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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


Museum Spotlight: Adler Plantarium

Museum Spotlight: Adler Plantarium

Adler Planetarium will be offering free admission to Illinois residents this week (June 5th-9th), which makes it the perfect museum to highlight this week. Adler is no stranger to visitors - during the "Century of Progress" World's Fair in 1933, the planetarium had 1.2 million people in attendance. Situated on "museum campus", the planetarium boasts neighbors The Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium, should you tire of stargazing. 

Current exhibitions include: "Chasing Eclipses", for those wondering what it feels like to be immersed in a solar eclipse; "The Universe: A Walk Through Space and Time", which takes the viewer back in time over 13.17 billion years of universal evolution; and "Deeper Exploration: Our Solar System", which allows you to touch a crater or piece of Moon rock. And in special viewings of "Skywatch Live", the city lights of Chicago will be turned down, and a presenter will highlight the view of the sky and stars from that day. After that, be sure to step outside and take in the breathtaking cityscape from this south shore landmark. 

2016 Career Outcomes Report Released

The Career Development Office at Harris Public Policy has released its annual Career Outcomes Report for the Class of 2016. Each year, the office distributes an exit survey to graduates on their post-graduate employment plans, with a follow-up survey in six months.

This year, Harris has released its most comprehensive report to date on career outcomes of recent graduates. The all-encompassing survey breakdown represents the commitment of Harris Public Policy to “transparently report the immediate impact Harris Alumni have in the world.” For instance, while the survey highlights typical area breakdowns like salary ranges and sectors of employment, it also asks Harris alumni about their job satisfaction. With 92% of Harris graduates reporting that they are very satisfied or satisfied with their jobs, Harris Public Policy is the first policy school to report on post-graduate job satisfaction. Additionally, the report compares the sector breakdown (private, nonprofit/NGO/IGO, and public/government agency) of graduates who are U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens, providing an even more holistic and complete capture of the Harris impact for all graduates.

Of the 92% of reporting 2016 graduates, 97% had secured employment. As Interim Dean Kerwin Charles commented, “The Harris toolkit and perspective prepare our graduates to create positive social impact in whatever career they choose to pursue.” The progressive survey model indicates that a Harris degree engages graduates in a career that is both meaningful and fulfilling — and often with an immediate impact. Read the entire report here.

Summer of Social Impact Kick-Off!

Please join us this Monday to kick-off the Summer of Social Impact program at 1871! 

Our first event in this series is "A Conversation on Criminal Justice Reform", hosted by the Harris School. Featured speakers include Dan Black, Deputy Dean and Professor; Brett Goldstein, Senior Fellow in Urban Science; and Paula Wolff, Director of the Illinois Justice Project. The Summer of Social Impact series will host conversations throughout the summer on the vital role of data and analytics in making a social impact on the issues facing Chicago. 

This event will be held on Monday, June 5th, from 6-8 p.m. A complimentary shuttle from the Harris School will be provided. 

Please RSVP for the event here

Taste Of...

Taste Of...

Summer in Chicago is a season of festivals, as Chicagoans take advantage of the beautiful weather after a long winter. This weekend marks the beginning of the summer, and with it, a host of delicious street fests! The Taste of Chicago ("Taste") is the city's premier food festival, but many neighborhoods and cultures will gather this summer to host their own "Taste Of..."! Here are some of this weekend's highlights: 

  • June 2-4: Lincon Park Greek Fest

Located on the 2700th block of Sheffield, this popular festival boasts all your favorite traditional Greek plates, from gyros to baklava. The festival also has Greek dance performances and music. The Greek word "kefi" describes a fun and lively atmosphere, which you will certainly find this weekend!

  • June 2-4: Tase of Little Village: Flavors of Mexico

Located at 26th & California, this popular street festival hosts almost a dozen highly-rated and popular Chicago restuarants serving authentic Mexican cuisine. Carnival rides, arts/crafts, and lively music are a perfect backdrop to this annual event. 

  • June 3-4: Wingout Chicago

If you're a fan of chicken wings and block parties, stop by the Old Town wing fest this weekend! Tickets for Saturday are sold out, but spend your Sunday tasting wings, sampling beers, and listening to live reggae bands. Purchase tickets here

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

Museum Spotlight: The Art Institute of Chicago

Museum Spotlight: The Art Institute of Chicago

Perhaps you know it from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Our museum spotlight this week rests on one of the country’s most historic and prolific art collections: The Art Institute of Chicago. Flanked by famous bronze lions on Michigan Avenue, the Art Institute is home to over 300,000 pieces from across the globe. Popular exhibits include the Thorne Miniature Rooms, the tradition-based arts of West and Central Africa, and the Impressionists wing. Whatever your interest or area of expertise, from religious Medieval Art to the iconic Contemporary work of Andy Warhol, the museum has a collection that caters to all visitors. The newly-renovated Modern Wing boasts panoramic views of Millennium Park, as well as a pedestrian bridge to the Park. The museum was founded in partnership with the World's Columbian Exhibition in 1893, solidifying its place in history and Chicago tradition. For those just visiting the city, it's a must-stop experience. For Illinois residents, stop by on Thursday nights from 5-8 p.m., when admission is free with proof of residence. Plan your visit today

Admits: Claim your CNET ID by June 1st!

Admits: Claim your CNET ID by June 1st!

Just a reminder to all our students joining us this fall, your next important deadline is to claim your CNET ID by JUN 1, 2017. 

After this date we will begin sending emails to your CNET ID, so it's essential to make sure you have claim your UChicago email and network ID as soon as possible. You will need it to access many of the UChicago systems on this checklist. To claim your UChicago email and network ID, you will need your UChicago ID number, which is an 8 digit number starting with "12." You should have received an email after you paid your deposit providing you with your UCID number. If you do not know your UCID number, please email Admissions, and they will look it up for you.

We are also excited to announce we will be having events around the globe this summer. We will be sending out schedules for Beijing, Boston, D.C., New York, and more very soon! Can't wait to see you! 

Summer Internships

Summer Internships

I recently had a great opportunity to work with our colleagues in the Career Development Office at Harris to review applications for students applying for a stipend to complete a summer internship. Here at Harris, we are able to provide a limited number of $3,000.00 stipends to students who have taken on unpaid summer internships in the public and nonprofit sector. The Harris Midway Fund provides the financial support students need to pursue some unique and valuable internships around the globe. Some of the internships students are pursuing include opportunities with the:

I very much enjoyed reviewing the applications for the Midway fund and learning more about the different internships our current students are pursuing. Some students were using the summer internship as an opportunity to gain experience in a new area to prepare them to change careers after graduation, while other students had planned for an extended time to pursue a particular area of interest.  Regardless of your specific career goals after graduation, pursuing a summer internship that is both challenging and rewarding allows students to gain valuable experience. For more information on the Midway Fund, please visit this page

Staff introduction - Yubing Xia

Staff introduction - Yubing Xia

My serendipity with Chicago started in June 2014 when a friend of mine (Harris MPP’14) invited me to his Convocation. To be honest, I had some hesitations, but it’s hard to say "no" to a convocation invitation, so I had to go. And that was when the unexpected happened: my mind was blown away, but not by the wind...

The University of Chicago and the Harris School welcomed me with a super friendly dynamic, and I fell in love with the city of Chicago in a heartbeat. The rectangular matrix city planning reminded me of my hometown Beijing, the skyscrapers and the Magnificent Mile reminded me of Shanghai, Tokyo, and New York, the Chicago river and Michigan Lake reminded me of Hangzhou, London, Paris, Barcelona, fjord in Norway, well, all places around the world that have beautiful waterside. I was deeply touched by how the fearless Americans made Chicago great again right after the catastrophic fire in 1871 - phoenix rising from the ashes, true story. The yin and yang of Chicago looked just perfect to me. It is the typical American city I’ve dreamed of: grand, strong, romantic, and extremely beautiful. I couldn’t help but wonder: Who else doesn’t know what I didn’t know before visiting Chicago? And how many of them ended up never finding out what they’ve missed out?

Since then, I’ve been passionately advertising Chicago to everyone I met, telling them it is the most underrated city I’ve known. The skyline, the lake view, the architecture, the art from street to museum galleries, and the mid-west style of warmth, all lined up, showing off Chicago’s charm. Every time I walked in downtown Chicago, the old love song from Savage Garden, I Knew I Loved You, was always playing in my head, on repeat. I knew it is destiny when I found this job at the Harris School, the exact place where the magic started.

Before I started working for Harris, I had to go back home to apply for the visa. To my surprise, my two months away from Chicago turned out to be more profound lessons on the University of Chicago, especially the Harris School. My first visit to the University of Chicago Center in Beijing was a series of wows. It was an entire floor in a high-rise building, Culture Plaza next to Renmin University, and the interior décor is 5-star hotel standard. The choice of location couldn’t be more convenient in the university district, and it shows the University of Chicago’s priorities – students are the most precious, and thus must be offered the best quality of service. And then I met the Deputy Director of Beijing Center, Ji Yuan, a true teacher for younger generations. As a University of Chicago dad, Yuan couldn’t be more proud, and he has every reason to be. Every time he started talking, you can see the love for his daughter (BA’13), the love for the city, and the love for the University glow on his face. He told me that the University of Chicago has always been humble and low-profile since the day it was founded; bragging and name dropping were never shortlisted in the University’s campaign strategy. He told me there was no doubt, no stain, and no bubble in the University of Chicago’s reputation. What made me the most excited was that, young though the Harris School is, it is a rising star, with new rock star faculty such as James Robinson, new Pearson Institute, new Dean from the White House, and new building ready in 2018. Harris alums Bolong Song (MPP’15) and Yaxi Deng (MPP’14) shared their experience with me in great details, I couldn’t believe I didn’t have the luck to have met such wonderful people years ago, and I cannot wait to meet new admits from the very beginning of their paths to Harris.

So here I am, the Student Recruitment Specialist fresh off the boat. Having been on the same boat with other international students, having been on the same boat with other MPPs, having been on the same boat with other job-seekers and young professionals, even though I am the new one to our admission team, I believe my experience and perspective will be helpful for Harris students and alumni in so many ways. And I can’t wait to make myself useful for the Harris community.


Professor Chris Blattman Featured in Times Op-Ed

Professor Chris Blattman Featured in Times Op-Ed

Harris Public Policy Professor Chris Blattman and University of Oxford Professor of Economic Policy Stefan Dercon penned a recent op-ed in The New York Times on the economics of sweatshop workers. 

Blattman and Dercon went to Ethiopia to test the claim that sweatshops are “escalators out of poverty”. Working with the nonprofit Innovations for Poverty Action and the thinktank Ethiopian Development Research Institute, they conducted the first randomized trial of industrialized employment on workers. Ethiopia ended up surprising the experts: "Contrary to the expert predictions (and ours), quitting was a wise decision for most. The alternatives were not so bad after all: People who worked in agriculture or market selling earned about as much money as they could have at the factory, often with fewer hours and better conditions. We were amazed: By the end of a year only a third of the people who had landed an industrial job were still employed in the industrial sector at all."

Click here to read more about their research, and why they were proven wrong! 

Spring Break Post #3 Israel-Palestine

Spring Break Post #3 Israel-Palestine

Today I wanted to focus on a trip that I was incredibly grateful to join. A few of my close friends planned a trip to Israel and the West Bank with the assistance of Israel & Co. and Routes Travel Company. Harris Public Policy has been doing this for a few years now. The trip brought about 50 students from Chicago to the Middle East. It was an incredible experience that really helped me reform my views of the region and public policy.

Being an American, it often appears that there are only two sides to the question. There is one-state or two-state and there are certain monolithic images of what a supporter of each looks like. There is pro-Israel and anti-Israel, pro-Jewish or anti-Semitic, BDS or anti-BDS. These were the realities in my head when I entered Israel and I was exposed to a brand new cast of characters.

The Israel trip introduced me to entire spectrums of political views and Israeli citizens that broke each aspect of these fictitious dichotomies. The question never begets a black or white irreconcilable difference—rather it is the American perspective which demands you belonging firmly in one camp or the other. (It is particularly intriguing to apply this to American politics more generally).  

From learning about the vast and thought-provoking history of the Levant in the old city of Jaffa, to riding ATVs within a kilometer of the Syrian border and discussing modern conflicts, to meeting with several Knesset members the day after visiting the Old City of Jerusalem, each step of the trip was thought-provoking and caused me to reconsider my preconceived notions about Israel and the West Bank.

Former Governor Jennifer Granholm Speaks at Harris


In April, Women in Public Policy (WiPP) and the Project on Political Reform co-hosted a lunch and conversation at the Harris School of Public Policy with former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm. Before serving two terms as governor, Granholm was the attorney general of Michigan from 1998-2002. She now teaches law and public policy at UC Berkeley, where she chairs the American Jobs Project as a senior research fellow at the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute. 

The event was an informal Q&A with Harris faculty and students. Granholm addressed several key initiatives and challenges she faced in public office — specifically the loss of manufacturing jobs in Michigan during her first term as governor and maneuvering negotiations as a Democratic governor with a Republican state legislature. She encouraged policy students to find and focus on “the thing that keeps you up at night”, and to find ways to translate data-driven analytics into a story for real people. 

WiPP is a student-run organization that seeks to engage the advancement of women through the context of public policy. They host events, provide opportunities for networking and academic development, and encourage civic engagement and policy advocacy. Their events are open to all students.

The Project on Political Reform is helmed by Professor William Howell and former Harris COO Marc Farinella. The Project on Political Reform identifies solutions to government dysfunctions at the local, state and federal level within the United States. They are a nonpartisan center that is committed to resolving policy issues without party ideology. 


Spring Break Post #2 Japan

Spring Break Post #2 Japan

One of the longest running and therefore most organized trips is the Harris Japan trip. Harris Japanese students have planned this trip for several years now as an opportunity to share their culture, their history, and Japanese policy with their colleagues. I had the opportunity to sit down with Peter Biava, one of the Team Harris members that attended the Japan Trip, a trip he says he was excited about since his first week at Harris. Ever since hearing about how organized and how incredible the trip has been, Peter dedicated himself to participating this spring, growing more anxious each time he met another Japanese Harris student or trip participant.

I asked Peter to reflect on his trip, and how the experience changed his perception of public policy. Peter said the trip taught him when the policy metrics fail—when they can’t reflect the feelings or desire of the populace and qualitative aspects they don’t reflect. Peter and the trip had an opportunity to meet with several high up policy-makers and learn what policy issues currently matter to them. These policy-makers include: … One thing many of them indicated was that they were displeased with their GDP per capita. However, Peter alluded that one thing he noted was that these metrics did not appropriate reflect the quality difference he experience in Japan. Even something familiar—like McDonalds—was on a whole other level of quality in Japan. Peter noted that when considering economic development and growth, the traditional policy metrics often failed to capture qualitative aspects like these.