The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, also referred to as "Harris Public Policy," is the public policy school of the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is ranked in the top five policy analysis schools in the United States.[2] It is located on the University's main campus in Hyde Park. In addition to policy studies and policy analysis, the school requires its students to pursue training in economics and statistics through preliminary examinations and course requirements. Further, Harris Public Policy takes part in curricular interactions with the University-at-large, with students cross-enrolling in courses at the Booth School of Business, Law School, School of Social Service Administration, and the Graduate Division of the Social Sciences.

In 2014, Harris Public Policy received two gifts totaling $32.5 million for a physical expansion. A former residence hall designed by architect Edward Durell Stone will be renovated and renamed The Keller Center. Completion is expected December 2018.[3]


The Harris School of Public Policy was predated by the Committee on Public Policy and The University of Chicago Center for Policy Study. The Center on Public Policy, established in 1966, was a research center and so did not offer degrees. The Center hosted fellows and conferences and published research in the field of public policy, primarily urban studies and urban journalism.[4] The Committee on Public Policy was formed to offer master's degrees to students interested in policy studies. The Committee, formed of professors employed by different academic divisions, began offering classes in 1976 to a small group of one-year Master's students who had applied internally from other graduate divisions within the University of Chicago. The Committee's long term viability was called into question for reasons including the small demand for one year master's degrees in public policy and weak administrative support for such a small program.[5] Over the next three years the Committee began offering two year degrees, joint BA/MA degrees and PhDs, but it continued to be threatened by weak administrative support and unstable funding.[6] In 1986 a committee of Deans recommended the Committee should secure a better endowment and become a professional school or be dissolved. At that time Irving Harris pledged $6.9 million in order to create the public policy school, a figure he later raised to $10 million.[7] In 1988 the Harris School of Public Policy opened in the former American Bar Association Building which it has shared with affiliates including NORC at the University of Chicago and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.


The Harris Public Policy offers the following full-time professional master's degree programs:

  • Master of Public Policy (MPP), a two-year program
  • Master of Science (MS) in Computational Analysis and Public Policy, a two-year program offered with the Department of Computer Science
  • Master of Science (MS) in Environmental Science and Policy, a two-year program offered with Argonne National Laboratory
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Public Policy, a 9-month program
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Public Policy with Certificate in Data Analytics, a 12-month program
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Public Policy with Certificate in Research Methods, a 15-month program

Further, a Ph.D. degree program is offered in public policy studies.

Harris Public Policy offers certificates in the following concentrations [1]:

Harris Public Policy's main building

Dual Degrees

Harris Public Policy partners with other professional schools and divisions within the University of Chicago to offer accelerated joint/dual degrees.

  • MPP/MA – Joint Degree with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies
  • MPP/MDiv – Joint Degree with the Divinity School
  • MPP/MBA – Joint Degree with the Booth School of Business
  • MPP/JD – Joint Degree with the Law School
  • MPP/MA – Joint Degree with the School of Social Service Administration
  • MA/MA – Dual Degree Committee on International Relations (CIR)
  • BA/MPP – The Professional Option Program with the College

Cooperative Programs

Harris Public Policy runs cooperative programs partnered with international institutions [2].


The following professors served as Dean of the Harris School of Public Policy:

  • Robert T. Michael (1989-1994-Founding Dean, 1998–2002)
  • Don L. Coursey (1996–1998)
  • Susan E. Mayer (2002–2009)
  • Colm O'Muircheartaigh (2009–2014)
  • Daniel Diermeier (2014–2016)
  • Kerwin Charles (interim Dean 2016-2017)
  • Katherine Baicker (2017–Present)

Notable faculty

  • James J. Heckman – Nobel Prize winning economist, Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and director of the Center for the Economics of Human Development
  • Roger Myerson - Nobel prize winning economist and game theorist, Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor of Economics
  • William G. Howell – Sydney Stein Professor in American Politics; Co-Director, Program on Political Institutions; Professor, Department of Political Science and the College
  • David O. Meltzer - Chief of the Section of Hospital Medicine, Director of the Center for Health and the Social Sciences, and Chair of the Committee on Clinical and Translational Science
  • Tomas J. Philipson – Daniel Levin Professor of Public Policy Studies, Harris School of Public Policy; Associate Faculty Member, Department of Economics
  • Robert Rosner - William E. Wrather Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics Department of Physics, and the Enrico Fermi Institute
  • Chris Blattman – Ramalee E. Pearson Professor and member of The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts
  • James A. Robinson – British economist and political scientist; University Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy
  • Jens Ludwig - McCormick Foundation Professor of Social Service Administration, Law, and Public Policy
  • Dan A. Black - Deputy dean and professor, senior fellow at the National Opinion Research Center
  • Stephen Raudenbush - Lewis-Sebring Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Sociology and the College; Chair, Committee on Education
  • Konstantin Sonin – John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor
  • Steven Durlauf - Professor of Public Policy


  1. ^ "History of the Harris School". Harris School of Public Policy. Archived from the original on June 1, 2009. Retrieved July 19, 2009. . Established in 1988, the Harris School emerged from an interdepartmental Committee on Public Policy 
  2. ^ "Best Grad Schools Ranking: Policy Analysis". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved September 22, 2017. 
  3. ^ "The Keller Center At Harris Public Policy". Harris School of Public Policy. Retrieved November 28, 2017. 
  4. ^ "The Urban Journalism Fellowship Program". What's Wrong With Women's Pages?. University of Chicago Center for Policy Studies. Chicago, Illinois. 1971. 
  5. ^ "A Look Back at the Committee on Public Policy Studies". Harris School of Public Policy. Retrieved October 19, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Irving B. Harris, Remarks". The Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, A Celebration. The University of Chicago. Chicago, Illinois. September 13, 1990. 
  7. ^ "History of Harris". Harris School of Public Policy. Retrieved October 19, 2017. 

External links