DAC consists of two academic components: Data Analytics in Public Policy and Introduction to Programming in R 

Watch our November 2021 conversation with Professor Wright about the Curriculum

Data Analytics in Public Policy

This course provides an introduction to the statistical foundations, tools, and methods employed by public policy researchers. You will explore the fundamental problem of causal inference and learn how to use data, research design, and statistical modeling to navigate around this problem.

Introduction to Programming in R

This is an introductory course in programming and data analysis for students with no prior coding experience. The course has three learning outcomes: introduce students to the tools required to write and share code; translate self-contained questions into R programs; and learn how to retrieve, clean, visualize, and analyze data.

What You Will Learn

  • How to retrieve, clean, visualize, and analyze data

  • How to write and share code in R Programming

  • Understand the fundamental problem of causal inference 

  • How to use statistical modeling to navigate around the causal inference issue


Austin Wright
Austin Wright

Austin Wright, Assistant Professor

Austin Wright is the Faculty Director for the Data and Policy Summer Scholar Program, ensuring the holistic curriculum is designed and taught to meet student needs in the UChicago way. Wright is an Assistant Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy, and faculty affiliate of The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts at the University of Chicago.

“I appreciated the dedication, effort, and expertise that Professor Wright brought to the course. The teaching team provided thorough explanations, handy resources, and took the time to answer any questions. As I have a young family, I appreciated the recorded lectures and office hours, which allowed me to watch at my own pace.”
 – Laura Kim, DAC'21 

Credential Award

Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion, issued electronically, upon successful completion of the credential program. The Certificate of Completion will include the grade earned. The certificate can be shared in future job applications, graduate school applications, or share on professional platforms such as LinkedIn. 

Schedule and Format

  • February 1 – March 29, 2022
  • Eight (8) weeks
  • 5-8 hours per week
  • Live office hours each week

Virtual Format

The virtual program allows you to engage with lectures at your own pace and log in for designated office hours with faculty and graduate teaching assistants from anywhere in the world. You will also leverage a virtual discussion board for quick communication with peers and teaching assistants.

Time Commitment

You can anticipate a commitment of approximately 5-8 hours per week. This weekly estimate is based on three-four hours of lecture (viewed at your own pace), one-three hours for assignments, and one-two hours of live office hours with faculty and teaching assistants. 

This part-time format makes the program more compatible for those in full-time jobs or degree programs.

Office Hours

The live office hours accommodate various time zones and occur multiple times throughout the week. You can anticipate live office hours to be held in the evening of Central Standard Time (Chicago Time, UTC-6).