My Favorite Batten Graduate Class, Part 1

The Batten MPP degree offers more than the typical policy research and data analysis education found at other public policy schools. We focus on the result of policy — solving society’s most pressing problems. Our multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving and emphasis on ethics reinforce our focus on how leadership works, why context matters in decision-making and which actions lead to tangible results. Hear from those individuals inside the classroom on which classes stand out as their favorites!


“RMDA! A very surprising choice considering I did not like statistics or econometrics in undergrad but Professor Hudson and Professor Ahmed did a great job teaching it in Batten and it finally clicked for me!”

  • Niki, second-year Accelerated MPP student

“My favorite Batten class is Economics of Public Policy II, which would come as a surprise if you know me at all. Speaking as a person who always stayed as far away from economics as possible, this class continues to fascinate me in the way it connects economic models to extremely important public policy discussions. It's the perfect amount of challenge combined with intriguing discussion.”

  • Maya, first-year Accelerated MPP student

“American Healthcare: Challenges and Opportunities. Professor Powers provides a comprehensive look into American Healthcare that highlights the persistent barriers to entry based on socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, age, sex, religion, and language. The class elaborates on everything from healthcare policies to the role of insurance, medical degrees/schools, and hospital policies.”

  • Alyssa, first-year Accelerated MPP student

“Hacking for Defense. The class was one that helped me figure out what I wanted to do with my career in introducing me to the world of consulting. Also, it was an amazing opportunity in it of itself: I spent a whole semester with a group helping the Department of Defense tackle the problem of Taliban financing. The course culminated in a presentation to military officials at the Pentagon.”

  • Dan, first-year Accelerated MPP student

“Research Methods and Data Analysis! It was one of the toughest classes, but I feel like I learned a lot and got a lot of practical, applicable knowledge I can use in my career.”

  • Allie, second-year MPP student

“Virginia Politics and Policy -- we were able to design the class from scratch, figure out what we wanted to learn about Virginia's political atmosphere, use our connections (and some from the Professor!) to bring in guest speakers, and ultimately designed our own semester-long projects that culminated in each group in the class being published in separate newspapers. (Written about here!)”

  • Morgan, second-year MPP student

“Hacking For Defense! This class gave me the opportunity to solve a real problem for the Department of Defense and present at the Pentagon. My group specifically was tasked with looking at how climate-driven migration impacts the delivery of primary education materials for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. H4D increased my research, teamwork, and presentation skills!”

  • Paulina, first-year Accelerated MPP student