Start making a difference on day one.

At every step of the way — through Harris Student Organization, the Mentor Program, civic engagement, and within your Polis — the student experience at Harris Public Policy is designed to help you turn your passion for doing good into proven social impact.

Earning a degree at Harris isn't a transactional experience. This is a place to immerse yourself in all that Harris is, to be part of a community that will challenge you as much as it supports you, where classmates will make you laugh as hard as you will study. It is where you will build your experience as well as lifelong relationships, where you will broaden your network as well as your point of view. 

Our community is made of fearless thinkers like you — from all sectors, ideologies, and backgrounds — come to Harris Public Policy to investigate the world’s most complex challenges and determine how policy can address them.

Discover Opportunities to Engage in the Harris Community

Mentor Program

Invest in your professional and career development.  Unique among top-tier policy schools, the Harris Mentor Program  broadens students’ real-world learning experiences and professionally relevant knowledge base, and helps them build powerful professional networks.

Explore the Harris Mentor Program

Harris Student Organizations

Join a diverse community of students from around the globe who will challenge you and cheer you on.  Harris student organizations are another outlet to make connections, put policy into practice, and develop and refine your leadership, teamwork, and project management skills.

Explore Harris Student Organizations


A comprehensive approach to prepare you to drive social change.  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.

Our orientation experience will ensure you have 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.

Explore the Student Orientation Experience

Polis Program

Foster a sense of belonging within the Harris community.  Your Polis is a cohort of your peers that helps you build community and connections in smaller, more comfortable and supportive environments. The name Polis is derived from the ancient Greek concept which refers to a unique city center and body of citizens which comprised it.  Every Polis also carries the name of a Chicago neighborhood to help students gain an understanding of the city of Chicago, and it’s many neighborhoods.

Explore the Polis Program

Harris After Hours

Be part of a Harris tradition.  Harris After Hours brings together all members of our community for fellowship and fun. Held twice a quarter, as a school we engage in cultural, enlightening, and creative celebrations. The relaxed environment allows us to reconnect with colleagues and develop new connections.

Civic Engagement

Participate in volunteerism, community activism, and service learning.  Guided by the Harris School’s principle to develop policy leaders, the Civic Engagement program works to deepen students’ connections with our neighboring communities and provides quarterly opportunities to engage with non-profits and community organizations across the city and see policy in action.

Health & Wellness Programming

Be your best self. Mental health and wellness is much more than physical health, exercise, or nutrition; it is the full integration of states of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. It is integral to each Harris student’s academic and career success. We are committed to enhancing the environment and community at Harris to promote lifelong behaviors and to empower students to improve their quality of life and reach their highest potential.

Professional Development Fund

Advance your academic and professional goals. This fund offering grants up to $500 that support conference attendance in order to present research or for other professional development opportunities, such as specialized training courses.

Harris Accolades

Recognize and celebrate Harris’ diverse, committed, and engaged community. Accolades is an opportunity to amplify the efforts and accomplishments of the Harris community - particularly those advocating for others at Harris, those making an impact in the community, and those advancing social change and fighting to end racial injustice.

Grad Week

Reconnect with your graduating class.  Grad Week is a series of programs in the week leading up to graduation which will give graduating students opportunities to reconnect with one another, reflect on and celebrate their time at Harris, and look forward as a cohort to what comes next for you as policy leaders who will no doubt change the world. The highlight of Grad Week is the Last Lecture, which honors a Harris faculty member or lecturer nominated and selected by students.