Get a jump start now by creating an account with our simple online tool.
Still have questions? Check out Admissions for details on requirements, deadlines, and financial aid.
The policies on this page are specific to Harris Public Policy. All Harris students are also subject to the policies and regulations of the University, as outlined in the University of Chicago Student Manual.
For issues related to grading or the running of a course, students are encouraged to speak directly with the course instructor. We also encourage students to let their Academic Advisor know about issues they encounter so that we can assist and also so that the Dean of Students Office can be aware of issues that impact multiple students.
If a student does not feel comfortable going directly to an instructor for any reason they should bring the problem to their academic advisor or to the Dean of Students. Academic Advisors can advocate for students either directly to the instructor or to Harris faculty leadership. Final decisions about a student's grade are always at the discretion of the course instructor.
The University of Chicago and the Harris Public Policy take great pride in upholding the highest academic standards. All students are expected to abide by the following academic expectations:
Students are also subject to the University Academic Honesty Policy.
Note: This policy is meant as a guideline. Individual instructors may make modifications to this policy in the context of their own class. Please see the course syllabus for rules relating to a particular course.
If you commit plagiarism, you may receive an F and be referred to the Area Disciplinary Committee.
Every submission begins with "this submission is my work alone and complies with the 30531 integrity policy. Add your initials to indicate your agreement: **___**"
Unsure about some aspect of this policy? Please ask your instructor.
Source: This policy draws heavily on the CS 12100 academic honesty policy
If a student is accused by an instructor or teaching assistant of plagiarism, cheating, or any other form of academic dishonesty, the student will be summoned to meet with the Dean of Students and the instructor. In the meeting, the student and instructor both present information about the situation. If it is determined by the instructor and the Dean of Students that the student has, in fact, plagiarized or cheated, the following sanctions will be imposed for the first violation:
If a student who has already been found in violation academic dishonesty is again accused of academic dishonesty, the case will be sent to the Harris Area Disciplinary Committee. Details about the Area Disciplinary Committee procedures can be found in the University Student Manual. Information about the first violation, including the formal letter of finding any evidence, will be presented to the Area Disciplinary Committee, along with evidence of the current allegation. If the student is found in violation of academic honesty a second time, the Area Disciplinary Committee can assign sanctions including transcript notes, disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion from the University.
If a student has been found in violation of academic honesty and does not believe that either the finding or the sanction is fair or correct, the student has the right to appeal the finding by requesting a hearing from the Area Disciplinary Committee. Learn more about the Area Disciplinary Committee.
Harris students are expected to stay in good academic standing and to make progress toward the degree. Good academic standing is defined as a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or above and completion of at least 66 percent of the courses for which the student registered. A student who fails to meet these requirements will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation have two quarters to return to good academic standing.
Academic probation is an informal sanction without a notation on the transcript. A student on academic probation must meet with their academic advisor to create a plan to return to good academic standing.
If a student fails to return to good academic standing by the end of the two-quarter period they may be removed from the University.
Students receiving federal student loans should also be aware of the impact of their academic performance on loan eligibility. For Harris students, the loan eligibility GPA threshold is 2.7. Students should also be aware of Harris scholarship eligibility, which is noted in the terms and conditions of your scholarship award letter.
A student who has already taken course work equivalent to a required core course or who wishes to substitute another University of Chicago course for a core course, may submit a petition using the Course Waiver Petition Form. This form can also be used to submit a substitution request for a course required for a Harris certificate. All petitions will be sent to the appropriate faculty member for approval and students will receive the decision via email. Petitions will be reviewed on different timelines and the process can take up to two weeks. Additional details about waiving a course are available on the form itself.
Students in the one-year Master of Arts (MA) program are required to take any 5 of the 6 Core courses, meaning that they can opt out of any 1 Core course if they choose without having to submit a waiver request or demonstrate that they have mastered the concepts in that course through prior coursework. MA students may not use this automatic waiver to waive out of the first course in any the sequence, since the second courses in the Microeconomics, Statistics, and Analytical Politics Core sequences are strongly dependent on material covered in the first course.
MA students, like other students, can petition to waive any Core course if they have previously covered that material in other degree programs. If the first course in the sequence is granted this waiver the student can opt to either go on to take the second course in the sequence OR use their one free waiver to opt out of the second course in the sequence.
Courses dropped before the quarter’s add/drop deadline will not appear on a student's transcript and no tuition will be charged for the course. See the Harris academic calendar. for the add/drop deadline.
Occasionally, a student may need to drop a course after the add/drop deadline, either because of a health or personal emergency or because the student is struggling in the course and is unlikely to be able to pass. If you need to drop a course for any reason after the add/drop deadline, you must consult your academic advisor. The percentage of tuition you are charged for a dropped course depends upon when in the quarter the course was dropped. See the University tuition refund schedule. In the case of an illness or other serious emergency, the student's advisor can assist with backdating the drop so that the student will not be charged tuition.
In cases where a student takes more courses than are required to complete the degree, the student may wish not to count some of the extra courses toward degree requirements, either because the student may want to count the courses toward another degree program at the University of Chicago or because the student do not wish to have the grade for the course(s) count into their GPA. Harris courses, courses taken as substitutes for core courses, and any course in which a student earned an “F” must be counted toward the degree and into a student’s GPA. Requests to not count a course toward the degree should be submitted in writing to the student’s assigned academic advisor.
To take a Harris course Pass/Fail, you’ll need to submit a request online before the beginning of the 5th week of the quarter. (See the webform for current quarter time-specific deadline.) Faculty will be notified of the request and will accept or reject the request. The webform provides additional details on Pass/Fail policies and procedures.
The pass/fail option is intended to allow students to stretch themselves to take a course that they find really challenging. The pass/fail option doesn't mean that you'll need to do less work for the class, but it can relieve some of the pressure of worrying about what grade you'll get.
Each degree program has a maximum number of pass/fail options you can take each term. Please see your degree requirements. In general, the limit for most two-year programs is two pass/fail courses.
Note that other divisions have different pass/fail deadlines and procedures. If you’re taking a course outside of Harris, check in with your instructor early in the quarter. Here are a few procedures we’re aware of (but things change, so still talk to your instructor):
If you are taking a course that is offered by another college or division within UChicago but is cross-listed with Harris, you can generally use the Harris pass/fail webform. Inquire with your academic advisor if you are unsure.
Students are able to get course credit for non-traditional courses by taking a Harris Reading/Research course (PPHA 52000), an Internship course (PPHA 50000), or, less commonly, an independent study course from another division at the University of Chicago. There is a limit to how many of these non-traditional courses can be counted toward the degree. See the degree requirements for your program. Details about each appear below.
Reading/research courses allow students to pursue individual research or learn about a topic not covered by regular course work. Students interested in pursuing a reading/research course should ask a full-time Harris faculty member to be the instructor for the course. Instructors are under no obligation to accept a student’s request to take a reading/research course with them. Often instructors choose to lead a reading/research course because the topic of the student’s research aligns with their own research interests.
Requirements of the reading/research course include an initial meeting with the instructor to discuss the paper topic; regular contact with the instructor throughout the quarter; and an agreed-upon deadline for paper submission. Reading/Research courses must be taken for a grade and cannot be taken Pass/Fail.
Students interested in enrolling in a reading/research course must do the following:
Taking an internship for credit is a lot like taking a reading/research course (see above). When a student takes an internship credit, a faculty member structures the course work around the topic of the internship. The instructor for the internship course must be a full-time Harris faculty member. The student should identify a faculty member whose research interests and expertise align with the internship. Internship courses must be taken for a grade and cannot be taken Pass/Fail. To enroll in the internship course, do the following:
Students cannot count the same course multiple times toward their degree. In some cases, a student may need to retake a course in order to complete degree requirements. Students can retake non-core courses in which they earned a passing grade, but can only count the credits of one instance of the course toward degree requirements.
If a student earns below a C- in a core course, the student must retake the course. In these cases, the credits from the first attempt of the course will not count toward the total credits required for the degree. The grades from all instances of the course will count toward the student's GPA.
If a student receives an F in a non-core course, the student has the option to retake the same course. Credits in courses in which the student received an F can never be counted toward degree requirements. The grades from all instances of the course will count toward the student's GPA.
Students who have previously taken graduate courses at the University of Chicago that were not counted toward any other completed degree may request to transfer up to three courses (300 units of credit) for credit to a Harris degree program. Students must make the request to count previous course work in writing to their academic advisor. Courses taken outside of the University of Chicago cannot be used as transfer credits.
Students who have taken Harris core courses required for their degree prior to enrolling as a Harris student (for example, a student who was enrolled in a different University of Chicago degree program but then transferred to Harris) will not be required to repeat that core course but will have to replace the course with an elective in order to fulfill the minimum number of credits required for the degree. This policy also pertains to courses counted toward Harris certificates.
In general, Harris students are not allowed to count undergraduate courses (course numbers starting with 1 or 2) toward their graduate degree. There are some exceptions to this policy, including:
If a student wants to have a new undergraduate course considered for graduate credit they must get the permission of the Deputy Dean in charge of curriculum (Ryan Kellogg). The criteria for approving an undergraduate course to be counted toward the graduate degree are:
To start the approval process for an undergraduate course you should reach out to your academic advisor, who will check to see if any past student has made inquiries about the same course. If not, you or your advisor should reach out to the course instructor to request a syllabus, explain that you are attempting to get the course counted for graduate credit, and ask the course instructor whether they believe the course is rigorous enough to warrant graduate credit. You should then fill out the Request to Count an Undergraduate Course Toward the Graduate Degree form, which will be forwarded to the Deputy Dean for review.
Even if an undergraduate course is not approved for graduate credit you can still take the course, it just will not count as one of the courses toward your degree. Please note that the regular Harris tuition rates will apply whether or not the course is being counted toward the degree. You must follow the undergraduate registration procedures, which means that you’ll need to wait to register until after College bidding has resolved and you will generally also need instructor permission. You can also ask the instructor for permission to sit in on the course (informally audit), which would give you the benefit of the content of the course without being charged tuition or earning a grade.
Generally, undergraduate language classes cannot be taken toward the graduate degree. In some cases, if a language course would be directly related to the work a student plans to do post-graduation that course may be approved to be counted for credit for that individual student, but not for all Harris students. To have a language class considered to be counted toward your graduate degree, please fill out the Request to Count an Undergraduate Course Toward the Graduate Degree form and choose “undergraduate language course.” You’ll need to provide a syllabus and an explanation of how the course relates to your career plans. The request will be forwarded to the Dean of Students for review.
Some language departments on campus will allow Harris students to sit in on language classes (informally audit), which allows you to get the benefit of the content of the course without being charged tuition for the course. Below are some details about the policies of language departments that Harris students have sought out in the past:
Cumulative GPAs are not posted to students’ transcripts. Transcripts do contain a key on the back to allow for the cumulative GPA to be calculated. A student can also ask their academic advisor for the student's cumulative GPA. Information about the GPA weight for each grade can be found on the Registrar’s website. University of Chicago policy prohibits any University employee from releasing class ranking information.
Students must make arrangements with their instructors if they cannot complete their course work within the deadlines for the quarter. Instructors are allowed to deny a student’s request to take an incomplete. Generally, instructors will accept requests to take an incomplete only in cases where a student is seriously ill or has a family emergency. We strongly recommend that students and instructor agree upon the deadline for the student to complete the course work when the request for the incomplete is made. Generally, resolving the incomplete before the beginning of the next academic term is advisable.
Once the student turns in all necessary work and the instructor enters a final grade, the letter “I” will continue to appear beside the final grade on the student's transcript permanently. So, for example, if a student requests an incomplete and later receives a grade of “B,” the student’s transcript will show the grade as “IB.”
Any master's student who has a 3.75 or better final cumulative GPA will earn honors.
Harris students are expected to be continuously enrolled from the time they begin taking courses at Harris until they graduate. However, it is sometimes necessary for a student to disrupt enrollment because of a health, family, or other issue. A leave of absence preserves the student’s status and the student's access to Harris and University financial aid. Leaves of absence cannot exceed one academic year. If a student fails to enroll in a quarter and has not been granted a leave of absence, the student's status may be terminated and the student will need to re-apply for admission to resume studies at Harris.
Students must contact their academic advisor to request a leave of absence. The student must submit the following information in writing to the advisor when requesting the leave:
The student’s advisor will submit the formal leave of absence request to the University. If the student is taking a medical leave of absence, the student needs to complete the Medical Leave of Absence form. The leave also serves as a safeguard to ensure that the student’s enrollment status remains active during the leave period.
International students need to be enrolled full time in every quarter in order to maintain the student's visa. If an international student needs to take a leave of absence, the student must follow both the process to request the leave from Harris (outlined above) and the process to request the leave from the Office of International Affairs. (OIA).
Please review the information on this site carefully while considering whether you want to try to take a leave of absence. Depending on the length of your leave, you may have to pay the $200 SEVIS fee again, you may lose eligibility for CPT/OPT, and you may need to submit a new financial review form.
Please also note that if your leave of absence is approved you will need to contact OIA at least one month before you return (three months before if your leave was five months or more). Harris will not remind you of this deadline, and we have had students miss the deadline and be unable to return to the United States to resume courses in that quarter, which delayed their graduation date.
When a student is ready to return to studies, that student must contact their advisor to declare the intention to return. Depending on the reason for the leave, the advisor and/or the Dean of Students may request additional documentation to help assess whether the student is ready to resume their studies and successfully continue in the student's degree program. Requests to return from a leave of absence should be made at least 30 days before the beginning of the quarter in which the student wishes to resume studies. Please also see the University policy on returning from a leave of absence.
All Harris master’s students must pass a math exam in order to fulfill the mathematics requirements for the degree. All entering students take the exam at the beginning of new student orientation.
If a student does not pass the exam, the student is required to enroll in the non-credit course PPHA 30101 Math Methods for Public Policy during their first Autumn Quarter. At the conclusion of PPHA 30101, students will again take the math exam.
If the student still has not passed the exam at the conclusion of the Math Methods course, the student must take the exam again when they are administered during new student orientation the next year. The student has the option to repeat Math Camp if desired. If the student still does not pass the exam, the student must repeat the Math Methods course and re-take the exam in the Autumn Quarter of their second year. Students cannot graduate with a Harris degree without having passed the exam.
*Students who entered in Autumn 2019 have satisfied their degree requirement and do not have to sit for the new math exam
If you need to miss an exam due to an illness or other reason you need to get permission from the Dean of Students, Kate Shannon Biddle (email@example.com). To ensure fairness and consistency, there is a list of reason that are/are not acceptable reasons for an exam to be rescheduled or otherwise missed.
If the reason you cannot take the exam during the regularly scheduled day/time falls within the allowable reasons for this accommodation the Dean of Students will inform the course instructor and the Student Affairs team will work with the student and the instructor to find another day/time/method for the student to take the exam.
Please note that these accommodations are only for emergency or unavoidable circumstances. Requests to reschedule exams because of travel plans or interviews will not be approved. If you contact the instructor directly for approval they will direct you to the Dean of Students.
A student who does not file a leave of absence (as described above) may be withdrawn from their academic program on a voluntary or involuntary basis.
Once a student is withdrawn from the University, they are no longer considered an active student. Access to all University systems and facilities, including University email accounts, will be revoked. If the student wishes to resume studies at any point in the future, the student must re-apply for admission to Harris. If admitted, the student is subject to the degree requirements as they stand at the time of their re-entry, not the degree requirements that were in place when the student originally began their studies. Courses taken before withdrawing can be counted toward the degree so long as they are in line with the current degree requirements.
The Harris Dean of Students can administratively withdraw students for a number of reasons. The most common appear below. Students who are administratively withdrawn from Harris may be required to apply for readmission.
If an administratively withdrawn student does re-enter they will be subject to the degree requirements in place at the point of re-entry, not those in place when they originally enrolled. Courses taken prior to administrative withdrawal will count toward the degree. Harris is not required to honor a student’s initial scholarship award if they withdraw from the University and later re-enter.
Students who are not registered for courses by 5:00 p.m. on Friday of the 2nd week of the quarter and who have not applied for a leave of absence may be subject to administrative withdrawal and should immediately consult with the Dean of Students office.
Students who are on a leave of absence or otherwise not enrolled for 4 consecutive quarters will be subject to administrative withdrawal. There are cases in which a leave of absence of longer than one year may be permitted, including medical leaves of absence.
Occasionally, a student’s academic interests may change during the time that they are at Harris. In these cases, students can request to transfer to a degree program, but the policies and procedures differ depending on which degree programs the student is transferring to (information below.) Regardless of which degree program students wish to transfer from or to, they should fill out this Degree Transfer Request Form.
Back to top
Student use of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy name, logo, or other graphic elements (including colors and fonts) must be in accordance with Harris Public Policy’s brand identity as prescribed in the Harris graphic identity guidelines manual. This document is available for consultation and reference through the Marketing office.
These guidelines apply to all materials, whether print (including but not limited to letterhead, stationery, invitations, and brochures), electronic (websites and email), or three-dimensional/promotional (such as t-shirts, pens, etc.).
Harris Grievance Procedures
Harris seeks to provide each student with an experience that is supportive and fair as well as academically challenging and personally enriching. If you have a problem or concern, there are a number of resources available to help you address a multitude of problems.
If students have complaints or concerns about something not related to a particular class, including issues with Harris or University policy, conflicts with another student, personal problems, or any other issue related to their life at the University, they should bring those issues to their Academic Advisor. Academic Advisors serve as supports and advocates for students and can help resolve issues or advocate to appropriate offices or people to get issues resolved. In many cases Academic Advisors will elevate concerns to the Harris Dean of Students.
Students can also bring concerns directly to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students maintains regular drop-in hours and students can also contact her directly to set up a time for a meeting. Students can also drop by the Dean of Students’ Office in urgent situations and the Dean of Students will endeavor to speak with the student right away if possible.
Students can also contact the Harris Student Government (HSG) Student Body Liaison. The HSG Student Body Liaison is an elected position within Harris Student Government who serves as a neutral third party to address student concerns. The Student Body Liaison holds regular drop-in hours for students and also monitors a form that students can use to submit concerns or complaints anonymously. The Student Body Liaison often forwards complaints to the Harris Dean of Students but can also elevate complains to other entities including the Dean, The Harris Student Government President and/or Academic Committee, and other Harris or University Leadership.
Lastly, if a student has not been able to resolve their issue with any of the Harris resources listed above they can reach out to the central University Student Ombudsperson.
Harris Public Policy has a new home in the Keller Center. This Welcome Guide provides a breadth of information including available amenities, detailed maps, and tips for working in an open building environment.
Fliers are only allowed on the designated bulletin boards above the student mail folders in the Keller Center.
First priority for all Harris classrooms and meeting spaces is given to academic courses and administration sponsored programs and events. Individual students are not allowed to reserve classrooms and meeting spaces unless approved in advance by Student Affairs. Harris student organizations (HSOs) have the ability to request classroom and meeting spaces and must follow the guidelines outlined in the Harris Student Organization Room Reservation Policy.
As a professional student who is part of the Harris community, every student must meet the following expectations, established by Harris’s faculty and staff:
All Harris students should be aware of and abide by the University of Chicago Alcohol Policy outlined in the Student Manual of University Policies and Regulations. All members of the Harris community are responsible for full awareness of federal, state, and city laws and policies and requirements concerning the consumption, possession, and sale of alcohol. Harris expects each member of the community to be responsible for their own conduct and the consequences of that conduct. Illinois law prohibits the consumption or possession of alcohol by persons under the age of 21 and the supplying of alcohol to any person under the age of 21.
Alcoholic beverages may only be served at events that are sponsored by a Harris student organization (HSO), Harris staff, or faculty. Harris student organizations (HSOs) must follow the guidelines outlined in the Harris Student Organization Alcohol Policy. Harris staff and faculty, and University officials or agents of the University have the authority to prohibit individuals from bringing alcoholic beverages to a function or into a building, including events held in outdoor areas such as the courtyard or backyard. Any outside alcoholic beverages may be confiscated by Harris staff or faculty.
Harris is strongly committed to supporting pregnant students and students who become parents or add to their families while they are students. The University of Chicago Graduate Student Parent Policy outlines the rights guaranteed to students who are parents. This policy represents the minimum rights and protections afforded to students. Depending on a student's individual needs and situation the Harris Student Affairs team can also offer other supports. We encourage students to contact their academic advisor for assistance and support. See the University of Chicago Graduate Student Parent Policy.
The University, including the Harris School, send all official communications to students' UChicago email addresses. You are expected to check your UChicago email account daily and are responsible for information sent to that account. Students can choose whether their UChicago email runs through Gmail or Microsoft Exchange.
Students should familiarize themselves with the Student Manual. Policies of particular importance include: