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Science and Policy: Undergraduate Certificate

Offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Science and Policy certificate program is designed to provide STEM students with exposure and experience at the intersection of science and policy. This includes understanding the process of making policies that affect scientific research, application, and enterprise, as well as policies informed by robust scientific evidence. Student in the program will have opportunities to: apply scientific knowledge and technical skills to real-world problems; learn how to bridge the gap between science and policy; hear from science policy experts; gain valuable insider understanding of how science-relevant policy is shaped; improve critical thinking and communication skills; and learn about career paths at the intersection of science and policy.

At the end of each academic year, four of the students who have completed the certificate will be selected by a jury to receive a monetary award. 

General Information and How to Apply

Admission to the program is open to all students majoring in a STEM field who are at least in their second year. This includes all students majoring in any of the programs offered by the following departments: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Sciences, Health Studies, Mathematics and Statistics, Neuroscience, Physics, and Psychology. Students that complete all the certificate requirements before their graduation with grades of B or above will be awarded the certificate. Of the required 12 credits, at least 6 (including the 3 credits of research experience) must be taken after admission into the program.

Mentors and Research Experience

On the application form, students should propose a topic at the intersection of science and policy that they would like to explore in a Research Experience. This can take the form of an independent study or internship with the guidance of a science faculty mentor and a policy faculty mentor.

The application form needs to be co-signed by the applicant’s science mentor. Students who do not have a science mentor should reach out to their Department Chair or to us for assistance in the matching process. As for the policy mentor, this will be assigned after students are admitted into the program. Students must initiate their policy mentor assignment by contacting the Certificate Director at least three months before the start of their Research Experience.

The primary role of the science and policy mentors is to provide guidance and supervision to students for the Certificate’s Research Experience component. The science mentor will be the instructor of record for the Research Experience. The policy mentor will be a co-advisor for the Research Experience. For more information on the Research Experience and the role of the mentors, download the Research Experience Guidelines.

Very importantly, independent studies or internships must be preapproved by the Science and Policy Undergraduate Certificate Program. Independent studies or internships that students have taken prior to being admitted into the Science and Policy Certificate will not count towards the certificate.


To apply, download and complete the application form and return it to the Program Director Prof. Stefano Costanzi at Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Students are encouraged to apply early to allow for ample time to plan and complete their coursework.

For more information, please email