The University of Chicago | Graduate Admissions

Master of Arts in Public Policy - MA

Division: Chicago Harris
Degree Type: MA

Program Description

The program is open to students who (1) have successfully completed at least one year of graduate work (nine courses with quality grades) at the University of Chicago in a graduate divisional degree program; or (2) hold a JD, MBA, MD, or PhD from an accredited university. It is a one-year program designed for students who want to learn the fundamental skills of quantitative policy analysis as a complement to issues associated with their primary area of study. Students are encouraged to tailor this program to accommodate their previous coursework as well as their career interests.

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  • 1155 East 60th Street
  • Chicago, IL 60637
  • Phone: 773.702.8401

Application Method

Applications should be initiated through the online application.


Deadline for admissions and financial aid: January 10

Campus Visits

Interviews are not required, but you are welcome to visit campus, sit in on classes, and meet with current students. You may contact faculty with questions, but there is no expectation that you do so.

Degree Objective

Students can apply for a PhD, a Master of Arts in Public Policy, or a Master of Public Policy.

Application Requirements

  1. Application for admission
  2. Transcripts of all prior academic work at institutions of higher education
  3. 3 Letters of Recommendation
  4. TOEFL scores (international applicants only; use institution code 1849) or IELTS scores. More information »
  5. Non-refundable application fee: $50
  6. Official GRE or GMAT scores, or LSAT scores (if a joint MPP/JD applicant). Use code 1849

Admissions Decisions

Admissions decisions are released in early March. No decisions will be given by phone or email.

Program Requirements

The curriculum consists of six of the seven core courses available to MPP candidates, PP 30101 and/or PP 30102 when appropriate, and three electives for a total of nine courses. Eight of the nine courses must be Harris courses. Students who have sufficient background in the School's core areas may petition the Office of the Dean of Students to enroll in higher-level policy core courses. Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in math by passing the math placement exam (algebra and calculus) prior to graduation. The exam is given twice a year.

The program makes one-year degrees possible with all graduate departments at the University. When combined with another one-year master's degree, both degrees must be awarded during the same quarter. Individuals interested in the one-year program in public policy studies and other University of Chicago academic units should inquire about the formal arrangements at the time of application.

Costs & Financial Aid

Tuition for master's and PhD students in scholastic residence enrolled full-time in the program during the 2012-2013 academic year is $39,861. An estimate of expenses a student will incur during the course of the school year (based on a nine-month budget) is as follows:

Tuition $39,861
Student Life Fee $852
One-time Transcript Fee $45
University of Chicago Student Health Insurance Plan (basic, student only) $2,466
Room and Board (estimated) $14,000
Personal Expenses (estimated) $3,000
Books and Supplies (estimated) $2,000
Transportation (estimated) $1,785
TOTAL (estimated) $64,009

Here at Chicago Harris, we know that the cost for your degree will be significant; we are committed to helping identify financial resources to assist with managing the cost. Financial aid is calculated based on a standardized cost of attendance: tuition, room and board, books, transportation, and personal/miscellaneous expenses for three academic quarters (nine months). The Office of Admissions notifies you of any merit scholarship award at the time of your admission. At that time, we also provide you with information on applying for loans and work.

Financial Aid for Master's Students

Each year, approximately 30-40 percent of Chicago Harris students receive some kind of financial aid. The School assists many students with both scholarships and fellowships that are awarded on a competitive, merit basis. Additionally, the University provides loan assistance and work-study to students who demonstrate financial need. You can learn more about financial aid for master’s students here.