PPIA Program

“Diversity & Leadership in Public Service”

UC Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Program Overview

This summer will mark the 36th 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 analyses 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 policymaking 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.



Application deadline November 1, 2018
Admission notification February 1, 2019
Program begins June 9, 2019
Program ends July 27, 2019

Contact Information

PPIA Junior Summer Institute at UC Berkeley
Goldman School of Public Policy
2607 Hearst Avenue #7320
Berkeley, CA 94720-7320

Email: ppiaprogram@berkeley.edu
Phone: 510-643-6961

Learn more about this program here!