HARVARD UNDERGRADUATE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS SCHOLARS PROGRAM
The application period for the 2021 conference has now closed.
June 17th - 19th, 2021 (Online)
The Harvard Undergraduate Foreign Policy Initiative will be hosting for the very first time—the top international relations scholars summer program for high school students in the world. The three-day program will comprise of discussions with Harvard professors, experienced policymakers, government officials, and regional experts. Students will have the opportunity to learn real-world policy writing skills, cross-cultural leadership, and how to address global challenges from all sectors of international relations.
Why are we doing this?
Our entire program is completely organized by our dedicated team of 12 Harvard undergraduates. Access to the world of foreign policy and international relations can be overly concentrated in elite schools like Harvard and it is our goal to democratize this access. Our team agreed we wish we had a program like this when we were in high school. Please note that getting accepted and/or participating in this program does not necessarily confer advantages in gaining admission to Harvard College or any other Harvard schools; we maintain autonomy as a separate and distinct Independent Student Organization (ISO) officially recognized by Harvard College.
All high school students, grades 9-12 are eligible to apply. Rising high school freshmen and graduating seniors who have already been admitted to college may also apply. Due to the virtual nature of the program, there are no geography-based restrictions.
HUFPI is committed to providing a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming community for students of all backgrounds. Applicants will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, disability status, socio-economic status or any other demographic. Candidates with need-based financial circumstances will be considered for generous financial aid (see below). A demonstrated interest in the fields of international relations, foreign policy, and/or national security is the baseline criteria for admission to the program.
Applicants will choose from among 7 regions to focus on during the three days — Latin America and the Caribbean, Eurasia, Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, South Asia, or East Asia & the Pacific — and receive 8 total hours of targeted lectures, workshops, and activities by the top experts.
The other 16 hours of programming will involve:
- Keynote lectures from leading American and foreign statesmen to begin and close each day
- 1:1 office hours with leading diplomats, ambassadors, and government officials
- A final policy simulation competition judged by experts with the opportunity to win and attend our collegiate conference in-person at Harvard in Spring of 2022. Students will form teams and respond to crises as senior advisors and policymakers—presenting recommendations in the form of an options memo and a presentation.
For admitted students, the cost of the program will be $450USD, and a reduced $350USD for early applicants. Our organization is committed to being an equal opportunity provider and believes that cost should not be an obstacle to educational opportunities. Generous need-based financial aid is available on a case-by-case basis and will be determined by the submission of relevant documents on the application. Students from federally recognizes low-income districts and those who indicate financial need on the application will be prioritized.
The cost of the conference is used to cover several important aspects of our nonprofit's operations. With this conference, these costs include, but are not limited to: website, application creation, application data storage, specific programming for technological capabilities and safety measures, design, advertising, liability fees, and financial aid of other students.
March 1st, 2021 - Application Released
11:59pm EST, April 1st, 2021 - Early Application Deadline
11:59pm EST, May 1st, 2021 - Regular (Final) Application Deadline
May 15th, 2021 - Acceptance Decisions Released
Questions or Concerns?
For questions, please contact our conference director Ms. Lexa Brenner at
alexabrenner [at] college.harvard.edu