The Policy Program

The Policy Program is the leading group on campus for researching and developing actionable solutions to issues facing the Commonwealth and nation. Similar to an undergraduate think-tank, the program allows students to take the time to study an issue they are passionate about, explore potential policy solutions, and advocate for those outcomes. Every semester, the program receives individualized commissions from state and federal Senators, Representatives, NGOs, and private sector companies in various distinct areas. Over the course of the semester, groups meet weekly to discuss their research and develop policy recommendations based on their findings. At the end of the semester, each group presents to the official commissioner and submits a policy paper. Our research has been used in several State House bills, by nonprofits across the country, and for bills in the United States Congress. Students have assisted with policy research on a diverse range of topics, from safe voting practices to vaccine distribution. Recently, students researched the following additional topics: Clean distributed energy innovations, solutions to the methamphetamine epidemic, safe and accessible voting models, contemporary police reforms and private prisons, restorative justice models in K-12 schools, and CARES Act implementation.

Co-chaired by: Zayd Mian | zmian@college.harvard.edu
Co-chaired by: Victoria Wang | victoriawang@college.harvard.edu

Collaborations with the Institute of Politics Policy Program

For the last four years, the Institute’s Policy Program program has collaborated with the Massachusetts State Senate Legislative Education Office, the United Nations, and various non-profit organizations to connect undergraduates with policymakers and activists seeking research assistance on current or future policy issues. Our research has been used in several State House bills and in legislation for the United States Congress. Students have assisted with policy research on a diverse range of topics, from planetary protection to optimizing green energy use in townships. Recently, students researched the following additional topics:

  • Reforming life sentences with parole
  • Patent trolling in Massachusetts
  • Sexual assault on college campuses
  • Restructuring the Department of Conservation and Recreation 
  • School-to-prison pipeline
  • Autonomous vehicle legislation 
  • Affordability and impact of solar energy installations

Policy Papers written by Undergraduate Student Policy Program: