Join the next generation of promising international leaders.

Tailored to support the goals of promising international leaders, the Master of Arts degree in International Development and Policy (MAIDP) is designed to accelerate your global impact.

“We are thrilled to be able to welcome a new cohort of rising international leaders to our growing Harris community. What unites our faculty, students, and alumni is a desire to effect change on a global scale using today’s best science to improve policy and improve lives."

- Katherine Baicker, Dean and Emmett Dedmon Professor, Harris Public Policy

Structure and Approach

Harris Public Policy applies evidence-based analytical approaches to the world’s most pressing problems, combining cutting-edge tools with on-the-ground practical policy innovation. Drawing on the core strengths of a Harris education, the MAIDP is a one-year degree program that provides a solid foundation in policy design and analysis, with particular emphasis on international development and policy.

As an MAIDP student, you will have demonstrated a commitment to making a difference in your community and now want to accelerate your impact in the world. The Harris MAIDP curriculum has been tailored with your experiences and goals in mind as rising international leaders. You’ll have the opportunity to study topics based on your background and interests, including international development, global conflict studies and resolution, energy and the environment, health, human rights, and more—all from Harris’ and UChicago’s leading faculty.

All applicants to the MAIDP are eligible for merit-based financial aid, and will be considered for a scholarship offered through the Obama Foundation. If selected to be an Obama Foundation Scholar, your coursework will be supplemented by programming and activities offered through the Obama Foundation. 

As a student in the MAIDP program, you have access to exclusive out-of-classroom experiences, including specialized seminars and workshops, mentorship, professional development, opportunities to attend exclusive conferences, access to experts, and opportunities to scale your development initiatives. Harris also offers additional resources for career development and partners with student organizations to augment access and development of your individual areas of concentration and community service.

A Multi-Faceted Curriculum

The nine courses in the Harris MAIDP curriculum can be completed in one academic year and cover three categories: foundational skills for policy analysis, international development and policy, and electives.

Foundational Skills

Modeled after our core curriculum, a hallmark of the Harris education, the Harris MAIDP program includes three foundational courses in data analytics, analytical politics, and economics tailored specifically for promising international leaders like you. While the powerful toolkit imparted by these foundational classes is flexible enough to apply to a wide range of policy problems, these courses will emphasize applications in international contexts.

  • Microeconomics

  • Analytical Politics

  • Data Analytics

International Development and Policy

You will take a two-course sequence focusing on governmental policies and their impact on economic development and improving population outcomes. The first course addresses economic issues, and the second focuses on political questions. You'll learn how a country's economy, distribution of resources, and population are affected by government structures, policies, labor markets, conflicts, trade agreements, infrastructure, and other policy levers – and how to use those levers most effectively.

  • Economic Development & Policy

  • Political Development & Policy

Electives

The curriculum allows you to choose four electives at Harris or from across the University of Chicago.

Participate in Policy Labs with real-world clients or choose from among a wide range of elective courses while engaging with the broader student community at Harris and UChicago. Explore courses in international development, governance, leadership, energy and the environment, education, health, conflict resolution, regional studies, law, or human rights – or pursue other topics in international policy.

In doing so, you'll gain additional expertise on topics related to your interests and understand their connection to policy issues.

Opportunities

The incubator of rising international leaders from all over the globe within the MAIDP program is a unique and exceptional cohort of students who receive a tailored curriculum, exclusive out of the classroom experiences, specialized seminars and workshops, mentorship, and an opportunity to scale their development initiatives.

- Jamia Jowers, Director, Obama Foundation Scholars Program & Master of Arts in International Development and Policy (MAIDP)

Jamia Jowers
Jamia Jowers, Director, Obama Foundation Scholars Program & Master of Arts in International Development and Policy (MAIDP)

All MAIDP students are members of the broader Harris and UChicago community, and will have access to the breadth of resources offered at Harris and across campus. You'll have countless opportunities to build your skillset, expand your network, and deepen your impact through activities and programming offered through the Leadership Development Program and Student Life initiatives, as well as by engaging with impactful Harris and campus organizations like the Institute of Politics, The Pearson Institute, UChicago Urban Labs, and more.

If you are accepted into the Harris MAIDP program as an Obama Foundation Scholar, you will receive a full scholarship and have opportunities to participate in additional programming offered in partnership with the Obama Foundation.

Through your supplemental work with the Obama Foundation, you’ll be connected to their broader network; actively engaged in the community; and gain additional skills, training, and inspiration that will help you reach your goals.

Chris Blattman

Ramalee E. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies

Christopher Blattman

As a faculty member in The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts, Christopher Blattman is helping the Institute pursue its global mission by focusing on some of the biggest social challenges in Africa and Latin America: conflict, crime, and state building.