Learn to make social impact on a global scale. Combine training in public policy analytical tools with a broad analytic understanding of the political and economic dynamics of international relations.

Combine training in public policy analytical tools with a substantive emphasis on international affairs through our two-year Master of Arts in Public Policy and International Relations program.

Offered jointly by Harris Public Policy and the Committee on International Relations (CIR), the program results in two master of arts degrees—one in public policy and one in international relations.

Applicants interested in the dual MA program in International Relations and Public Policy Studies must apply separately to both the Committee on International Relations and to Harris.

Program Overview

The Harris MA degree program in public policy provides the fundamental understanding of public policy and analytics to complement their experience. It can be completed in one year.

Coursework in the one-year MA program offered by CIR provides a rigorous examination of the political, security, economic, social and cultural forces that shape international affairs. Formal distribution requirements are interdisciplinary and ensure that students receive a broad analytic understanding of the political and economic dynamics of international relations.

Program Details

Curriculum

At Harris Public Policy:

  • As a student, you will take five of the six core courses available to Master of Public Policy candidates and four electives, for a total of nine courses. Eight of the nine courses must be Harris Public Policy courses.

With CIR: 

  • You will also take a total of nine courses for the MA in international relations. The classes must be approved by your CIR advisors and preceptors, and will serve as the foundation for your required MA thesis.
Other Requirements

You must first matriculate in the master’s program with the Committee on International Relations prior to applying to Harris. You cannot be admitted to the master’s program at Harris in anticipation of CIR admittance or prior to joining the CIR program.

Research

War Games

There's a calculus to conflict, and it's challenging the conventional wisdom about violence.

FAQs

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.
 

MA-IDP comparison to Joint Degrees

How does the MA-IDP compare to the joint degree in Public Policy and International Relations or the joint degree in Public Policy and Middle Eastern Studies?

The Master of Arts in International Development and Policy is a one-year Master of Arts degree that is tailored for the needs and goals of promising international leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to making a difference in their community and want to accelerate their impact in the world.

Drawing on the core strengths of a Harris education, the MA-IDP provides a solid foundation in policy design and analysis, with particular emphasis on international development and policy, combined with the opportunity to study topics based on your background and interests. In addition, if you are accepted as an Obama Foundation Scholar, you will receive a full scholarship and participate in one-of-a-kind programming outside the classroom with the Obama Foundation.

In contrast, the joint degree in Public Policy and International Relations is for those students looking to specialize in international relations and policy in order to go on to careers in government or an international policy organization. The two-year program combines training in public policy analytical tools with a substantive emphasis on international affairs. It culminates in two Master of Arts degrees—one in public policy and one in international relations.

The joint degree in Public Policy and Middle Eastern Studies 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, non-governmental, and business environments in the United States and abroad. 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.