About the Institute of Politics

Our Mission

The nonpartisan Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago is an extracurricular program designed to ignite in young people a passion for politics and public service.

Our Programs

Four core programs form the heart of the Institute: civic engagement opportunities that enable students to experience politics-in-action through political exploration trips, leadership training, service programs and voter engagement projects; visiting fellowships where distinguished political officials, policymakers, journalists, diplomats and others are in residence on campus during an academic quarter; political and public service internships that provide students with paid, substantive career development opportunities; and a continuous series of public events featuring leading political figures sharing their insights on key issues of the day.

Our Story

The idea for the Institute of Politics grew out of the lifelong experiences of its founding director, David Axelrod AB ’76, an accomplished political journalist, strategist and policy advisor, and his core belief that participation is essential to a vital, healthy democracy. Inspired by his own work with young people through various political campaigns and by the example of Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, Axelrod sought to establish a non-partisan program in Chicago that would provide students with opportunities to engage directly with the ideas, people and processes that shape politics today.

University of Chicago Non-Discrimination Statement

In keeping with its long-standing traditions and policies, the University of Chicago considers students, employees, applicants for admission or employment, and those seeking access to University programs on the basis of individual merit. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law (including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972).For additional information regarding the University of Chicago’s Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct, please see: http://harassmentpolicy.uchicago.edu/page/policy.

The University official responsible for coordinating compliance with this Notice of Nondiscrimination is Sarah Wake, Assistant Provost and Director of the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs. Ms. Wake also serves as the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Affirmative Action Officer, and Section 504/ADA Coordinator.  You may contact Ms. Wake by emailing swake@uchicago.edu, by calling 773.702.5671, or by writing to Sarah Wake, Office of the Provost, The University of Chicago, 5801 S. Ellis Ave., Suite 510, Chicago, IL 60637.