Applying: Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and Leadership

Application Information

The Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and Leadership is available to current UVA undergraduate students and undergraduate transfer students. Admitted students will enroll in the degree program for the final two years of their UVA undergraduate studies. To be eligible for admission, students must have accumulated 60 credits prior to their Batten School matriculation. In most instances, UVA undergraduates will apply to the program during their second year. However, first-year students who will have accumulated 60 credits prior to the start of their second year who intend to graduate one year early are also eligible to apply. All application materials must be submitted by the corresponding deadline by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. 

We know the global pandemic has presented students with a unique set of challenges as they contemplate their future academic path.  In this particular moment, ethical, resilient, solutions-oriented policy leaders are needed more than ever.  Batten is committed to fostering an intellectual community that is innovative, inclusive, and equitable.  In this spirit, the application fee has been waived for all applicants to Batten programs for the 2020-21 academic year.

Applications for Fall 2021 entry are now open!


Current UVA students who will have earned 60 credit hours by the time of application.

Admissions contact

Anne Carter Mulligan
Director of Undergraduate Admissions


Application Opening: October 1, 2020
Application Deadline: January 29, 2021
Decisions Released: March 1, 2021
Academic Program and Welcome Reception*: March 3, 2021
Decision Deadline: March 10, 2021

*Academic Program is for the newly admitted Class of 2023

Prerequisites & Application Materials

In addition to the 60-credit requirement, students have to complete two prerequisites courses prior to enrolling in the fall term:

  1. ECON 2010 or equivalent (earning a C or higher)
  2. LPPL 3100 OR PSYC 2600 or equivalent (earning a C or higher) 

You will be prompted to upload this document in the application system as either a Word document or a PDF. 

  1. One of our aims is to enhance students’ ability to lead in a diverse and divided world. Tell us about a time you had to work across lines of difference to improve some outcome. (250 words)
  2. What is the motivation behind your decision to pursue the Batten BA? Please indicate your interest in addressing one or more policy areas or societal issues. What work, activity, or educational experience has best equipped you for studying leadership and public policy? (250 words)

This year, toward the goal of streamlining and standardizing the recommendation process, recommendations for the BA will be submitted using a form evaluating your candidacy along a set of criteria addressing your potential for success in the program.  If your recommender has prepared a traditional letter of recommendation, they will have the option to include it.

Consider asking for one academic reference at the collegiate level, and the other from an employer, mentor, research supervisor, coach, or other person who knows your work outside of the classroom.  We are happy to accept recommendations from your time prior to UVA, but be sure to balance that with information about your activities and aptitude now.

Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded directly to your online application. 

There is no penalty for not submitting an application addendum. However, some applicants may have additional information that would be useful for the admissions committee. Feel free to amplify positive dimensions of your background not covered elsewhere or give insight into seemingly negative information in your application (e.g. course withdrawals, light course loads, gaps in your academic record, etc.).  In particular, you should use this space to detail extenuating circumstances relating to the coronavirus pandemic, including things like your decision regarding Spring 2020 grades (CR/NC vs. letter grades), reduced internship or extracurricular opportunities, or personal hardship. Please format your response as a letter to the admissions committee, not to exceed one page.

All supplemental materials (e.g. unofficial transcripts and recommendations) must be submitted by the date of the official deadline. Your application may be completed online and submitted electronically once you have answered all the required questions. You do not have to complete the online application in one sitting – you may access your application and change your answers as many times as you like. To do that, use the Username and Password that you created when you first completed the Interest Page and/or started your application.