Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College will provide up to 30 PPIA students the opportunity to gain the key skills needed to solve problems at the intersection of people, policy, and technology. This seven-week Junior Summer Institute (JSI), held on the CMU campus in Pittsburgh, PA, provides intensive training in quantitative analysis and leadership, including courses in statistics, economics, and policy research. Students take four classes, attending five days a week; at the conclusion of the program, students receive course grades, an official Carnegie Mellon University transcript, and an evaluation of individual progress. In addition to learning from our world-renowned faculty, JSI students will be exposed to research activities from our leading research centers, including the Block Center for Technology and Society, Metro21 Smart Cities Institute, and Traffic21 Transportation Research Institute.
Beginning this year, Heinz College is offering PPIA students the opportunity to specialize in Data Analytics through a specialized JSI track. The Heinz College Data Analytics track is ideal for students who are passionate about using big data and analytics for social good. Students in this track will learn to use data and technology to solve complex problems from some of the top minds in this field. Topics may include smart cities and equity, cybersecurity, the ethics of artificial intelligence, algorithmic bias, and digital transformation in government. Applicants to the Data Analytics track should have successfully completed, at minimum, a college-level statistics course.
At the graduate level, Heinz College’s Master of Science in Public Policy and Management program offers a full-time degree pathway in Data Analytics.
Students receive: $1,000 stipend, meal allowance of $1,000, one round-trip airfare ticket, university housing, official Carnegie Mellon University transcript, and required books.
Students will be enrolled in four courses. The courses may include:
Applied Statistics for Public Policy
This course is an intensive introduction to statistical methods. Topics covered include: descriptive statistics, elementary probability, random sampling, and hypothesis testing. Throughout the course students will use computational functions in Excel as well as the statistical capabilities available through the Data Analysis Toolpak. The course culminates in a final project for which students apply the concepts and skills learned to a topic and dataset aligned with their individual interests.
This course will introduce students to the basic concepts and tools of microeconomics and welfare economics, which are used to analyze public policy from an economic perspective. An economic framework will be used to explain: (1) the demand and supply components of markets, (2) when markets are efficient and equitable, and (3) how government policy relates to market failure at the microeconomic level. We will apply economic concepts in a practical way, using current events as supplied by the textbook and additional readings. Critical thinking skills will be further developed by using economic theory as a foundation for problem analysis. Examples of issues include: Is free trade a good thing? Is a minimum wage increase a good goal for society? How can the government reduce air and water pollution?
Domestic and International Policy: Poverty and Inequality
Poverty and inequality are not just socioeconomic problems, but critical political and policy problems both in the U.S. and in the rest of the world. This class attempts to tackle some of those complex problems. This course is divided in four sections: 1) Discussion of the global nature of inequality and what can be done to reduce its impact; 2) Poverty and anti-poverty policies pursued in the U.S.; 3) Examination of three middle-income countries: Chile, Mexico and South Korea, focusing on the role that social forces and the state play in the generation of socioeconomic responses to poverty and inequality; and 4) Analysis of poverty, the behavior of the poor, and antipoverty policies in very poor countries or regions of the world.
Critical Analysis of Policy Research
This course prepares students to understand, interpret, and critique existing policy research. The course focuses on the development of three essential skills for policy analysts: 1) Reading and interpreting empirical results in published research; 2) Understanding the assumptions needed to infer causal relationships and assess their plausibility; and 3) Recognizing common problems in policy research—including reverse causality, omitted variables, and measurement error—and using graphical methods to determine the direction of resulting statistical bias. Using these skills, students will critique policy research. By identifying and understanding potential problems, students can make valid conclusions even from seriously flawed research.
Additional Data Analytics courses may include:
Smart Transportation: Issues of Equity
Communities all around the world are being built and re-invented as “smart cities” that utilize innovative applications of information and communications technology. One major smart cities component is transportation. The growth of the smart transportation market provides great opportunity for improved transportation safety and efficiency, but also poses challenging public policy questions around equity: What policies can be put into place to ensure equitable deployment (i.e. rural/urban divide, racial and socioeconomic disparities)? In this course students will develop an understanding of the underlying dynamics of the smart cities trend, various smart transportation technologies, and current public policy concerns. Students will engage with a real-world client to tackle a problem the client is facing. Students will apply smart transportation principles and propose solutions that mitigate issue of inequity.
This course is sponsored by Traffic21, a transportation research institute at Carnegie Mellon.
Introduction to Information Security
This course introduces a variety of cybersecurity topics from a management, policy, and technology framework. Topics include; safeguarding the Internet of Things; cyber-warfare; security of user-web interaction; securing virtual, cloud, and mobile environments; and the legal and ethical issues of security and privacy.
Coursework is supplemented by co-curricular activities to increase awareness of public service careers, leadership and professional development workshops, speaker series, site visits, one-on-one career and graduate admission coaching, and recreational activities in Pittsburgh.
Washington D.C. Trip
Carnegie Mellon University PPIA students will embark on a weekend trip to Washington D.C. in July. CMU and Princeton fellows participate in a graduate school speaker panel and graduate school fair in D.C. Most of the PPIA Consortium schools will send representatives to D.C. so that students can meet and talk with them about their programs. In addition, fellows will visit Heinz College’s D.C. office to hear panels and presentations by PPIA and Carnegie Mellon alumni and faculty. PPIA fellows are expected to attend each scheduled event, and generally have one free evening to enjoy the city on their own.
Undergraduate Course Credit
Credit earned in your PPIA courses will often transfer to your undergraduate institution. Carnegie Mellon University PPIA fellows receive an official transcript to supply their home institution. Please refer to your home institution’s transfer-credit policy to determine if you are permitted to transfer in credit from your PPIA coursework.
Leadership and Professional Development
Students will participate in workshops focused on negotiation techniques, leadership, and data visualization tools.
Career Services Workshops: Career Services provides top-tier services to students, alumni, and employers. Advisers partner with students to provide effective tools and resources for graduate school search and professional development. Students will receive one-on-one meetings with the career services staff to review their resume and individual strengths.
Office of Admissions & Program Directors: Students will have one-on-one meetings with admissions and program staff members to learn more about applying to graduate school and preparing for life after college.
Scholarship Support for Graduate Studies
- Students who successfully complete any PPIA Junior Summer Institute and are admitted to a master’s degree program at Heinz College will receive a full-tuition scholarship and a stipend of $6,000 per year. Heinz College offers professional master’s degrees in Public Policy & Management, Information Systems Management, Health Care Policy & Management, Health Care Analytics & IT, Information Security Policy & Management, Arts Management, and Entertainment Industry Management.
- Program Administrators:
- Gladys Perez Sriprasert, Director, Carnegie Mellon PPIA Junior Summer Institute and Director of Public Policy and Management programs
- David Eber, Director of Admissions & Financial Aid
Travel and Check-in: Thursday, June 13, 2019
Orientation: Friday, June 14, 2019
First Day of Classes: Monday, June 17, 2019
Last Day of Program: Friday, August 2, 2019
Move-out and Travel: Saturday, August 3, 2019
PPIA Junior Summer Institute at Carnegie Mellon University
Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy
Hamburg Hall 1118
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Learn more about the CMU JSI and Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy!
Princeton, New Jersey
The Woodrow Wilson School has hosted the Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute (JSI) at Princeton University for over 30 years. In this period, students from diverse backgrounds with a wide range of life experiences have come to campus to further their commitment to public service.
The goal of the program is to prepare students from diverse backgrounds -- including underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities and students from families with lower socio-economic status -- for graduate study and careers in public policy. We believe that by encouraging a diverse cadre of leaders to consider careers in public service, we will strengthen the leadership capacity of government and nonprofit organizations throughout the world.
The PPIA Junior Summer Institute is a seven-week program structured to introduce or strengthen skills in economics, statistics, policy analysis, writing, and public speaking. At the end of the seven-week program, students present a comprehensive final report on a current policy issue that that draws on the skills acquired in their coursework, policy analysis and writing.
Competitive applicants will have completed at least one course in college-level economics, mathematics, or statistics; or AP/IB calculus, economics, or statistics and have junior or senior standing in an accredited U.S. college after completing the summer institute.
Required coursework will include seven weeks of classroom instruction in:
Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis (intro/intermediate and advanced level courses offered)
Economics for Policy Analysis (intro/intermediate and advanced level courses offered)
Policy Writing and Analysis
Policy Workshop (International and Domestic) – Students will choose either a domestic or internationally-focused course focusing on a current public policy issue
Students will participate in in lunch meetings and seminars with practitioners and researchers on a range of topics. Field trips and social activities offer enrichment as well.
The student stipend for the 2018 summer institute is $1,500, plus an additional $600 in meal vouchers. Students also receive housing and reimbursement for domestic travel to and from the program.
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Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
PPIA Junior Summer Institute at Princeton University
222 Robertson Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1013
Phone: (609) 258-4836
To learn more please visit Princeton’s website here.
University of California, Berkeley
This summer will mark the 38th year the Goldman School of Public Policy has hosted a PPIA Junior Summer Institute in policy skills. Over the years this program has been grounded programmatically to empower and better address the needs of historically underrepresented communities. The Junior Summer Institute at UC Berkeley offers student participants a rigorous seven-week program of coursework designed to improve the participants’ analytical, quantitative and legal skills vital to success at top-level graduate programs in public policy and international affairs as well as law school. Additionally, the Institute includes a variety of activities intended to give participants a comprehensive knowledge of the opportunities for professional careers in public service. Each year the program admits approximately 30 undergraduates from across the nation.
UCPPIA Law Fellowship – Each summer ten students interested in pursuing joint degrees in public policy and law are selected as UCPPIA Law Fellows. In addition to learning the fundamentals of policy analysis, the Law Fellows will be exposed to the topics and skills necessary to gain entry to and succeed at a top law school. The UCPPIA Law Fellowship is launched in conjunction with UC Berkeley School of Law and is designed to shape future leaders committed to representing under-served communities in the areas of public policy and law.
The curriculum is divided into three areas of study: Policy Analysis (domestic and international), Economics, and Quantitative Methods.
Policy Analysis and Communications
The Policy Analysis and Communications course aims to introduce students to the field of policy analysis, to provide guidance on writing to inform the policy process, to provide intensive feedback on writing skills in general, and to provide guidelines and practice in presenting briefings to inform the policy process. The course provides an introductory framework for policy and legal analysis, followed by week-long domestic and international policy modules. Policy Topics have included:
Education Policy, Criminal Justice Policy, International Policy, Immigration, Energy and Environmental Policy, Health Care Policy, and Housing and Community Development.
Introduction to Economic Policy Analysis
The Introduction to Economic Policy Analysis course is an introduction to economic concepts and application of those concepts to the analysis of different policy issues. The course is taught using basic college algebra. Past topics have included: Consumer Choice; Ricardian Model of International Trade; Demand Supply; Elasticity and Ramsey Pricing; Efficiency and Deadweight Loss. Students with more extensive backgrounds in economic and statistical studies have studied: Consumer Preferences and Choice, Mathematical derivations of optimal/chosen bundle and demand curves, Income Transfer Programs, and analysis of effects of living wage laws.
Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis
The Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis course offers a basic introduction to quantitative methods commonly used in policy analysis. Students learn hands-on how to perform data analysis and statistical tests, both by hand and with the aid of STATA, a commonly used statistical software application. Students also learn the ways in which conclusions may or may not be drawn from such analyses and tests. The course focuses on applications to real policy situations, including: aspects of measurement, including reliability, validity, and bias; measures of central tendency and dispersion; data presentation, STATA, random variables, probability distributions, and the Central Limit Theorem, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, t-tests, regression analysis, and study design.
Public Policy and Law
In addition to the Policy Analysis, Economics and Quantitative Methods courses, UCPPIA Law Fellows will take an additional Public Policy and Law course. This course is designed to provide students with the fundamental skills of reading case law, analyzing judicial decisions, and discussing relevant policy topics within a legal framework. This course will begin with an introductory framework for policy and legal analysis followed by week-long modules that will focus on important policy and legal topics taught by faculty members from the UC Berkeley School of Law.
PPIA Fellows attend classes each day and receive course grades and PPIA evaluations of individual progress at the conclusion of the program.
To enhance the skill-based learning experience, participants will:
- Receive GRE preparation materials; UCPPIA Law Fellows will also receive LSAT preparation materials
- Attend career and professional development workshops, including resume workshops, fellowship opportunities and a policy graduate school fair
- Enjoy a series of guest speakers in the fields of public and international affairs, as well as public interest law
- Participate in field trips geared toward introducing participants to the different aspects of policy making and lawyering and the various careers associated with these fields
- Partake in extracurricular activities intended to create a foundation for successful group dynamics among PPIA faculty, staff and fellow participants.
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PPIA Junior Summer Institute at UC Berkeley
Goldman School of Public Policy
2607 Hearst Avenue #7320
Berkeley, CA 94720-7320
Learn more about this program here!
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
The Ford School proudly marks this upcoming summer as our 37th year hosting a PPIA Junior Summer Institute – an intensive seven-week summer program that focuses on preparing students for graduate programs in public policy and international affairs. Courses focus on improving students’ communication and quantitative reasoning skills, which are vital to their success in graduate programs. PPIA fellows take three courses: statistics, microeconomics, and policy modules. Participants receive:
- $1,500 stipend
- Travel expenses
- Housing & meals
- Books & related course supplies
- Library & computer access
This course covers descriptive statistics, probability theory, probability distributions, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. It also includes an introduction to experimental design. The emphasis in the course is on preparing competent users and consumers of basic statistics.
This course teaches the fundamental concepts in microeconomic theory that are essential as a foundation for the study of public policy, law and international affairs. Students learn economic theory in order to model decision-making processes. They also learn how to evaluate whether an outcome is good for society and what incentives are needed to achieve a desired outcome. Each course lecture includes a policy debate where students use economic models to analyze a policy problem and propose solutions.
In this course, Ford School faculty introduce students to current policy issues, enabling them to apply analytic tools and to improve their communication skills -particularly writing composition. One policy module focuses on an international policy topic, a second on a domestic topic and the third on monetary policy, including a visit to the Federal Reserve Bank of Detroit. The material and approaches used in these modules will draw from the statistics and economics courses. Students will write policy memos analyzing each topical area, and will gain expertise in oral presentation.
Students will work with the Writing Instructor for the duration of the program. The Writing Instructor conducts seminars on graduate school writing, with an emphasis on writing for a school of public policy and international affairs. The instructor also meets with students in individual writing conferences to give feedback, suggestions and critiques.
Students will participate in a full Kaplan GRE preparation course, as well as receive GRE preparation materials.
Students will participate in weekly lunch meetings with faculty and guest speakers. They will also attend professional development, career planning and resume workshops hosted by our Graduate Career Services staff. As well as, attending sessions with the admissions team on preparing for the graduate school admissions process.
During past programs, students have visited the cities of Detroit, Flint and Lansing to meet with government officials, community organizers and policy makers. They have also taken advantage of Ann Arbor’s robust cultural and social atmosphere by participating in summer festivals like Top of the Park and the Ann Arbor Art Fair.
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PPIA Fellows who successfully complete any PPIA Junior Summer Institute and who are admitted to the Master in Public Policy (MPP) program at the Ford School are guaranteed a minimum fellowship of $10,000 of tuition support, and are eligible to compete for a Rackham Masters Award, consisting of four semesters of tuition and fees, a stipend and health care.
For more information about the Ford School ‘s PPIA Junior Summer Institute see contact information below.
PPIA Junior Summer Institute at University of Michigan
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
735 S. State Street, #2245
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3091
Learn more about the program here!
University of Minnesota
The Humphrey School of Public Affairs Junior Summer Institute (JSI) is a rigorous seven-week academic and experiential learning program that prepares undergraduate students to thrive in graduate programs and launch careers in public service. Open to students who are entering their senior year of undergraduate study, the JSI is part of the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellowship Program, which is committed to promoting the inclusion of underrepresented groups in master’s degree programs and careers in public service.
Emerging leaders who participate in the Humphrey School JSI will leave the program equipped for graduate studies that focus on addressing the grand challenges of our time, including such issues as global affairs, human rights, diversity and equity, educational and environmental justice, social welfare innovation, climate change, accessible transit and housing, public safety, and racial justice. Understanding that JSI participants are interested in a wide range of grand challenges, we work with each participant to develop field-based research and community engagement projects that allow you to apply what you learn during the summer to the specific issues that most inspire you.
Humphrey School Junior Summer Institute participants will be introduced to the knowledge and skills necessary to:
- Lead and manage in programs that span across sectors, institutions, diverse populations, and cultures
- Participate in problem-solving, policy-making, and institutional and societal change in dynamic, uncertain environments
- Analyze, synthesize, think critically, and make decisions informed by quantitative, qualitative, economic, and other analytic methods
- Understand conceptions of the common good, acknowledge normative and ethical viewpoints, and promote social justice and equity
- Communicate and interact productively with individuals in diverse and changing cultures and communities
- Understand global interdependence and its implications for governance, policy-making, and policy implementation
What are Grand Challenges?
Grand challenges are multifaceted problems that have significant consequences for the wellbeing of those involved. They are novel, emergent, highly complex, and beyond the resources or knowledge of a single discipline, organization, or sector to address. Grand challenges often “morph” or evolve over time so they do not lend themselves to simple or one-time fixes. Single-sector actions to address these grand challenges often lead to unanticipated and unintended consequences, which is why they must be approached in an interdisciplinary and cross-sector manner. Grand challenges include such things as global climate change and environmental justice; race equity and public safety; global security and human rights; diversity and educational access.
Academic Skills Workshop Series, designed to prepare participants to thrive in graduate school, that includes:
- GRE preparation
- Graduate program fair
- Graduate school application preparation and action plan development
- Career development preparation: resume writing, strategies for building a public service career, job shadowing
- Professional and grad school-level writing
- Library and media resources for policy research
Policy Leaders’ Toolkit Series that allows students to learn, apply, and practice the tools used by effective public policy leaders including:
- Forming and working in high functioning interdisciplinary teams
- Facilitating productive and courageous conversations (about race, politics, culture, gender)
- Public communication design and delivery (spoken, written, and multimedia)
- Civic engagement tools for policy leaders
Academic Coursework focused on the foundational knowledge and strategies necessary to succeed in public affairs careers (the following courses are structured around grand challenges identified by participants):
- Introduction to Policy Analysis
- Applied Economics for Planners and Policymakers (options for intro and intermediate instruction)
- Applied Statistics for Policy Analysis and Evaluation (options for intro and intermediate instruction)
- Introduction to Qualitative Methods for Policy Analysis and Evaluation (including data collection in the field, data coding and analysis techniques)
- Policy Research Symposium (presentations from scholars, public officials and leading practitioners addressing grand challenges related to issues such as national security , human rights, equity and social justice)
Research and Engagement in the Field allows students to apply newly learned skills in real-world settings and conduct real time research and observations. Participants will:
- Engage individually with community-based mentors from diverse backgrounds who are exceptional leaders in fields related to your own interests
- Visit community organizations or settings to observe, learn and gather qualitative or quantitative data for research projects focused on a grand challenge of your choosing
- Work as a team to present research based policy analyses and strategies to address grand challenges of particular interest to each participant
- In addition to written and spoken communication strategies, JSI participants will work in teams with multi-media experts to develop communication tools like podcasts, video briefs, or narrated photo essays. These “products” will be the intellectual property of the participant and can be used as scholarship samples when preparing graduate school applications.
Benefits and Financial Aid
Each student enrolled in the Humphrey School JSI receives a $1,000 stipend, full tuition, reimbursement for travel to and from the program, and living expenses. Participants live on campus and have access to the University of Minnesota’s resources.
The Humphrey School typically awards a minimum $5,000 scholarship (each year, for two years) to all students who successfully complete a PPIA Junior Summer Institute, apply to one of our master’s degree programs and are successfully admitted to a full-time master’s degree program at the Humphrey School. In addition, PPIA participants typically receive financial aid awards over and above this $5,000. Students must apply to the Humphrey School by January 15 and are eligible to have their application fee waived. Students who apply by December 15 are considered for additional University-wide fellowship opportunities.
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PPIA Junior Summer Institute
Humphrey School of Public Affairs
130 Humphrey School
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Visit Humphrey JSI Website