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If you are unable to find specific information in the questions below, please feel free to email us at harriscredential@uchicago.edu.

DPSS On-Campus and Virtual Differences

What is the difference between DPSS On-Campus and DPSS Virtual?

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, DPSS was a four-week summer program held on the University of Chicago campus. During each week of the program, students spent full days with other students in the classroom and enjoy on- and off-campus extracurricular activities. 
DPSS, as a virtual summer program, is a seven-week, part-time, program that boasts the same level of access to UChicago faculty and staff and same global cohort as DPSS does. The program’s virtual setup allows you to take part from anywhere in the world and to devote time to other summer activities, such as a job or internship, while reaping the benefits of a University of Chicago educational experience.  

When is DPSS Virtual offered?

See the Program Schedule page for program dates and an example of the weekly schedule. 

Is DPSS full-time or part-time? Can I can have a job during DPSS?

Students can anticipate a commitment of approximately 10-15 hours per week. View the Program Schedule page for breakdown of weekly time commitment. Previous students completed DPSS while maintaining full-time employment, internships and other academic coursework.  

How will the virtual classes be delivered?

DPSS uses a combination of asynchronous lectures and synchronous office hours and workshops. We leverage several platforms to aid the communication with faculty, teaching assistants, and peers. View the Curriculum page to learn more. 

What will the remote learning classes be like? When are the live sessions?

When you enroll in DPSS, you will receive the same quality of instruction and support as you would have in one of our onsite courses. The difference is that you’ll interact with them in a virtual classroom rather than a physical one.  

Each week, pre-recorded lecture videos will be posted to Canvas. You can watch these at your own pace. There will be designated office hours during which you can connect with faculty or graduate teaching assistants, and there will be set deadlines for when assignments are due. 

The live office hours and sessions will be held at various times throughout the week to accommodate the different time zones of our students. Many will take place during evenings in Central Time (Chicago Time). 

Read our blog post on the Benefits of the Virtual Format.  

Will staff be available to help?

Yes! The DPSS Administration team will be virtually available during the entirety of the program. You can connect with members of the DPSS Administration team through multiple platforms such as email, Slack, and Zoom meetings.  

How will I get the UChicago experience virtually?

The virtual program offers you the same academic experience with the same faculty and staff team. You will receive the same rigorous academics and hands-on capstone research project, connecting weekly with faculty and graduate teaching assistants through live virtual office hours. 

We are committed to providing you a robust and diverse student experience, including access to UChicago’s various career and community resources. View the Community Resources Page for full details or read our blog post on Building Virtual Community in DPSS.  


How do I apply for Data and Policy Summer Scholar Program?

Applicants will create an account to fill out the online application. We encourage you to start your application as early as possible, and you can always log into your account to edit your application before submitting it.

What is the deadline of the application?

View the Admissions page for deadlines about the application deadlines. We encourage students submit their application by the priority deadline. Read our blog post on the Benefits of Applying Early

Is there an application fee?

There is no application fee for this program. However, if you need to take the Academic English Proficiency Assessment (AEPA), there is a non-refundable $70 fee charged by the University of Chicago Office of Language Assessment.

Will you tell me if you have successfully received my application material?

After you submit your materials electronically, you will be able to check the status of your application online. Please do not send inquiries requesting status of your application. If your application is incomplete, you will be notified directly via email.

When can I expect to receive an admission decision?

View the Admissions page for details. You will receive an email notification.

Should my grades (GPA) be converted on a scale of 4.0?

Please enter the GPA score in its original format as shown on the transcript uploaded in the application. In the comments section of the application, please note the original grading scale (5.0, 10.0, etc.)

Must my transcript be translated to English?

Yes. If your academic institution does not provide transcripts in English, then an English translation must be submitted for all foreign language transcripts. 

Transcripts detail the courses, dates, grades and grading scales for each year of postsecondary (college or university) education as well as degrees awarded.

Should transcripts be sent directly to Harris from an institution, or can they come by way of the applicant?

DPSS accepts unofficial transcripts. Applicants can upload a PDF copy of their transcript in the online application. Transcripts detail the courses, dates, grades and grading scales for each year of postsecondary (college or university) education as well as degrees awarded.

Why was my application denied? Can I be reconsidered?

We assess a number of factors when evaluating applications to the summer scholar program. Academic background, work/internship experience, test scores, motivations for participating the summer program and essays all play an equal role in consideration. For international students, English language skills are also assessed. There is no one factor that determines admission. We are unable to provide specific feedback on your application and all admission decisions are final. If you would like to re-apply in the next application cycle, we would be happy to transfer any materials to a new application.

Is the program open to undergraduate or graduate students? Can working professionals attend?

This program welcomes undergraduate and graduate students, recent graduates and young professionals. This program is open for domestic and international applicants from all around the world. There are no prerequisites as this program is available for all academic backgrounds. 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.

How many students will be joining this program this summer?

Class size varies by year and session, but the average class size for the virtual program is 80 students per session. Throughout the virtual program, students will be put in smaller breakout groups of five to ten for office hours, group discussions, and projects. 

English Requirements

What is the English Language Requirement? Is a language test required?

Please review the English Language Requirement for Credential Programs for full details. 

Program Fee and Financial Aid

What is the cost of attendance?

View the Admissions & Fees Page for this year's program fee.

How can I let the admission team know that I will attend the program?

Admitted students will be provided with instructions on how to confirm their attendance and how to submit the enrollment deposit. The deposit will apply to your total program cost and reflected in the bill later. Students who fail to submit the deposit in time will be viewed as voluntarily giving up the seat to attend the program.

What is the process to pay for the program fees?

Admitted students will submit an enrollment deposit through their application portal. The application portal accepts payment by credit card. Please contact the DPSS Office if you plan to pay with a third-party sponsor, because additional steps are required. 

You will receive an electronic bill from the University’s Bursar Office with the remaining balance shortly before the program 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 and managed by The Bursar Office. You can visit the Bursar Office website for information for Self Payment and Third-Party Sponsor.

We encourage you to think through this process as early as possible.

What is the refund policy if I decide not to come or quit during the program period?

If you cannot attend the program due to personal reasons, you are asked to inform the admissions team as soon as possible. We will evaluate your case on an individual basis.

Is financial aid available?

UChicago Harris offers modest, partial scholarships to top applicants based on qualifications presented in application materials. Priority consideration is given to applicants who apply before the Priority Deadline. View the Admissions & Fee page for full details about scholarship opportunities. 

Past students used a combination of different funding sources. Student have been able to receive support from their current academic institution or employer. Other students have 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 of Tips on Financial Planning.