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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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What is the Politics, Policy and Law Scholars Program?

PPL Scholars Eden Kinlock, Frank Falkovic, and Samuel Hiratsuka on study abroad trip to Brussels, Belgium.

The Politics, Policy and Law (PPL) Scholars Program is a rigorous, multidisciplinary three-year BA 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. The PPL program will prepare you for a challenging and successful career in government, law, public administration and policy, criminal justice, media, non-profit advocacy, or similar profession.

Application Process

Please see application information to learn more.

No. Students are selected for the 3-year program at the time of admission and can only enter the program in the freshman year.

Only if you defer for a full year. You cannot defer for a semester and start the program.

Financial Aid

Three-year students complete eight semesters of study, just like a four-year student, two of which are in the summer. Thus, PPL Scholars are eligible for year-round financial aid. Annual merit scholarships cover the eight semesters. Be sure to work closely with the Financial Aid office to ensure that you submit all financial aid materials (including for summer financial aid) on time.

The cost of attendance for the 3-year degree program is similar to the cost of a 4-year program, since students will be attending the same number of semesters (8 total).

Yes. Students in the 3-year PPL program will still have the opportunity to apply for merit awards and scholarships.

Living Arrangements

Students will live in the same dorm with other AU three-year scholars during the first year and take part in weekly field learning labs that explore politics, policy, and law using Washington, D.C., as a laboratory. Read more about the Living Learning Community.

No. After the first two semesters (fall and spring), students are free to live where they choose (and can choose to continue living with other PPL Scholars).

Other Programs at AU

No. You can apply to both programs, but you will not be accepted to both. Each program is a separate living learning experience that cannot be combined.

Some PPL Scholars choose to combine the PPL three-year BA program with the SPA Leadership Program. Please note that you will apply to PPL when you apply for admission to AU. Admitted students who enroll at AU apply for the Leadership Program during the spring after they have been admitted to AU.

Interested students should consult with both the PPL Director and the Leadership Director before applying.

No. The UC program is designed to provide a cohort living learning experience for 4-year students.

Please email Faculty Director Claire Griggs at or call 202-885-6684.