Undergrad Admissions End of Year Wrap Up 2023

It is hard to believe the 2022-2023 academic year is over! As Grounds quiets down before this weekend’s celebration of the amazing Class of 2023 BA and MPP graduates, we are looking forward to a break before welcoming future classes of students to Batten this fall. As we all look towards the summer, the Admissions team offers their tips for what you can do now to prepare for next year’s application cycle.


First and foremost, make sure you are making progress on program prerequisites. If you are looking at our undergraduate major or minor, be sure to enroll in social psychology (PSYC 2600 or LPPL 2600), microeconomics (ECON 2010), and for those applying for the BA program, Introduction to Public Policy (LPPP 2200). Those interested in the Accelerated MPP must take microeconomics (ECON 2010) and a calculus-based math course. You must earn a C or higher (or have received CR during the pandemic) in each of the prerequisites before beginning the program in the fall, so courses may be taken during the semester you apply or even over the summer. However, keep in mind that your performance in prerequisite courses is an important data point in our evaluation, so if you haven’t completed the course by the time of application be sure to amplify other dimensions of your candidacy to fill the gap! For example, you could consider signing up for one of Batten’s electives with open seats to show your performance in our coursework if you are not able to enroll in LPPP 2200. Or, if you are interested in the Accelerated MPP and intend to fulfill any of the prereqs with transfer or test credit, consider signing up for a statistics course this fall to demonstrate your quantitative proficiency at the collegiate level!


Second, connect with the Career Center! There are a number of wonderful career counselors, including in the Public Service and Government Community, who are experts on the many paths UVA students take to enter policy careers. If you are still seeking a summer opportunity or want to use the summer to get ahead, consider making a virtual appointment with their office! Outside of their expertise on various industry areas and ways you can get started, they are also authorities on resumes, one of the main components of our application, and can review yours and give you helpful feedback in the fall.


Third, reflect on what motivates you and find new ways to get involved! As you look back at the academic year, consider the things that resonated with you and ways to seek out even more opportunities in those areas to make an impact in Charlottesville and points beyond! The fall will be a great time to join a new committee in your student organization or start something new, so take some time this summer to reflect on how you can deepen the practice of your leadership skills and passions! Whether you opt to join one of UVA’s many CIO’s, volunteer through Madison House or another local organization, or participate in UVA’s intramural or club sports, you should seek out and find ways to get involved in those things that make you, you. We look for quality engagement, not quantity, so find ways to deepen your connections on Grounds and in your community.


Finally, begin to think about recommendations! If you already have someone in mind for your application, continue to foster that relationship. However, if you are still deciding on your recommenders, take initiative to get to know your professors and TAs this fall – attend office hours, ask questions, and be an active classroom contributor. You should consider reviewing our post about the recommendation form to seek out individuals that can help answer those questions for us. For the application, you’ll need at least one academic reference and one reference highlighting something else that makes you special. Get on the radar of those potential recommenders early so they can really get to know you and are in a position to provide a substantive, glowing recommendation in a timely fashion!


We hope you take some time this summer to celebrate the successes of this academic year and recharge and relax for 2023-2024! While we will not be hosting Open Office Hours, you are always welcome to make a virtual appointment over the summer or reach out to BattenAdmissions@virginia.edu with any questions - we’re here to provide you with answers and chat with you further. We look forward to seeing you this fall with a full slate of Admissions activities, including information sessions, application workshops, and opportunities to meet with our Batten Ambassadors.