Deepen your knowledge of the Middle East to set yourself apart in the foreign policy arena.

Harris Public Policy and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago offer students an opportunity to earn both an MPP and combine it with a master’s degree program featuring a core language and area studies curriculum. Upon completion, students graduate with both a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from Harris and a Master of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago.

This joint degree program addresses the needs of students wishing to acquire a background focused on modern Middle Eastern languages, history, and civilization while developing their abilities in policy analysis in preparation for professional careers in scholarly, educational, governmental, nongovernmental, and business environments in the United States and abroad. 

Program Details


This program requires 14 courses to complete the requirements in Middle Eastern Studies and 13 courses to complete the public policy degree requirements, for a total of 27 courses (2700 units of credit) for both degrees. 

At Harris Public Policy:

  • Students in this program take the six required Harris core courses (below) plus seven electives for a total of 13 courses (1300 units of credit), instead of the usual 18, with Harris. Ten of the 13 courses must be public policy (PPHA) courses.  The Harris core provides a foundation in critical analysis, reflecting Harris's belief that mastering quantitative and analytical skills prepares students to be effective public policy leaders:
    • Analytical Politics I:

      • PPHA 30800 Analytical Politics I: Strategic Foundations, or

      • PPHA 41501 - PhD Game Theory (instructor approval required).

    • Analytical Politics II:

      • PPHA 31610 Analytical Politics II: Political Institutions 

    • Statistics Sequence I:

      • PPHA 31002 Statistics for Data Analysis I, or

      • PPHA 31202 Advanced Statistics for Data Analysis I, or

      • Any course in the PhD econometrics sequence (instructor approval required): PPHA 42000 or PPHA 42100, or PPHA 42200

    • Statistics Sequence II: 

      • PPHA 31102 Statistics for Data Analysis II: Regressions, or

      • PPHA 31302 Advanced Statistics for Data Analysis II, or

      • Any course in the PhD econometrics sequence (instructor approval required): PPHA 42000 or PPHA 42100, or PPHA 42200

    • Microeconomics Sequence I:

      • PPHA 32300 Principles of Microeconomics and Public Policy I, or

      • PPHA 32310 Advanced Microeconomics for Public Policy I, or

      • PPHA 44100 Principles of Microeconomics and Public Policy I (PhD sequence - instructor approval required)

    • Microeconomics Sequence II:

      • PPHA 32400 Principles of Microeconomics and Public Policy II, or

      • PPHA 32410 Advanced Microeconomics for Public Policy II, or

      • PPHA 44200 Principles of Microeconomics and Public Policy II (PhD sequence - instructor approval required)

With the Center for Middle Eastern Studies:

Other Requirements


Students who wish to participate in this program must be admitted to both Harris and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. A student who is already enrolled in one of the programs may apply during their first year for admission to the other school.

Other requirements include:

  • A cumulative GPA of 2.7 for all courses, based on a 4.0 scale, for all courses used toward the MPP degree

  • 10 public policy (PPHA prefix) courses

  • A grade of C- or better for the 6 core courses

  • Completion of the math requirement (support available)

    • Pass algebra exam

    • Pass calculus exam

  • No more than 2 reading/research, independent study, or internship courses

  • No more than 1 courses 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 course requirement for the program.

The Pearson Institute

Calculus of Conflict

Rigorous methods of inquiry can improve policy leaders' ability to understand and respond to violent efforts


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.