The Wharton Public Policy Initiative launched the Public Policy Research Scholars (PPRS) program to be an interdisciplinary and intensive certificate program intended for students with a background in Economics who want to explore the impact of U.S. public policy on the domestic economy.
What are the goals of the PPRS program?
PPRS aims to create a small but cohesive community of students who want to develop research skills for studying public policy as it relates to business and the economy.
What skills will students develop through the program?
PPRS has been designed to foster the following:
- 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.
What is the target size for each PPRS cohort?
We are aiming for each cohort to have around 15 students, drawn from The Wharton School, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Nursing School, and the College of Arts and Sciences.
What are the prerequisites for admission to the program?
The only academic prerequisite is the completion of two semesters of Economics. All students must earn credit or receive waivers for ECON 001 and 002, or ECON 010/FNCE 103 and BPUB 250, prior to entering the Scholars program at the start of their sophomore year.
Can students complete the Economics prerequisites during the summer, while applying to PPRS?
Yes, although in that case, students would be admitted on a provisional basis, pending the completion of the Economics courses
What does the PPRS curriculum entail?
The PPRS curriculum entails 8 courses. The core course is Introduction to Business Economics and Public Policy (BEPP 201). In addition, students must take two semesters of Statistics/Calculus, one Political Science course focusing on the policymaking process, three elective courses focusing on a single policy “track” (from 9 available tracks), and a final capstone course. Students also are required to do at least one public policy summer internship at a government entity or non-profit research organization.
Beyond the curriculum, what benefits will students derive from the program?
PPRS students will have guaranteed funding for public policy summer internships, opportunities to assist with faculty-led policy research on campus, access to specialized academic advising, and unique networking and social opportunities.
Does the program constitute a major?
No, PPRS is not itself a major. It is a certificate program that students complete in addition to their major.
How do I apply?
The PPRS application is available on the Penn Wharton PPI website. If the website application is not working on your device, please try a different desktop browser or you can access the same application through this form.