Public Policy Research Scholars (PPRS) is a selective three-year 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. Students must apply for admission at the end of their freshman year and matriculate into the program at the start of their sophomore year. 

The program is administered through the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative; our goal each year is to admit just 15 rising sophomores into the program. Students from all four of Penn’s undergraduate schools are eligible to apply, and the program can be pursued alongside any major. Students that complete the PPRS program will have the designation “Public Policy Research Scholar” noted as an honor on their transcripts and will receive a certificate upon graduation.

The only academic prerequisite for admission is two semesters of Economics.Students are expected to earn credit (or receive waivers) for ECON 001 and 002, or ECON 010/FNCE 103 and BEPP 250, prior to entering the program at the start of their sophomore year. Students who will not have completed the two semesters of Economics by the start of their sophomore year must provide an explanation within their personal statement.

You can learn more about the program by browsing the other pages listed in the side navigation. The PPRS application, including all application instructions, is also available for your review.



In Their Own Words