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Director’s Message


We are delighted you are with us at UMBC’s School of Public Policy. You are joining a program with a proud tradition of policy education and public service. Our core courses are designed to provide you with useful tools for designing, implementing, and evaluating public policies. Students graduate with knowledge that transcends any one policy field. Courses in research design and multiple research methods ensure that students will be able to contribute in multiple policy fields.

Our many specializations in public policy give you the opportunity to work with faculty across the college, in departments including economics, education, emergency services, geography and environmental systems, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. UMBC’s outstanding scholars have contributed to improving health policy, education policy, regulatory policy, and public management in Maryland and beyond. Faculty and students work with the Hilltop Institute, a rich resource for data useful for improving health services.

Civic engagement is an important part of UMBC’s mission. We work in partnership with our communities at UMBC, in Baltimore, and around the state and country. Recent alumni have been serving in nonprofits, professional associations, businesses, and in federal, state and local government. Urgent need as public policy changes around the country has allowed alumni to contribute to improving arts policy, education equity in computer science, and advocating for improved long term care. We are very proud that our Ph.D. alumni work as faculty in universities in the United States and other countries. Sylvia Trent-Adams (Ph.D. 2006), who worked closely with Dr. Nancy Miller, currently serves as the Deputy Surgeon General for the United States.

Many of our classes include service components. Most recently, Dr. Lauren Hamilton Edwards’s class contributed to the Baltimore city’s review of its charter. The students were acknowledged in the charter commission’s final report. Dr. Jane Lincove is designing a project with her students to evaluate an environmental education and research project to protect an endangered bird. That’s in addition to her work on school choice and how families can access the best education for their children. Dr. Pam Bennett has been conducting work that is at the center of UMBC’s commitment to equity: her work assesses success and inclusion in higher education. Dr. Chris Curran has been funded to assess the use of school resource officers and discipline in schools.

This year, we are excited to welcome our new faculty member Dr. Zoe McLaren. She has spent many years working with community health providers in South Africa and Uganda to improve the delivery of medical treatment for life-threatening illnesses.

Our website will introduce you to more about the School, its people, and our programs. We look forward to working with you as you bring your expertise to the school, and as you develop your expertise in analyzing public policy.


Susan M. Sterett, Director
Professor of Public Policy