Day One: 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 not only learn how to drive social change—you’ll take the wheel on day one. Day One, Harris’ new student orientation experience, reflects that philosophy.

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 and 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.

Pre-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 Camp. Acceptance into the program is based on invitation.

Math 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 math exams during Welcome Week. Students who are interested in sharpening their skills in preparation for the mandatory exam are strongly encouraged to attend Math Camp. This review course covering basic topics in algebra and calculus meets every weekday leading up to Orientation.

Mathematical Methods 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.

Welcome Week

Day One culminates with Welcome Week prior to the official start of classes. It's an opportunity to start building your network of aspiring policy leaders and also hear from prominent and influential leaders in policy.

Math Exams

All incoming Harris master's students with the exception of those in the MACRM program must sit for the mandatory math exams the first day of Welcome Week. The math exams will cover both algebra and calculus material and are a degree requirement.

Consistent with our Day One philosophy, we offer self-assessments and other resources to help you prepare for the math exam. We recommend that you take the self-assessments as soon as possible.

Programming Support

Participants in pre-orientation programs will receive six months of free access to DataCamp, an online learning platform that provides interactive instruction in data science. While most of our pre-orientation programs will not directly address programming, we hope that students will use this tool to teach themselves introductory skills in R. If admitted students would like to start their coding self-study earlier than their arrival to campus, DataCamp offers multiple membership plans. Many thanks to DataCamp for their support of Day One.