The Round 2 deadline to apply to the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy is January 20, 2022, and your Harris Admissions team would like to share nine quick and helpful video tips for completing a successful application!

Tip 1: Engage with Us Early

"Get to know Harris before you apply. We have several ways to engage with us: we have events both virtual and in-person, you can speak with our current students and our alumni, get to know our faculty, or meet with our admissions team individually so you can determine how Harris can fit into your professional goals."

Jessica Gagle, Director of Student Recruitment, Evening Master's Program

Tip 2: Budget Your Time

"... start early: this gives you plenty of time to learn more about Harris, the university, and get to know our team as well. And also, then you have plenty of time to ask your recommenders for letters, work on your essays, and get your materials in without rushing at the last minute."

Samantha N. Yi, Associate Director of Recruitment and Outreach Management

Tip 3: Ask Yourself "Why?"

"My top tip for you is really not a tip: it's a question. Why do you want to go to graduate school? I really encourage you to step back and think about what you are looking for in a graduate program and what do you want to do as a graduate student? Think about that, and then let us know in your essays."

Andie Ingram Eccles, Assistant Director, Student Recruitment and International Partnerships

Tip 4: Use Our Team as a Resource

"Use us as a resource. Once you finish your own research, it will be very helpful to get some exclusive advice from admissions staff and current students. At Harris, we have ongoing events throughout the year—there's the open house, information sessions, student panels, and all sorts of opportunities where you can build that connection, show your engagement, and demonstrate a passion for the school."

—Rebecca Hou, Assistant Director of Student Recruitment

Tip 5: Plan Ahead

"We're so excited to read your application. My biggest piece of advice to you is to get started early and plan each element of your application so that you can submit on time."

Devon Reber Drehmer, Senior Director of Student Recruitment and Operations

Tip 6: Consistent Narrative in Your Application

"Give us a coherent and cohesive narrative through all the different parts of your application. So, for example, your resume and your motivation statement should speak to one another, but they shouldn't repeat one another. Your motivation statement should give us different parts of your story and your personality that aren't present elsewhere in the application."

—Derek Kennedy, Assistant Director, Student Recruitment

Tip 7: Know Your Recommenders Well

"Tip 1: When it comes to your letters of recommendation, make sure you give your recommenders sufficient time to write that letter of recommendation. The worst thing in the world to do is to have your application complete, but not quite complete because your recommender hasn't submitted.

Tip 2: Make sure your recommenders know you really well. You want them to be able to speak on your behalf, talk about your skillset, projects you've worked on, and most importantly, why you will be a good fit for the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago."

Sparkle Dalphinis, Associate Director, Student Recruitment

Tip 8: Use Your Resume As a Framework

"Really look at your resume and find out where your core experience is. Dig a little bit more and build your motivation statement on top of that and share with us what your passion lies in."

Shilin Liu, Senior Director, International Partnerships & Executive Education

Tip 9: Share Your Story

"You're the best person to tell us your story, and this is your chance to do it. Often students who are applying and interested in studying public policy are very humble about the work they've done, but tell us about the best work that you have already completed. Tell us the impact that you've had, whatever level that's at, and the impact that you want to continue to have with this degree. Really let everything shine through."

Alyssa Szynal, MSCAPP Associate Program Director

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