What Should I Take This Fall?

With shopping carts open and course enrollment for the fall on your mind, the Admissions team is sharing helpful tips and classes to consider as you prepare for application to the Batten School. 

Most importantly, you should focus on completing program prerequisites, earning a grade of C or higher. These are the only classes you must take prior to enrolling at Batten, so make taking these courses a priority. Prerequisite courses can be taken all the way up until the semester you begin at Batten, so if you plan to apply to one of our programs next year, you have through next summer to complete them. However, it is helpful for the Admissions Committee to see final grades for these classes in your application. If you are a First Year thinking about the BA or PP&L Minor, or a Second Year considering the Accel, your best bet is to take them this fall. 

For the major and minor in Public Policy & Leadership, you must take microeconomics (ECON 2010) and social psychology (PSYC 2600 OR LPPL 2600, which is Batten’s section of social psych looked at through a policy lens). Students applying to the major must also take LPPP 2200: Introduction to Public Policy, a course that is offered only in the fall or the spring (no summer option is available). For the Accelerated MPP program, you will need to take microeconomics (ECON 2010) and a calculus-based math course. We like for you to take a college-level math course at UVA to build skills and demonstrate readiness for graduate level quantitative work, so if you intend to bring in the calculus pre-req using AP or transfer credit, you might also consider taking STAT 1100, STAT 1601, or STAT 2120. Finally, students interested in the Social Entrepreneurship Minor should take ENTP 1010: Startup - An Introduction to Entrepreneurship. (Remember, the Social Entrepreneurship Minor accepts all applicants!) 

Students can take additional Batten classes before applying; however, this is NOT required for evaluation. Rather, it is a way for you to see if our programs could be a good academic fit as you explore options. It could also free up space further down the road for things like study abroad, double majoring, or picking up a minor (or two!). Keep in mind, if you ultimately stay in the College of Arts and Sciences, you must earn 108 credits of coursework in the College, so if you do take additional Batten classes, be sure to course plan to make sure you can meet all of your requirements

For those looking for a taste of Batten, courses to consider include LPPL 2100: The Resilient Student: Transition, Thriving, and Leadership or LPPL 3450: Resilient Leadership for Teams and Teammates. Students interested in particular policy areas can explore them through special topics (elective) courses like LPPS 3050: Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship (which counts towards SE Minor requirements); LPPS 3240: Terrorism and Counterterrorism; LPPS 3280: Lessons in Leadership: JFK and the Most Personal Office; or LPPS 3310: Police-Community Relations: Problems and Prospects. Any courses taken at the 3000-level or higher count towards curricular requirements if you end up joining the BA or Minor in Public Policy & Leadership!  

For a complete list of our fall offerings, you can check SIS for the most up-to-date information, we have also listed our fall courses below for reference.  New courses may still be added to SIS, so be sure to check back! And 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 Estrella! 


Open Batten Core and Special Topics Courses (as of April 4) 

LPPL 2100: The Resilient Student: Transition, Thriving, and Leadership: The adjustment from high school to college is filled with turbulent transitions and with opportunities for discovery, growth, and development of critical life skills. The course focuses on development of broad skills to create fulfilling lives and successful careers after college, especially in 4 areas: 1) development of emotional resilience skills, 2) development of life management skills, 3) introduction to leadership concepts, and 4) establishment of small communities of students. *An elective course for building key skills for college success. Note: course does NOT fulfill a special topics requirement in the Batten BA or minor. 

LPPP 2200: Introduction to Public Policy: This course will introduce students to both the process of public policy and the tools of policy analysis. The first part examines the actors, institutions, and procedures involved in the adoption, implementation, and evaluation of public policy. The second part introduces students to the basic concepts and tools of policy analysis including problem definition, specification of alternatives, and solution analysis. *A prerequisite course for the Batten BA and a core course for the Batten minor; this course is a great way for students to gain an understanding of Public Policy and the Batten School. 

LPPL 2600: Foundations of Behavioral Science: An overview of the fields of social psychology and behavioral science. We will explore behavioral research in basic social psychology, leadership and organizational behavior, and the ways in which social science methods and research are currently being used in public policy and to solve major societal problems. The ultimate goal is to teach students how to think like behavioral scientists. *This course fulfills the Batten BA and minor prerequisite for Social Psychology.  

LPPP 2700 Outdoor Leadership: Building a Team: Outdoor environments are dynamic, fluid & unpredictable. Leading teams in these spaces requires a strong foundation. Course teaches how individuals develop trust & fear & discusses interpersonal & group dynamics. Practice these transferrable skills through facilitation & teambuilding opportunities. The outdoors can be an intimidating place & by building the right type of teams, leaders can help people push past seemingly insurmountable boundaries. *An elective course for building team leadership skills. Note: course does NOT fulfill a special topics requirement in the Batten BA or minor. 

LPPS 3050: Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship: Social entrepreneurship is an approach to creating system-level change through the application of entrepreneurial thinking to social ventures, non-profit organizations, government institutions, and NGOs to create economic, environmental, and social value for multiple stakeholders. In this course you will be introduced to a range of entrepreneurial approaches aimed at solving social problems - from the non-profit to the for-profit. *An elective course within the Batten BA and minor curriculum, for students interested in social entrepreneurship (this is a required course for the social entrepreneurship minor). 

LPPS 3240: Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Explores the various ways our federal government, primarily the Department of Justice and the FBI, have responded to the threat of terrorism, in the US and abroad. The modern terrorist threat, electronic surveillance authorities, US detention authority, terrorist debriefing, cooperating witnesses in terrorism cases, enhanced interrogation techniques, the differences between the intelligence and law enforcement approaches & other topics will be covered. *An elective course in the Batten BA and minor curriculum. 

LPPP 3250 Global Development Policy: This course explores key challenges in global development policy and our complicated roles as global citizens in the twenty-first century. Grapple with key questions: why some countries escape poverty, while others fail or see poverty worsen? How development economists and policy experts approached global development in the past? What roles do governments, aid agencies and stakeholders play in alleviating poverty? What has worked, what hasn’t and why? *An elective course in the Batten BA and minor curriculum. 

LPPS 3310: Police-Community Relations: Problems and Prospects: The current state of US police-community relations is in a precarious condition. Recent incidents of negative police-citizen encounters resulting in deaths of unarmed citizens & police officers has affected public trust & confidence in local law enforcement. Class focuses on problems of police-community relations & deliberates prospects for policy solutions. Students develop & present policy proposals to address a particular problem. *An elective course in the Batten BA and minor curriculum.   

LPPS 3330: Education and Conflict: This introductory course will explore various relationships between education and conflict—education in conflict zones, propaganda, military training, nationalist curricula, etc.— through a series of case studies of real-world examples as well as policy and theoretical literature on these topics. We will critically analyze the external and internal factors that impact the relationship between education and conflict, including resource scarcity and climate change, economic disparities, and political instability and extremism. The course will provide students with a working knowledge of the field of global education and the relationship between education policy and lived experiences in global contexts. By the end of the course, students will have gained a broad theoretical and practical understanding of education and conflict in Africa (Nigeria, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Sudan), the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Palestine), and China, England, and Australia. No prerequisites are required. *An elective course in the Batten BA and minor curriculum.   

LPPS 3340: Innovating for Defense: Experiential course where students directly work w/US Department of Defense to address real-world national security challenges, gaining problem-solving and professional skills for any field. Through research, stakeholder interviews, and engagements with outside experts, student teams develop policy recommendations for project sponsors’ organizations. Recent project sponsors: US Strategic Command, Space Security and Defense Program, and National Ground Intelligence Center. *An elective course in the Batten BA and minor curriculum.   

LPPP 3370: Trauma & US Public School System: This course explores trauma in the context of child development and how the United States public school system serves to address this issue from policy perspective. Applied policy will be a unique focus of this course with case studies.  School based mental health services, educational supports, and the historical context of education will be covered. *An elective course in the Batten BA and minor curriculum.  

LPPL 3450: Resilient Leadership for Teams and Teammates: This course builds students’ skills in “the art of getting things done.” Students will establish the critical leadership and team-building competencies that distinguish highly effective leaders. We will introduce frameworks that will enhance student’s: resilience, team leadership skills, capacity for thriving in times of adversity, emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills (including conflict resolution and negotiation skills) and decision making. *An elective course in the Batten BA and minor curriculum.   

LPPS 3470: American Healthcare System: Challenges & Opportunities: This course focuses on structure and function of US healthcare system. Covers history and current status of education, financing and delivery systems, including comparison with other nations. Topics include challenges that face current and future leaders, providers, patients, and policy makers. Examines issues of workforce, financing, access, disparities, and technology. Addresses problems and opportunities. *An elective course in the Batten BA and minor curriculum.   

LPPP 3559-001: Strategic Decision-Making: How do leaders make choices? What factors weigh most heavily? Where do leaders err – and why? The course explores these questions in the context of national security and foreign policy. Part one focuses on theory and models for understanding and improving strategic decision-making. Part two examines a set of historical cases relevant to today’s most important challenges. Case studies may include the outbreak of World War I, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and tensions over Taiwan. *An elective course in the Batten BA and minor curriculum.   

LPPS 4230: US Mental Health Policy: Explores US mental health policy and analyzes effectiveness of policies to address behavioral health needs. Examine how US Federal government perceives mental illness, impact of science on policy initiatives and why US remains in state of crisis. Topics include: COVID, Social Determinants of Health, institutionalization vs. community-based services, impact of adverse childhood experiences, PTSK and military, brain science, financing mental health services and opioid crisis. *An elective course in the Batten BA and minor curriculum.