Arrivals: 2019

Based on real-world data, this simulation tests participants’ ability to balance their budgets and their humanity.

Will you sacrifice one for the other?


February 23, 2019


~8 hours


Answers to frequently asked questions can be found here


There is no cost to participate in the competition. Travel assistance may be available: inquire here.


Any master's student (MPP, MPA, or related fields)


12 competition sites around the globe. See below for a complete list.

What is the NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition?

The NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition is a day-long event that allows graduate students in public policy and related fields to test their skills on realistic scenarios. This year, students will use a participatory simulation purpose-built for the competition by the Center for Leadership Simulation and Gaming. In this simulation, student teams will take on cabinet-level positions of a virtual country and make policy decisions that affect migrants, the economy, and their nation’s future.

As part of the competition, teams will be expected to put together a policy memo and presentation. Student performance will be measure by their simulation score as well as by subject matter experts who have agreed to serve as judges at each host site.

What happens on the competition day?

The competition is an all day event. Teams will travel to their host site and there undertake three rounds of the simulation: twice in the morning, plus once after lunch. Each round will last approximately one hour.

After the three rounds, student teams will be given time to put together a policy memo and presentation. Experts in related fields will serve as judges.

Following the presentations, a short debriefing will explain the logic and data behind the simulation. Winners will be announced at the end of the day.

What are competition teams and how do I form one?

Teams are made up of three to five students. In previous years, participants have been randomly assigned to teams at their site. This year, we are also offering schools the option of placing all their participants on the same team, creating a “School Team.”

The option to have participants randomly assigned is still available.

If your school cannot field five participants, you can opt to fill out your team with randomly-assigned participants from other schools.

Deans/Program Directors/PAA Advisors can nominate students and/or student teams from October 15 to December 20. Nominators will provide the names of at least one and up to seven potential team members (five team members and two alternates). Nominators can decide whether these students will form a “School Team” or  be randomly assigned. Alternates will be randomly assigned if all five team members register. Click here to nominate participants

Individual students may apply to compete from November 20 to December 20.

What if I’ve been nominated?

Students who have been nominated by a Dean/Director/PAA Advisor to participate in the competition will be notified by a NASPAA Simulation Competition team member. If you intend to participate in the competition, you will need to register here. As a Dean/Director/PAA Advisor nominee, you be placed in the priority applicant pool. The deadline to register is January 11, 2019.

Student Nomination

Nominations must be submitted no later than December 20, 2018.

Nominate Now