Professor Scott Gehlbach

The University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and Department of Political Science have teamed up to introduce a new PhD program in political economy that offers aspiring scholars an extraordinary opportunity to study political institutions and behavior, guided by a group of 22 world-class faculty with a broad range of research interests in both empirical and theoretical topics.

This new standalone program is distinct from the PhD program offerings from Harris and Political Science and will provide accelerated training for students eager to apply tools such as game theory and empirical methods for causal inference to the study of politics.  With the advent of the new program, Harris will no longer offer the political economy track of its PhD program. 

“With a curriculum expressly tailored to questions in political economy, a supportive group of outstanding faculty, and immersion in the rich seminar culture of the University of Chicago, the program creates a unique intellectual environment that will rank among the world’s best destinations for those studying political economy,” said Scott Gehlbach, a professor with appointments at both Harris Public Policy and Political Science, who serves as director of the new PhD program.

The select group of students in the program will be trained in formal theory and statistical methods alongside deep, substantive engagement in political science. The students will have the freedom to pursue research wherever their intellectual interests lie, whether working within an established scholarly tradition or exploring new topics from the perspective of political economy.  

“The program will offer an early start to students, who will work with faculty on their own research projects,” Gehlbach added. “By the end of their second year, students should already have research ready to be presented at conferences.”

Harris professors who will be teaching in the PhD program include Scott Ashworth, Christopher Berry, Christopher Blattman, Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, Oeindrila Dube, Wioletta Dziuda, Alexander Fouirnaies, Anthony Fowler, Scott Gehlbach, William Howell, Luis Martinez, Daniel Moskowitz, Roger Myerson, James Robinson, Konstantin Sonin, Austin Wright, and Adam Zelizer.

The full set of requirements for the program are available here. Prospective students should submit a single application directly to the PhD program in political economy.