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Professional Development Program I (PLP I)

This one-year, non-degree, professional leadership program is designed to provide international professionals with an academic understanding of U.S. local government and public enterprises via classroom instruction, a 20 hour per week guided independent study, interaction with local public policy agencies, as well as exposure to US culture beyond the campus of the university. Each student joins an excellent cohort of international students with instruction from a diverse faculty and the support of the Martin School staff. The IPPMI program makes every effort possible to create opportunities for students to see public policy in action by connecting students to local public administration officials via visits, virtual talks, or internships where possible.

Duration: 2 semesters + optional summer program

Tuition: $10,000/year 

20 hours per week 

Summer Progam*


Federal, State, and Local Government in the United States
3 hours/week
Instructuor: Michael Childress 

Special Topics: Pubic Policy seminars related to the student’s research interests.
3 hours/Week
Instructor: Doo Oak Kim

Independent Study
14 hours/week 
Instructor: Doo Oak Kim

Independent Study Curriculum

Each student will develop an independent study program to fulfill the terms of the research plan that was approved for their study at the University of Kentucky.

As the attached sample research proposal indicates, the research is grounded in a thorough review of public documents, consideration of news accounts and studies and information provided by a variety of relevant organizations, academic studies, interviews with relevant administrators and policy makers, data collection, and on-site observation.

During the first week of the independent study, the student will identify relevant information sources and search strategies that will be pursued during that semester.

Each week, the student will provide a brief report detailing;

  • Public documents and academic studies reviewed;
  • News accounts and studies and information provided by a variety of relevant organizations considered;
  • Interviews with relevant administrators and policy makers conducted;
  • Data collected, and on-site observation pursued that week;
  • Any analysis and writing that was accomplished that week;
  • Amount of time spent on these activities
  • Discuss the report with the independent study instructor. 

Performance Evaluation

The instructor will evaluate the student's work based on the adequacy and quality of each component at the end of the program.

Summer Program (optional*)

Students who need additional time to complete their independent studies, or would like to study in the summer months between their Spring and Fall semesters, may do so. They will follow the broad guidelines of the independent study as defined above, with the additional requirement of six hours per week engagement (Total: 20 hours per week). Students are encouraged to maintain close contact and make frequent check-ins with Dr. Kim during this period.

*NOTE: Students who begin PLP I in Fall and wish to stay in the USA for one full calendar year, MUST enroll in the Summer Program. To repeat: in order for a student who is nearing the end of the coursework in the Spring to remain in the USA  for the Summer, the full course of study must continue into the Summer.