CAPP students attend a lecture with Harris Senior Fellow Michael Nutter, former Mayor of Philadelphia


MSCAPP students engage with the program, the university, and the city of Chicago to apply what they're learning in real time.

Academic Advising

All MSCAPP students work closely with an academic adviser throughout the program. As part of the Harris Dean of Students team, the MSCAPP Program Director, Associate Program Director, and Assistant Program Director serve as academic advisers for CAPP students. They can help students select courses that are a fit for their academic and professional goals; identify resources for support; make connections within the CAPP and university networks; find internships, part-time work, and career opportunities before and after graduation; and more. 

CAPP Lunch Lecture Series

In addition to the coursework, CAPP students attend a weekly lecture series on recent research and innovation in data-driven public policy and civic technology. Students and faculty interact with both academic and non-academic experts, learn of current challenges, and establish professional networks with potential future employers. Previous speakers have included:

Students attend a CAPP Lunch lecture with Harris Senior Fellow Michael Nutter, former Mayor of Philadelphia
Students attend a CAPP Lunch lecture with Harris Senior Fellow Michael Nutter, former Mayor of Philadelphia
  • Amy Tong, Director and Chief Information Officer of the State of California
  • Tim Persons, U.S. Government Accountability Office’s Chief Scientist and Managing Director of the Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics team
  • Afua Osei, Co-Founder of Motherland Mogul Media
  • Danielle Betras, Executive Strategy Director of Emerging Technology Partnerships at The New York Times
  • Michael Nutter, former Mayor of Philadelphia and current Harris Senior Fellow
  • Paul Decker, CEO of Mathematica Policy Research
  • Natalie Evans Harris, Senior Policy Advisor, White House OSTP
  • Ron Jarmin, Acting Director of the US Census Bureau
  • Shelley Grach, Director of Civic Engagement at Microsoft Chicago
  • Tom Schenk, Chief Data Officer for the City of Chicago
  • Jascha Franklin-Hodge; Chief Information Officer for the City of Boston
  • Hollie Russon-Gilman, Fellow, Political Reform Program, New America
  • University of Chicago faculty, such as Nick FeamsterMarshini Chetty, Anup Malani, Austin WrightJens LudwigDavid Meltzer, and Katherine Baicker

Research Opportunities on Campus

Many CAPP students also engage in research while taking courses. A wide range of associated research centers have ongoing work that is highly pertinent to the MSCAPP curriculum, including:

Professor Jens Ludwig, Director of the UChicago Crime Lab
Professor Jens Ludwig, Director of the UChicago Crime Lab
CAPP and Harris students working in garden at service event during Orientation Week
CAPP and Harris students volunteer at a service event in Chicago

Summer Internships

Alongside their academic training, students gain further exposure to real policy issues by engaging in a summer internship related to their area of interest. Past internships have included roles in government and in organizations that have strong relationships with government agencies, in not-for-profit organizations, and more. This experience provides hands-on learning and assists students in determining their second-year specialization.

Read more about a few students’ internship experiences:

Student Organizations

Many MSCAPP students participate and take on leadership roles in a variety of Harris Student Organizations. HSOs are another outlet to make connections, put policy into practice, and develop and refine your leadership, teamwork, and project management skills.

CAPP and Harris students attending Harris Student Organization fair in Keller Center forum
CAPP and Harris students discussing HSO Latin American Matters at the annual Harris Student Organization fair

A few HSOs that are popular with CAPP students include:

Mentor Program

MSCAPP students have the opportunity to participate in the Harris School of Public Policy’s award-winning Mentor Program. Harris mentors, many of whom are alumni, call on their experience to help students connect academic training with practical opportunities and to navigate the transition to professional careers. Mentors have included elected officials, CEOs, executive directors, policy advocates, and other professionals who freely give their time and insight to the important task of nurturing our next generation of policy leaders.