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PPIA Junior Summer Institute


The curriculum is divided into three areas of study: Policy Analysis (domestic and international), Economics, and Quantitative Methods. The purpose of JSI program is to provide students with access to academically rigorous course work intended on preparing students for the subject matter often associated with Graduate level studiesin Public Policy and international affairs.  

  • 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, Criminal Justice, International Human Rights, Immigration, Health Care Policy, Energy and Environmental Policy, Child Care, 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 focus on important policy and legal topics taught by faculty members from Berkeley Law.

PPIA Fellows attend classes each day and receive official graded 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 will also receive LSAT preparation materials
  • Attend career 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