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JSA Summer School

JSA Summer School give students access to rigorous college-level classes on the campuses of some of the most prestigious universities in the world. In addition to classes in topics like international relations, constitutional law and speech & political communication, speakers programs, debate workshops, and social activities help equip students with vital leadership skills while forming lasting friendships and memories.

During a summer with JSA, you’ll meet and question leaders who make and influence public policy—like elected officials, journalists, lobbyists and military strategists.

Inside the classroom, you’ll also develop a more sophisticated understanding of international relations, economics, the media, and other important topics. Classes, taught by real college professors, are often discussion based and require you to deeply engage with assigned readings. This approach prepares you for the kinds of classes you might take at the college level and will also hone your analytical reading and writing skills.

JSA Summer Schools are held on the campuses of three renowned universities: Georgetown, Princeton and Stanford. You’ll move into the dorms, gain access to the gym and other student-only facilities and learn what a campus meal plan is like. This rich experience will help prepare you for life on a university campus and give you a taste of the independence–and adjustments–that await at college and beyond.

Select your area of interest:

Designed as a survey of macroeconomics, this course begins with an introduction to the definitions, concepts and tools required for analysis of economics in our society. Using tools gained in this class, students will answer some key questions: Can government policies stimulate a distressed economy? What impact do interest rates have on the average consumer, lenders and the credit market? How do tariffs affect global productivity?

Case studies supplement lectures and class discussion. With a focus on the current global financial crisis, major topics include mechanisms of supply and demand, inflation and unemployment, monetary and fiscal decision-making in international finance.

Sample reading list:

Macroeconomics: Principles, Problems, & Policies (20th Edition)

Principles of Economics (Seventh Edition)

Available at:

This course explores the operating principles and practices that form the United States government: How do institutions exercise and compete for political power in our nation? How do individuals and lobbying groups take part? What theoretical models shed light on this process?

You will evaluate democratic thought as embodied in the U.S. Constitution and other government treatises and will examine the structure and function of various political institutions, including the courts, interest groups, political parties, the presidency, and the judiciary.

Case studies demonstrate the role of these players in the policymaking process, at both the state and national level.

Sample reading list:

We the People: An Introduction to American Politics (Ninth Edition)

Available at:

Designed as a survey of macroeconomics, this course begins with an introduction to the definitions, concepts and tools required for analysis of economics in our society. Using tools gained in this class, students will answer some key questions: Can government policies stimulate a distressed economy? What impact do interest rates have on the average consumer, lenders and the credit market? How do tariffs affect global productivity?

Case studies supplement lectures and class discussion. With a focus on the current global financial crisis, major topics include mechanisms of supply and demand, inflation and unemployment, monetary and fiscal decision-making in international finance.

Sample reading list:

Macroeconomics: Principles, Problems, & Policies (20th Edition)

Principles of Economics (Seventh Edition)

Available at:

An introduction to one of the fascinating areas of American jurisprudence, Constitutional Law examines the U.S. Supreme Court and its evolving interpretations of the U.S. Constitution. The course begins with background on the Court and its relationship to the legislative and executive branches.

A historical overview examines the origins of the Constitution, the rise of judicial power, the Constitutional crises of the 1930s, the Court’s civil rights decisions and its recent moves to scale back the activism of the post-New Deal era. While reading landmark cases, students will examine the role of the law within the American political system.

Sample reading list:

American Constitutional Law: Introductory Essays and Selected Cases (16th Edition)

Available at:

This course will introduce students to the major issues and actors in international relations.

You will analyze the origins and evolution of the international system, the legacy of the Cold War, and the role of the state, the nation, international organizations, ethnic groups, and other non-state actors.

Going beyond war and peace, this course addresses ways of dealing with terrorism, crime, the global economy, the environment and human rights.

Students will engage in debates and presentations on global issues and represent other countries in a model United Nations or comparable simulation. Together, these lectures and simulations give you background and hands-on experience to make informed judgments about our global society.

Sample reading list:

International Politics on the World Stage, Brief (8th Edition)

Cases in International Relations (6th Edition)

Current Debates in International Relations (1st Edition)

Essentials of International Relations (6th Edition)

Sample reading list:

In this course, students will take a deep dive into the relationships between political thought, policy implementation, and the fourth estate.

They’ll address key questions, including: What role does the media play in influencing public policy? What impact do negative campaign ads, the blogosphere, and media pundits have on the attitudes and voting behavior of Americans? In addition, students will explore changes occurring in journalism and reporting today, including how the internet influences reporting and information dissemination and what the role of curated news sources have on modern American discourse.

Sample reading list:

Political Campaign Communication: Principles and Practices (Communication, Media, and Politics) (7th Edition)

Available at:

Students in this course explore the relationship between public discourse and the evolving role of government in American life through a balanced study of communication theory and practice.

Student readings and class discussions touch upon such diverse issues as the role of the media, Greco-Roman rhetorical theory, campaigns, political lobbying, speech writing and the impact of propaganda. An advanced course, it assumes an understanding of public speaking fundamentals and that you are ready for more advanced theory and critical analysis.

Sample reading list:

Political Campaign Communication: Principles and Practices (7th Edition)

Available at:

The JSA Freshman Scholars Program offers academically talented 8th-grade students a challenging and enriching experience.

  • Specifically designed for students entering the ninth grade in the Fall of 2017
  • Small, close-knit cohort
  • Located on campus at Princeton Universities
  • Experience a taste of high school and college life

This course explores the operating principles and practices that form the United States government: How do institutions exercise and compete for political power in our nation? How do individuals and lobbying groups take part? What theoretical models shed light on this process?

You will evaluate democratic thought as embodied in the U.S. Constitution and other government treatises and will examine the structure and function of various political institutions, including the courts, interest groups, political parties, the presidency, and the judiciary.

Case studies demonstrate the role of these players in the policymaking process, at both the state and national level.

Sample reading list:

We the People: An Introduction to American Politics (Ninth Edition)

Available at: