September 23 - 27, 2019

Welcome Week is the culminating Day One experience. The program takes place September 23 - 27, 2019 and is designed to integrate you into a thriving community of aspiring policy leaders.

The week consists of multiple programs intended to help you build community and offer professional development opportunities for incoming students. You’ll also have on boarding meetings with your academic advisor and a career coach during Welcome Week to ensure you start off on the right foot academically and in your career development.

Prepare to be Inspired

You'll have the opportunity to start building your network of aspiring policy leaders and hear from prominent and influential policy leaders.

The Day One Address will welcome you to campus and features a Harris faculty member speaking about the impact of public policy, while encouraging you to reflect on the purpose of your education. The 2019 address will be given Ryan Kellogg, Ph.D., professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and Deputy Dean for Academic Programs. Previous speakers have included honored Harris faculty members Christopher R. Berry, the William J. and Alicia Townsend Friedman Professor at Harris and author of Imperfect Union: Representation and Taxation in Multilevel Governments, William Howell, PhD., author of Relic: How Our Constitution Undermines Effective Government—and Why We Need a More Powerful Presidency, and James Robinson, PhD., author of Why Nations Fail.

The Common Read and Common Read Luncheon will inspire you to think critically about the crossroads of diversity, inclusion, and social justice. It's a shared experience that will bring you closer as community of policy leaders. The 2019 Common Read is Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. In this timely and intelligently written memoir, attorney Bryan Stevenson highlights the injustice in the criminal justice system for those individuals seen at the margins of society who are voiceless, low-income, and often people of color. 

The Day One Keynote will challenge you to contemplate your role in complex global and social issues and craft a vision for the future of policy leadership and social change. Last year's Keynote speaker was Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, born of an immigrant family and public servant for the 8th District of Illinois. Previous keynote speakers have included David Axlerod, former Chief Strategist for former President Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, and Valerie Jarrett, the longest serving senior advisor to President Barack Obama

The week concludes with the annual Academic Year Kick-off on board the Mystic Blue, where you can view the luminous Chicago skyline from Lake Michigan, get to know your peers, and let loose before the Autumn Quarter begins - be sure to bring your dancing shoes!


Welcome Week will take place September 23 – 27, 2019.

All incoming Harris master's students with the exception of those in the MACRM and MAIDP programs will take the mandatory math exams on the first day of Welcome Week.

Please note the below program(s) require you to RSVP to attend:

Graduate Student Orientation - Tuesday, Sept. 24th

Academic Year Kick-Off - Friday, Sept. 27th