Requirements & deadlines on this page:

Full-time Master's Programs

Application Deadlines

 DeadlineNotification$2000 Deposit Due/Confirm Acceptance
Early ActionOctober 5, 2023Late November 2023April 15, 2024
Round OneDecember 6, 2023Early February 2024April 15, 2024
Round TwoJanuary 18, 2024Early March 2024April 15, 2024
Round Three* 

Priority deadline: May 15, 2024

June 13, 2024

TBDDecisions released before April 15 will have an April 15 deadline
Decisions released after April 15: TBD
BA-MPP & BA-MSCAPPApril 15, 2024

(BA-MPP and BA-MSCAPP applications will also be accepted in Round 3 if space is available)
Mid-May 2024June 1, 2024

(Confirm Acceptance Only; there is no enrollment deposit for BA/MPP and BA-MSCAPP students)

 

The above notification dates are subject to change. We typically release both scholarship and admission decisions at the same time. Students who receive a scholarship will see a letter on their account. If you have questions or concerns or would like to discuss your scholarship please email harrisadmissions@uchicago.edu.

Note: Applications are accepted until space is no longer available. Decisions may be released periodically as space becomes available or completed documents are received. Application deadlines may be adjusted. Please visit this page for the most updated deadline and notification information.

Academic Support Programs

While no specific experience is required for our degree programs, students with a strong liberal arts background and sound quantitative and analytical skills will be best prepared to thrive at Harris Public Policy. To help incoming full-time students who need a boost in any of these areas, we offer several academic support programs, including pre-orientation programs in English (for international students) and math. For current students, additional support is available through the Policy Writing Program.

Orientation Programs

Harris hosts a series of orientation programs for entering students—some are optional and some are required. All incoming full-time students are required to attend orientation Welcome Week which takes place the week before classes begin. Nearly all entering full-time students also opt to participate in Math and Coding Camp, which begins one month before the start of classes. To learn more about our orientation programs see the info for admitted students.

Application Requirements

The following documents are required for admission to full-time master’s degree programs.

The Committee on Admission and Aid evaluates all official transcripts of academic work, personal essays, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities and community service, performance on standardized tests (for full-time degree programs), and any special factors brought to its attention. The committee considers each application on the basis of all materials submitted and does not automatically eliminate applications based on grade point averages or test scores. The application requirements are the same for all full-time master's degree programs.

Online Graduate Application

The application for 2024 degree programs at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy is now open!

Resume

Upload a current resume, reflecting your work experience, education, community service, professional honors, and any other relevant information.

Motivation Statement (Required)

Prepare a brief and well-articulated response to a prompted question regarding your motivation to pursue graduate studies in public policy (300 words).

Short Essay (Optional)

Although the Motivation Statement is required, the essay question is optional. Prospective MPP Students who would like to be considered for The Pearson Fellowship must complete the Pearson essay at the time their application is submitted. Please note, only MPP applicants may apply to The Pearson Fellowship.There is no right, or even preferred, approach to answering the essays. Each essay is an opportunity for you to showcase your writing, analytic, and critical thinking skills.

Transcripts

You may submit unofficial transcripts through the electronic application process. Official transcripts will be required upon admission only for enrolling students. Please submit transcripts for all prior academic work from any institution of higher education.

Letters of Recommendation

Recommenders should submit letters through the electronic application—hard copy letters will be accepted but are not preferred.

For students applying directly from their undergraduate program, we prefer to have at least one reference from a previous professor who can speak to your academic background and preparedness for graduate studies.

  • To submit your application, you must provide the names and contact information for three recommenders in the application portal. The application will not allow you to submit without the contact information for three designated recommenders listed in the portal. You can submit your application prior to the actual letters being received, but you must list the names and contact information for three recommenders in order to submit.
  • In order to be reviewed for admission, two of the three letters must be received within a week of the deadline.

Applicants cannot designate which letters should be included in admission review. If all three letters are received, all of them will be used in the admission review process

GRE Scores

The GRE waiver attestation is completed as part of your application for admission. Your transcript and resume documents, as well as your work experience section, education information, and additional information provided in your application are the support for your GRE waiver attestation. These elements will be used for verification during the admission review process. You do not need to send GRE waiver documentation separately from your application.

Applicants to the full-time master’s programs—Master of Public Policy (MPP), MA in Public Policy (MA), MS in Computational Analysis and Public Policy (MSCAPP), and MA in Public Policy with Certificate in Research Methods (MACRM)—must either meet one of the four waiver criteria below or submit a GRE test. Applicants will submit this information as part of their application. Students will attest to the criteria and provide supporting documentation in the application. Please note, this information should not be sent via email, and must be uploaded and submitted as part of your application in order to be considered by the admissions committee.
 

Waiver Criteria

1. Qualifying Professional Experience. At the time of application submission, applicants must indicate in their work history and on their resume that they have completed five or more years of full-time relevant professional work.  

  • Relevant may be defined as related to policy, government, business, economics, education, or social services.   
  • Applicants in other fields may attest that their work experience is relevant to public policy study.  
  • Five or more years are calculated as the time between  completion of bachelor's degree and the date of application submission.

2. Military Service - Completed five years of active duty national military service (in any country).

3. Documented coursework. Completed the equivalent of college-level, credit-bearing, Calculus I and/or beyond with a grade of B or better. Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus may satisfy this requirement if it appears on the undergraduate college transcript as college credits.

4. Qualifying Education – Applicants who are graduates of an undergraduate program at the University of Chicago. 

Approved GRE Test Substitutions  

  • Applicants to the JD/MPP may submit the LSAT  
  • Applicants to the full-time master’s programs—MPP, MA (full-time), MSCAPP, and MACRM— may submit the GMAT 
  • Applicants to the University of Chicago Medicine partner programs for physicians may submit the MCAT 

The GRE is not required for the Evening Master’s Program (EMP), the Five Year Master in Public Policy with the College (BA/MPP),and Five Year MS in Computational Analysis and Public Policy with the College (BA/MSCAPP) programs.*  

*Please note: only currently enrolled undergraduate students at the University of Chicago are eligible to apply to the BA/MPP and BA/MSCAPP programs. 

You may submit self-reported (unofficial) GRE or GMAT scores for admission review. Official scores must be provided upon accepting an offer of admission. The Harris Public Policy institution code is 1849 or 1832. Either code will be accepted. Make your reservations with ETS directly: http://www.ets.org/gre.

Hardship Requests 

Applicants for whom a recent natural disaster or other major, widespread disruption has affected their ability to complete an application may submit a Hardship Request. For more information and questions about the Hardship Request, please contact gradadmissions@uchicago.edu.   

English Language Requirement

Applicants to the Harris School of Public Policy who do not meet the English proficiency waiver criteria must submit proof of English language proficiency, in the form of either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Read about test score requirements.

Minimum Score

While we do consider TOEFL/IELTS scores below the minimum requirement, including the total and sub-scores, admitted students with below requirement scores will receive conditional admissions until they achieve the required score(s).

Exam Retake

If you choose to retake the exam to meet the minimum requirement, note that we accept the highest total score and sub-score of each valid exam. In the Test Scores section of the application include the dates of your upcoming retake exam. 

Find more information about the English language requirement.

Waiver

Harris Admissions is not authorized to waive the English language requirement and must be granted by the University of Chicago.

The Harris application system will automatically grant the waiver if you meet the University of Chicago's English language requirements.

Application Fee (Submitted with Online Application)


In order to reduce barriers for prospective students, this year we have eliminated the application fee for master's degree applicants.*

Back to top

PhD Program

Application Deadline

PhD Candidates | December 6, 2023

Application Requirements

The following documents are required for admission to the PhD program.

Online Graduate Application

The application for 2024 degree programs at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy is now open!

Resume

Upload a current resume, reflecting your work experience, education, community service, professional honors, and any other relevant information.

Research Statement

Prepare a well-articulated response to a prompted question regarding your motivation to pursue graduate studies in public policy, specifically addressing your research interests (800 words).

Writing Sample

PhD candidates will be required to submit a writing sample or single-authored research paper.

Transcripts

You may submit unofficial transcripts through the electronic application process. Official transcripts will be required upon admission only for enrolling students. Please submit transcripts for all prior academic work from any institution of higher education.

Three (3) Letters of Recommendation

We are looking letters of recommendation that speak to your professional or academic ability. Recommenders should submit letters through the electronic application.

GRE Scores

The Harris Public Policy institution code is 1849 or 1832. Either code will be accepted. Please make your reservations with ETS directly: http://www.ets.org/gre. If you choose to submit your scores, official scores are required for all applicants. Please contact the Harris Admissions Office if you have questions regarding other standardized tests. PhD applicants must submit the GRE and cannot request a waiver.

Language Requirements

While we do consider TOEFL/IELTS scores below the minimum requirement, including the total and sub-scores, admitted students with below requirement scores will receive conditional admissions until they achieve the required score(s).

Application Fee (Submitted with Online Application)

*Please note, while a $90 nonrefundable application fee is still required for PhD applicants, fee waivers are available. In order to have your application fee waived you must start an application and complete the Fee Waiver Request Form, which is linked to from your online application on the instructions page of the application. If approved, you will be notified directly.

Back to top

Evening Master’s Program (EMP)

Application Deadlines

The Evening Master's Program (EMP) launches two times throughout the year. Applications will be reviewed during application deadline periods. Applications received after the application deadline will be reviewed as space is available and may be reviewed for a future quarter. 

The application for the EMP is now open!

Fall 2024

Interim Target Application
Deadline
Notification DateDeposit Due
March 28, 2024Late April 2024June 1, 2024
Application DeadlineNotification DateDeposit Due
Priority deadline: May 15, 2024

June 30, 2024
Early July 2024Late July

Application Requirements

The following documents are required for admission to the part-time Evening Master’s Program (EMP).

Online Graduate Application

The application is currently closed. Indicate your interest in applying to programs beginning in 2024 using this form.

Resume

Upload a current resume, reflecting your work experience, education, community service, professional honors, and any other relevant information.

Motivation Statement

Prepare a brief and well-articulated response to a prompted question regarding your motivation to pursue graduate studies in public policy (300 words).

Transcripts

You may submit unofficial transcripts through the electronic application process. Official transcripts will be required upon admission only for enrolling students. Please submit transcripts for all prior academic work from any institution of higher education.

Three (3) Letters of Recommendation

Recommenders should submit letters through the electronic application—hard copy letters will be accepted but are not preferred.

For students applying directly from their undergraduate program, we prefer to have at least one reference from a previous professor who can speak to your academic background and preparedness for graduate studies.

  • To submit your application, you must provide the names and contact information for three recommenders in the application portal. The application will not allow you to submit without the contact information for three designated recommenders listed in the portal. You can submit your application prior to the actual letters being received, but you must list the names and contact information for three recommenders in order to submit.
  • In order to be reviewed for admission, two of the three letters must be received within a week of the deadline.

Applicants cannot designate which letters should be included in admission review. If all three letters are received, all of them will be used in the admission review process

English Language Requirement

Applicants to the Harris School of Public Policy who do not meet the English proficiency waiver criteria must submit proof of English language proficiency, in the form of either Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Read about required minimum scores for each test.

Short Essays (Optional)

Evening Master's Program (EMP) applicants are not required to complete the short essay. However, EMP applicants who wish to be considered for another program if not admitted to their original program choice must submit the required short essay.

Application Fee (Submitted with Online Application)

In order to reduce barriers for prospective students, this year we have eliminated the application fee for master's degree applicants.*

Back to top

Non-Degree Programs

Requirements and deadlines for non-degree programs vary by program. Find the details for each program:

Back to top

Deferred Applicants

When issuing admission decisions some students may receive a deferred acceptance. Student who receive this decision are admitted to a future year, and their admission letter will provide further information. Additionally, some students who are admitted to the current fall class may choose to defer for personal reasons. In both instances, students may be required to deposit each year in order to hold their seat in the next class. 

If you were offered admission in the previous admission cycle to a future year, or if you elected to defer your enrollment, you will receive instructions from Admissions in late January regarding your application. It is important to respond to these instructions in order to ensure we have available space for incoming students.

Please note a request for deferral is not automatically approved. Your request to defer may be denied. Students who do not respond by the deadline given by admissions may be asked to reapply rather than defer.

For more information, please refer to theHardship and Deferral Requests page or contact us.

Back to top

Oeindrila Dube

Philip K. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies

Oeindrila Dube

Oeindrila Dube is an economist and political scientist who studies conflict and crime. Her current research interests span from religious extremism in developing countries to effective policing in the United States.