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Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Application

Thank you for your interest in the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program. In addition to the information you supplied on the UMBC Common Application, you will need to complete the Sondheim Public Affairs application to be considered as a candidate for the program. When completing the application you will not have the option to save and return at a later time. You will need to complete and submit your application in one sitting. The application and all supplemental materials must be received by the priority deadline.

Priority Deadline

Freshmen Deadline: January 15, 2018

Please refer to the information below in preparation for completing the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars application.

UMBC Campus ID

The Sondheim Public Affairs application will require that you have your UMBC Campus ID. Your Campus ID will be sent approximately five to seven business days after you have submitted your Common Application to UMBC. We strongly encourage you to complete your undergraduate admissions package before November 1. This includes submission of your Common Application, high school transcript, and standardized test score results.

Short Answers

You should prepare short essay answers of 300 words or less. The application will allow you to cut and paste your answer from your word processing software into the form. The questions you will need to answer are:

  • Describe a significant and meaningful public service experience you have had. Examples may include serving the community through volunteer work, taking on a leadership role in an organization or club, or another relevant experience. Relate the public service experience to your life currently and in the future.
  • What are your educational and career goals?

Additional Documents

You are also required to submit the documents listed below. These documents can be submitted as attachments to the application. The documents must be either in an Adobe PDF format or a Microsoft Word document.

  • Resume – outline your educational and career goals and highlights your extracurricular activities, including leadership positions, awards, and honors.
  • Writing Sample – provide an essay (maximum 3 pages, double-spaced) on a serious policy problem facing the United States or world. Why does this problem concern you, and what do you think should be done about it? Please provide a list of principal sources you cite (the list of sources does not count toward the 3 page limit).


You will be required to submit two letters of recommendation addressing your suitability for this program. The letters should speak to your ability to succeed in the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program and address your analytical ability, writing skills, community engagement and/or leadership. One recommendation should be from a high school teacher and one from another adult member of the community who knows you well (teacher, volunteer supervisor, advisor, etc.). Letters of recommendation submitted to UMBC as part of the Common App are acceptable. However, your application for the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program will be stronger if your letters of recommendation specifically address your ability to succeed in this Program.

There are three (3) ways you may submit recommendation letters indicated below.  Please communicate with recommenders to identify their preferred method and allow enough time for a January 15 submission.

  1. Students may upload and attach an electronic version of their recommendations (jpeg, pdf, doc) using the online Sondheim application.
  2. Students may provide each recommender with a Scholars Program Recommendation Form to be completed and sent by mail or fax (details on form).
  3. Recommenders may choose to personally upload the Scholars Program Recommendation Form and supporting documents via our contact form. Note recommenders are not required to be listed on the student’s Authorization to Disclose Information Form

Honors College

You may also use this application to apply for the UMBC Honors College. Admission decisions for the Honors College are determined by a separate committee. For consideration, applicants should have a minimum high school grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.00 scale in a strong college preparatory curriculum that includes honors, Advancement Placement or International Baccalaureate coursework.

The deadline has passed for Fall 2018 Applicants