Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
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|University of Michigan|
|Dean||Michael S. Barr|
The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, often referred to as the Ford School, is a leading public policy school at the University of Michigan. Founded in 1914 to offer training in municipal administration, in 1999 the school was named after former President Gerald Ford, who graduated from the University of Michigan in 1935. In the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings, the Ford School was ranked #1 in social policy, #1 in public policy analysis, #8 in environmental policy and management, and #3 in health policy and management. 
The Ford School offers wide-ranged research in public policy and is known for its strong quantitative orientation. The school runs dual degree programs with the University of Michigan Law School, Ross School of Business, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, School of Information, School of Social Work, School of Natural Resources, and University of Michigan School of Public Health, as well as the Departments of Economics, Sociology, and Political Science.
In 1936, the program became the Institute of Public and Social Administration. In 1946, it became the Institute of Public Administration.
The University of Michigan established the institute as the School of Public Policy in 1995, with Lorch Hall as the host building. In 1999, the school was named in honor of Gerald R. Ford, the 38th President of the United States and a 1935 graduate of the University of Michigan.
In the fall 2006, the Joan and Sanford Weill Hall became the new permanent home of the Ford School. The Weill family donated $8 million, $5 million for construction of a new $35 million building (dedicated on October 13, 2006), which houses classrooms, offices, and meeting space for students, faculty and staff, and $3 million to endow the position of dean of the School. The five-story structure, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, houses several research centers, a policy library, and study areas for students. At the same time, the school began admitting University of Michigan undergraduate students to a new bachelor's in public policy degree program.
Programs of study
MPP students specialize in a wide range of policy fields, including domestic social policy, international trade, and nonprofit management. Master of Public Policy (MPP) Program  Students are encouraged to participate in interdisciplinary work by incorporating graduate courses from other schools at the university. Most students choose a particular area on which to focus, generally from: U.S. Social Policy, Economics, International Development & Politics, Public & Nonprofit Management, Politics of Policymaking, or Methodologies of Policy Analysis.
A key component of the MPP course of study is hands-on experience, which takes the form of a required ten-week internship, typically completed in the summer between the program's two years.
Students also have opportunities for specialized study and travel during the academic year. Currently, there are four courses which allow students to gain practical experience with policymaking and/or international exposure:
- Applied Policy Seminar – A semester-long course in which students are assigned to real-world projects for local governments, often requiring assessment of costs/benefits and implications of a policy change.
- Integrated Policy Exercise – A week-long, school-wide simulation addressing either a local or international issue.
- Distance Learning Project for Quantitative Social Science – A year-long course that trains students in social science techniques for policymaking and partners them with social scientists in South Africa via the web and a country trip in the winter term.
- International Economic Development Program – A semester-long course in which students, in conjunction with a faculty member, study the economic, political, and social development of a developing country, culminating in a visit over the winter break.
In September 2007, the school began its first undergraduate program with 50 third-year students beginning the two-year program of study.
The doctoral program  is conducted jointly with the economics, sociology, or political science department.
Of the doctoral program, the MPP program, and the undergraduate program in public policy, the MPP program is the largest. The Ford School has developed dual degrees with many professional programs, which enables students to complete work on two degrees simultaneously. The most common dual degree programs include coursework in business, education, information, law, natural resources and the environment, public health, Russian and Eastern European studies, social work, or urban and regional planning.
The Ford School is home to or co-sponsor of a number of multi-disciplinary research centers that focus on policy concerns including:
- Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP)
- Center for Public Policy in Diverse Societies
- Center on Finance, Law, and Policy (CFLP)
- Education Policy Initiative
- International Policy Center
- Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program (STPP)
- Poverty Solutions
- Weiser Diplomacy Center
- Youth Policy Lab (YPL)
Several members of the school's faculty have joint appointments in other departments, and there are visiting professors from around the U.S. and other countries. The Ford School also hosts a Diplomat in Residence to provide students with firsthand access to information about the U.S. State Department.
- "U.S. News Ford School profile". U.S. News. U.S. News & World Report.
- History of the University of Michigan Institute of Public & Social Administration, U-M 2017 Project
- "Michigan U. to Name School for Gerald Ford", nytimes.com, New York Times
- Joan and Sanford Weill give $5M for Ford School building
- Robert A.M. Stern Architects building profile
- MPP program page
- Doctoral Program page
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