Are you interested in applying for our Data and Policy Summer Scholar Program? We frequently receive requests for tips from eager applicants searching for opportunities to strengthen their application, as well as students who are concerned about specific aspects of their application. Below we have share seven helpful tips for your application. 

Learn about Harris   

At Harris Public Policy, we believe developing effective public policy is a science, based on data and measurable impact. Our students come from around the world to gain key tools to further their social impact. You can learn more about Harris from our school website, program website, and by taking a virtual tour.  

Start Early 

Give yourself plenty of time to start and work through the application. We know the process requires a lot of time and energy - pace yourself and be mindful of the deadlines for each session. Starting early also gives yourself time to reach out to us if you have questions. Read this post: The Benefits of Applying Early

One Step at a Time  

Focus on one piece of the application at a time. It can be overwhelming to think of thoughtful essays as well gather transcripts all at once. Breaking the application into manageable pieces allows you to be intentional with your responses and better share your story with us. You can refer to the FAQs when you are working through each section. 

Academic Diversity  

Harris is known for developing leaders who want to acquire a strong analytical toolkit to make evidence-based decisions. While many students are attracted to this reputation, they also are sometimes concerned they do not have the quantitative skills to be successful. As you can see in our program alumni profiles, students from diverse academic backgrounds can be successful in the program. Whether you’re an economics major with a foundation in statistics, or a liberal arts student with strong critical thinking, we encourage you to highlight your key strengths. Use your resume to highlight related experiences such as research projects or programming experience. 

Commitment to Community  

We want to see applicants who are excited to dive into both the curriculum at Harris as well as the opportunities available in the surrounding UChicago community. This program offers opportunities for professional development and community activities. We want to hear how you will take advantage of the unique opportunities at UChicago and get involved with the community. 

Be Yourself 

Be authentic in your motivation statement and essay - this is the best way to tell us your story. Tell us about your passions, professional goals, and the unique attributes that you will bring to the program. At Harris, we believe those with the passion and the dedication to better themselves to learn the science of public policy, rooted in data and impact, will be successful students and future leaders. 

Stay in Touch 

The Credential Admissions Office is eager to get to know you and help you thorough the duration of the admissions process. Whether you have a question about the application, the program, or the city of Chicago, we are available to assist you. Email us at