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. 

In this 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 2023-24 academic year.

A walkthrough of the BA application can be found here.


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

Admissions contact

Anne Carter Mulligan
Director of Undergraduate Admissions


Application OpensNovember 1, 2023
Application Deadline: January 26, 2024
Decisions Released: February 23, 2024
Decision Deadline: March 1, 2024

Academic Program and Welcome*: February 26, 2024

*Academic Program and Welcome is for the newly admitted Class of 2026

Prerequisites & Application Materials

Please note, you can indicate your interest in also being considered for the Public Policy and Leadership Minor in the BA application. You do not have to submit a separate Minor application.

To be considered for both programs, within the Bachelor of Arts application, answer “yes” to the question “Are you interested in also being considered for the Batten Minor in Public Policy & Leadership?”

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

  1. ECON 2010 or equivalent (earning a C or higher)
  2. LPPL 2600 OR PSYC 2600 or equivalent (earning a C or higher)
  3. LPPP 2200: Introduction to Public Policy (earning a C or higher)

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. 

You will be prompted to upload this document in the application system as either a Word document or a PDF. Please ensure that this document includes, but is not limited to, the following information: leadership roles held, employment history, your interest in one/more policy areas or societal issues, relevant internships and jobs and your role(s) in those positions, and roles in relevant school- and community-based organizations. If you have questions about crafting a resume, we recommend you utilize the UVA Career Center resume resources!

  1. What is the motivation behind your decision to pursue the Batten major? 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? (400 words)
  2. One of our aims is to enhance students’ abilities to lead in a diverse and divided world. Tell us about a time you had to work across lines of difference to navigate a challenge or improve some outcome. What did you learn from the experience? How can those lessons inform your future success, especially professionally? (250 words)
  3. What about your individual background, perspective, or experience will serve as a source of strength for you or those around you at the Batten School? Feel free to write about any past experience or part of your background that has shaped your perspective and will be a source of strength, including but not limited to those related to your community, upbringing, educational environment, race, gender, or other aspects of your background that are important to you. (250 words)

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.  If you ask for a recommendation from your time prior to UVA, be sure to balance that with information about your activities and aptitude now.

Your UVA coursework will be pulled directly from SIS into your application. Unofficial transcripts from any other post-secondary institution where you received college credit (including dual enrollment credits) can be uploaded directly to your online application. 

An application addendum is not required. 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 or unique grading scales, etc.). Please format your response as a letter to the admissions committee.