Learn to make social impact on a global scale. Combine training in public policy analytical tools with a broad analytic understanding of the political and economic dynamics of international relations.

Combine training in public policy analytical tools with a substantive emphasis on international affairs through our two-year Master of Arts in Public Policy and International Relations program.

Offered jointly by Harris Public Policy and the Committee on International Relations (CIR), the program results in two master of arts degrees—one in public policy and one in international relations.

Applicants interested in the dual MA program in International Relations and Public Policy Studies must apply separately to both the Committee on International Relations and to Harris.

Program Overview

The Harris MA degree program in public policy provides the fundamental understanding of public policy and analytics to complement their experience. It can be completed in one year.

Coursework in the one-year MA program offered by CIR provides a rigorous examination of the political, security, economic, social and cultural forces that shape international affairs. Formal distribution requirements are interdisciplinary and ensure that students receive a broad analytic understanding of the political and economic dynamics of international relations.

Program Details

Program Structure

To complete the MA/MA, students complete 900 units toward the Harris MA and 900 units coursework toward the International Relations MA. There is no reduction in degree requirements for either degree in this program. Students typically start their first year with the Committee on International Relations (CIR).






Year 1




Internship and/or Thesis Completion

Year 2




Graduate! Full time position


At Harris Public Policy:

  • As a student, you will take five of the six core courses available to Master of Public Policy candidates and four electives, for a total of nine courses. Seven of the nine courses must be Harris Public Policy courses.
  • Detailed information about the Harris MA can be found on the MA in Public Policy page.

With CIR: 

  • You will also take a total of nine courses for the MA in international relations. The classes must be approved by your CIR advisors and preceptors, and will serve as the foundation for your required MA thesis.
  • For detailed information regarding the Committee on International Relations’s curriculum, please visit their website or direct your inquiries to ssd-admissions@uchicago.edu.
Other Requirements

You must first matriculate in the master’s program with the Committee on International Relations prior to applying to Harris. You cannot be admitted to the master’s program at Harris in anticipation of CIR admittance or prior to joining the CIR program.

  • A cumulative GPA of 2.7 for all courses, based on a 4.0 scale
  • A grade of C- or better in the core courses
  • Completion of the math requirement (support available)
  • No more than 1 reading/research, independent study, or internship courses
  • No more than 1 course taken Pass/Fail (core courses cannot be taken pass/fail)
  • Courses with grades of F, I, W, or with no reported grade do not apply toward the 9-course requirement for the program.
  • Policies on the results of not meeting these requirements can be found on the Harris policies page.
  • Any questions about these requirements can be sent to the Harris Dean of Students Office at harrisdeanofstudents@uchicago.edu.
Tuition & Financial Aid

Each division determines tuition charges for the quarters in which students are in residency with either division. Tuition rates can be found at the Bursar’s website:

  • Year 1: Residency with Social Sciences Division; billed at the Social Sciences Tuition Rate.
  • Year 2: Residency with Harris; billed at the Harris Tuition Rate.

Harris scholarships for joint degree students are awarded only when in residence at Harris. 

  • Year 1: No Harris Scholarship (Social Sciences Division Residency) 
    Year 2: Harris Scholarship
Admissions Process

Interested applicants will need to apply and be admitted to both the Harris MPP and the CIR MA program to pursue this degree. Students already admitted to CIR may apply to Harris during their first year of study and vice versa. Admissions decisions for each side of the joint degree are made independently of one another. Inquiries regarding the admissions process for the Committee on International Relations should be directed to ssd-admissions@uchicago.edu.


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Why Harris Public Policy?

Why Harris Public Policy?

For more than a quarter century, the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy has been a top-ranked policy school driven by its mission to develop leaders who put evidence first. At Harris Public Policy, we work at the frontiers of data collection and analysis, using the latest social science methods to design policies that work for society. We collaborate across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors to make a positive social impact around the world.

As a Harris student, you won’t have to wait for graduation to start making a difference. From day one, Harris encourages you to turn your passion into proven, measurable results. Combining real-world engagement in Chicago and beyond, with the latest technology and social science, you’ll look at the world’s problems, challenge the easy answers, and confront the real issues by following the data.

At the University of Chicago, one of the world’s great intellectual destinations, you’ll join a community of scholars who share your drive for doing good. Using rigorous modeling and analysis, and supported by leading faculty who shape the field, you’ll uncover new perspectives on enduring issues and find fresh approaches that work. You'll graduate ready to make smarter, data-driven decisions that lead to the change you want to see.