Policy in Practice

We believe it is important for anyone studying public policy to get out of the classroom and interact with policy professionals in a wide variety of setting. Given our proximity to Washington D.C. as well as the state capital of Richmond, Virginia our students have access to local, state, national and international policy professionals. Our Policy in Practice program ensures that all students connect with these individuals on a regular basis throughout their time in the program. 

To pass the required course, PUBP590: Policy in Practice, students complete a portfolio containing a written synthesis of the student’s observations of policy in practice and how their experiences have shaped their views on public policy. Students gain many of those experiences participating in three activities:

The Washington Program 

This program, required of first-year graduate students, is designed to show the broad range of opportunities in the D.C. area for policy professionals.

Policy Dialogue 

Each semester we offer a variety of Policy Dialogue programs in both D.C. and Richmond to engage students in a topic through direct discussions with policymakers and policy practitioners. These discussions provide the opportunity to develop an informed perspective.

Summer Internships 

An internship during the summer between the first and second years is required and is an important element of the master's program. With assistance from program faculty and staff and our Board of Advisors, students locate internships in government agencies (at the local, state, and federal levels), private consulting firms, advocacy organizations, or other organizations involved in public policy.