am currently on the pre-law track and have plans to become an attorney. On campus, I sit on the executive boards of the Policy Student Government Association and Preventing Sexual Assault. I serve as an academic peer mentor for HIST201 and as the SPP representative for the University Senate. I am also a UMD Federal Fellow with a concentration in political engagement and advocacy. Being a part of the School of Public Policy is one of my favorite parts of attending UMD.
Hi, my name is Jeremy. I am a senior from Owings Mills, MD in my last semester with no particular policy focus, but my passion lies with social policy areas such as criminal justice, education and LGBTQ+ rights. My interest in policy has been boosted by various personal experiences: from helping to organize a student-led walkout in support of gun policy reform immediately following the Parkland shooting to participating in a protest for police reform following the murders of
George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. My involvement with the latter spurred me to make the 180-degree decision to change my major after my freshman year from kinesiology (on a path toward physical therapy) to public policy.
I have previously worked as a peer tutor at the Writing Center, and I still work at STAMP as a member of event support (setting up/clearing rooms for events.) This semester, I am excited to be interning for Congressman Glenn Ivey’s office in Washington DC, hopeful that this will provide insight into how I wish to further launch my policy career. I cannot wait to utilize the experiences of this internship to enrich my ambassadorship for the School of Public Policy.
Hi, my name is Molly Goldstein (she/her), and I am a sophomore at the University of
Maryland. I am from Syosset, New York and am a public policy major with a nonprofit
leadership & social innovation minor. I am currently living off campus in my sorority chapter
house, and I love it so far. Last year, I lived on campus and was fortunate to be a part of the
Carillon Communities. My specific community focused on the intersectionality of law and
digital media which was an amazing experience that I gained a lot from. I love to work out and
go to the gym so much that I am working at Ritchie Coliseum this semester. In addition to
working at Ritchie, I have an internship managing the social media accounts for several online
divisions of a software company. In between the gym, work and school, I also love to listen to
crime junkie podcasts - you could say I am a "crime junkie" junkie! I am passionate about criminal
defense and disability discrimination law. I am so grateful to be in the public policy program as
it provides me with the tools and support I need to hopefully create change in the world.
Hi, my name is Saniya Littlejohn and I use she/her pronouns. I am from Frederick, MD and am a sophomore in the Honors Humanities program. I am really interested in health policy, specifically the racial and socioeconomic inequalities that are present within the healthcare system. This summer I volunteered with my local food bank. I love to spend my free time hanging with friends and reading. I also have a passion for baking and spent time this summer
with my grandma learning new recipes.
My name is Zach McKenelley, and I am currently a third-year student studying economics and public policy. I was born and raised in a small town on the north shore of Boston, MA. This past summer, I had the privilege of interning at the Royal Bank of Canada as an institutional asset management intern in Boston. During my internship, I had the opportunity to volunteer through the company at the Save a Dog Foundation. We spent time with the dogs in a shelter and helped raise money for more food and clean water. I enjoy spending my free time on the golf course or near a lake. Golf is my main hobby. I try to play as often as I can. I am also a proud first-generation college student.
Hi, my name is Sydney McVicker (she/her). I’m a sophomore majoring in public policy with a focus in sustainability and a minor in law and society. I’m from Calvert County, Maryland which is about an hour south of UMD. Over the summer, I worked at a local restaurant and spent time volunteering at my public library. In my free time, I enjoy reading, journaling, running, working out, listening to music (big Swiftie) and learning about birds. I have absolutely loved my time at UMD, especially thanks to the School of Public Policy, and I could not recommend public policy more if you’re looking for a wide variety of topics to learn about and are looking to make a real change in the world. After graduation, I hope to work in the government or for a nonprofit organization creating change in environmental policy.
My name is Emilia (she/her) and I’m a junior from Norwell, Massachusetts. I decided to come to UMD because of its proximity to DC and the amazing opportunities this area has to offer. In my free time, I love to run, hike, swim and spend time outdoors. I also really like going to farmers markets and trying new foods. I enjoy working with kids, so I spend my summers teaching swim lessons. I am passionate about education policy, and I hope to pursue a career in this field in the future. My dream job would be to work for the U.S. Department of Education. During my freshman and sophomore year, I was in the College Park Scholars International Studies Living Learning Community and served as a peer mentor in the program. Last semester, I interned at the Maryland General Assembly for Delegate Sara Love, which was an incredible experience that taught me a lot about state government. This past summer, I went to Cuba for a short-term study abroad. During the program, I learned about how socialized legal and healthcare systems affect Cuban families. This semester, I am interning for Human Rights Campaign – a nonprofit that advocates for the LGBTQ+ community. These experiences have shaped my career goals and continue to motivate me as a public policy student, and I am so excited to see what the future holds.
My name is Isra Qadri (she/her) and I am a Kashmiri-American sophomore BA/MPP student originally from Rockville, Maryland. My interests in policy lie in gun violence prevention, criminal justice reform, and a number of other social policy issues. On campus, I am in the Honors Humanities Honors College, an officer for UMD’s nationally competing Model UN team, and in Kappa Omega Alpha (our professional Public Policy fraternity). I spent the summer as a fellow at the Muslim Public Affairs Council where I wrote a policy paper on American policy in Kashmir, as well as aided in efforts to increase Muslim representation in the federal policymaking process. Currently, I am a legislative intern in a Senate office. I have a background in legislative advocacy on the state and federal level, which is
how I learned that I would like to make state and federal policy in my future career. I’m excited to help grow the School of Public Policy and interact with new and potential students!
My name is Sophie Schrantz, and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am from Germantown, Maryland in Montgomery County. I am a junior 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 lead server at a local restaurant right outside of
campus called Grill Marx. Over the summer I interned for a non-profit called the Meyer Foundation, an organization that gives grants to smaller nonprofits in the Greater Washington area that focus on racial and economic justice. 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 non-profit sector, possibly in grants management or capacity and community building.
My name is Ethan Simon (he/him). I am a junior studying Public Policy with a minor in Law & Society hailing from Bala Cynwyd, PA, a small town on the outskirts of Philadelphia. Outside of being a policy ambassador, I am involved in various roles around campus. Within the academic realm, I serve as an undergraduate teaching assistant for PLCY203, a course titled “Liberty and Justice for All: Ethics and Moral Issues in Public Policy.” In addition, I am an active member of both the Dean's Student Advisory Council at the School of Public Policy and Maryland Images: Campus Tour Guides. During this past summer, I interned at a nonprofit in Greater Philadelphia called Jewish Family and Children’s Service. There, I delved into disability policy and advocacy along with providing support to individuals living with disabilities. My passion for policy extends across various spheres, with a particular focus on transportation, electoral policy, legislative policy as well as social and health policy. Beyond my academic pursuits, my hobbies range from playing sports, being a geography buff, trivia (I hope to be on Jeopardy) and traveling. Having visited 36 states already, my goal is to reach all 50 within the next few years. As an ambassador, I am incredibly excited to represent the School of Public Policy and serve as a role model and leader for SPP undergraduates.
My name is Aoy Staples and my pronouns are she/her. I’m from Montgomery County, MD. I’m a junior studying Public Policy on the pre-law track. In addition, I’m part of the International Studies Scholar Program and held a position of being a peer mentor when I was a sophomore. I also volunteered for the Lutheran Social Services Mentor Program. The summer going into my sophomore year, I interned for Congressman Jamie Raskin and the Royal Thai Embassy. Currently, I have an internship at the Department of Justice Office of International Affairs. On campus, I’m an internal affairs officer for Active Minds, Maryland chapter as well as a treasurer for Preventing Sexual Assault. My area of interest is international policy. I plan on attending law school to become a mergers and acquisition lawyer focusing on global transactions. I would also like to start a foundation to help victims of sexual violations and disadvantaged children. During my free time, I like to hang out with my friends and family, engage in outdoor activities and
Hey Policy Terps! My name is Joshua Tanaka, and my pronouns are he/him. I am a senior policy major minoring in law. My hobbies include playing soccer, hanging out with friends, and reading. I'm from Frederick, MD and over the past summer, I interned with the circuit court of Frederick County as a judicial intern. If there are any fellow policy terps who are pre-law or interested in law school, please feel free to reach out as I am aware it’s a stressful process.