If you are interested in advancing your career and education through the Data and Policy Summer Scholar Program or the PKU-UChicago International Policy Action Lab, we have put together a list of FAQs to help you navigate our programs and determine which one best suits your needs.




Content Quantitative Analysis, Coding, and a faculty-led Capstone Research Project. No Prior Coding Experience is Required.
Programming Language R Stata

7 weeks, Summer

15 hours per week

4 weeks, Summer

25 hours per week

Format Online with asynchronous lectures and synchronous office hours In-person teaching at the PKU campus in Beijing, China
Instructor(s) Austin Wright (UChicago)

Xuezheng Qin (PKU)

Austin Wright (UChicago)

Student Cohort Global Cohort Majority is from Asia

What format is the program?

While DPSS and IPAL both offer interactive office hours with the teaching team, the modality differs: 

  • DPSS is an online program with asynchronous (pre-recorded) lectures for students to watch and rewatch at their own pace. Synchronous lectures will take place to help students finish final capstone project
  • IPAL is an in-person program with lectures hosted at the PKU campus in Beijing, China

I have no experience in coding. Which program is a better fit?

DPSS and both IPAL provide introductory training in coding, and no prior coding experience is required. DPSS teaches R Programming using R Studio, a free open-source platform. IPAL teaches Stata and will provide students with a Stata license for the duration of the program. 

How diverse are the program participants?

Our programs welcome students from around the world. Both programs will introduce you to global peers at different stages in their academic and professional journeys with a shared interest in the curriculum. While DPSS attracts participants from worldwide with its online format, the majority of IPAL cohort comes from Asia.

What about two programs’ co-curriculum activities?

DPSS offers rich academic opportunities and activities to create an immersive UChicago experience and build your global network. These include a variety of workshops, community chats, social activities, and sessions on topics such as graduate school and career exploration. It also offers optional opportunity to connect in person on the University of Chicago campus. Learn more about DPSS community resources and alumni outcomes.

IPAL offers optional in-person field trips and visits to international organizations as well as roundtable discussions with industry experts and faculty members. Throughout the program, the PKU campus will host a range of activities and events that are open to IPAL students. In addition, there will be cultural visits in Beijing, which provide a unique opportunity for students to explore Chinese culture.

How will I be supported in the online format of DPSS?

DPSS leverages several platforms to provide an interactive, supportive learning experience. Faculty and teaching assistants host office hours over Zoom and interact with students through online discussion platform throughout each week. DPSS also utilizes Slack to help students connect with their peers and program administration.

I am considering IPAL, but I have concerns about living in Beijing.

For participants who require a visa to travel to China, PKU will provide assistance during the visa application process. Admitted IPAL students will also have the option to apply for on-campus accommodation at the PKU Global Village and receive PKU student IDs, giving them access to on-campus resources and the cafeteria.

Other questions?

Connect with a member of the Credential Team for a one-on-one conversation: email harriscredential@uchicago.edu to schedule an appointment today!