Incoming Students

Incoming students should plan on a primarily in-person course of study. We will accommodate students who are unable to attend in-person classes due to visa delays, travel bans, or health issues in virtual or dual-modality Core course sections. Details are available for each course under program details. 

While we are eager to return to in-person operations, there are many benefits to some elements of virtual instruction which we are eager to continue to benefit from. Some courses will implement a “flipped classroom” model, where lecture content is pre-recorded and class sessions are more discussion-based and interactive. In classes where this model makes sense it offers students additional scheduling flexibility and allows them to easily pause and re-watch parts of the lecture that they feel less sure about. It also allows for smaller class sizes.

Students who are able should plan to move to the Chicago area in advance of the first day of classes (September 27, 2021). We will offer both remote and in-person options for Jumpstart (Aug 16-27) Math and Coding Camp (Aug 30-Sep17), Mathematical Methods for PhD and MACRM (Aug 30-Sep 17) and Orientation Welcome Week (Sep 20-24) so students who wish to participate in-person in those programs should plan to arrive in Chicago in advance of the program’s start date.

Returning Students

As announced, we are planning to return to in-person operations if the public health situation allows. Returning students should assume that their 2021-22 courses will be offered in-person.

We recognize that there may be some returning students who are unable to arrive in Chicago or to attend class in-person due to inability to get a visa, travel restrictions, or health issues. In July 2021 we will survey students to learn which students have these barriers and work to accommodate those students’ situations.

We are planning to offer a virtual option for all Autumn Quarter Harris elective courses, though there may be a few courses that do not offer this option. Courses with a virtual option will be taught in dual-modality format, meaning virtual and in-person students will participate in the course together at the same time. In most cases the virtual option will be restricted only to students who are unable to attend in person. A separate registration section will be designated for virtual students, and students may need the help of their advisor to register for these sections.

Harris elective courses will largely be offered between 8am and 6pm Chicago time. Many courses will require students to participate in real-time, whether virtual or in-person. Students who are in time zones very different from U.S. time zones should ensure that they understand the participation requirements for any courses in which they enroll. 

Other divisions at the University may offer virtual or hybrid course options that are available to Harris students. We do not yet have these details but will share more information as it becomes available – likely in September just before course registration opens.

Glossary of Terms

  • Remote/virtual: These words are used interchangeably to indicate that a student can participate in a course/activity online from off campus.
  • Dual modality: dual modality is a course delivery method where one course section is taught in two modalities simultaneously: some students participate in the course in-person and some students participate in the course virtually.
  • Synchronous: Courses or events that are synchronous require participation in real time. Students need to attend or log in while the course or event is happening.
  • Asynchronous: Some course components or events are asynchronous, meaning that students can watch a recording at any time. This is usually bounded to a particular time period. For example, some courses will have a number of pre-recorded lectures that students must watch sometime in the week before the synchronous class meeting.

Degree Specific Details

MPP Fall 2021 Program Details

Master of Public Policy (MPP)

In the MPP, you will be taking 3 courses per quarter for two years. In the first two quarters you will take the Core courses, which act as a foundation for the rest of your coursework and career. For a sample schedule and full degree requirement details see the MPP degree program page.

Below are the details of the autumn quarter course as they currently stand. We may make modifications to these plans as we get more information about how many students are unable to attend in person and where those students are located – especially after receiving responses to the student location survey that will be sent in July.  We will share the final schedule of course sections with students in advance of pre-registration, which will take place September 7-9.

You can see the syllabi for these courses from 2020-21 on the Harris courses page. The content of these courses will be largely the same, but the delivery methods will be different. Updated 2021 course syllabi will be posted to the Harris courses page in late summer.

The winter quarter modality may differ and will be determined at a later date.

Core Course Details:

Statistics Sequence

You’ll take a two-course sequence in statistics, the first course of which is in the autumn quarter and the second course of which is in the winter.

You’ll choose between the standard statistics courses (PPHA 31002 Statistics for Data Analysis I) or the advanced version (PPHA 31202 Advanced Statistics for Data Analysis I) for students with more statistics and calculus experience.

Students who have already covered the material for the Advanced Statistics course can petition to waive that course and take an elective in its place. Occasionally a master’s student may also opt to take the PhD econometrics sequence instead, pending seat availability and instructor permission (see PhD program details for information about delivery method for the PhD courses).

You can see the syllabi for these courses from 2020-21 on the Harris courses page. The content of these courses will be largely the same, but the delivery methods will be different.

Below are the details of the autumn quarter course. The winter quarter modality may differ and will be determined at a later date.

PPHA 31002 | Statistics for Data Analysis I

Instructor(s):

Delivery Method:

This course will use a “flipped classroom” model. Each week, students will be asked to watch and engage with a pre-recorded lecture.  All of the faculty on the instructional team will be featured in these lectures, so students can learn from more faculty.  These lectures will include a written transcript and will allow students to re-watch material that they are uncertain about as many times as they need. The lectures will also be integrated with exercises that will let students self-assess how well they understand the material and pre-feed questions into the live discussion sections.

In addition to the pre-recorded lectures, each student will register for one weekly 80-minute live discussion section. Each discussion section will be taught by one of the instructors. Stats I will have 12 discussion sections in total so that the class size in any section is sufficiently small that there can be substantial interaction and discussion between students and faculty. Ten of the discussion sections will be held in person, but about 1/3 of the sections will be virtual for students who are unable to attend in person due to visa, travel, or health issues. The virtual discussion sections are being scheduled with an eye toward the time zones that students are likely to be in. In-person discussion sections will likely take place between 8:30am and 5pm on one day per week. 

Students will also have one-hour live TA session each week (PPHA 31004). TA sessions are not mandatory, but will be very useful to prepare students to complete problem sets, so attendance is highly encouraged. Like the discussion sections, we anticipate that most of the TA sessions will be in-person, but we will offer a number of virtual sections for students who are unable to attend in person. There will also be weekly instructor and TA office hours for students to get specific help.

Both virtual and in-person students are strongly encouraged to participate in the course real-time, but participation is not required. Recordings of class sessions will be made available for students who cannot attend.

Students are encouraged to form groups to work on problem sets, but each student will be required to turn in an individual problem set. Students can choose their own homework groups, but instructors can assist students with finding a group if needed.

Students will use the statistical coding software R to complete problem sets. Students who need additional training on statistical coding in R should also register for a Coding Lab which meets once per week for five weeks. Coding lab will offer mostly in-person sections, but there will be a virtual option for students who are unable to attend in person.

PPHA 31202 | Advanced Statistics for Data Analysis I

Instructor(s):

Delivery Method:

This course will utilize a traditional lecture model. Students will have two 80-minute class sessions each week, led by the instructor. There will be two sections, both offered in a dual-modality format.  Students who are unable to attend in person due to visa issues, travel restrictions, or health issues may register for either section. 

There will also be a required once weekly TA session (PPHA 31204) as well as optional instructor and TA office hours for students to ask individual questions.

Both virtual and in-person students are strongly encouraged to participate in the course real-time, but participation is not required. Recordings of class sessions will be made available for students who cannot attend.

Students will complete problem sets in assigned groups. Students will need to use both Stata and R to complete problem sets.

Students who need additional training on statistical coding R can also register for a Coding Lab which meets once per week for five weeks. Coding lab will offer mostly in-person sections, but there will be a virtual option for students who are unable to attend in person. Coding Lab does not offer instruction in Stata.

Microeconomics Sequence

You’ll take a two-course sequence in microeconomics, the first course in the autumn quarter and the second course in the winter. You’ll choose between the standard microeconomics courses (PPHA 32300 Principles of Microeconomics and Public Policy I) or the advanced version (PPHA 32310 Advanced Microeconomics for Public Policy I) for students who have more economics experience (generally people who majored or minored in economics at the college level).

Students who have already covered the material for the Advanced Microeconomics course can petition to waive that course and take an elective in its place. Occasionally a master’s student may also opt to take the PhD economics sequence instead, pending seat availability and instructor permission. (see PhD program details for information about delivery method for the PhD courses). 

You can see the syllabi for these courses from 2020-21 on the Harris courses page. The content of these courses will be largely the same, but the delivery methods will be different.

Below are the details of the autumn quarter course. The winter quarter modality may differ and will be determined at a later date.

PPHA 32300 | Principles of Microeconomics and Public Policy I

Instructor(s):

Delivery Method:

This course will utilize a traditional lecture model. Students will have two 80-minute class sessions each week, led by the instructor. There will be six sections students can choose from, five offered in a dual-modality format for all students, and one fully remote section. Students who are unable to attend in person due to visa/travel restrictions, or health issues may register for any section of Microeconomics I. Each section will be assigned to one of the two instructors, who will lead all of the lectures for that section.

There will also be a once weekly TA session (PPHA 32302), which students are strongly encouraged but not required to attend, as well as optional instructor and TA office hours for students to ask individual questions.

Students will complete problem sets in assigned groups. Students are expected to attend live lecture sections but recordings of one of the sessions each week will also be posted for review.

PPHA 32310 | Advanced Microeconomics for Public Policy I

Instructor(s):

Delivery Method:

This course will utilize a traditional lecture model. Students will have two 80-minute class sessions each week, led by the instructor. There will be two sections, both offered in a dual-modality format.  Students who are unable to attend in person due to visa issues, travel restrictions, or health issues may register for either section. 

There will be a once weekly required TA session (PPHA 32312) as well as optional instructor and TA office hours for students to ask individual questions.

Students will complete problem sets in assigned groups.

Both virtual and in-person students are strongly encouraged to participate in the course real-time, but participation is not required. Recordings of class sessions will be made available for students who cannot attend.

Analytical Politics

You will take a two-course sequence in analytical politics, the first course of which is in the autumn quarter and the second course of which is in the winter. You can see the syllabi for these courses from 2020-21 on the Harris courses page. The content of these courses will be largely the same, but the delivery methods will be different.

Students who believe they have covered the material in this course in prior classes should submit a petition to waive the course no later than August 23. Instructors will review the waiver requests. Those students whom the instructors believe have covered the appropriate material will take an exam on course material – scheduled for September 1, 2021. Students who pass the exam will have the course requirement waived and can take any elective in place of the course.  Students can also opt to take the PhD course PPHA 41501 Game Theory in place of Analytical Politics I if space permits by following the PhD course registration process.

Below are the details of the autumn quarter course. The winter quarter modality may differ and will be determined at a later date following public health guidance, though there will definitely be virtual options available in the winter quarter.

PPHA 30800 | Analytical Politics I

Instructors:

Delivery Method:

This course will use a “flipped classroom” model. Each week, students will be asked to watch and engage with a pre-recorded lecture produced by Professor Ethan Bueno de Mesquita.  These lectures will include a written transcript and will allow students to re-watch material that they are uncertain about as many times as they need. The lectures will also be integrated with exercises that will let students self-assess how well they understand the material and pre-feed questions into the live discussion sections.

In addition to the pre-recorded lectures, each student will register for a once weekly 80-minute live class meeting with one of the four instructors. API will have 14 discussion sections in total so that the class size in any section is sufficiently small that there can be substantial interaction and discussion between students and faculty. Twelve of the sections will be in person and two will be fully remote for students who are unable to attend in person due to visa issues, travel restrictions, or health issues. Students are required to attend the live class meetings.

Students will also have access to an optional weekly TA session (PPHA 30802), as well as instructor and TA office hours to get additional help.

Students have the option to complete problem sets either individually or in groups of no more than four. 

MA Fall 2021 Program Details

Master of Arts (MA)

In the full-time Master of Arts program you will take the same Core courses as students in our MPP program. The one exception is that MA students can opt not to take any one of the six core courses without having to demonstrate that coverage of the material in previous courses.  Please note that students can only opt out of the second course in the sequence, not the first. Like all other students, MA students can petition to waive a core course if they have covered the material in another class prior to entering Harris.

See information about the delivery methods for each of the autumn quarter core courses in the MPP details above.

For a sample schedule of the full year’s program and full degree requirement details see the MA degree program page.

MSCAPP Fall 2021 Program Details

MS in Computational Analysis and Public Policy

For a sample schedule of the full year’s program and full degree requirement details, see the MSCAPP degree program page.

Course Details:

CAPP 30121 | Computer Science with Applications 1

Instructor(s):

Delivery Method:

This course will meet in-person and will be split into two sections.  It will meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for 50 minutes. There will also be a weekly 50-minute discussion section, multiple TA sessions, and weekly instructor office hours.

For students who are not able to get to Chicago in-person due to visa or health reasons, there will be a virtual option for this course.  Once we have more information on the number and location of students who are not able to make it in-person, we will determine the best mode of delivery for remote participation.

MACRM Fall 2021 Program Details

MA with Certificate in Research Methods

In the MACRM program, students enroll in the Harris PhD core courses along with the first year Harris PhD students. The PhD Core courses focus on economic theory, game theory, advanced statistics/econometrics, political economy, and quantitative modeling. Students take three courses per quarter. Core courses are arranged in a sequence, with a three-quarter sequence in econometrics, a two-quarter sequence in microeconomics, and a single course in game theory. You can view the curriculum and Core course sequence on the MACRM program overview webpage.

Below are the details of the autumn quarter Core course as they currently stand. Because all students will participate in the courses together regardless of location, we made attempts to schedule courses at times that were accessible to students in the time zones where we expect most of our students will be – Chicago, India, and China. We will share the final schedule of course sections with students in advance of pre-registration, which will take place September 7-10.

You can see the syllabi for these courses from 2020-21 on the Harris courses page. The content of these courses will be largely the same, but the delivery methods will be different. Updated 2021 course syllabi will be posted to the Harris courses page in late summer.

Students who believe they have covered the material from a PhD/MACRM Core course in prior coursework can petition to waive the course. They should submit a waiver request Harris Course Waiver and Substitution Form, being sure to upload the syllabus from the course(s) previously taken that match the content of the course in question. The faculty director will review requests. If approved, the student will need to take and pass a version of the final exam for the course in order to be allowed to waive. Waivers for Harris PhD courses are rare and substitutions are not accepted. 

The winter quarter modality may differ and will be determined at a later date.

Course Details:

PPHA 41501 Game Theory

Instructor(s):

Delivery Method:

This course will offer one section for all students in the PhD and MACRM programs.  The course will be delivered in “dual modality” format -  a course delivery method where one course section is taught in two modalities simultaneously: some students participate in the course in-person and some students participate in the course virtually. Students who are unable to attend in person due to inability to get a visa, travel restrictions, or health issues will participate virtually.

The course will have two course meetings each week – currently scheduled for Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30-9:50am Chicago time. Both remote and in person students are expected to attend the class live. 

In addition to the scheduled class sessions, there may be additional TA sessions. Students can discuss how to do the problem sets with each other, but must turn in individually written work.

PPHA 42000 Applied Econometrics I

Instructor(s):

Delivery Method:

This course will offer one section for all students in the PhD and MACRM programs.  The course will be delivered in “dual modality” format -  a course delivery method where one course section is taught in two modalities simultaneously: some students participate in the course in-person and some students participate in the course virtually. Students who are unable to attend in person due to inability to get a visa, travel restrictions, or health issues will participate virtually.

The course will have two course meetings each week – currently scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:00-9:30pm Chicago time. Both remote and in person students are expected to attend the class live.  In addition to the class meetings there will also be required TA sessions.

PPHA 44100 Advanced Microeconomics for Policy Analysis I

Instructor(s):

Delivery Method:

This course will offer one section for all students in the PhD and MACRM programs.  The course will be delivered in “dual modality” format -  a course delivery method where one course section is taught in two modalities simultaneously: some students participate in the course in-person and some students participate in the course virtually. Students who are unable to attend in person due to inability to get a visa, travel restrictions, or health issues will participate virtually.

The course will have one weekly meeting, currently scheduled for Fridays, 8:30a.m. - 9:50a.m. Chicago time. The course will also have a weekly pre-recorded lecture that students can watch on their own schedule. Both remote and in person students are expected to attend the class live. 

In addition to the class meetings, there will also be an optional (but strongly recommended) weekly TA session. Students can complete problem sets in groups.  

PhD Fall 2021 Program Details

PhD

The PhD Core courses focus on economic theory, game theory, advanced statistics/econometrics, political economy, and quantitative modeling. Students take three courses per quarter. Core courses are arranged in a sequence, with a three-quarter sequence in econometrics, a two-quarter sequence in microeconomics, and a single course in game theory. More information about the PhD program and Core requirements is available on the PhD program webpage and in the PhD student policies and procedures manual, which is accessible from that page.

Below are the details of the autumn quarter Core course as they currently stand. Because all students will participate in the courses together regardless of location, we made attempts to schedule courses at times that were accessible to students the time zones where we expect most of our students will be – Chicago, India, and China. We will share the final schedule of course sections with students in advance of pre-registration, which will take place September 7-10.

You can see the syllabi for these courses from 2020-21 on the Harris courses page. The content of these courses will be largely the same, but the delivery methods will be different. Updated 2021 course syllabi will be posted to the Harris courses page in late summer.

Students who believe they have covered the material from a PhD Core course in prior coursework can petition to waive the course. They should submit a waiver request via this form, being sure to upload the syllabus from the course(s) previously taken that match the content of the course in question. The faculty director will review requests. If approved, the student will need to take and pass a version of the final exam for the course in order to be allowed to waive. Waivers for Harris PhD courses are rare and substitutions are not accepted. 

The winter quarter modality may differ and will be determined at a later date.

Course Details:

PPHA 41501 Game Theory

Instructor(s):

This course will offer one section for all students in the PhD and MACRM programs.  The course will be delivered in “dual modality” format -  a course delivery method where one course section is taught in two modalities simultaneously: some students participate in the course in-person and some students participate in the course virtually. Students who are unable to attend in person due to inability to get a visa, travel restrictions, or health issues will participate virtually.

The course will have two course meetings each week – currently scheduled for Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30-9:50am Chicago time. Both remote and in person students are expected to attend the class live. 

In addition to the scheduled class sessions, there may be additional TA sessions. Students can discuss how to do the problem sets with each other, but must turn in individually written work.

PPHA 42000 Applied Econometrics I

Instructor(s):

This course will offer one section for all students in the PhD and MACRM programs.  The course will be delivered in “dual modality” format -  a course delivery method where one course section is taught in two modalities simultaneously: some students participate in the course in-person and some students participate in the course virtually. Students who are unable to attend in person due to inability to get a visa, travel restrictions, or health issues will participate virtually.

The course will have two course meetings each week – currently scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:00-9:30pm Chicago time. Both remote and in person students are expected to attend the class live.  In addition to the class meetings there will also be required TA sessions.

PPHA 44100 Advanced Microeconomics for Policy Analysis I

Instructor(s):

This course will offer one section for all students in the PhD and MACRM programs.  The course will be delivered in “dual modality” format -  a course delivery method where one course section is taught in two modalities simultaneously: some students participate in the course in-person and some students participate in the course virtually. Students who are unable to attend in person due to inability to get a visa, travel restrictions, or health issues will participate virtually.

The course will have one weekly meeting, currently scheduled for Fridays 8:30a.m. - 9:50a.m. Chicago time. The course will also have a weekly pre-recorded lecture that students can watch on their own schedule. Both remote and in person students are expected to attend the class live. 

In addition to the class meetings there will also be an optional (but strongly recommended) weekly TA session. Students can complete problem sets in groups. 

Note: PhD students in the energy and environmental policy area of focus will take the Economics Department’s Core Price Theory PhD class in the fall rather than Harris’s Game Theory course (such students will cover game theory later in the academic year as part of the Department’s core microeconomics sequence).