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We've moved

Thanks for frequently checking back here to find updates from our Admissions Team. We're in the process of moving all of these blog posts to our new blog page, but we will discontinue posting new content on this site. Please visit our new page for new and updated blog posts.

Katherine Baicker begins tenure as Dean of Harris

Katherine Baicker begins tenure as Dean of Harris

Today we welcome Katherine Baicker as the new Dean of Harris Public Policy! Dean Baicker joins Harris from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Heath, where she was a professor of health economics. Baicker's research and expertise focuses on healthcare economics, the effectiveness of public and private health insurance, and is a leading expert in current research on the randomized expansion of Medicaid in Oregon. 

Please join the Harris community in welcoming Dean Baicker, and keep up with her introduction to Harris by following #MeetDeanBaicker on our social media channels!


A Second City Guide

A Second City Guide

Stars from the Belushi brothers to Harold Ramis to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey cut their teeth at the comedy scene in Chicago. While theaters like the Second City are world-famous, there are plenty of other venues to catch a good late-night show (usually for $10 or less!). Check out a few below! 

The iO Theater

The iO is widely hailed as Chicago's best improv companies. If you're new to the improv scene, check out "TJ & Dave" on Wednesday nights. Two improv legends from Chicago, TJ Jagodowski & Dave Pasquesi have been performing together for decades. Fans of the show "Veep" will recognize Pasquesi as Andrew, Selena Meyer's husband with a wandering eye. 

Laugh Factory

Forget the Netflix stand-up specials and stop by the Laugh Factory in Lakeview East. You can watch seasoned comedians and first-timers try out their stand-up at open mic nights. Favorite shows include "Character Assassination", a roast show for historical figures and beloved personalities (like the "Game of Thrones" cast). 

Annoyance Theatre & Bar

Annoyance Theatre will have something for all audiences - from sketch shows to improv to musicals. Sketch shows like "Everyone's a Critic" improvises random Yelp reviews and the psyche of the reviewer. 

The Second City

Of course, no tour of Chicago comedy is complete without a stop by the Second City. Tickets are pricier at this famous venue, but worth a trip for comedy junkies. Shows like "#DateMe" explore modern relationships, while "The Winner...of Our Discontent" examines the fears of America has for the future. 


Pub to Pitch

Pub to Pitch

Calling all avid soccer fans! While the Chicago Fire may not be your team of origin, be sure to check out the organization's "Pub to Pitch" program throughout the regular season. Nine neighborhoods pubs participate, so find your local soccer community and head down to a match!

How it works: 

If you don't feel like driving to the Toyota Park stadium or don't have a car, Pub to Pitch is ideal. For $15 ($10 for season ticket holders), you can reserve a spot on a bus for fellow MLS fans. Transport is provided from your local pub to the stadium and back. Tickets to individual games are also available with the purchase of a bus ticket. Find your nearest Pub to Pitch location here (Kroll's South Loop is the closest to Hyde Park). The best part: food and drinks are allowed on the bus (no bottles; cans only). 

Certificate in Health Policy and Administration - Apply Today!

Certificate in Health Policy and Administration - Apply Today!

Incoming and current Harris students will have the opportunity to participate in the Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy (GPHAP). The program is known and valued for its interdisciplinary approach to health care management and policy. Students across the graduate schools at the University of Chicago will have the opportunity to receive either a Certificate in Health Administration and Policy or a Certificate in Health Administration and Policy with a Concentration in Global Health. 

The program will provide students with a pathway to a paid summer internship, as well as the opportunity to complete research with faculty. Additionally, there are other fellowships that are available to GPAHP students. You can read a profile on recent GPHAP Harris alumna Emily Perish (MPP '16) here

The application is due by September 5th, 2017. 

Come Meet Us!

Come Meet Us!

We're hitting the road! Please join Harris Public Policy for our Idealist Grad Fair tour this fall in a city near you. Please note that we will be hosting a post-fair event in every city, so stay tuned for more information as we get closer to our fall travel schedule! Idealist Grad Fairs are free to attend, and feature hundreds of schools with public interest and public policy graduate programs.

New York City: Tuesday, September 19th from 5-8 p.m.

Boston: Monday, September 25th from 5-8 p.m.

Washington, D.C.: Monday, October 2nd from 5-8 p.m.

Chicago: Thursday, October 5th from 5-8 p.m. 

San Francisco: Wednesday, October 11th from 5-8 p.m.

Be sure to check out all of our upcoming events and see if Harris Public Policy is coming to your hometown! 


Incoming Dean Published in Medical Journal

Incoming Dean Published in Medical Journal

While we eagerly await the arrival of our new dean Katherine Baicker in a few short weeks, check out a recently published study on health care that was co-authored by Baicker and two of her colleagues in the health policy field: surgeon and Harvard Medical School professor Atul Gawande and fellow health economist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Ben Sommers. 

The experts examined the health effects of insurance coverage in America. With the current political turmoil over the Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the study was a timely examination into the benefits (so to speak) of affordable health care. From a thorough examination of previous studies and health care expansions, they came to the conclusion that the expansion of insurance coverage reduces illness and death, and generally allows people to lead healthy lives. 

The study, titled "Health Insurance Coverage and Health - What the Recent Evidence Tells Us" was published in June by The New England Journal of Medicine. You may read the study in its entirety here

Harris Internship Visits

Harris Internship Visits

During our trip to D.C. last week, the recruitment team stopped by several internship sites of current Harris students. One such visit was to the Sunlight Foundation, where Andrew Yaspan, Faraz Ahmed (both MSCAPP '18), and Saeb Ahsan (MPP '18 and Pearson Fellow) are working with the Foundation's 'What Works Cities' initiative. As fellows of the program, these Harris students are working on projects aimed at improving the open data policies of dozens of cities, and working with these municipalities on how they are sharing and disclosing information with the public. 

The Harris School and the Sunlight Foundation have enjoyed a productive collaboration for several summers. Andrew, Faraz, and Saeb were featured on Sunlight's blog, which profiled the Harris students, their projects, and how the MSCAPP program in particular helps to prepare interns for the work that the Foundation does with open data and public policy. 

If you are interested in reading more about these students' summer internships, please check out the Sunlight Foundation blog, which has featured several posts from Harris students. If you want to learn more about the opportunities for internships and funding at Harris, please click here

Pictured above, L-R: Faraz Ahmed (MSCAPP '18), Saeb Ahsan (MPP '18), and Andrew Yaspan (MSCAPP '18) at their internship with the Sunlight Foundation in Washington, D.C.  


Alumni Blog Post

Alumni Blog Post

Andrew McMahon (MPP'09) recently posted a blog on LinkedIn about the need for a digital transformation within the federal government and with civil servants. McMahon points to the need for the government to better incorporate modern technology skill sets, so as to best compete with private data enterprises. 

McMahon is currently the Director of investor relations and tech scouting for Dcode42. Read an alumni profile of McMahon on our website

Chicago Architecture 101

Chicago Architecture 101

Chicago is a city that is globally hailed as a hub of beautiful and iconic architecture. From the prairie-style homes of Frank Lloyd Wright to the Tiffany glass dome of the Chicago Cultural Center, the city is its own walking museum of culture, art, and history. 

One of the most popular tourist attractions is the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise. Here at Harris, we'll give you our own architecture guide from the comfort of your couch! Read on for a little bit of history behind Chicago's famed buildings and hidden gems. 

Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

Created from the mind of Henry Ives Cobb, who also designed much of UChicago's campus, the Chicago Athletic Association (CCA) is a landmark institution situated right on Michigan Avenue in the Loop. The CCA opened in 1893 during the World's Columbian Exposition - and its lavish Venetian Gothic style reflects the elegance of the private club setting. Restored in 2007, the CCA is now open to all as a hotel. The "game room" and Cindy's Rooftop are popular nightlife destinations for handmade cocktails and a great atmosphere. 

Chicago Water Tower

No, not the shopping mall across from the Hancock Building. The original water tower is hailed as a symbol for Chicagoans, as the myth goes that the water tower was the only building standing after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 (in reality, it was the only iconic building left standing). The water tower was created to stand as a pumping station for a fresh water supply on the Near North side. 

The Sears Tower

Now known as "The Willis Tower", our iconic skyscraper held the title of worlds' tallest building for 25 years. At 110 stories, the building is home to hundreds of companies and is a driving force of innovation, business, technology, and commerce for the city. Its roots lie with the Sears Roebuck Company, which was one of the city's largest retail employers for many years. If you are brave enough, the 103rd floor has a glass floor called "The Ledge" that has great (see-through) views of the city. Fun fact: you can see Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan from the tower! 

Jackson Park

At Harris, we are lucky to be a five minute drive from our historic neighbor, Jackson Park. It was designed in the 1860s by Frederick Law Olmsted, the genius behind Central Park.Unfortunately, the Chicago Fire halted construction, and the park was finished in 1890 before the Columbian Exposition. Olmsted revered the natural beauty of Lake Michigan, and built the park around it. Soon, Jackson Park will also be home to the Obama Presidential Center, a library dedicated to the legacy of the 44th president (and Chicagoan). 

The Winter Garden at the Harold Washington Library

This hidden gem can be found on the ninth floor of the Harold Washington Library. A huge glass atrium, it is the perfect place to study for your upcoming exams (you're here to get a degree, after all!). It's a favorite spot by locals. And the WiFi is free and strong!  

Museum Spotlight: UChicago Edition!

Museum Spotlight: UChicago Edition!

Whether you're a prospective student visiting campus, a current student living in Hyde Park over the summer, or a staff member who wants to extend their lunch break, the University of Chicago has a wonderful assortment of museums and collections for all interests. Check out a few of them today! 

The Robie House

Designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1908, this historic landmark is widely considered to be "one of the most important buildings in American architecture". It reflects Wright's famous prairie-style vision. The iconic home is located right on campus by the Booth School. Tickets available online

The Oriental Institute Museum

Simultaneously a museum and branch of research division at UChicago, the Oriental Institute devotes itself to the study of the history and culture of ancient Middle East. It is a constant hub of lectures, programs, and exhibits. Fun fact: many of the artifacts were not purchased (like most collections), but found via archaeological digs that were sponsored by the Institute itself! 

The Smart Museum of Art

This innovative museum houses an impressive and ever-changing collection, from modern pieces to ancient Chinese artworks. The best part? It's free and open to the public! Be sure to take a stroll through the sculpture garden and have a cup of coffee on the outdoor patio cafe. 

Check back on the Admissions Blog throughout the summer to see what music, art, and food festivals are happening in the city and around campus! 

Upcoming Deadline: The Harris Mentor Program

Upcoming Deadline: The Harris Mentor Program

Our Mentor Program at Harris is a longstanding cornerstone of our commitment to empowering students to be connected with experienced professionals throughout their program duration. Since 1988, the Mentor Program has paired students with dedicated industry professionals who want to support the next generation of policy leaders (that’s you!). The deadline to apply is this Saturday, July 1st. See below for more details and FAQ about the program! 

  • Year 1

In your first year, you will apply to “affinity groups”, which are based on career interest and led by mentors with experience in that career area. Programming focuses on career exploration, adjustment to graduate school, and connecting your curriculum to a professional application. Additional programming focuses on career development in the form of team building, social events, and other seminars.

  • Year 2

Your second year focuses on one-on-one mentorship between you and your mentor. Here you will begin fine-tuning your career goals. These pairings are based on location, sector, goals, and personality.

  • How many professionals are involved in the program?

There are currently 200 established policy professionals in the Mentor Program. 100 new professionals have joined the network in the last two years alone!

  • Who can apply for the program?

100% of all Harris students are eligible to participate in the program.

  • How do I apply for this program? 

You should have received an email about applying. If you have not received an email, contact dayone@uchicago.edu for another link to apply. 

  • What is the time commitment?

In the first year, affinity groups meet up to twice per quarter. Each program will have different professional development goals. They may be other events (social or networking) that students may also participate in with their mentors. In the second year, plan to meet with your mentor (via phone, email, or in-person) about once a month or based on your personal schedule with your mentor. 

  • Who are the mentors?

Mentors come from across the United States and around the globe; many are Harris alumni themselves. They are individuals with policy experience who volunteer their time to mentor Harris students as they navigate a career in a policy-related field. Mentors have included elected officials, CEOs, policy advocates, etc.

We hope that you will take advantage of this program; it is an incredibly beneficial way to strengthen your ties with your Harris peers and to create a career network tailored to your specific needs and interests. For more information, click here. If you have further questions, please reach out to Andrew Dawson at ardaws@uchicago.edu.

Information for Admitted Students

Information for Admitted Students

While we hope that our admitted students are enjoying the first official days of summer, it's time to start thinking about your arrival for the fall! Several deadlines have already passed, and more are approaching, so make sure to stay on top of your Pre-Enrollment Checklist in the months leading up to your arrival in Hyde Park! 

July 1st - Deadline to apply for the Mentor Program

  • You will receive more info via email - check out the program here

For those of you who are relocating to the city of Chicago, please check out information on living in Chicago. Here you will find information on Chicago's neighborhoods (all 77 of them!) and on living in UChicago's home location of Hyde Park. The UChicagoGRAD website also provides information on how many students live in each neighborhood. You can also see what campus resources are available to you during your transition. 

All other pre-orientation questions can be found here, or you can email dayone@uchicago.edu for more information! 

Hyde and Seek with Harris - #1

Hyde and Seek with Harris - #1

How about a series over the summer covering the different spots to study and work around campus? We are excited about this idea because it will help incoming students learn more about UChicago, imagine your life on campus, and appreciate all the community has to offer. The fact that this gets us out of the office on some of the nicest days of the year... Anyway, let's see if given a few facts you can guess where in the Hyde Park and UChicago community we are hiding today:

Saieh Hall is a great location for a caffeine boost and a head-down work or study session. The building has been quiet whenever I have stopped in, and has some impressive architecture with nice views of the campus. A great place to concentrate and work through homework, a study session, a paper, or emails.  Speaking of emails, let me take a minute to address some of the frequent questions our inbox has been receiving:

  • "When will I receive my I-20?" "Can my I-20 be rushed?" "Can I arrive in the US sooner than my program start date?" Our Office of International Affairs has put together detailed content on their website, and we recommend all students review this page.  
  • "When is the deadline for registering for math camp/completing my mentor application/requesting housing?" Important deadlines have been listed on the Next Steps page for admitted students. (If you haven't taken your Math Self-Assessment we encourage you to work on that soon as the recommended deadline was June 15th.) The Mentor application will be due July 1st, and students will receive more information via email. So make sure you are checking for emails from dayone@uchicago.edu over the summer!

Stay tuned for our next post on great locations around campus and in Hyde Park! Can't wait to see you here soon! 

Student Organization Spotlight: The Chicago Policy Review

Student Organization Spotlight: The Chicago Policy Review

For those of you looking to expand your Harris experience beyond the classroom, consider joining one of our student organizations -- with over 20 to choose from, there will be at least one group to fit your specific policy interests! 

The Chicago Policy Review (CPR) is a student-run organization that seeks to "bridge the gap between current academic research and the practical solutions policymakers need." Those at the CPR aim to make policy research in academia accessible to a broader policy audience. Research areas range from healthcare policy to urban affairs to energy and environment. For over twenty years, the organization has featured research that is tailored to a local scale ("Less Qualified and Less Diverse: Race-neutral Affirmative Action Hurts Chicago's Exam Schools") and expanded on a global level ("Culture and the Environment: How Cultural Values Influence Global Ecologic Practices"). 

Interested in reading more of their work? Check out the CPR's website here

Travel - Summer and Fall Updates

Travel - Summer and Fall Updates

We spent most of May and June (so far) in the office working on closing out a great year, but we are excited to be planning great events in summer as well as Fall. We are going to be having events with our Admitted student over the summer in the following areas, but more to come as well! 

  • DC, July 11th, 9:00am-10:30am Breakfast: The Aspen Institute: The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.
    Host:  Greg Gershuny, Managing Director & James E. Rogers Energy Fellow RSVP >

  • DC, July 18th 8:00-10:00am Breakfast Communities in Schools: By helping our most vulnerable students stay in school and succeed in life, Communities in Schools is building stronger, healthier and more economically stable communities where every person is capable of reaching his or her greatest potential. Working directly in 2,300 schools in 25 states and the District of Columbia, Communities in Schools builds relationships that empower students to stay in school and succeed in life.
    Host:  Steven McCullough (MBA – Chicago Booth), Chief Operating Officer at Communities in Schools National Office RSVP >

  • Japan, July 19th, 2017 8:00pm:  The University of Chicago and Northwestern University alumni clubs are hosting the 5th Annual Deep Dish Chicago Style Extravaganza event in Tokyo! UChicago invites all incoming students for the Fall 2017 to join for a networking opportunity. RSVP

  • Chicago, July 20th Summer Happy Hour: Alumni and admitted students in the Chicago area are invited for an opportunity to network. More details coming soon! 

  • We are also planning to host summer events for admitted students in NY, Boston, and Beijing, so stay tuned for more details.

This fall we are looking forward to recruitment events in India, China, Mexico, DC, New York, Boston, California, and many more. We will update our fall travel later this summer and look forward to seeing you! 

Taste of Randolph - This weekend!

Taste of Randolph - This weekend!

Experience one of Chicago's most iconic and beloved street festivals - the Taste of Randolph! This West Loop celebration has been a staple of the community for 21 years. With three music stages (one being a replica of Denver Red Rocks Amphitheater), and 19 restaurants, there's something for everyone this weekend. Jam out to Dawes or Moon Taxi while sampling Italian fare, Farm-to-Table burgers, or classic French cuisine (among many others!). 


Friday, June 16: 5-10 p.m.

Saturday, June 17: 12-10 p.m.

Sunday, June 18: 12-10 p.m.


Randolph @ Peoria

900 W. Randolph St.

Chicago, IL 

Check back on the Admissions Blog throughout the summer to see what music, art, and food festivals are happening in the city! 

Professor Christopher Berry featured in the Chicago Tribune

Professor Christopher Berry featured in the Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Tribune recently published an analysis of the unequal property tax system in Cook County, and enlisted the help of Christopher Berry, a professor at Harris and faculty director of the Master of Science Program in Computational Analysis and Public Policy (MSCAPP). 

The three-series report revealed that the Chicago county system gives large property tax breaks to wealthier homeowners compared with working-class property owners. This staggering inequality has resulted from a flawed system of residential assessment by the Cook County assessor's office. As the Tribune writes: "Accurately estimating a property’s market value is crucial because that is the first number that goes into calculating property taxes. If the estimate is faulty, the fairness of the entire bill is thrown into doubt." In 2009, Berry was brought in with assistance from a MacArthur grant to develop a technical model that would provide accurate home valuation. The model was completed in 2010, but the county assessor, Joseph Berrios only showed it to his staff in July of 2013 -- and then never implemented the model. Berry and his team were unaware that their model was not being used until the Tribune contacted him in the spring of 2016. Berry commented: “If they are not using our model and are continuing to use the old model, then they missed an opportunity to reduce regressivity, which would have helped people who own the lowest-priced homes in the county...That would be inexcusable." 

If you are interested in reading more about the case study and Berry's model, click here

If you are interested in finding out more about the MSCAPP program, click here

Recording - webinar for international students

Recording - webinar for international students

It's starting to feel a lot like summer around Chicago! The sun has been out, the campus is preparing for graduation, and the festivals have started around the city. While we are spending our summer at Harris reviewing survey data and feedback from our students, preparing for our incoming class, planning fall travel (already!), and finding some time to spend in the sun, we know our international students have been submitting their FRS forms, gathering their documents, and planning for their visa interview. Yesterday we conducted two webinars that went over the FRS process, and you can find the link to the recording of those webinars here: https://uchicago.webex.com/uchicago/lsr.php?RCID=a52098e1687551f90bb10f8c63a32f11

The webinars included a short presentation that we will be uploading, but the most important links we used in the presentation are below: 

•Office of International Affairs (OIA) Your BEST resource for immigration questions and details on steps to receiving your I-20 https://internationalaffairs.uchicago.edu/frs

•SEVIS transfer: https://www.ice.gov/sevis/f1-transfers

•F-1 visa: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/study-exchange/student.html

•Find a U.S. embassy or consulate: https://www.usembassy.gov

•Visa Appointment & Processing Wait Times: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/general/wait-times.html/

•Remember: You can ask around but do NOT act on unauthorized answers! The Designated School Official (DSO) is the expert! What is a DSO? https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/2014/04/students-what-is-a-dso

Please let us know if you have questions or concerns. We are looking forward to seeing you to campus this fall! 

Movies at Millennium

Movies at Millennium

Next week, Millennium Park will be kicking off its popular Tuesday night outdoor movie screenings at Pritzker Pavilion and the Great Lawn. From June 13th to September 5th, cap off your week day and stop by the Park at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday nights throughout the summer - bring a blanket and picnic dinner and enjoy classic films with a cityscape backdrop! 

The schedule for the summer will be: 

  • Tuesday, June 13, 6:30 p.m.: The Blues Brothers
  • Tuesday, June 20th, 6:30 p.m.: Caddyshack
  • Tuesday, June 27th, 6:30 p.m.: Julie and Julia
  • Tuesday, July 11th, 6:30 p.m.: El Norte
  • Tuesday, July 18th, 6:30 p.m.: La La Land
  • Tuesday, July 25th, 6:30 p.m.: Network
  • Tuesday, August 1st, 6:30 p.m.: Bend it Like Beckham
  • Tuesday, August 8th, 6:30 p.m.: Double-feature! Ghost and The Shining
  • Tuesday, August 15th, 6:30 p.m.: Hidden Figures
  • Tuesday, August 22nd, 6:30 p.m.: Five Heartbeats
  • Thursday, August 24th, 11 a.m.: Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 
  • Tuesday, August 29th, 6:30 p.m.: The Princess Bride
  • Tuesday, September 5th, 6:30 p.m.: Wayne's World