The minor in public policy and international affairs is a selective program for students who have been accepted to the Tower Scholars Program. Highland Capital Management Tower Scholars may have any academic major and will receive practical training in public policy analysis through this minor. Policy practitioners and SMU faculty offer a curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking and analytical skills as well as professional training to ensure that Highland Capital Management Tower Scholars graduate with skills for effective policy analysis and with the experience of making concrete policy recommendations in real-world applications.
Tower Scholars Program Application Process
Students currently enrolled at SMU may apply to become a Highland Capital Management Tower Scholar via the competitive application process outlined below. Interested first-year students with a GPA of 3.300 or higher may apply in the spring of their ﬁrst year at SMU. Note: To be considered for admission, students must agree to complete the prerequisites/corequisites for the minor in public policy and international affairs.
The selection process for choosing Highland Capital Management Tower Scholars will be based on merit and determined by the application and interview process. Applicants must submit the following items:
Application form, including an 800-1000 word essay as described on the application;
Two letters of recommendation, at least one of which must be from an SMU faculty member.
The applicant pool will be evaluated using a variety of relevant criteria, including, but not limited to, the following: the relevance of the minor in public policy and international affairs to a student’s career goals; a strong academic record; a strong extracurricular record with demonstrated interest in community and/or public service; demonstrated leadership and a sense of social responsibility; and excellent written and oral communication skills. The selection committee will recruit students from a variety of majors and schools and will consider diversity, broadly deﬁned.
Once the applicant pool has been evaluated, a select number will be invited to the ﬁnal stage of the application process, which is an interview with the Minor in Public Policy and International Affairs Selection Committee. In addition to all of the criteria listed above, the selection committee will seek to evaluate the verbal communication skills of each candidate and will expect candidates to be able to express why becoming a Highland Capital Management Tower Scholar and being accepted into the Public Policy and International Affairs Minor would be meaningful given their speciﬁc career goals.
Prerequisites/Corequisities for the Minor
The following prerequisites/corequisites for the minor must be completed before students begin their junior year:
- A grade of C- or better in ECO 1311 or ECO 1312 , a score of 4 or better in the Macroeconomics Advanced Placement Test, or a score of 4 or better in the Microeconomics Advanced Placement Test.
- A grade of C- or better in one quantitative course (ITOM 2305 , MATH 1309 or MATH 1337 , SOCI 3311 or SOCI 3312 , or STAT 2331 or STAT 4340 ) or a score of 4 or better in the Statistics Advanced Placement Test.