Eligibility and Selection

Student Eligibility

The Urban Institute seeks a small cohort of bright, enthusiastic, and motivated college juniors majoring in the social sciences (Public Policy, Sociology, Economics, Political Science, etc.) with the aptitude for research.  Students must also have both a strong interest in U.S. domestic social policies affecting low and moderate-income individuals, and a demonstrated commitment to public service. 

To qualify, students must:

  • Be full-time college students
  • Be rising seniors (Have completed their junior year by the summer of 2011)
  • Major in a social science discipline    
  • Be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group*      
  • Be a US citizen or permanent legal resident
  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA (out of 4.0)

Selection Process

Candidates will be selected based on academic performance (both GPA and rigor of academic course load), interest in public policy, demonstrated leadership potential and community involvement.  The selection committee will be comprised of the Executive Director and a diverse panel of senior advisors and researchers. If selected as a semi-finalist, applicants will be required to provide additional information on their proposed research project.  Finalists must also participate in mandatory phone interviews.

Selected candidates will be notified by mid-April. 

*All students from racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in the field of public policy research are eligible to apply.  However, special consideration will be given to minorities who are disproportionately represented in distressed (or low opportunity) communities that are often the focus of public programs and policies


Email: academy@urban.org

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