Eligibility Requirements | Program Information and Requirements | Application Procedures

The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy offers students an opportunity to begin their professional training in public policy while still in the College, leading to the awarding of a four-year undergraduate degree in their declared major and a two-year Master of Science in Computational Analysis and Public Policy (MSCAPP) degree after five years of study at the University of Chicago.
The MSCAPP professional degree program is for students in the College who wish to gain rigorous training in the emerging and critical role of technologists fluent in public policy skills and issues. The policy piece of the core curriculum draws on a variety of disciplines and fields, including economics, statistics, sociology, political science, political economy, organizational theory, and program evaluation. These areas provide a foundation in critical analysis, reflecting Harris Public Policy's belief that mastering quantitative and analytical skills prepares students to be effective public policy leaders. More information about the MSCAPP degree is available on the CAPP website.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Beginning in the autumn of 2022, students who have completed at least 3800 (of 4200) credits by the end of their third year can be admitted to the BA/MSCAPP program.
  2. Students must complete all required general education courses and all courses required for their major before beginning the BA/MSCAPP program. Exceptions to this policy include:
    1. Students can enter the BA/MSCAPP program without having completed the thesis requirement for their College major. Students must complete the thesis requirement before the end of their joint residency. 
    2. Students who have two or fewer outstanding major or general education course requirements can be admitted to the BA/MSCAPP program with the permission of the MSCAPP Academic Director if the required course(s) can be taken during the Spring Quarter of their fourth year.
  3. Applicants are expected to have a GPA of 3.25 or higher.
  4. All majors are strongly encouraged to apply.
  5. Students must have completed at least one course, at any level, in at least two of the following three areas at the College: microeconomics, statistics, or calculus. Examination credit will not be accepted for this requirement, e.g., AP course work.
  6. Applicants must fill out a form with their College adviser and submit it along with their application.  

Program Information and Requirements

The BA/MSCAPP program assumes students have no formal computer science training or exposure to programming at the onset of admission to the program. Students from all majors are encouraged to apply.

To be eligible for the BA/MSCAPP program students must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Students admitted to the BA/MSCAPP program will enter joint residency with the College and Harris in their fourth year with the College.
  2. The BA degree will be awarded at the end of the fourth year. Students must complete all requirements for the BA before beginning the fifth year.
  3. No courses taken in CMSC (Computer Science) or PPHA (Public Policy/Harris) prior to entering the BA/MSCAPP program will be allowed to count toward the requirements for the MSCAPP. If the courses taken before entering the program would have fulfilled MSCAPP requirements, students will be permitted to replace those courses with approved electives.
  4. Students must complete all requirements of the MSCAPP, as stated on the Harris MSCAPP webpage, to receive the BA/MSCAPP degree.
  5. Students must register for at least nine courses (900 units of credit) in their fifth year.
  6. Tuition and financial aid:
    1. During the year of joint residency:
      1.  BA/MSCAPP students will be charged tuition at the College “Bachelors/Masters PP” rate, which corresponds to the Harris master’s tuition rate for three courses. This rate is consistent regardless of the number of courses for which a student is registered.
      2. Students will be eligible for financial aid from the College. Students will not be eligible for scholarship from Harris during their year of joint residency.
    2. During the final year (in residency with Harris only):
      1. Students in the BA/MSCAPP program will be charged tuition at the posted Harris master’s tuition rate, which varies based on the number of courses for which a student is registered.
      2. Eligible students will work with the University's Graduate Financial Aid Office to apply for federal student loans.
      3. Students who were awarded scholarship money from Harris at the point of admission to the BA/MSCAPP program will receive those scholarship funds in the final year only.

Application Procedures

Before beginning the application process with Harris, students are encouraged to first meet with their College adviser. Students should make appointments during their second year to ensure that they are on track to finish their general education and major requirements by the end of their third year.

After reviewing with their College adviser, students should speak with Hillary Werner in student recruitment at Harris (wernerh@uchicago.edu), early in the third year. Interested students should submit their formal application to the program by April 15 of their third year in the College: apply-harris.uchicago.edu/apply. Please note that BA/MSCAPP applicants are exempt from the application fee and do not have to submit a GRE score.

For more information, please contact Harris Recruitment and Admissions at harrisadmissions@uchicago.edu.