Our PhD deadline is December 6, 2023. We wanted to provide a roundup of resources you may find helpful, including information on both our PhD and MA in Public Policy with Certificate in Research Methods (MACRM) programs.

PhD/MACRM Overview

For a high-level overview of the PhD or MA in Public Policy with Certificate in Research Methods (MACRM) degree programs, watch our recent Harris MACRM and PhD Overview recording.

Student Profiles

Take a minute to read the profiles below to learn more about some of our students and alumni of the MACRM and PhD Programs:

  • Juchen Feng, MPP'11, PhD'17, whose research goal is to promote social improvement through changes in technology and educationMariella Gonzales, MACRM'16, PhD Student, who aims to understand the ways anti-corruption efforts in Brazil affect public-sector employment
  • Emileigh Harrison, PhD Student, whose studies focus on regulation promoting gender equality, primarily in the education sector
  • Jack Marhsall, MACRM'21, who hopes to use the skills he gains in the MACRM program to conduct innovation-focused research—with practical applications—at the doctoral level
  • David McMillon, PhD'21, Assistant Professor of Economics at Emory, whose research at Harris applied systems thinking to the School-to-Prison Pipeline
  • Goya Razavi, PhD Student, whose research at Harris seeks to answer the question “What does a fair economy actually look like?”
  • Rohen Shah, PhD Student, who seeks to develop low-cost interventions to improve math outcomes for students

IES Pre-Doctoral Training Program in Education Sciences 

This fellowship program is an opportunity for incoming PhD candidates with an interest in education research. In addition to a generous stipend for five years, program fellows join an interdisciplinary cohort of students who follow a common program of courses, workshops, and a two-year research apprenticeship while earning their PhD. Accepted fellows also will have access to additional funds to support travel and education-related research. Learn more about this program.

Some helpful final notes:

  • The PhD program at Harris is a rigorous quantitative and economics-based program. Top applicants and eventual candidates are highly preferred to have fulfilled many mathematics courses like ones detailed here, specifically up through Calculus III, Real Analysis, and Linear Algebra. 
  • The PhD at the Harris School of Public Policy generally accepts 5-7 new doctoral students per year with a variety of research interests, and typically receives a few hundred applications. Students can partner with faculty across Harris and other divisions at UChicago to pursue their research interests. Students who are not accepted to the PhD program may have their application reviewed for our graduate degree programs. Please note you can indicate on your application that you would like to be reviewed for a graduate program.
  • In addition to extensive quantitative preparation (superior grades in at least three courses of advanced math and economics, such as calculus III, linear algebra, multivariable calculus, real analysis, microeconomics, econometrics, and game theory) and strong GRE performance (90-95% in the quantitative section), most successful PhD applicants have some prior research experience, whether academic or professional. Many also have a prior Master’s degree, though this is not required.
  • Doctoral applicants must provide
    • Transcripts for all post-secondary coursework (unofficial copies are accepted for admission purposes)
    • GRE scores (unofficial scores are accepted for admission purposes)
    • TOEFL/IELTS scores if prompted during the application process (unofficial scores are accepted for admission purposes)
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • A writing sample (generally less than 20 pages)
    • A research statement
    • If you are unable to provide one or more section of the application including test scores, please submit a formal hardship request