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Public Leadership Minor

School of Public Policy
1118B Taliaferro Building

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Public Leadership Students

How do I apply?


Public Leadership Minor

The Minor in Public Leadership allows students to examine pressing issues (the global environment, democratization and human rights, crime and the penal system, diversity and affirmative action, poverty and inequality, and the quality of public education) facing leaders today. The minor directs students to think critically about the viable solutions needed to solve problems which require effective leadership for the public good. This minor engages students in learning about leadership for the public good and effective citizenship.


Requirements: 15 approved credits, at least 9 of which are 300- or 400-level. All courses taken for a minor must be completed with a minimum grade of C-. A minimum C (2.00) cumulative grade point average across all courses used to satisfy the minor is also required. Notes: No more than 6 credits may overlap between your major and the Public Leadership Minor, unless otherwise approved by your major. Additionally, courses completed in one minor may not be used to satisfy the requirements in another minor.

There is no required order in which the courses must be taken and courses do not need to be completed prior to applying.

At least 3 credits from one of the following Core courses:

  • PLCY 201 Leadership for the Common Good; (3 credits): Two hours of lecture and one hour of discussion/recitation per week. This course is designed to provide undergraduate students an introduction to leadership theory and civic studies and a chance to practice a core set of practical skills relevant to various kinds or leadership, such as transformational and collaborative leadership. Available Spring 
  • PLCY 302 Leadership: Philosophy, Policy and Praxis; (3 credits): Leadership as a search for meaning, identity and purpose are explored. Also introduces major philosophical traditions, from the ancient world to the modern one, and encourages students to ground their leadership interests and aspirations in a disciplined process of self-reflection, critical thinking and inquiry. Available Spring

The remaining 12 credits will be split among two signature courses and two elective courses. A credit-bearing experiential learning option for which a grade is earned, e.g., internship, study abroad, research project, etc. can count as part of the remaining 12 credits. The experiential learning option must be linked to public leadership and approved in advance. See below for a list of approved courses.

For more information, contact the Academic Advisor at plminor@umd.edu or visit office hours at 1118B Taliaferro Hall.

A Highlight of Public Leadership Students

This is Pegah Maleki

Pegah is an English Major and a Creative Writing minor, and Public Leadership minor. She is in the Social Innovation Scholars Program through the College of Arts and Humanities. She is a peer educator for Care to Stop Violence through the university health center.  She is also in the Jimenez Porter Writers House program. In addition, Pegah works as an online content writer for the office of student affairs. Her post-graduation aspirations are to work in a nonprofit organization and spread awareness and education on sexual and domestic violence.  



This is Rebecca Faunce

Rebecca is a double major in Government and Politics and Criminal Justice/Criminology. She was Chief Administrative Officer for the Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity, where she managed other officers and served on the executive committee. Rebecca was in charge of creating minutes for each meeting and submitting forms to nationals on time. In addition, she conducted elections and various leadership seminars. Ms. Faunce is currently the Assistant Vice President of Public Relations for the UMD Panhellenic Association, assisting the VP of PR with anything needed. Rebecca oftentimes organizes and compiles clothing orders, and provides ideas for Public Relations meetings. She is also a Rho Gamma for the Spring 2015 semester for those new members going through Panhellenic Recruitment. She will mentor new members and aid them throughout the entire recruitment process.  After graduation, Rebecca hopes to get her Master’s in Public Policy from UMD. She would also like to have a career in Federal Law Enforcement, either as an agent or an analyst. Her ultimate goal is to one day work with counter-terrorism. 

This is Asma A. Neblett

Asma is a passionate student, activist and Women’s Studies major hailing from both Brooklyn and Long Island, New York.In the Spring of 2014, she was offered an opportunity through a small grant to study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to pursue an international journalism career. Asma’s impactful time overseas unexpectedly exposed her to the worldwide marginalization of women, which inspired her decision to transfer to UMD, and to change her area of focus to Women’s Studies with a Public Leadership minor. Prior to her arrival at UMD, Ms. Neblett was the President of the Black Student Union, a Leadership scholar and student researcher at Mount Saint Mary College, NY. Asma aspires to have a multifaceted career in law, education and non-profit media projects for the advancement of women and girls, especially of color, after completing her undergraduate studies. In the meantime, she is currently working on a student-run newsletter dedicated to the extractions of classroom discussions on women, gender and inter-sectional topics for the general audience.

This is Laura Miller

Laura is majoring in Hearing and Speech Sciences with a minor in Public Leadership.  She is from Cape May Court House, New Jersey. She is a member of the University Honors College and became interested in public leadership through her involvement with the Investing in Social Change and Do Good Now Honors Seminars. These educational experiences ignited her passion for creating opportunities for positive social change as she became actively involved with social issues that impact people’s lives through enhanced public awareness as well as compassion. Laura enjoys being involved on campus and is passionate about sharing her leadership skills, energy and enthusiasm while assisting others. She trains and races with the UMD Triathlon Club Team and serves as club Treasurer whose activities often involve service and support venues. She is a Peer Mentor for Freshman Students in the Honors College and enjoys providing guidance and assistance to them during their first year of college. Laura is a research assistant in the Language Development Lab in the Hearing and Speech Science Department and a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars which involves service initiatives to the college campus and surrounding communities. Laura is a member of the Rawlings Undergraduate Leadership Fellows program and is interested in further investing herself in learning more about the leadership skills and organizational framework in the non-profit sector and their strategies for success. She has a strong interest in the social issues affecting the youth in our society and policies in education. She is passionate about inspiring young people to lead healthier and more productive lives by educating them regarding the benefits of a healthy diet and physical fitness. Laura has committed herself to learn more about contemporary social issues, serving others, and what it takes to make a real difference in today’s world. 

This is Joel Vazquez

Joel is an American Studies and Government & Politics double major at the University of Maryland, College Park. Along with minoring in Spanish and Public Leadership, Joel wishes to become more involved in the larger community in order to use his skills to responsibly do good. He is the Community Service Chair of the Filipino Cultural Association; he serves as the Student Liaison for the Filipino Veteran's Recognition and Education Project; he serves on the Dean's Advisory Board for the College of the Arts and Humanities; and he is the Student Representative for American Studies. After graduation, Joel hopes to develop a career focused on international development and go to Graduate School, concentrating on Public Policy and the opportunities that it has for him.


This is Cynthia M. Njatcha

Cynthia is majoring in Public Health Science with the goal of becoming an Epidemiologist. Ms. Njatcha has utilized her leadership skills by being a guided study session (GSS) leader and by being the vice president of membership in Toastmaster International during the academic year of 2013-2014. After graduation, her goal is to pursue a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology.  She is also considering getting a PhD so that she can truly become an expert in the field, but for now a Masters is a must. Cynthia is originally from Cameroon and is a strong believer that you can do anything you put your mind to in this crazy world. Her all-time favorite quote:  Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon- Paul Brandt



This is Elyse Abrams

Elyse Abrams is a Public Health Science major from Flanders, NJ. She hopes to be a dentist or oral surgeon who has a strong background in leadership. Elyse is passionate about Operation Smile, a non-profit medical charity that provides free surgeries to fix the cleft lips and palates of children suffering in third world countries. Elyse has attended a medical mission and has continued her involvement by taking a position on the executive board of the Operation Smile club here at the University. Elyse also serves as a mentor through the CARing (Children At Risk) program which seeks to build self-esteem in and provide role models for approximately 20 second through sixth graders, as well as develop the children's language, reading, writing, math, and social skills. In addition, Elyse is an active member of her sorority where she hopes to take on a leadership position in the near future. In her free time, Elyse loves to swim, travel, and hang out with friends.

How do I apply?

Applications are received and approved on a rolling-basis with no current deadline (with the exception of item 3 below).

1. Students must meet the minimum GPA requirement of 3.0

2. Complete the application, save it, and email it to plminor@umd.edu.

3. Students must come in for a mandatory advising meeting.

4. Students must be enrolled in the minor at least one full academic year prior to undergraduate graduation.



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