Harris Public Policy seeks candidates with the academic preparation, intellectual ability, experience, and motivation to undertake a rigorous program in public policy.

Requirements & deadlines on this page:

Full-time Master's Programs

Application Deadlines

  Deadline Notification Deposit Due/Confirm Acceptance
Early Action October 1, 2019 Mid-November 2019 April 15, 2020
Round One December 3, 2019 Mid-February 2020 April 15, 2020
Round Two January 21, 2020 Mid-March 2020 April 15, 2020
Round Three March 31, 2020 Early May 2020 Late May 2020

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.

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 and admissions process are the same for all full-time master's degree programs.

Application Requirements

The following documents are required for admission to full-time Master’s degree programs for Fall 2020.

Online Graduate Application

Fill out the University of Chicago graduate application.

Resume

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

<43>Short Essays

You will be required to answer one brief essay question of your choice (300 words maximum). We encourage applicants to also submit the optional second essay. 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.

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

We prefer to have at least one reference from a previous professor who can speak to your academic background and preparedness for graduate studies. Recommenders should submit letters through the electronic application—hard copy letters will be accepted but are not preferred.

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. Official scores are required for all applicants, with the exception of applicants to the Master of Arts in International Development and Policy program. Please contact the Harris Admissions Office if you have questions regarding other standardized tests.

TOEFL Scores (International Applicants Only)

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/toefl.Please view the University's English Language Requirements. We encourage all international applicants to submit their scores for consideration.

Application Fee (Submitted with Online Application)

A $50 nonrefundable application fee is required when you apply for a Master's degree (with the exception of the Master of Arts in International Development and Policy program, for which there is no application fee).

Application fee waivers are available upon request. A fee waiver is not required for the Master of Arts in International Development and Policy program. If you have an application fee waiver code, follow the "Fee Waiver Request Form" instructions provided in the online application.

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PhD Program

Application Deadline

PhD Candidates | January 6, 2020

For Fall 2020, all application materials for admission must be submitted by January 6, 2020. Admissions decisions will be released in late February. Admitted PhD students will be invited to an Admitted Student Day in early March.

Committee on Education Fellowship | January 7, 2019

The University of Chicago offers a unique fellowship opportunity to PhD students whose research interests lie in the education sciences. Learn more about the Committee on Education Fellowship and the application process.

Application Requirements

The following documents are required for admission to the PhD program for Fall 2020.

Online Graduate Application

Fill out the University of Chicago graduate application.

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.

Short Essays (Optional)

PhD applicants are not required to submit the short essays. However, PhD applicants that wish to be considered for a Master's degree if not admitted to the PhD program must complete the essay and motivation statement portions.

Answer one brief essay question of your choice (300 words maximum). We encourage applicants to also submit the optional second essay.

Motivation Statement (Optional)

PhD applicants are not required to complete the motivation statement. However, PhD applicants who wish to be considered for a Master's degree if not admitted to the PhD program must submit the essay and motivation statement portions.

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

We prefer to have at least one reference from a previous professor who can speak to your academic background and preparedness for graduate studies. Recommenders should submit letters through the electronic application—hard copy letters will be accepted but are not preferred.

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. Official scores are required for all applicants, with the exception of applicants to the Master of Arts in International Development and Policy program. Please contact the Harris Admissions Office if you have questions regarding other standardized tests.

TOEFL Scores (International Applicants Only)

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/toefl.Please view the University's English Language Requirements. We encourage all international applicants to submit their scores for consideration.

Application Fee (Submitted with Online Application)

A $125 nonrefundable application fee is required when you apply for a PhD.

Application fee waivers are available upon request. A fee waiver is not required for the Master of Arts in International Development and Policy program. If you have an application fee waiver code, follow the "Fee Waiver Request Form" instructions provided in the online application.

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Evening Master’s Program (EMP)

Application Deadlines

Applications are currently being accepted for the next two cohorts of the Evening Master's Program, which will begin in Spring 2020 and Fall 2020. Our Spring Quarter begins in early March and our Fall Quarter typically begins in early October. Applications will be reviewed during targeted application deadlines:

Spring 2020

Targeted Application Deadline Notification Date Deposit Due
September 15, 2019 Mid October November 15, 2019
December 20, 2019 Mid January February 15, 2019

Fall 2020

Targeted Application Deadline Notification Date Deposit Due
March 12, 2020 Late April/Early May May 15, 2020
May 28, 2020 Early July July 27, 2020

Application Requirements

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

Online Graduate Application

Fill out the University of Chicago graduate application.

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

We prefer to have at least one reference from a previous professor who can speak to your academic background and preparedness for graduate studies. Recommenders should submit letters through the electronic application—hard copy letters will be accepted but are not preferred.

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.

Answer one brief essay question of your choice (300 words maximum). We encourage applicants to also submit the optional second essay.

Application Fee (Submitted with Online Application)

A $50 nonrefundable application fee is required when you apply for a Master's degree.

Application fee waivers are available upon request. A fee waiver is not required for the Master of Arts in International Development and Policy program. If you have an application fee waiver code, follow the "Fee Waiver Request Form" instructions provided in the online application.

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Deferred Applicants

If you were offered admission in the previous admission cycle and elected to defer your enrollment, you will receive instructions, including details on timing, from Admissions in late January regarding your application. You are encouraged to submit any updated materials in support of your application for scholarship consideration. These may include new GRE scores, updated resume, and any other relevant information.

For more information, please refer to the Deferment Requests page or contact us.

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