A guiding principle and our orientation experience.

From the moment you arrive at Harris, you’ll start acquiring real-world policy experience and building valuable, long-term relationships with government, nonprofit, business and civic leaders. You will take the wheel and learn how to drive social change from the moment you step foot inside the Keller Center.

A Comprehensive Approach to Prepare You to Drive Social Change

We’ll ensure a smooth transition to student life by making sure you’re familiar with all resources and policies. We also make sure you’re prepared for the curriculum, confident navigating the city of Chicago, aware of professional development opportunities, and fully integrated into a thriving community of aspiring policy leaders.

You will acquaint yourself with the campus, graduate life, and your fellow students as you prepare for the Core. You can brush up on your math and data skills as well as your English proficiency (for international students). By the time classes begin, you’ll be prepared for the Harris curriculum, be able to navigate the city of Chicago, and know how to take advantage of the resources and professional development opportunities available to you.

Orientation Programs

Academic English Pre-Matriculation Program

Some students are required to attend language and cultural instruction as part of the orientation process. These students will be contacted directly by Harris administration and automatically registered for this early August program.

The Jumpstart Program

The Jumpstart Program is a two-week customized program designed specifically for enrolling students that have a limited quantitative background prior to joining Harris. The Jumpstart Program provides a refresher on mathematical principles, including basic algebra and foundations of calculus. The program is intended to prepare students ahead of time for the larger Harris Math & Coding Camp. Acceptance into the program is based on invitation.

Math & Coding Camp

The Harris core curriculum assumes proficiency in algebra and calculus. To ensure that all students are able to benefit fully from classroom instruction, incoming master's students are required to pass a math exam during Welcome Week. Students who are interested in sharpening their skills in preparation for the mandatory exam are strongly encouraged to attend Math & Coding Camp. This review course covering the necessary quantitative skills in preparation for the statistics and microeconomics courses in the Core meets every weekday leading up to Orientation.

Mathematical Methods Program for PhD and MACRM

All incoming Harris PhD and MACRM students are required to participate in Mathematical Methods for PhD and MACRM. The goal of the program is to review and develop the majority of the mathematics that will be used during the core courses of the PhD and MACRM programs. The course will meet weekdays in early September.

Math Exam

All incoming Harris master's students with the exception of those in the MACRM program must sit for the mandatory math exam during new student orientation. The math exam will cover the necessary quantitative skills in preparation for the statistics and microeconomics courses in the Core and is a degree requirement.

Consistent with our Day One philosophy, we offer a self-assessment and other resources to help you prepare for the math exam. After you submit your deposit to Harris, you'll be able to take the self-assessment.