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Ford Institute students give a presentation.

Completion of all Ford Institute requirements leads to a concentration in Public Policy and Service. A concentration is a focus in a specific area of study that is selected in addition to a major (and minor, if applicable).

Each student is required to choose a major sometime before junior year. Often, course requirements for the Ford Institute overlap with major courses or other requirements of the college. We have student members from over thirty different majors. Involvement in the Ford Institute is an exceptional complement to a range of interests. Opportunities through the Ford Institute help students find specific interests and strengths, as well as network with alumni and experts within their fields.

The Ford Institute concentration requires 5.5 units of coursework to complete, plus one unit of internship, as well as attendance at lectures and a commitment to community service.

Ford Requirements

  • PBSV 101 – Intro to Public Service
  • PLSC 101 – Politics of American Democracy
  • PLSC 216 – Public Policy Analysis
  • General (at least one)
    • Communications – Public Speaking
    • Communications – Argumentation and Advocacy
    • English – Advanced Expository Writing
    • English – Introductory Creative Writing
    • English – Multimedia Journalism
    • Economics & Management – Intro to Micro-Economics
    • One semester of modern language at the 200 level or above
  • Philosophy (at least one)
    • Philosophy 201 – Ethics
    • Philosophy 202 – Social Philosophy
    • Philosophy 206 – Contemporary Moral Problems
    • Philosophy 301 – Environmental Ethics
    • Philosophy 302 – Leadership Ethics
    • Philosophy 303 – Business Ethics
    • Philosophy 304 – Ethics and Public Policy
    • Philosophy 308 – Biomedical Ethics
    • Philosophy 309 – International Ethics and Global Development
    • Philosophy 335 – Philosophical Issues in the Law
    • Religion 242 – Christian Ethics
  • PBSV 397 – Senior Colloquium (spring of senior year)
  • Internship (one unit minimum)
  • Community Service (ten hours x number of semesters in Ford)
  • Lectures and Events (at least two per semester + occasional mandatory)

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

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