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Prospective Students

This page includes information for current public policy students. Explore our undergraduate programs.

Undergraduate Academic Advising during Coronavirus related campus disruptions

March 13 - March 17

The SPP Undergraduate Advising Offices are Closed.

March 18 - at Least April 10

The SPP Undergraduate Advising Team will conduct scheduled advising appointments remotely via phone, email, or videoconference. 

  • Your advising meetings will NOT be cancelled. Please contact your advisor directly to discuss which medium you wish to conduct your mandatory advising appointment.
  • You can continue to schedule your mandatory advising appointments with your assigned advisor by clicking here.

"Drop-in" advising will be held as scheduled but will be conducted remotely. Drop-in advising hours can be found in TerpEngage; email Eva Morgan (afternoon drop-ins) or Patrick Trujillo (morning drop-ins) to initiate your drop-in advising meeting and indicate which medium (phone, email, and/or google hangouts) you wish to conduct your drop-in appointment conversation.

Online Registration for the Fall 2020 semester

Our partners in the Registrar's Office have confirmed that online registration via Testudo is still scheduled to move forward as planned. You will be notified if there are any changes in the online registration process. Please check your Testudo account to find your when your registration is scheduled to open ("Appointment and Registration Status")


Your Guide to Academic Advising

Advising helps you maximize your undergraduate experience through a journey of exploration that leads to transformation and informed decision-making about academic and extracurricular opportunities. It is an ongoing process that takes a holistic approach to helping you discover your educational, career and social goals. After goal-setting, we assist you in designing a meaningful action plan. Advising is the collaboration and responsibility of both student and advisor. In the School of Public Policy, advising is mandatory, so you are required to schedule at least one advising appointment per semester. As the first point of contact, you are encouraged to meet with an advisor regularly to help navigate the University and answer any questions that may arise along the way.

Some topics you may want to discuss with your advisor are:

  • Discovering and assessing your educational, career and personal values
  • Setting goals aligned with your values
  • Designing an academic plan to achieve your goals and selecting courses
  • Enhancing your journey through experiential learning (study abroad, internships, research, etc.)
  • Exploring UMD resources and extracurricular opportunities that promote social and emotional growth
  • Understanding policies and procedures
  • Reviewing and removing registration blocks

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Our Advising Team

Declare a Major/Minor

After exploring the Public Policy Major, students who are ready to declare can do so by visiting our walk-in advising hours or by scheduling an appointment. We also encourage students to explore and declare our minors in Sustainability, Public Leadership, and Nonprofit Leadership & Social Innovation.


As a student, you can expect your academic advisor to:

  • Carefully listen to your questions, thoughts, and concerns
  • Act as an advocate who connects you to other campus resources and services
  • Respect your confidentiality and promote a safe environment to meet any academic, motivational, social and financial challenges to success
  • Track your progress and communicate when it does not meet program/major expectations
  • Respond to you within 24 hours during the work week Monday-Friday by email or phone

As a student, your academic advisor expects you to:

  • Come to advising sessions with an open-mind
  • Accept responsibility for your personal and academic decisions
  • Arrive to appointments on time and be prepared to discuss your academic and personal goals, interests and concerns (if you are 10 minutes late, you may be asked to reschedule).
  • Bring copies of relevant documents (i.e. general education checklist) to discuss with your advisor
  • Be proactive, don’t wait for your advisor to reach out