The Center for Economic Policy seeks to educate students and wider audiences about economic policy and markets, providing students with training in economic tools to analyze the regulatory and legal framework in which markets operate. Markets and government policies regulating them have always been central to economic growth, social welfare, and civil society, with policy decisions and legal frameworks inextricably tied to economic outcomes.

Whether it is the government debt consolidation undertaken by the South Sea Company (and Bank of England) in the early 1700s or the rise in mortgage debt and the 2008 financial crisis, financial markets and their functioning are inextricably linked with both household behavior and larger economic outcomes and policy decisions. The core Certificate courses teach basic finance tools necessary for understanding financial instruments and markets. Electives provide a broader range of topics related to household finance, international finance, and banking.

STEM Eligible

The Finance & Policy Certificate is STEM eligible for international students.

Learning Outcomes

Harris students earning the certificate often go into either the government financial sector (state & local government or central banking) or the private financial sector. Both place a high premium on the following skills and attributes:

  • Subject-area or field knowledge: Knowledge and familiarity with financial markets, financial instruments, and finance theory
  • Analytical and quantitative skills: Data analytics, statistics, programming
  • Practical application of the knowledge and skills to real-world situations

This certificate teaches the field knowledge but also builds on the substantive analytic training that all Harris students acquire in their core statistics and economics courses, while trying to focus on the practical applications.

Application Process

The certificate is open to any University of Chicago graduate student. Harris students please indicate your intent to pursue this certificate using the Harris Certificate Application Form during the application period open in October and June of each academic year. If you are a non-Harris student and intend to complete the requirements for the Finance and Policy certificate please submit the Harris Certificate Application for Non-Harris Students to indicate you are pursuing this certificate.

Planning for the Certificate

For information on which quarter(s) each course will be offered see the Harris Courses page and filter by certificate. For courses offered by other divisions the typical quarter the class will be offered will vary. 

Certificate Requirements

The certificate requires completion of two required courses, along with one additional elective course. Students must achieve at least a B- grade in each course, and there is no pass/fail option. 

Required courses

Students must complete two of the following courses (one from each group) to fulfill the requirement:

  • PPHA 42510 Applied Financial Management or PPHA 36101 Financial Investments for Public Policy or BUSN 35001 Introductory Finance or BUSN 35000 Investments
  • PPHA 34410 Corporate Finance or BUSN 35200 Corporate Finance or BUSN 35001 Introductory Finance

Elective courses

Students must complete one of the following courses to fulfill the requirement:

  • PPHA 34241 Household Finance: Theory and Applications
  • PPHA 34500 Macroeconomics for Public Policy or BUS 33040 Macroeconomics
  • PPHA 35310 International Trade, Banking and Capital Markets
  • PPHA 39404 Practicum on Inequality, Household Finance, and Tax Policy
  • PPHA 42521 History of Financial Crises
  • PPHA 42535 Bank Regulation and Management (not offered in 2020-2021)
  • PPHA 42540 Fiscal and Monetary Policy in the 21st Century
  • A finance-oriented Harris Policy Labs PPHA 60000 project (with the approval of the Certificate Director)

Students may petition to count the following courses added during the 2020-2021 academic year toward the certificate. In order to count these courses students must complete the following petition form: Harris Course Waiver and Substitution Form.

  • PPHA 39530 Macroeconomic Policymaking

Recommended Co-Curricular Activity

  • During their second year, students are recommended to attend two events (out of six) from the “Harris Speakers on Economic Policy and Markets” or “History of Chicago Economics” speaker series.