UMD: A Globally Connected University

UMD-Summer: France: Understanding and Synthesizing Evidence-Based Research (PLCY)

Paris, France
Terms offered: 
Program Type: 
Credit Type: 
Minimum GPA: 
Non-UMD Students Eligible to Apply: 
Graduate Students Eligible to Apply: 
Language of Instruction: 

France PLCY
This course, taught in Paris, France, is designed to help students understand and synthesize policy-oriented, evidence-based research in a real-world setting. The course will cover project planning; conducting the literature review (such as the development and implementation of the search strategy and the use of EndNote Web to manage references); interpreting evidence (and evaluating causal claims); synthesizing the available research; drawing conclusions (based on the research and theory); and communicating those conclusions to policy makers, advocates, and the public.
Students will prepare either a structured literature review, research synthesis, or policy analysis for the OECD or a similar agency or organization located in or near Paris. The students will work with their clients while in Paris, but they will plan their projects with their clients beforehand and complete their project after leaving Paris.
The research topics will be initially identified by the client and the UMD faculty, with the final details to be worked out between the client and the student. Possible policy areas include aging and pensions, child welfare, criminal justice, education, employment and the labor market, families and children, health, housing, migration, social welfare, and, perhaps, the environment.
Prior to arriving in Paris, students will be matched to clients and will work with them to create an initial project description, which will include a delineation of the policy question to be addressed and the scope of research to be conducted. While in Paris, besides attending classes, students will prepare and present project plans to their clients (and others) and make site visits to international organizations that conduct similar policy-oriented research. After leaving Paris, students will complete their projects, interacting with their clients as needed. Final projects will be due about two months after leaving Paris.
            The expectation is that this close linkage with real-world clients will give students practical experiences ordinarily absent in university classrooms while also providing a valuable work product for the clients.

More information as well as a preliminary syllabus is available on the course web page.

You must be in good academic and judicial standing and you must not have any registration blocks to participate in this program. The minimum GPA for this program is listed above.

The following types of applicants are eligible to apply for this program:
o  Undergraduates Seniors at UMD:   Seniors which are already enrolled in a degree-seeking undergraduate program at UMD.
o   Undergraduates Seniors at Non-UMD Universities: These students are admitted to UMD by EA through the mini-admit process.
o   Graduate Students at UMD:  Students who are currently enrolled in a degree-seeking graduate program.
o   Graduate Students at Non-UMD Universities: Applicants who are currently enrolled in a degree-seeking graduate program at a non-UMD university (U.S. based and non-U.S. based) are eligible to apply for this program by applying to the UMD graduate school as a Visiting Graduate Student. 
o   Recent Graduates from both UMD and Non-UMD Universities: Applicants who have completed their bachelor's degree but are not currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program may apply to this program by applying as an Advanced Special Student through the Graduate School at UMD. 
o   International Students at UMD:  International students enrolled in a degree-seeking program at UMD are eligible to apply for this program the same as other UMD Undergraduate & Graduate Students.  These applicants are referred to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) for advising regarding their U.S. visa status before committing to the program.  
o   Applicants from Outside the U.S.:  Beginning Summer 2017, we will be able to admit applicants from outside the U.S. who have completed their bachelor's degree and are not currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program abroad for a select number of UMD short-term programs including the France PUAF program.  These applicants must apply as an Advanced Special Student through the Graduate School at UMD.  We are currently working with the Registrar's Office, the Bursar, and the Graduate School to draft policies and procedures for these types of applicants.  Please refer all questions regarding non-student international applicants to Jennifer Precht.

If you are interested in this program but do not meet the eligibility requirements, reach out to the program director (listed in the Contacts tab) to discuss your interest in the program.



After you commit to the program, Education Abroad will enroll you in the following three (3) credit UMD course:

  • PLCY698A: Applied Policy Analysis: Research Reviews and Program Evaluation

The credit you earn during this program will count as resident credit.

More information as well as a preliminary syllabus is available on the course web page.

Accommodation arrangements will be made available. The previous summer, students stayed at the United States dorms on the campus of Cite International Universitaire de Paris. 


Costs are current for summer 2018. Costs for summer 2019 will be updated shortly.

Application Fee $50
Billable Costs
Billable costs are charged to your student account. They are due based on the Office of Student Financial Services and Cashiering payment schedule. Be sure to check your statements when they are available.
Education Abroad Fee $500
This fee is charged to your account when the application status changes from "Accepted" to "Committed." This fee includes Education Abroad services including registration, billing, advising, risk management, and pre-departure orientation.
International Health Insurance $37
Tuition $2,463
This fee is charged to your UMD account upon course registration. This fee includes: Tuition, in-country transportation, course related activities, group meals, and teaching services.
Housing Fee $700
This fee represents the housing provided during the program.
Out-of-pocket Costs
Meals (estimate) $400
Visa $0
Passport $140
Roundtrip Airfare (estimate) $1,500
Course Materials $50
Optional Activities/incidental expenses $100
Optional trip cancelation/interruption Insurance (estimate) $180

NOTE: If you are a non-UMD graduate student, a non-UMD undergraduate student or a professional you will need to pay a $75 application fee to the UMD graduate school to participate in this program.

Please refer to the following resources for more information on funding study abroad

PLEASE NOTE: All University of Maryland study abroad programs are financially self-supporting and, therefore, subject to cancelation due to low enrollment.

Douglas J. Besharov  is a professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, where he teaches courses on poverty, welfare, children and families, policy analysis, program evaluation, and performance management. He is also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, where he leads a program on comparative social policy. In 2008, he was President of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) and, subsequently, APPAM's International Conference Coordinator. He is now director of the University's Welfare Reform Academy and its Center for International Policy Exchanges. Between 1985 and 2009, he was a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. Between 1975 and 1979, he was the first director of the U.S. National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. Together with Neil Gilbert of the University of California (Berkeley), Professor Besharov is co-Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford University Press Library on International Social Policy. Among his eighteen books is Recognizing Child Abuse: A Guide for the Concerned, a book designed to help professionals and laypersons identify and report suspected child abuse. He has written over 250 articles, and has contributed to The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

Douglas M. Call, M.P.P., is the Program Director and a senior research analyst at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy's Program for International Policy Exchanges and its Welfare Reform Academy. He graduated with his Master's in Public Policy from the School of Public Policy in May 2007. He has coauthored (with Professor Besharov) articles for the Policy Studies Journal and The Wilson Quarterly. With Professor Besharov, he was the coeditor of Poverty, Welfare, and Public Policy, the third volume in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management's Classics series. He is also a lecturer at the UMD School of Public Policy, teaching courses on poverty measurement and alleviation, program evaluation, and the capstone course for students in the social policy concentration. With Professor Besharov, he is coediting the OUP volume Labor Activation in a Time of High Unemployment: Encouraging Work while Preserving the Social Safety-Net and has been involved with organizing and shaping the agenda for past policy exchanges in Paris, Rome, Shanghai, and Segovia.

For course, itinerary or in-country information, please contact the Program Director. For general questions or assistance with applying, contact EA Short-term Programs.

As a part of this program, you will engage in the following activities:

  • Course taught by leading international experts in policy analysis
  •  Diverse class with students from all over the world
  • Meetings with student clients to discuss projects as well as with local government officials, researchers, and NGO representatives to discuss the real-world applicability of course subjects.
Term Year Application Deadline Admission Notification Program Start Program End
Summerterm 2018 03/15/2018 01/15/2018 06/02/2018 06/16/2018
Admissions for the program are made on a rolling basis and applications will be reviewed in the order that they are completed. Early application is advisable.