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APA Sacramento Program

Launched in Fall 2012, the APA Sacramento Program is a partnership between the Goldman School of Public Policy and the California State Legislature and Office of the Governor.  This exciting partnership teams up a Goldman School master’s student completing an Advanced Policy Analysis (APA) project with a legislator or member of the Governor’s Office who will serve as the student’s “client”.  The APA Program makes it possible for students to work on real-world legislative issues and bills that are important and of high priority to key policy makers in Sacramento.  Guided under the supervision of a GSPP faculty member, students have the opportunity to conduct high-quality quantitative and analytical policy analysis to evaluate and develop solutions to today’s most complex policy problems facing the State of California.

The students’ academic experience includes interdisciplinary training in multiple fields such as microeconomics and statistical modeling, public leadership and management, political and agency management, and law and public policy.  Students also bring strong oral and written communication skills, as well as innovative thinking and leadership skills.  A faculty advisor oversees each student’s work, ensuring that their final Advanced Policy Analysis product, which is equivalent to a Master’s thesis, is of value to the legislator and exemplifies the best analysis of the policy issue.

Download Program Brochure

Submit A Proposal


Eligible participants (clients) must be legislators and key staff from the State of California Office of the Governor and State Assembly and Senate offices, both Democratic and Republican, with the goal of having an equal balance of projects between the two houses.  The selected legislators and staff will serve as “clients” for the APA projects.

Participant Benefits Include Access To:
  • Rigorous analysis, research, and policy recommendations on contemporary issues and legislative bills.
  • Project supervision by University of California, Berkeley faculty members from the Goldman School of Public Policy.
  • Master’s students with superior quantitative, statistical, communication, and analytical skills, as well as substantive work experience.
  • Regularly scheduled interactions between clients and students to ensure that all work and product deliverables are on track.
  • Final deliverables including a professional policy analysis report  with policy recommendations and presentation.


Prospective Client Proposal Submission
Prospective clients are invited to submit a simple online application form outlining their policy analysis needs. Clients may request more time if needed to submit a proposal.

Deadline: October 12, 2018

Student Application Period

Students will submit a resume and cover letter to apply for projects they are interested in.

October 15-19, 2018

Client Application Review, Interview, and Selection Period Begins

The Goldman School will send any student application materials received for each project to the client by this date. The client should review the applications to determine students to interview (interviews may take place in person or by phone). Note: Clients may request more time if needed to review, interview, and make decisions.

October 22, 2108

Student Selection Finalized

Deadline for clients to select a student for their proposal - if an appropriate match is found. Client may request more time if needed to make decisions.

Deadline: November 9, 2018



  1. January to May, 2019: Project work begins. Students begin projects during the third week of January 2019, although students can begin preliminary work on the project earlier depending on the needs of the client and/or the project.  Students attend a weekly seminar with a faculty advisor and another 10-12 students doing their own projects.  The APA represents approximately 75% (30 hours per week) of a student's workload in the spring semester.
  2. Mid-April 2019: Draft project due.  Draft report is due to the faculty advisor and client for review and feedback.
  3. Early May 2019: Final paper due.  Final paper is due to the faculty advisor, client, and GSPP student services unit.


Meet with student prior to the start of the project to negotiate and define the project’s scope and develop project timeline (projects begin in mid-January and end in early May). Meet with client prior to the start of the project to negotiate and define the project’s scope and develop project timeline (projects begin in mid-January and end in early May).
Provide internal data sources relevant to the project, advise students regarding external data sources; arrange for student access to relevant stakeholders. Provide list of data sources and relevant stakeholders needed to conduct research for the project.
Meet student regularly throughout the Spring to ensure project stays on course; provide feedback and resources based on student progress reports throughout the semester. Meet client regularly throughout the Spring to ensure project stays on course; provide scheduled progress reports, including a mid-point status report on preliminary findings.
Read and provide feedback on mid-point status report on preliminary findings; interim report draft(s); and final report. Submit mid-point status report on preliminary findings; interim report draft(s); and final report to client for review and feedback.

*Note: Dissemination of the final work product should be discussed and agreed upon first by the client.


Please contact Cecille Cabacungan to obtain a copy of any of the reports listed below.

Spring 2018
  • Gender Pay Equity in State Civil Service (Government Operations Agency)
  • Investing in the Stewardship of California's Natural Resources (Senate Office of Research)
Spring 2017
  • Enhancing Crisis Intervention in California (Senate Office of Research)
  • Analysis of the Whole Person Care Pilot and Medical-Behavioral Health Integration in Medi-Cal (Senate Office of Research)
  • California Climate Policy Analysis: How to Proceed with Greenhouse Gas Pricing Mechanisms (Office of Senator Nancy Skinner D-9)
  • A Comparison of Arrest Related Deaths in Kern County & Throughout CA (CA Department of Justice)
  • Millenial Mobility Patterns: Implications on Greenhouse Gas Emissions & Public Policy (CA Air Resources Board)
Spring 2016
  • Funding the Third Wave: Reforming Service Provider Rates in California’s Department of Developmental Services (Assembly Budget Committee)
  • Investing in Impact: Strategies for Maximizing the California Arts Council's Local Partnerships (California Arts Council)
  • Increasing Access and Attracting Talent: The Future of Benefits for California's Civil Service (Government Operations Agency)
  • A Cost-Effectiveness Model for Assessing Investments in Urban Forestry and Management Projects (Office of the Governor)
  • Assessing the Policy Potential of Large-Scale Compost Application on California Rangelands (Office of the Governor)
  • Going beyond communication:  How California cities can more deeply engage communities around climate action (Office of the Governor)
  • Adult Education System Alignment in California: Fees and Assessment for Placement (Senate Office of Research)
  • After the Smoke Clears: Reducing Harm from California's Black Market for Marijuana After Legalization (Senate Office of Research)
  • DMC-ODS at the Starting Blocks: Insights from Phase 1 Counties (Senate Office of Research)
  • Restorative Justice as Diversion in California’s Juvenile and Criminal Justice Systems: Potential Impacts and State Policy (Senate Office of Research)

Spring 2015
  • Improving Service to Those Who Served: Recommendations for Delivering High-Quality Care in California’s Veterans’ Homes (Assembly Budget Committee)
  • Looking Back in Moving Forward: A Retrospective Study of Health Care Access in California Post-Great Recession (Assembly Budget Committee)
  • Cleaning The Air: Electrifying Transportation In The Central Valley (Office of the Governor)
  • Empowering California’s Guestworkers: How to Increase Protections for H-2A Workers in California (Office of the Governor)
  • Long-Term Revenue Projections for Alternatives to California’s Gas Excise Tax (Senate Committee on Transportation & Housing)
  • California’s Specialty Mental Health System: Oversight Status and Challenges (Senate Office of Research)
  • Public-Private Partnerships for Rural Communities (USDA Rural Development CA)
Spring 2014
  • Climate and Energy Impacts of Automated Vehicles (Air Resources Board)
  • An Institution-Level Analysis of Prison Spending in California (Assembly Budget Committee)
  • California Low Carbon Fuel Policy (Office of Assemblymember Mike Gatto D-43)
  • Comparing Policies to Support Growth of Distributed Generation (Office of the Governor)

  • Mitigating Environmental Damage from Marijuana Cultivation in California: Ways to Promote Compliance and Strengthen Enforcement (Office of the Governor)

  • Preparing California Residents for Time of Use Electricity Rates (Office of the Governor)

  • Upgrading California’s Housing Stock: The Impacts of a Statewide Energy Efficiency Upgrade Mandate (Office of the Governor)

  • California’s In-Prison Vocational Education: An Analysis of Program Access and Alignment with Labor Market Demands (Senate Office of Research)

  • A Seamless Online Information Service for Business Regulations (US DA Rural Development CA)
Spring 2013
  • Tribal Nation Grant Fund: Recommendations for Improving State Spending to Strengthen California's Tribes (Office of the Governor)
  • Energy Data Access in California: Approaches for Increasing Public Availability of Utility-held Energy Data (Office of the Governor)
  • Lowering Solar Soft Costs in California: Lessons from Germany (Office of the Governor)
  • Beyond 33%: Future Prospects for California's Renewables Portfolio Standard (Office of the Governor)
  • Pathways to Improving Zero Emission Vehicle Adoption Rates Across California (Office of the Governor)