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The Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies

The Harris School of Public Policy is known for its policy-relevant research and for preparing talented individuals to become leaders and agents of social change. One of six professional schools, Chicago Harris is part of a world-class intellectual community and continues the University’s tradition of scholarship intended to address real-world problems. Established in 1988, Chicago Harris emerged from the interdisciplinary Committee on Public Policy Studies. Influential founding supporters include educational sociologist James Coleman, urban sociologist William Julius Wilson, and the 2000 Nobel laureate economist James Heckman.

Degree Offerings & Programming

An exciting and challenging place to learn, Chicago Harris' model of public policy training reflects the University of Chicago’s tradition of research and teaching — meticulous scholarship, open inquiry, and cross-disciplinary, critical thinking. Faculty come from diverse academic backgrounds and lend their individual expertise to a collaborative curriculum. Students come ready and willing to work and prepare for leadership in public policy. Alumni around the world apply their Chicago Harris training to a multitude of public policy issues, making an impact in whatever arena they choose to work.

The rigorous curriculum stresses the development of analytical tools, which form the basis of the program’s approach to understanding the nature of social problems and the impact of public policy. Chicago Harris students become conscientious consumers of social science research and are able to evaluate information and make informed policy choices.

However, classroom training is only part of the equation. Chicago Harris provides opportunities for students to apply the critical skills that they learn in the classroom to real-world situations. Through a mentor program, internships, and practica, Chicago Harris students are able to enrich their education, network with community leaders, and lend their growing public policy expertise to local, national, and international organizations. The School fosters a spirit of cooperation between students, public policy professionals, faculty, and others to address societal concerns and is constantly seeking new partnership opportunities.

Harris Degree Programs

Joint Degree Programs with other University of Chicago Schools

Students can earn two University of Chicago graduate degrees in an accelerated time frame.

Programs for University of Chicago College Students

  • The BA/MPP in Public Policy Studies Program with the College, a five-year program that offers students an opportunity to begin their professional training in public policy while still in the College, leading to the award of a four-year undergraduate degree in their declared major and a two-year master of public policy (MPP) degree after five years of studies at the University of Chicago.
  • The BA/MS in Computational Analysis and Public Policy Program (BA/MSCAPP) with the College, a five-year program offered by The Harris School of Public Policy in conjunction with the Department of Computer Science, offers students an opportunity to begin their professional training in the growing field of civic technology and data science in public policy while still in the College, leading to the award of a four-year undergraduate degree in their declared major and a two-year master of science degree in computational analysis and public policy (MSCAPP) after five years of study at the University of Chicago.
  • The Professional Option Program with the College (AB/MPP), a five year program. Earn a bachelor's degree from the College and a master's degree from the Harris School at the same time.
  • Chicago Harris Scholars Program, (AB, plus MPP or MSCAPP), allows University of Chicago College students to apply for admission to the MPP or MSCAPP programs during their fourth year of study and defer enrollment for two years while obtaining quality experience in the labor market.