Evans School of Public Policy & Governance

Preparing undergraduates for advanced study and careers in public policy


Part of the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellowship Program, the UW Evans School’s Junior Summer Institute (JSI) provides undergraduate students across disciplines with a deeper appreciation of current issues and trends in public policy, a greater understanding of career opportunities in public service fields, and enhanced knowledge and skills to support their future pursuit of careers in public policy. The program is open to students who are entering their senior year of undergraduate study.

About the Evans School JSI Program

The UW Evans School’s JSI program is a rigorous seven-week summer program with a curriculum that includes economics, quantitative methods, policy analysis implementation & evaluation, and leadership & community engagement – all designed to sharpen students’ quantitative, analytic, and leadership skills. At the end of the program, students present a mini-capstone team project on a current policy issue that draws on the skills acquired in their coursework in policy analysis and implementation.

Evans School JSI participants also gain exposure to the breadth and richness of public service in the Pacific Northwest through experiential learning opportunities, including mentorship, field trips, and engagement with community-based practitioners, regional leaders, and elected officials.

The Evans School 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 policies under the guidance of experienced policy practitioners and academics. The combination of analytic skills and substantive knowledge about contemporary policy issues will provide undergraduates with excellent preparation for graduate programs in public policy.

As key innovation centers in the United States, Washington state, and Seattle are vibrant sites for in-depth exploration of how to advance high-impact and effective policy. The Junior Summer Institute (JSI) hosted at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance focuses on inspiring public service and showing how public policy – from its origin to its implementation – can be democratized.

Like other JSI sites, there is required coursework over the seven-week program. Each scholar will benefit from classroom instruction four core courses: 

Economics for Policy Analysis

This course combines a multi-disciplinary approach to policy analysis, with a focused study on the use of economic tools to analyze policy issues. JSI scholars will gain exposure to economic theory, practice and data analysis geared toward developing proficiency in using econometric tools to examine complex social problems and public policies.

Policy Analysis, Implementation, Program Evaluation 

In this course, JSI scholars will learn common analytical approaches to developing and improving policy and programs. An overview of policy analysis (including cost-benefit analysis and needs assessment), implementation analysis (including policy field and organizational audits), and program evaluation(including process and outcome approaches) will provide a comprehensive overview of exploring the challenges that face society and the means for developing feasible and effective solutions.

Quantitative Methods for Policy Making

In this course, JSI scholars will explore the basics of formulating research questions and will develop skill in skill in determining which statistical tools or research methods are appropriate to answer different types of policy and management questions. The course is designed to give scholars both familiarity with underlying theory as well as experience putting statistical tools into practice

Leadership & Community Engagement 

This course focuses on community-engaged leadership where JSI scholars can cultivate the practical skills required to lead in public, not-for-profit, and business organizations. Central to this approach are practices that engage others – both in organizations and in larger communities – to create the capacity to address societal challenges through public policy. 

A through line in these courses will be a programmatic focus on relevant and timely cases of policy innovation happening across Washington state. 


Participants will have the opportunity to engage with the Pacific Northwest and its leaders through a unique mentoring program experience and seminars with the region’s public policy and administration professionals. Our admissions and career development teams will coach fellows through career and graduate school exploration. In the evenings and weekends, scholars can enjoy the vibrant city of Seattle and neighboring cities with hikes, tours, and meals. Additional opportunities including:

  • Shadowing/mentoring program 
  • Leadership & professional development seminars 
  • Career planning workshop
  • Regional sightseeing

Application deadline: November 1, 2023

Notification: February 1, 2024

Program begins: June 19, 2024

Program concludes: August 2, 2024

Scholars enrolled in the Evans School JSI receive a $1,000 stipend, intended to cover incidental costs of attending the program. Additionally, participants are provided with meals, housing, and reimbursement for travel to and from the program. Participants live on campus, in shared rooms in the UW dormitories.

PPIA Fellows who successfully complete any PPIA Junior Summer Institute (JSI) and who are admitted to the Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) program at the Evans School will receive a scholarship.

Evans JSI participants enjoy the many benefits of studying in the beautiful Seattle and Pacific Northwest region within reach to the Pacific Ocean and Puget Sound, the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges, and so much more.

In addition, participants have access to a wide range of student resources provided by the University of Washington.

PPIA Junior Summer Institute
Evans School of Public Policy & Governance
4105 George Washington Lane NE
Parrington Hall, Box 353055
Seattle, WA 98105


Applicants must:

  • Have completed at least one course in college-level economics, mathematics, or statistics; or an AP/IB calculus, economics, or statistics course.
  • Applicants must have an expected graduation date between December 2024 and August 2025 from an accredited U.S. college.
  • Demonstrated interest in public policy and commitment to a career in public service sectors.

Application requirements

Applicants must upload the following materials to the online application. If these documents are not already in electronic form, please scan them before you begin.

  • Complete financial information requested on the application (if you do not receive financial aid, please submit parent/guardian’s income tax return)
  • Two letters of recommendation (applicants will be asked to provide the names and email addresses of the two people who will submit letters of recommendation)
  • A multipart personal statement highlighting cultural experiences, leadership skills and a commitment to public service
  • A résumé that includes work experience, extracurricular activities, community involvement and other experiences relevant to public affairs, such as foreign travel, language abilities, volunteer work, student leadership, etc.
  • Unofficial academic transcripts for ALL colleges and universities you have attended and listed on the application
  • If applicable, a copy of all financial aid award letters for the current academic year and the Student Aid Report (SAR)
  • Submit the completed PPIA JSI Application

Apply through the PPIA Junior Summer institute application portal.

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