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The University of Chicago seeks candidates with the academic preparation, intellectual ability, experience, and motivation to undertake a rigorous program in public policy. While no specific experience is required, students with a strong liberal arts background and sound quantitative and analytical skills will be best prepared for the program. The Committee on Admission and Aid evaluates all official transcripts of academic work, personal essays, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities and community service, performance on standardized tests, and special factors brought to its attention. The Committee considers each application on the basis of all materials submitted and does not automatically eliminate applications based on grade point averages or test scores. The application requirements and admissions process is the same for each Masters program (MPP, MA, MSESP, MSCAPP, MACRM).

Application requirements


Upload a current resume, reflecting you work experience, education, community service, professional honors, and any other relevant information.

Short Essays

You will be required to answer one brief essay question (300 words max). We encourage applicants to also submit the optional second essay. There is no right, or even preferred, approach to answering these essays. Each essay is an opportunity for you to showcase another part of your applicant profile.

motivation statement

You will prepare a brief and well-articulated response to a prompted question regarding your motivation to pursue graduate studies in public policy at Harris (300 words).




You will be allowed to submit unofficial transcripts through the electronic application process; however, official transcripts will be required upon admission for enrolling students. Please submit transcripts for all prior academic work from any institution of higher education.

3 letters of recommendation


Please have three (3) individuals who can speak to your skills and passion submit letters of recommendation. We prefer to have at least one reference from a previous professor who can speak to your academic background and preparedness for graduate studies. Recommenders should submit letters through the electronic application - hard copy letters will be accepted but are not preferred.

gre scores


The Chicago Harris institution code is 1849. Please make your reservations with ETS. Official scores are required for all applicants. Please contact the Admissions Office if you have questions regarding other standardized tests.

application fee


A $50.00 non-refundable application fee is required when you apply. Application fee waivers are available upon request. If you have an application fee waiver code, please be sure to follow the "Fee Waiver Request Form" instructions provided in the online application.

TOEFL Scores

(International Only)


The Chicago Harris institution code is 1849 or 1832. Both codes will be accepted. Please make your reservations with ETSOfficial scores are required for all international applicants whose native language is not English and who have not received their undergraduate education in a U.S. college or university. We encourage all international applicants to submit their scores for consideration.

video statement

(International Only)

Required for international applicants with a total TOEFL score of 106 or below or a 107 and higher with a 25 or lower speaking score. You will submit a brief 2-minute video statement (within the online application) further discussing your motivation for applying to Chicago Harris.

application deadlines

Masters Candidates                                       Deadline                        Notification

EARLY NOTIFICATION :                              November 18, 2016          December 16, 2016

ROUND 1:                                                       January 20, 2017              February 17, 2017

ROUND 2:                                                           march 26, 2017                  april 28, 2017


All application materials for admission must be submitted by the corresponding round deadline. Applications may be submitted through 11:59 pm Central time. To be considered for merit scholarship assistance, applicants should apply in Early Action or Round One. Applicants in Round Two will be considered for scholarships on a funds-available basis. Applicants will be considered equally in each round.

University of Chicago undergraduates interested in BA-MPP, BA-MSCAPP and the Chicago Harris Scholars program should apply in Round Two only.


phd candidates | due december 2, 2016

All application materials for admission must be submitted by December 2. We will announce admission decisions in February.