At Harris Public Policy, classroom study is only half the equation.

Through practice-based experiences in Chicago and around the globe, you'll round out your educational experience at Harris and gain invaluable professional training. 

Drive real-world impact: In a real-world policy context, you’ll apply the analytical tools that you develop in the Core.

Broaden your network: Practical experiences at Harris broaden your professional networks and give you the opportunity to explore new industries and career paths. 

Practical Experience Requirement

Harris requires all students in the following full-time programs to complete a practical experience during their program of study:

  • Master of Public Policy (MPP)
  • MS in Computational Analysis and Public Policy (MSCAPP)
  • MA in Public Policy with Certificate in Research Methods (MACRM)

Please note: This requirement begins with the Autumn 2020 incoming cohort of students.


Find the practical experience that fits your needs. Pursue an internship, work with a faculty member on new research, practice using your analytical toolkit. 

You can fulfill the requirement by completing one of the following (or an alternative option): 

  • Harris Policy Lab projects
  • Harris practicum courses
  • University of Chicago practicum courses, including the Social New Venture Challenge course
  • Research Assistantship positions with individual University faculty or University research centers
  • Internships (paid or unpaid) of no fewer than 150 hours, during either the Summer between the first and second year of the program or during the academic year
  • Policy competition participation under the supervision of Harris faculty
  • MA in Public Policy with Certificate in Research Methods (MACRM) apprenticeship course (PPHA 52500), for MACRM degree students only

Requirement Waiver

Students that meet one or more of the following requirements may submit a request for a waiver.

  • Three years of post-undergraduate full-time work experience.
  • Significant experience participating in volunteerism or entrepreneurship.

Submit a request by completing the practical experience waiver form.

Policy Labs

When you enroll in our signature practical experience program, Harris Policy Labs, you will be immersed in an intensive experiential learning initiative in which teams of MPP students apply their course work to real-time public policy challenges facing client organizations. Completion of the program will help better prepare you to become a policy professional and will give you a competitive advantage in the job market.

Discover More

Beyond Harris' Policy Labs, you will also find a wealth of opportunities to apply what you learn in the classroom. You can work with professionals in the field and kick-start your career plans through summer internships, and our one-of-a-kind mentor program. And as a part-time student, you will take four seminar-style classes that will focus on a different policy area.