Institute Programs

Baucus Leaders Program

The 2018 Baucus Leaders pose in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The Max S. Baucus Institute invites applications from University of Montana undergraduate and graduate students for an opportunity to be part of the third class of Baucus Leaders in the summer of 2020. The Institute recognizes that, much like Ambassador Baucus’s own life experiences, it is the public service experiences that we can provide to students that will inspire them to engage in meaningful work to benefit society. The Institute seeks ten exceptional Montana college students to make up our third class of Baucus Leaders.

One Baucus Leader will be placed as an intern in the each of the following Washington D.C.-based legislative, committee, or agency offices:

Senator Steve Daines (R–MT)
Senator Jon Tester (D–MT) 
United States Senate Finance Committee
United States Department of Transportation (3 positions)
Senator Charles Grassley (R–IA)
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–NY)
Senator Chuck Schumer (D–NY)
Senator Mitch McConnell (R–KY)
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Each internship will start on or around June 1 and end on or around August 1. Baucus Leaders will be given a $4,250 stipend to defray the costs of airfare to and from Washington, D.C., housing, and food during the two-month internship. The Baucus Leader will be solely responsible for any expenses incurred during the internship period over and above this amount.

Applications are due Monday, December 2, 2019.

Baucus Leaders will be selected based on academic performance, commitment to public service, and interest in the political process. The program is open to all current University of Montana undergraduate and graduate students who are in good academic standing at the time of applying and who will be enrolled as full-time students at a Montana public college or university during Fall Semester 2020.

View the Program Webpage

Summer Study Abroad in China

Students pose for a photo for the Summer Study Abroad China program

Note: Study abroad programs for summer 2020 have been canceled. 

China has emerged as one of the world’s most powerful economic forces in today’s global economy. The demand is increasing for experts familiar with the ever-changing nature of the Chinese economy and with Chinese political and legal systems to provide advisory services to businesses and policy makers. The Max S. Baucus Institute recognizes these needs and offers students the opportunity to experience China firsthand in our summer study abroad programs.

The Summer Study Abroad China programs immerse students with colleagues from other western universities, as well as Chinese law students, using faculty from all involved schools. In the summer of 2020, there will be two study abroad opportunities:

  • Comparative Law and Policy in Chongqing and Xiamen
  • Comparative Climate Change & Renewable Energy Law in Hangzhou 

Faculty for the 2020 programs include:

  • Sam Panarella, Alexander Blewett III School of Law
  • Ivy Gao, Hangzhou Wanxiang Polytechnic University
  • TBD
View the Program Webpage


Baucus Institute Speaker Series


The Baucus Institute Speaker Series brings global thought leaders in the areas of economic development, foreign policy, and politics to Montana for public discussions about issues of critical importance to the future of our country.

The Institute will present its second speaker series event at 7:00 p.m. on October 10, 2019 at the George & Jane Dennison Theatre in Missoula.

Jim Sciutto, CNN's Chief National Security Correspondent and co-anchor of CNN Newsroom, will take the audience on a tour of the various front's in China and Russia's "Shadow War" against the US. 

Earlier that day, at 2:00 p.m. at the ALI Auditorium, Ambassador Max Baucus will be in conversation with Michael Punke, former Ambassador to the WTO and author of The Revenant. Their discussion on US/China trade will be moderated by Gloria Riviera, ABC News correspondent whose wide array of breaking, investigative and feature stories appear on the network's flagship broadcasts Good Morning America, World News, and Nightline. 

View the Program Webpage

Master of Public Administration

MPA students in class by a window

The University of Montana’s graduate program in public administration is housed within the Max S. Baucus Institute to provide a cutting-edge education for individuals interested in excelling in the public service profession. The Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree is typically required for many administrative positions in the public and nonprofit sectors; UM's MPA program is created to be flexible for pre-career and mid-career professionals. 

View the Program Webpage


Big Sky Poll

Big Sky Poll Logo

The University of Montana Big Sky Poll collects and reports information about Montanans' perceptions of local, state, and federal issues. The poll is directed by Sara Rinfret, Associate Professor & MPA Director, and Justin Angle, Associate Professor of Marketing.

This is an applied learning experience for students across disciplines and an elective course for the Master of Public Administration and Master of Business Analytics Programs. 

View the Program Webpage


Public Service Academy

Public Service Academy Logo

The Baucus Institute’s Public Service Academy is an educational opportunity for public and nonprofit sector employees who want to advance their skills through training from experts in public policy, public administration, and the law.
Taking place in August 2019, this year’s theme will be Advance your Career: Providing Solutions for Public Sector Problems.  

View the Program Webpage