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About the Ford Institute

FoundingIn 1977, former President Gerald R. Ford announced the establishment of the first institute in the country to prepare undergraduates for public service careers.

Today the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Public Policy and Service administers an interdisciplinary program for undergraduate students interested in all aspects of public life. The curriculum, through seminars and coursework, visiting scholars and lecturers, service hours and internships, increases student awareness, understanding, and appreciation of life's public dimensions.

For 29 years, the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Public Policy and Service at Albion College has been dedicated to improving the human condition by preparing graduates for careers in law, international relations, journalism, public policy, education, and the non-profit sector, just to name a few. Our mission is to equip members as skilled analysts, advocates, and leaders in the increasingly complex world of public service and administration.

Student Resources

Robinson Hall

Information and resources for current Gerstacker students are now available in the Institute's section of Albion College's course webs. Check there for upcoming events, program requirements, information and forms for internships, and more.

See also:


Following is a partial list of elective courses Gerstacker students may wish to consider. Please note that some of these have prerequisite requirements that are not listed here.

Economics & Management

311 Intermediate Accounting I
312 Intermediate Accounting II
331 Money and Banking
336 Marketing Principles and Decision-Making
341 Federal Income Taxation
342 Auditing
344 Portfolio Theory
348 Financial Management
350 Business Law
355 Human Resource Management
368 Financial Markets
376 Negotiation and Dispute Resolution
382 Strategic Management
383 Accounting Information Systems
384 Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting
385 Advanced Taxation

Anthropology & Sociology

375 Global Transformations

Communication Studies

203 Small Group and Organizational Communication
205 Mass Communication
306 Public Relations
313 Intercultural Communication
341 Advanced Public Speaking

Computer Science

151 Survey of Computing
171 Introduction to Computer Science I
261 Computers, the User and Society

International Studies

130 Introduction to International Studies
370 Building on International and Intercultural Experiences


326 Operations Research

Modern Languages and Cultures

105 Intercultural Understanding and Global Issues
French, Spanish, German, Japanese language and culture courses


107 Logic and Critical Reasoning
302 Leadership Ethics

Political Science

216 Public Policy Analysis


236 Social Psychology
246 Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Required Courses

Business and Organizations Major

A minimum of 8.5 to 9.5 units as follows (classes in italics are taught during Summer College, between the sophomore and junior year):

Financial Accounting
E&M 211 - 1 unit

Professional Writing
ENG 208 - 1 unit

Intercultural/Global Issues
MLAC 105 or E&M 362 - 1 unit

PHIL 301 Environmental Ethics, PHIL 302 Leadership Ethics, PHIL 303 Business Ethics, PHIL 304 Ethics and Public Policy, or PHIL 308 Biomedical Ethics - 1 unit

Professional Communication
COMM 242 - 1 unit

Management/Psychology Hybrid
BUS 300-level - 1 unit

Business Functions
E&M 357 (Prerequisite: E&M 101 or E&M 102) - 1 unit

First-Year Workshop - 0.25 unit

Senior Capstone - 0.25 unit

BUS 392 - 1-2 units, two options:

  1. Two full-time internships
  2. One full-time internship and one off-campus semester in an approved Albion College program.


MATH 209, MATH 309, E&M 235 - 1 unit, or PSYC 204 and 206 - 2 units

Intermediate Economics
E&M 230 or E&M 232 - 1 unit

Additional Requirements

Students enrolled in the Business and Organizations major must pursue a second area of specialization that can be achieved through an existing Albion College minor, a College-approved emphasis or concentration, or a second major. This requirement can also be met through an individually designed five-unit focus, designed in collaboration with the Gerstacker Director, along with the majority approval of the Gerstacker Internal Advisory Committee and the Provost.

Business and Organizations Minor

6.25 units as follows:

Principles of Microeconomics
E&M 101 - 1 unit

FInancial Accounting
E&M 211 - 1 unit

E&M 259 - 1 unit

Choice of one in each section

Professional Writing (ENG 208)
Professional Communication (COMM 242) - 1 unit

Ethics (PHIL 301, PHIL 302, PHIL 303, PHIL 304, or PHIL 308)
Intercultural/Global Issues (MLAC 105, E&M 362) - 1 unit

BUS 392 - 1 unit, two options:

  1. One full-time internship
  2. One off-campus semester that combines course work and an internship.

First-Year Workshop - 0.25 unit


MATH 209, MATH 309, E&M 235 - 1 unit, or PSYC 204 and 206 - 2 units

Advising Notes

Students interested in pursuing graduate-level work in Business Administration (e.g., M.B.A.) are strongly encouraged to identify their programs of interest to better understand the course and work experience requirements and prerequisites. Most M.B.A. programs require at least two years of work experience (not including internships). Although many M.B.A. programs have specific course prerequisites, students are encouraged to study business-related topics, in addition to Gerstacker’s Business and Organizations major requirements. Depending on a student’s targeted schools or area of interest, prerequisite requirements may include additional economics, finance and accounting courses or college-level calculus.

When planning to pursue a specific emphasis in an area of study, please meet with the Gerstacker Director or Associate Director to develop a curricular plan that will best prepare you to meet your academic goals.

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