Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute

The Public Policy and International Affairs Program (PPIA) is a not-for-profit organization that has been supporting efforts to increase diversity in graduate studies in public policy and international affairs, and public service for over 40 years. The PPIA Junior Summer Institute (JSI) Fellowship Program is a rigorous academic graduate-level preparation program for undergraduate juniors committed to public service careers. The program was started to address the lack of diversity across the spectrum of professional public service, including government, nonprofits, public policy institutions, and international organizations. The purpose of the JSI Fellowship is to prepare students to obtain a Master’s or a joint degree in public policy, public administration, international affairs, or a related field.

This fully-funded opportunity equips fellows with the knowledge and skills they will need to succeed in graduate school and, ultimately, in influential roles serving the public good. Once students have completed their JSI, they join an alumni network of more than 4,000 leaders. In addition to the opportunities that this network provides for mentoring and career development, their alumni network has the opportunity to receive financial support for their graduate school education if they attend one of the programs in their Graduate School Consortium.

This award does not require university endorsement. 


National Deadline: November, 2023

The JSI curriculum includes economics, statistics, domestic/international policy issues, and leadership topics, all designed to sharpen the students’ quantitative, analytic, and communication skills. These skills are vital for admission into top public and international affairs graduate programs. The successful completion of a summer institute is a requirement for PPIA Fellows to qualify for graduate school benefits.

Students who are selected for the Junior Summer Institute cohort will study on the campus of one of the six participating universities:

Carnegie Mellon University – Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy

Princeton University – School of Public and International Affairs

University of California, Berkeley – Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy

University of Michigan – Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

University of Minnesota – Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs

University of Washington - Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance


Benefits of participation in the PPIA Junior Summer Institute include:

  • Full tuition at a PPIA Junior Summer Institute.
  • Eligibility to receive assistance with travel expenses.
  • A stipend for incidentals not covered during your JSI (funding determined and varies by each JSI).
  • University housing with most meals covered.
  • Books and related course materials at your JSI.
  • Each JSI may offer additional benefits, such as GRE preparation and study resources at their discretion.
  • Minimum of a one-time $5,000 scholarship at a PPIA graduate school if admitted for a Master’s degree. PPIA Fellows often receive financial offers above and beyond this minimum from their graduate program.
  • Fee waiver when applying to schools that are members of the PPIA Graduate School Consortium.


Eligibility Criteria

All applicants must:

  • Be United States citizen, legal permanent resident, or DACA recipient you are eligible to apply to all JSI programs. (International students are eligible for select JSIs – Carnegie Mellon, Princeton, and University of Washington – and must be enrolled in a U.S. based institution.)
  • Be in their junior year (have an expected graduation date between December and August of the following academic year.)
  • Be committed to pursuing a Master’s Degree in public policy and/or international affairs at one of the PPIA Consortium graduate schools.
  • Be committed to and demonstrate an interest in pursuing a professional career associated with public service such as government, nonprofits, and humanitarian and international organizations.
  • Be interested in contributing to the diversity of perspectives present in the PPIA Junior Summer Institute Program. You must specifically demonstrate involvement in working to improve historically underserved or underrepresented communities, including African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, Latinx, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders.
  • Economic need is given consideration during the review of applications.
  • All academic majors are welcome to apply!

Please refer to the PPIA JSI website for a detailed list of the eligibility criteria.

  • Financial details, Demographics, Academics
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Personal Statements (3-5 depending on your chosen PPIA program)
  • Optional Extenuating Circumstances Statement
  • Resume
  • Transcript(s)
  • Financial Documents
  • Complete two NCA forms:
  • Launch your online application in the Fall
  • Complete and submit application by National Deadline in November
  • If not applying through university, then application only need to be completed by national deadline
  • Competition for this program is keen. To give yourself the best chance of being a competitive applicant, allow yourself time to work through multiple drafts of your materials.
  • Information on this page is intended to supplement, not supplant, your own careful review of the official PPIA JSI Program website. If you find any discrepancy between the two, the PPIA website takes precedence.
  • Though you should seek out others’ advice and feedback on your application, the essays should be your original work (no one should be writing your essays for you). UC’s Student Code of Conduct applies.