What Should I Take This Fall?

With shopping carts open for fall courses, many students ask us what they should take to be a strong applicant to one of our programs. Below are a few resources to help you craft a strong semester this fall, including this helpful presentation from Director of Undergraduate Admissions Anne Carter Mulligan!


First, you should focus on completing program prerequisites! These are the only classes you MUST take prior to enrolling at Batten, so make sure you make time to take these courses. Prerequisite courses CAN be taken all the way up until enrollment, so if you are applying to one of our programs for next year, you have through the summer to complete them. For the major and minor, you will need to take microeconomics (ECON 2010) and social psychology (PSYC 2600 OR LPPL 3100, which is Batten’s section of social psych through a policy lens). We also strongly encourage students to take LPPP 3200: Introduction to Public Policy this fall; it will likely be a program prerequisite beginning Fall 2021. For the Accelerated MPP program, you will need to take microeconomics (ECON 2010) and a calculus-based math course. We like to see you take the math course at UVA to demonstrate proficiency and readiness for graduate level quantitative work, so if you intend to bring in the calculus pre-req using AP or transfer credit, consider taking STAT 1100, STAT 1601, or STAT 2120. We will accept any prerequisite coursework with a C or higher or a grade of CR.


Outside of these courses, students can explore Batten courses before applying. However, this is NOT required for evaluation - it is a good gauge for you to see if this school is an academic fit for you as you investigate other similar academic programs at the University. To hear which Batten courses students have enjoyed the most, be sure to read our prior posts on students’ favorite undergraduate and graduate courses. (with links to those posts) Additionally, any Batten course taken at the 3000-level or higher can count toward curricular requirements, such as LPPL 3210: Introduction to Civic Leadership, or a special topics requirement, such as LPPS 3295: Global Humanitarian Crises Response. If you have not yet taken a Batten course, we would not recommend starting with the 4000-level courses – save those for a little further along or after you are admitted into the program. For a complete list of our fall offerings, you can check Lou’s List for a general list of courses or SIS for the most up-to-date information on remaining seats in a course. More courses will be added, and there may be movement with students on the waitlist for a course, so be sure to check this often.


Your academic transcript is just one piece of our holistic review process, and we see students bring varied transcripts to the table that reflect their own academic and policy interests. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office at BattenAdmissions@virginia.edu or make an appointment with our undergraduate admissions team, Anne and Courtney!