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Greetings from the Sheraton Grand Chicago! 

I traded my sunrise over the lake commute today for a riverside view from the Grand Sheraton Chicago while attending the American Model United Nations International Conference. As a former participant in both the National Model UN and international MUN in Xi'An, I was looking forward to hearing about your MUN committee topics as well as your personal area of policy interest outside of the committee agenda. Many delegates, not surprisingly, expressed a passion for working in international relations or studying global conflicts, and I was excited to share information about the Pearson Institute. It was also interesting to learn that while many students were enthusiastic about international relations, quite a few specifically mentioned diverse interests ranging from health policyenvironmental sustainability, to studying domestic politics related to voting (those of you interested in this may like to read more about the alumni who created BallotReady). I received quite a few questions from current junior and seniors, and thought it might be helpful to address the most common below:

  • I thought most graduate schools wanted me to take a gap year, so I haven't taken the GRE. Do I need work experience for Harris? We do not require applicants to have work experience. While many of our students do pursue professional careers for a few years before applying to Harris, we also have students who apply while completing the final year of their bachelor degree. If you are unsure of your plans after graduation, you do still have time to take the GRE and apply for our January 20th deadline. If accepted, you may defer. 
  • I'm interested in graduate school but I am concerned about financial aid. What are my options? Over 50% of Masters' students receive scholarships and fellowships that are awarded on a merit basis. Some students also receive funding from third party sources. We understand the concern for funding, and we encourage students to proceed with the early rounds of the application process as your admission decision and scholarship package will be issued approximately one month after each application deadline. 
  • I won't be applying for at least another year as I am currently a Junior. What advice do you have?  Outside of preparing for rigorous graduate coursework by taking challenging classes in your undergraduate program and preparing for the GRE, we also encourage you to visit Harris and take in the campus environment. Additionally, we have events around the country, so check regularly to see if we will be in a city near you. Finally, it's always helpful to become involved in your university and local community outside of the classroom to help identify the areas of policy for which you feel most passionate. 

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and chatted about your conference experience. Looking forward to attending future Model UN conferences!