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Washington Campus - MBA

The Washington Campus is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that offers educational programs on public policy issues and political processes.  The Ross School of Business is one of 17 graduate business schools that provide its MBA students with the opportunity to participate in the intensive, one-week course in Washington D.C.

Legislative and regulatory decisions made in Washington can have a tremendous impact on business.  Few business leaders understand the policy process well enough to adequately anticipate regulatory changes in advance, to fully understand the perspectives of stakeholders that seek to influence decisions, or to ethically and effectively represent their interests to policymakers.  Through lectures, panel discussions, computer simulations and guided site visits, students are given first-hand exposure to the decision-making processes in federal government and an understanding of how decisions impact business. 

BL 688 Business and the Public Policy Process: How Washington Works and What Issues Matter


BL 688 Business and the Public Policy Process:  How Washington Works and What Issues Matter

BL 688 Session Information

The course is designed to provide you with the frameworks, concepts, and tools needed to incorporate the public policy dimension into managerial decision-making and strategic planning.  The course combines classroom experience with onsite learning:  some sessions take place in Washington Campus's own conference facilities while others are held in various offices around Washington and on Capitol Hill. BL 688 is an interactive course, with plenty of opportunity to ask questions of policy makers and lobbyists. Earn 3.00 credits towards your MBA degree.  See full course requirements below.

Participating in the Washington Campus program will give you the opportunity to learn directly from Washington insiders with such practical knowledge as:   
      ●  How the policy making process really works
      ●  Who holds the power in influencing decisions
      ●  What issues matter to businesses and lawmakers
      ●  How to effectively communicate and promote your interests
      ●  How to develop sound business strategies that take into account and influence potential policy changes

Not sure if Washington Campus is the right program for you?  Please see the following comments from students who have attended The Washington Campus in the past:

  • "I learned so much I don't know where to start...Truly learned a ton about how I can impact rule-making and how it impacts me."

  • "Every person interested in business and assuming a leadership position should take this course in order to develop an understanding of government policy and how they can best influence it."

  • "I gained a valuable understanding of how the government operates and how business can best influence policy.  The insight from the various insiders has been invaluable and as a result my viewpoint on media and government has been changed for the better."

BL 688 2020 Session Dates

The Washington Campus program is offered several times throughout the year.  Please note:

  • Washington Campus registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Spaces may fill prior to the posted registration deadline.  Registration is open for all 2020 sessions.

  • Not all students are eligible for each session. Not sure which session is the right fit for your academic needs? Please contact your Washington Campus Coordinator




January 6-10, 2020




001 / 451  

March 2-6, 2020

MBA1 MBA2 Eve MBA 002 / 452  

March 9-13, 2020*




003 / 453  

March 16–20, 2020*




004 / 454  

May 11–15, 2020**


rising MBA2


005 / 455  

May 18–22, 2020**

  rising MBA2 Eve MBA 006 / 456  

August 17-21, 2020***


rising MBA2


  001 / 451

Eligibility Notes:

  • January 6-10, 2020 session occurs during U-M semester break. 

  • March 2-6, 2020 session occurs during U-M spring break.

  • *March 9-13, 2020 and March 16-20, 2020:

    • MBA2s are eligible for March 9-13 or 16-20 sessions only if not enrolled in any other U-M courses during Winter B.

    • Evening MBA students are eligible for March 9-13 or 16-20 sessions only if not enrolled in any other U-M courses during session dates.

  • **May 11-15, 2020 and May 18-22, 2020:

    • Rising MBA2s are only eligible for the May 11-15 or 18-22 sessions if dates do not conflict with an internship commitment. Rising MBA2s who register for the May 11-15 or 18-22 sessions may register for BL 688 in the Winter 2020 term.

    • Evening MBA students are eligible for the May 11-15 or 18-22 sessions only if not enrolled in any other U-M courses during session dates.

  • ***August 17-21, 2020:

    • Rising MBA2s who register for this session will enroll in BL 688 for the Fall 2020 term.  Although the program dates occur before the Fall term, the group project and public policy paper will be due during Fall term. 

    • Incoming students are not eligible to enroll in this session. 

BL 688 Expenses

Students are responsible for both Washington Campus and U-M tuition, which are separate from and exclusive of one another.

(as of September 2018)

$1,450 Washington Campus Tuition (subject to strict cancellation/transfer policy)
+   400 Non-refundable Registration Fee (not transferrable to future programs)

$1,850 TOTAL - Payable to Washington Campus

The above fees cover participation in the program during your week in D.C. 

Payment is due when registering online directly with the Washington Campus.


This course earns 3.00 credits toward your degree upon successful completion of the academic components.  Payment is due according to the University's tuition billing date for the term in question.

Full-time MBA students:  The 3.00 degree credits you'll be earning from BL 688 will be included in your full-term course load (between 9-18 credits), and are therefore included in your U-M tuition for the respective Winter or Fall term.

Evening MBA students: The 3.00 degree credits you'll be earning from BL 688 will be charged regular U-M tuition during the term in which you are registered for BL 688.


Students are responsible for paying their own travel, lodging, and incidental expenses. 

To save costs, former students suggest:

-Reducing lodging expenses by sharing hotel rooms or rental properties.  View information on finding a roommate.  

-Making flight arrangements to fly in/out of Baltimore.

-Reserving hotel accommodations with one of the hotels offering preferred rates to Washington Campus participants.  Visit here for a list.

Financial aid may be available to assist in covering program expenses if requests are made in a timely manner (critical processing deadlines affect the disbursement of aid).  Email for more information.

BL 688 Course Requirements

Your final grade will be based on four components:

  1. Classroom Attendance for all sessions during the week in D.C.

  2. Take-home exam (25% of grade)

  3. Group Project (25% of grade) - Due approximately one to two weeks after your return.

  4. Public Policy Analysis Research Paper (50% of grade) - ~15 pages written individually; due approximately 3 weeks after your return.  Requirements to be posted on the Canvas site for BL 688.  The paper will be graded by the Ross faculty director.  

Please note that before you arrive in Washington, the Washington Campus staff will send you a syllabus describing the first two requirements (Exam and Group Project) and mandatory readings.  Your classroom in Washington will include MBA students from Ross, as well as MBA students from other business schools throughout the country.  Each school requires completion of the Exam, Group Project, and Classroom Attendance.  The Public Policy Analysis Research Paper is required for all Ross students to earn credit in BL 688.  The other schools participating in the program will have different requirements for credit in their degree program.

BL 688 is graded according to the standard MBA five-level grading scale (EX, GD, PS, LP, F).   Punctuality and attendance at all sessions is mandatory due to the condensed nature of the course. 

BL 688 Eligibility Criteria

Students who wish to enroll in BL 688 must meet the following criteria:

  • Active degree candidacy.

    • Required at the time of your chosen session; alumni are not eligible to participate in BL 688.

    • Weekend MBA students are not eligible to attend.

  • Good academic standing.

  • Prior completion of some core course work at Ross.

    • Full-time MBA students: successful completion of First Year Fall core courses (approximately 15.75 credits)

    • Evening MBA students: successful completion of 15.00 credits

  • Room in your schedule to register for a 3.00 credit elective (BL 688) during the appropriate term

    • Full time MBA students: BL 688 is included in the 18 credit hour term limit for the Winter or Fall term (9 credit hour term limit for the Spring half term). Credit limits will not be permitted to be raised above 18.00 in order to accommodate this course.  MBA1s may not participate in the sessions offered during MAP. 

    • Evening MBA students must register for BL 688 during the term in which the session occurs. 

  • No time conflicts with other commitments at the time of your chosen session.

    • The dates of your chosen session may not overlap with class meeting times for other U-M classes.  This policy is our commitment to faculty to preserve the integrity of student class participation.

    • Spring/Summer sessions must not overlap with internships.

    • MBA1s may not participate in the March sessions offered during MAP.

BL 688 Registration


  • Review the critical information above.  You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with session information, course expenses, course requirements, and eligibility criteria. 

  • Read more about Washington Campus to decide whether or not you can commit to attending and paying the required fees. 

  • Contact your Washington Campus Coordinator if you have any questions about either the program or your eligibility status.

  • Remember that Washington Campus registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Your seat is not guaranteed until both Washington Campus registration and payment are complete. 


Two separate registrations are required for Washington Campus. The first step is directly through Washington Campus and reserves your space in the program.  The second step is through U-M and allows you to receive academic credit on your U-M transcript following successful completion of course requirements. 

STEP ONE:  Register for your desired session through Washington Campus.

  • Go directly to the Washington Campus website to register and pay your Washington Campus tuition and non-refundable registration/activity fee before the corresponding deadline.  Click 'Registration' in the top right corner and select the session for which you would like to register.

  • Please keep in mind that space is available on a first come, first served basis.  Your seat is not guaranteed until your Washington Campus registration and payment are complete.

  • You will receive registration confirmation email from Washington Campus.  Save this email for Step Two.  

STEP TWO: Register for BL 688

  • Forward your registration confirmation email to Graduate Academic Advising from your umich account.  Include the following in your email:

    • Name

    • UMID Number

    • Uniqname

    • Academic Program (MBA1, MBA2 or Eve MBA)

    • Dates of chosen Washington Campus session

    • "I have read and agree to abide by the session information, eligibility criteria, registration information, course requirement and course expense information contained on the Ross iMpact Washington Campus website.  I understand that I am responsible for the following costs: 1) Washington Campus tuition and fees, 2) U-M tuition and fees, and 3) travel, room, and board.  I wish to be enrolled in BL 688 in order to earn 3 academic credits for successful completion of this course.  I understand that I will be required to take an exam, and complete both a group project and an individual public policy research paper.  I understand that participation in BL 688 requires good academic standing at the time of my chosen session."

  • Register for BL 688 on Wolverine Access.  When approved for your session, you will receive an electronic permission to register for BL 688.  Specific directions for your session will be provided by the Ross Registrar's Office at the appropriate time.  Depending on the session, different course registration processes may apply.

Be sure to check your umich email account and the Washington Campus website regularly for additional information and directions that will help you finalize plans and be prepared to attend the program.

BL 688 Frequently Asked Questions

  • What topics are covered? 

    • Every session will cover basic topics, such as: the structure and function of federal government, decision-making, advocacy and lobbying, and federal regulations.  Other areas discussed will differ in order to be topical in terms of current events, and may address current high-priority issues related to the economy and financial markets, the housing crunch, or foreign policy. 

  • What is a typical session like?

    • No two sessions are exactly alike -- agendas are established according to current events and guest speaker availability.   View a sample agenda (from 2017) for an idea of what to expect.  Be prepared to be an active participant throughout the day!  Each day typically runs from 8am–6:30pm with an hour break for lunch and networking activities reserved for evenings.    The session typically concludes Friday with early dismissal around 4:30pm.  Due to the condensed nature of the program, very little time is built into the week for independent sight-seeing.  If you would like additional time to explore and enjoy the nation's capital, plan to extend your trip by either arriving early or staying later, if possible.

  • Who conducts the lectures and participates in the policy discussions? 

    • You'll benefit from the expertise of a wide variety of Washington insiders from diverse public, private, and non-profit sectors that may include: current and former Directors, Commissioners, Deputy Assistants, Assistant Secretaries, Chiefs of Staff, a member of Congress or a Congressional staff person, consultants, executives, lawyers, lobbyists, and industry experts.

  • Does BL 688 satisfy the Business Law requirement?

    • No.  Please see the core curriculum for your program to see a list of classes that satisfy the Business Law requirement.  BL 688 counts for 3 credits towards elective requirements.

  • How can I learn more?

    • ​If you'd like to discuss how Washington Campus might satisfy your academic plans, schedule an Academic Advising appointment.  If you have further questions regarding this program, please review the Washington Campus website. You can also take a look at the PowerPoint presentation from the information session hosted on 11.20.19 here​​

  • How can I learn more?  

    • ​If you'd like to discuss how Washington Campus might satisfy your academic plans, schedule an Academic Advising appointment.  If you have further questions regarding this program, please contact the instructor, Jeremy Kress (