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Public Affairs, School of 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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Claire Griggs

SPA: PPL Scholars 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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Course of Study

PPL Scholars tour the US Capitol Building.

The Politics, Policy and Law (PPL) Scholars Program is a rigorous, multidisciplinary three-year program that brings together the complementary disciplines of the School of Public Affairs. The PPL program will introduce you to the principles, practices, and institutions of politics and law from quantitative and qualitative, philosophical, and social science perspectives.

This innovative, flexible three-year bachelor's cohort program will allow you to emphasize one or all of the constituent disciplines in your chosen course of study. You can major in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics and Government (CLEG) in the department of Government or Legal Studies in the department of Justice, Law and Criminology. The PPL program will prepare you for a challenging and successful career in government, law, public administration and policy, criminal justice, media, non-profits, or the like.

The Benefits of the Politics, Policy and Law Scholars Program Include:

  • Studying in a cohort of motivated, passionate students
  • Completing original research and writing with top faculty
  • Participating in year-round enrichment programs to enhance the PPL experience
  • Pursuing special summer experiential learning opportunities
  • Working with the program director and faculty mentors on academic and career goals

Opportunities for Further Study

Students touring the US Capitol BuildingUpon completion of the program, students will earn a PPL Scholars Program BA in Interdisciplinary Studies: CLEG, or a PPL Scholars Program BA in Legal Studies. Graduates are also eligible to earn an undergraduate certificate in Politics, Policy and Law (co-listed between SPA's Department of Government, and Department of Justice, Law, and Criminology).

PPL scholars will also be able to earn an undergraduate certificate in Politics, Policy & Law.

Those who wish to continue their studies at the next academic level through our combined BA/MA program, will be eligible to apply after they have earned 75 academic credits. If they are admitted into the joint BA/MA program, they will be able to earn an MA degree by the end of their 4th year.

Choosing a Major Within the PPL Program

PPL students meet Mary Beth Tinker, plaintiff in landmark Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines.

PPL scholars will progress through the three-year curriculum as a cohort while branching out to one of two tracks for academic study, the CLEG track or the Legal Studies track. Each track allows students to take complementary courses that focus on a particular aspect of public affairs scholarship and practice. PPL scholars will supplement their coursework with a special research and writing seminar, taken each semester, to enhance preparation for professional fields in politics, policy and law. In addition to the PPL curriculum, students have the flexibility to select courses from a broad range of disciplines taught outside the School of Public Affairs as part of the university's general education program, the foundation of our liberal arts education.