Program Dates

The Data and Policy Summer Scholar Program is offered twice during the summer. The two sessions are identical. Participants can apply to the session that best fits their schedule.

  • Session One:  June 21 - August 6, 2021
  • Session Two:  August 2 – September 17, 2021

See an example of the weekly schedule.

Application Deadlines

Important note: The 2021 program is no longer accepting applications. The application for the 2022 program will open in late fall 2021. 

  • Round 4 - Final Deadline for Session Two

    • Application Deadline: June 1, 2021
    • Notification Date: Mid-June, 2021
    • Reply Date: Late June, 2021

Applications are reviewed after each deadline. Applicants will receive a notification approximately one-two weeks after the deadline. 

Priority Deadline Benefits

There are several benefits to applying before the Priority Deadline (March 2021). For example, you can:

  • Provide input on policy topics for capstone projects and speakers
  • Receive priority consideration for UChicago scholarship; Maximize your time for financial planning 
  • Plan your summer schedule and make the most of UChicago activities
  • Connect with your DPSS speakers, alumni and peers before the program begins

Learn about the full benefits of applying early


This program is open to the public and UChicago community. This program is available for undergraduate and graduate students, recent graduates and working professionals. We welcome domestic and international applicants from all around the world. 

To enroll in the program, you must be at least 18 years old and have finished at least one year full-time study in an undergraduate institution one month prior to the start of the program. There are no prerequisites as this program is available for all academic backgrounds. All applicants are required to complete an online application.

Students are expected to have a stable internet connection and computer access to complete the virtual program. 

Required Application Materials

Once you create your online application account, please choose the "Non-degree Program" type and then you will be able to choose the "Data and Policy Summer Scholar Program.” Please choose the session you plan to attend.

Once you start an online application, you have the ability to save it unfinished, come back to it later and edit any information you already entered. 

  • Motivation statement in English (word limit: 300)
  • Short essays
    • Required Essay: Describe briefly the biggest challenge you have ever faced so far. How did you tackle it and what is your key learning from it? (word limit: 300)
    • Optional Essay: Where do you see yourself getting involved in the community during your in the program? (word limit: 300)
  • Resume (one or two pages is recommended)
  • Academic transcripts
    • Transcripts must clearly state your full name and name of university or academic institution.
    • Transcripts detail the course names, dates (term and year), grades and grading scales for each year of postsecondary (college or university) education.
    • Provide a transcript for each degree conferred (undergraduate and graduate).
    • Unofficial transcripts are accepted. You may upload a PDF copy. 
    • An English translation must be submitted for all foreign language transcripts. 

Read our Application Tips blog post

Program Fee and Payment

The program fee for the 2021 program is $4,500.


UChicago Harris offers a modest, partial scholarship to top applicants based on qualifications presented in application materials. Priority consideration is given to applicants who apply before the Priority Deadline.

As you proceed in the application, you will find the place in the Finance Section to indicate you would like your application to be considered for a partial, merit-based scholarship. There are no additional steps, prerequisites or documents to submit in order to be considered for the UChicago Harris merit-based scholarship.

Scholarships are limited, and not guaranteed for all applicants. The scholarship is modest and partial - ranging from 5%-20% of the program fee. Priority consideration for scholarship is given to those who submit by the Priority Deadline. There are no other forms of discounts or financial aid. 

We encourage you to explore external funding resources. Past students have been able to receive support from their current academic institution or employer. Other students found external scholarships based on their academic study, career goal, citizenship or other affiliations. You may consider pursuing those options as well.

Read our blog post with Tips on Financial Planning.

Admitted students awarded a UChicago Harris scholarship will receive a letter at the time of their admission into the program. 

Paying the Enrollment Deposit

After being admitted and accepting the electronic offer letter from the admissions team, you are required to submit a $1000 USD enrollment deposit to confirm your attendance. The deposit will apply to your total program cost and be reflected in the bill. 

The deposit is non-refundable. Students who fail to submit the deposit in time will be viewed as voluntarily giving up the seat to attend the program.

Payment for the enrollment deposit is accepted by credit-card in your application portal. If you have a third-party sponsor paying the enrollment deposit, then contact our office ( for additional instructions.  

The program fee remaining balance is due shortly before the session begins. Paying the remaining balance of the program fee is done in one transaction through your UChicago Student Portal, which is accessible during the summer term. Admitted students will receive detailed information about payment process and options.



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