Scholarship Spotlight: Obama Foundation Scholars at Chicago Harris

Welcome back to our Schools and Scholarships Spotlight series, where we’ve been introducing you to top-tier graduate schools as well as fellowship opportunities!

If you’ve been following along, we introduced you to the University of Chicago Harris Public Policy School last week. If you fell in love with not only the programs, but the city of Chicago as well, then we’re right there with you.

This week, we want to introduce you to a brand new ( 2018 is the first year they’re offering it), fellowship opportunity available only at Chicago Harris.

Do you dream of creating positive change on a global scale? If yes, read on as we tell you about:

The Obama Foundation Scholars Program

The Obama Foundation Scholars Program allows students to combine both a Master of Arts in Public Policy with a focus in International Development,  through a truly one-of-a-kind scholarship. The opportunity includes access to exceptional experiences outside the classroom in conjunction with the Obama Foundation. This scholarship was built to set you on the path to change the world!

About the degree:

As we mentioned, the Obama Foundation Scholars program at Chicago Harris has created a new graduate degree  program that is designed specifically for promising international leaders: the Master of Arts degree in International Development and Policy (MA-IDP). Pretty cool right?

The MA-IDP draws from Harris’ evidence-based analytical approach to the world’s most pressing problems, along with their cutting-edge tools for on-the-ground practical policy innovation. This one year degree will give you a solid foundation in policy analysis and design, with a particular focus on international development and policy.

The degree has been tailored to students’ goals as rising international leaders. You will have the opportunity to study topics that are focused on your background and interests, including but not limited to international development, global conflict studies and resolution, energy and the environment, health, human rights, and more.

There are nine courses throughout the MA-IDP program that encompass three categories: foundational skills for policy analysis, international development and policy, and your choice of electives.

And here’s the pièce de résistance: if you are accepted into the MA-IDP program as an Obama Scholar, you not only will receive a full scholarship, you’ll also be granted access to one-of-a-kind programming outside the classroom through the Obama Foundation.

Ready to apply yet???

About the scholarship:

So just what are these out of classroom experiences?

They may include opportunities such as a leadership week in Chicago before classes begin, personalized mentoring, access to some of the world’s most innovative thinkers, values-based leadership training, internships, and immersive activities in Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C.  Some opportunities will also include experiences in Chicago and the South Side (Michelle and Barack’s old neighborhood!). This will allow students to interact with the local community in Chicago, and develop unique perspectives on the city.

Throughout your year at Chicago Harris, you will be developing an action plan that can be implemented when you return to your community. And as an alum, you’ll have the opportunity to provide support for Obama Foundation programs in your community. You’ll also enjoy continued access to the Obama Foundation network and regionally focused programming and events.

So are you ready to change the world and apply?

We thought you might be!

Here are the qualifications:

The Obama Foundation is looking for emerging leaders from around the world with the following criteria:

  • Significant work experience (typically 3-5 years or more) and professional accomplishments with a clear trajectory of increasing impact.
  • Demonstrated record if community service or working for the public good, either through a full-time professional role or significant engagement outside of primary employment.
  • Possess a clear focus on global challenge or policy issue.
  • A clear commitment to return to or reinvest your new skills in your community after the program concludes.

If this sounds like a dream come true (and really how could it not be??), here’s how you apply:

Application Requirements

(Note: These are from the 2018 application, which will be updated as the 2019 application details are released.)

All applicants must complete an online application that includes the following:

  • Transcripts
  • Test Scoresss
    • TOEFL scores are required for international students
    • You will have the option of submitting other test score, but the GRE is not required.
  • Work Experience
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
    • They prefer to have at least one reference from a previous professor who can speak to your academic background and preparedness for graduate studies.
  • Motivation Statement
    • Prepare a brief and articulate response to a question regarding your motivation to pursue graduate studies in public policy (300 words).
  • 2 Essays
    • Tell us about your current work (which may be your paid employment or a significant volunteer activity). In answering, please describe the concrete impact – however you define impact – that your current work is having. Why have you chosen this work? What are the challenged you have faced in this work and how have you sought to overcome them? (400 words or fewer)
    • What impact do you want to have on the world? How would becoming an Obama Foundation Scholar help you achieve this? What do you plan to do after the Obama Foundation Scholars Program? What will you do if you are not selected? (300 words or fewer) 

Are you ready to turbo-charge your dreams of creating positive change, but not sure where to begin with your Obama Foundation Scholars application? Our team would love to speak with you. Click here to schedule your free 90-minute Breakthrough Call.

Come back next week as we explore one of the top law schools in the country, and let us know what you would like to see spotlighted next with a comment!

(Note: We are not affiliated with any of these universities, so make sure you double check the information we have posted. Sometimes things may change, so be sure not to use us as your only source!)

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