We are excited you are interested in participating in the Data and Policy Summer Scholar (DPSS) program! The program offers rigorous academics and robust co-curriculars in a virtual format.

There are unique benefits and challenges of virtual learning, and we designed the program so that you will have an immersive academic training and community experience to fully explore the fields of data science and public policy.  

Read more about the program here.

Here are five ways we’re tapping the advantages of virtual learning.

  1. A Truly Global Program – Our asynchronous, student-centered classroom model enables students to watch lectures at their own pace and join live office hours and discussion groups with peers, faculty, and graduate teaching assistants from anywhere in the world. The virtual format also enables our classroom to include students who otherwise would not have been able to travel for the in-person program.  
    "I really enjoyed the different office hours where we could meet our instructors and TAs. I also loved having a homework group to work with: we bonded and helped each other get through the material. Using Slack helped me feel connected even though we are physically distant.”
    – Bernadette Becker, 2020 DPSS Participant, Indiana University—Purdue University Ft. Wayne
  2. More Faculty Engagement – Austin Wright, Assistant Professor and DPSS Faculty Director, said the virtual format allows students to engage more directly with faculty and teaching assistants, since live discussion groups are no longer limited to the physical size of the faculty’s office or study room availability. Students will be able to hear each other’s questions and engage in deeper discussions, and the ability to organize small student groups will maximize interaction with your peers.   
    “My favorite moments were the one on one time and office hours with Professor Wright. This was a great way to fully engage with the material and get the most out of the program.”
    – Rohan Kumar, 2020 DPSS Participant, BA in Economics from University of Chicago
  3. Deeper Dive – With pre-recorded lectures, you’ll be able to pause, write notes, and re-watch sections—a feature current master’s students at Harris have cited as extremely beneficial with their virtual learning experience. The DPSS lectures also are designed to simulate the classroom experience. For example, once a concept has been explained, you have the option to click to another recording for an example of its applicability.
  4. Flexible Schedule – The seven-week, part-time program is now even more compatible with other summer activities, such as jobs or internships, as you can view the pre-recorded lectures at a time convenient for you. Students can anticipate a commitment of approximately 15-20 hours per week. 8-10 hours of lectures, watched and re-watched at your own pace; 3-5 hours of assignments and projects; 1-2 hours of live office hours with faculty and teaching assistants and 2 hours of live sessions of community resources. Click here to see program dates and schedule.   
  5. Expanded Community Resources – We offer you a robust set of Community Resources. Connecting you with speakers (such as those in our Policy in Action Series) and alumni (such as Networking with UChicago) is no longer limited to those physically in Chicago. You can network with practitioners conducting research in D.C. and alumni working in Shanghai. Only in the part-time, virtual format can we offer an optional mentorship program.