The Princeton Program

The Junior Summer Institute (JSI) is structured to introduce or strengthen skills in economics, statistics, policy analysis, writing, and public speaking. At the end of the program, students present a comprehensive final report on a current domestic or international policy issue that draws on the skills acquired in their coursework, policy analysis and writing.

Princeton’s JSI program is designed to broaden participants’ academic and professional horizons. In addition to interacting with and learning from talented peers, JSI participants learn to analyze and evaluate international and domestic policies under the guidance of experienced policy practitioners and academics. The combination of analytic skills and substantive knowledge about contemporary policy issues provides excellent preparation for graduate programs in public policy.

We are proud of the program and the many successful students who have joined us at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs for the PPIA Junior Summer Institute. JSI participants have gone on to pursue enriching careers serving the wider public as well as the communities they represent.


Required coursework will include 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)

The curriculum seeks to build new skill sets in these areas or strengthen current skills for students with previous exposure to these fields.

JSI has a heavy quantitative skills component. It is strongly recommended that students prepare for the summer program in advance:

  • Intro-intermediate courses will require a background in algebra, including 1) solving systems of equations 2) linear functions, including linear equations in slope-intercept form and, and 3) quadratic equations.
  • Advanced courses will require calculus background, including knowledge of 1) derivatives, 2) partial derivatives, 3) integration, and 4) maximization

The policy workshop will examine a specific issue in domestic policy or international affairs. The policy workshop will also develop students' ability to use research skills, write policy memos, effectively integrate skills obtained in statistics and economics into policy reports, and make group presentations.

Course Credits

There is no credit given by Princeton University, as PPIA Junior Summer Institute courses are not part of the undergraduate or graduate degree programs. However, individual students may pursue credit at their home institutions by submitting the PPIA JSI course descriptions, grades and evaluations.

Financial Aid

Each student enrolled in the PPIA Junior Summer Institute receives a $2,000 stipend for living expenses, full tuition, reimbursement for domestic travel to and from the program. The participants live on campus and have access to Princeton University's resources.