The Urban Institute Academy

The Urban Institute Academy for Public Policy Analysis and Research is a unique and challenging program of skills-building, career development, and mentoring for minority undergraduates interested in careers in public policy research.


The year-long fellowship begins with an intensive nine-week summer program. The summer portion of our program gives students between their junior and senior year of college the skills and exposure crucial to obtaining highly competitive entry positions in the field.  After students successfully complete the summer program, we follow up with continued mentoring, a research conference presentation at APPAM, job and graduate school counseling, and research paper publication during their final year of college.

Program Mission

While minorities and persons from distressed communities are often the subject of social programs and policies, they are greatly underrepresented in the field of public policy research. Adding the voices and perspectives of researchers from diverse backgrounds will make a valuable contribution to the field.


The unique multi-pronged approach of The Urban Institute Academy will provide our students with:

  • Policy knowledge
  • Technical skills training
  • Guided research projects
  • Career skills development
  • Exposure to policy research careers
  • Senior-year follow-up

Policy Areas

Students will build their knowledge of important public policy issues in the following areas:

  • Poverty and Income Support
  • Employment Policy
  • Education Policy
  • Health Policy
  • Housing and Urban Neighborhoods
  • Crime and Justice Policy
  • Federal Budget and Tax Policy


The Urban Institute Academy is supported by generous grants from the Ford Foundation and MacArthur Foundation