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Develop an understanding of how the international system and foreign policy shape everyday life

The Department of Political Science at UCLA offers one of the nation’s most prestigious programs in the social sciences.

We are delighted to offer a three-week Summer Institute program on World Politics that is designed specifically for high school students. Students will receive foreign policy briefings from UCLA experts on topics like the Russian invasion of Ukraine, foreign policy in the 2024 US Presidential election, how terrorist organizations work, the politics of immigration, and the role of international law in US courts. Students will also work on group projects that entail writing and presenting reports on critical foreign policy problems and how they can best be addressed. These final presentations will be shared with a public audience in a capstone culminating event.

Students will leave the program with a strong understanding of World Politics, five units of letter grade or pass/no pass college credit to use towards their high school or Bachelor degrees, and a mentor who can attest to their readiness for college-level studies.

For questions about the program, please contact

Fees and Payment Info

The program fee includes the unit fees for the UCLA coursework offered as part of the program and thus varies by UC student status. In addition to the program fee, students are assessed other campus and administrative fees during the summer. This is a summary of fees that commonly apply to the selected student type.

Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California. Visit the fees, payment, and financial aid section for important disclaimer, as well as more details on fees, payment instructions, and information on delinquency, refunds, and financial aid.


Program Fee
Registration Fee
Document Fee (for first-time Summer Sessions students)
Total Estimated Fees:
* Fees only apply for certain student types

Meet your instructors

The World Politics Summer Institute curriculum is based on materials covered in the department’s undergraduate curriculum. Instructors for the World Politics Summer Institute are graduate students and alumni of the department’s prestigious PhD program.

Please visit UCLA Department of Political Science for more information about the Political Science undergraduate and graduate programs.

Leslie Johns


Leslie Johns is a professor of political science and law at UCLA. She is also Associate Director of the Burkle Center for International Relations.

​Her research focuses on international law, organizations, and political economy.

In 2022, Cambridge University Press published her newest book, Politics and International Law: Making, Breaking, and Upholding Global Rules.  You can access related news stories on the book’s social media accounts: @PoliticsIntlLaw and  You can also read the book’s Substack newsletter at:

​Her work appears in the American Political Science Review, International Organization, Journal of Conflict Resolution and the Journal of Politics.  Her first book–Strengthening International Courts: The Hidden Costs of Legalization–was published in 2015 by the University of Michigan Press. She received the Michael Wallerstein Award for political economy in 2017.

She is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a former research fellow at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University (2012-2013 and 2021-2022).