Public Policy Research Scholars

The Public Policy Research Scholars (PPRS) offers a unique opportunity for students to study and explore public policy.

PPRS is an interdisciplinary certificate program intended for undergraduates with a background in economics, who want to explore the impact of U.S. public policy on the domestic economy.

The PPRS program is not a major. Instead, it offers a supplemental course of study, focusing on the quantitative analysis of public policy at the federal level, that can be pursued alongside any major, in any of Penn’s undergraduate schools. Beyond the curriculum, students also are required to do at least one public policy summer internship, for which they will receive funding from the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative. They also will have opportunities to assist with faculty-led policy research on campus. Through PPRS, we aim to create a tight-knit cohort of undergraduates from across the University who are committed to gaining the skills and experience necessary to critically assess U.S. public policy, as well as to prepare for graduate study and career opportunities in the field.

The core skills at the heart of PPRS include:

  • Economic and political analysis of public policy, for assessing why, how, and with what degree of success the government designs and implements policy.
  • Statistical thinking and quantitative analysis of economic data.
  • Knowledge of the policymaking process.
  • The application of theoretical and quantitative tools to practical, real-life policy questions.

Students that complete the program will have the designation “Public Policy Research Scholar” noted as an honor on their transcripts and will receive a certificate upon graduation.