3:00 PM - 5:50 PM
Course ID
Winter 2018
Certificate Program
Policy Analysis

Harris Policy Labs is an intensive experiential learning initiative in which teams of second-year graduate students work under faculty supervision to apply their rigorous Harris education to help client organizations resolve real-world public policy challenges.

For the 2017-2018 academic year, Policy Labs will be offered in Autumn and Winter Quarters and students will have the option of enrolling in either or both quarters.  Each Lab will focus on a broad policy area (e.g., health and human services, infrastructure, economic development, etc.) or particular set of policy tools (e.g., cost-benefit analysis, survey design, qualitative observation, etc.), and engage several external client organizations (e.g., government agency, non-profit organization, division within the University, etc.) that have a shared interest in that particular policy area or policy tool.  Student work will center on issues directly related to the client organization’s mission and policy area, and will culminate in the presentation of a set of solution-oriented deliverables to the client.  Clients for 2017-2018 may include Cook County Health & Hospitals System, Metropolitan Planning Council, Oxfam America, City of Gary and a number of other organizations.

Policy Labs offers students the opportunity to apply their core education to make an impact on complex policy issues. It is also designed to strengthen students’ professional experience and professional skills in preparation for the transition from graduate school to career.  In addition to attending a faculty-led weekly class session that includes group work time and professional development, students will routinely interact with their clients and other outside experts to inform their work.  By the end of the quarter, Policy Labs students will have a deeper understanding of the policy analysis, policy development, policy making, policy advocacy and policy execution processes in a real-world context.  In addition, students will develop an improved set of policy problem-solving abilities, more effective communications skills, and an expanded professional network in the public policy sector.

Students will receive one letter grade and 100 units of course credit (one full course) upon completion of each one-quarter Policy Lab.


Individual Policy Lab projects in this Lab may be eligible for certificate requirements. If you are pursuing a certificate, please check that certificate’s website for details on requirements.