Civic Data and Technology Clinic

The Civic Data & Technology Clinic, offered through the MSCAPP program and co-organized by the UChicago Data Science Institute (DSI), connects students with organizations working in social and economic justice, sustainability, and climate change. It provides a hands-on opportunity to apply the data science and other professional skills students are learning, while also helping to fill the need for data science expertise in social good organizations.

CAPP and Harris students working on group project“The goal of this clinic is to partner our incredible students and programs here with public interest organizations to leverage data science, skills, and technology research, but with a real mission point of view, to press change for good in social and environmental challenges,” says David Uminsky, Executive Director for Data Science and Senior Research Associate at the University of Chicago. “For the students, we really want to transcend conventional classroom experiences…to work with real world data, applying messy and hard algorithms to messy and hard data, but always with an eye on the mission of the project.”


View the final video presentations from past Clinic student projects here.

CTDC IDI presentation - Autumn 2020

Since 2020, the Civic Data and Technology Clinic has launched fourteen clinic projects with external social impact organizations. These organizations support local communities through four key impact areas: food and agriculture, energy, human rights, and marine technology.

Past project partners include Eureka RecyclingFracTracker AllianceHohonuInclusive Development InternationalSchmidt Ocean Institute, and United Nations Human Rights.


The Clinic is an experiential project-based course in which students work in teams as data scientists with real-world clients under the supervision of instructors. Individual projects are scoped to last 10 weeks, with students submitting final code changes and a 10-minute presentation video at the end of the quarter. Other deliverables include production code shared with external clients, research papers, and the development of public facing web applications.

Guided by a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science, as well as a dedicated data scientist within the University of Chicago, the Clinic includes a weekly class session, professional development, and a final presentation to the client as well as public stakeholders.

Eligibility and Requirements

Second-year MSCAPP students are encouraged to enroll. Second-year students in other graduate programs at the University of Chicago may also enroll, subject to faculty consent. Students receive one letter grade and 100 units of course credit (one full course) upon completion of each quarter.

Clinic Support

The Civic Data & Technology Clinic is funded by the 11th Hour Project and the Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN).