Embarking on a full-time graduate degree is a big commitment. Harris Credential Programs can help prepare you for graduate school while you work or complete your undergraduate studies. We’ve shared three ways credentials can support your graduate study using the example of the Data and Policy Summer Scholar (DPSS) program.

Explore graduate studies

  • Credential Programs allow you to sample the life of a graduate student in data science or public policy. They help you to further solidify your interests and potential career path, and determine if studying in these fields and at a top graduate institution is something you want to pursue.
  • Jiuzhi Simon Zhang, DPSS’19, MPP’22, had interest in international development and a background in mathematics but didn’t know how to combine the two. DPSS helped him realize how to apply his quantitative skillset in a meaningful way—through public policy. You can read more about Simon’s story in his profile.

Strengthen Application

  • Completion of a credential program is an additional qualification you can share in your graduate application. It shows your dedication and eagerness to learn, as well as your ability to plan ahead  and take initiative toward your passion. The certificate of completion, issued by Harris, is a proof point of your success from a world-ranked university, increasing the competitiveness of your application.
  • The coursework, research with faculty and professional development are pieces you can talk about in your admission essays or graduate school interview.

"The capstone project really helped me strengthen my graduate school application, it also helped me to get an internship at the Ministry of Economy traded industry in Japan.”

—Miyu Haraguchi, DPSS’20 

Academic Readiness

  • Credential Programs can help you feel academically prepared for graduate study. Each program can create a solid foundation to help you succeed in your advanced graduate work. This is particularly valuable if you are pivoting from one discipline to another.
  • Wrojensky André, DPSS’20, MA’21, speaks of the challenge he experienced during the transition from undergrad to graduate a few years ago. When planning for a second master’s degree, this time in policy, he chose DPSS to prepare. Hear the difference it made for Wrojensky in his profile.

Take Your Next Step

Explore Credential Programs and apply now.

  • Alumni of our Credential Programs have enrolled in graduate degrees, master and doctoral levels, in disciplines such as economics, law, public policy, political science, law and more. They enrolled at institutions including (but not limited to) the University of Chicago, Columbia University, the London School of Economics, New York University, Peking University, and more.
  • Visit the Alumni Stories section on your program of interest website to learn about their UChicago Harris experiences and how they've leveraged their Credential skillset in their graduate degrees and beyond.
  • María Ballesteros, DPSS’18, participated in the program while finishing her undergraduate study. María returned to Harris Public Policy as a full-time Research Assistant before starting her PhD in Government at Harvard University in fall of 2020. Hear María’s journey in her interview.
  • Hear from two alums of the seven-week Data and Policy Summer Scholar (DPSS) Program who are now enrolled in the Master of Public Policy (MPP): Victor Hinardi, DPSS'20, MPP Class of 2023 and Anna Weiss, DPSS'21, MPP Class of 2024 in the December 2022 DPSS Roundtable with Alumni (35 min.)

Read more about the Benefits of Credential Programs.