Embarking on a full-time graduate degree is a big commitment. Harris Credential Programs can help prepare you for graduate school while you work or complete your undergraduate studies. We’ve shared three ways credentials can support your graduate study using the example of the Data and Policy Summer Scholar (DPSS) program.

Exploring graduate studies

  • The DPSS program allows you to sample two months in the life of a graduate student in data science or public policy. It helps you to further solidify your interests and potential career path, and determine if studying at a top graduate institution is something you want to pursue.
  • Jiuzhi Simon Zhang, DPSS’19 MPP’22, had interest in international development and a background in mathematics but didn’t know how to combine the two. DPSS helped him realize how to apply his quantitative skillset in a meaningful way—through public policy. You can read more about Simon’s story in his profile.

Strengthen Application

  • Completion of a credential program is an additional credential you can share in your graduate application. It shows your dedication and eagerness to learn, as well as your ability to planahead  and take initiative toward your passion.
  • The coursework, research with faculty and professional development are pieces you can talk about in your admission essays or graduate school interview.

Academic Readiness

  • Credential programs can help you feel academically prepared for graduate study. This is particularly valuable if you are pivoting from one discipline to another.
  • Wrojensky André, DPSS’20, MA’21, speaks of the challenge he experienced during the transition from undergrad to graduate a few years ago. When planning for a second master’s degree, this time in policy, he chose DPSS to prepare. Hear the difference it made for Wrojensky in his profile.

Similar Stories

  • Alumni from our credential programs have enrolled in graduate degrees, master and doctoral levels, in disciplines such as economics, law, public policy, political science, law and more.
  • Our Alumni Stories page shares several stories.
  • María Ballesteros, DPSS’18, participated in the program while finishing her undergraduate study. María has returned to Harris Public Policy as a full-time Research Assistant before starting her PhD in Government at Harvard University in fall of 2020. Hear María’s journey in her interview.

Read more about the Value of Credential Programs.