PhD Program Requirements
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In addition to the common degree requirements expected of Harvard Griffin GSAS students, students must meet additional requirements specified by their department or program. This section provides additional degree requirements by academic program.
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Students of the program applied to and were admitted to one of two tracks: Government or Economics. Students became part of those Faculty of Arts and Sciences departments while completing requirements in both departments:
PEG Government Track: Course Requirements
- Microeconomic theory (Econ 2020a, Econ 2020b)
- Macroeconomic theory (Econ 2010c)
- Econometrics (Gov 2001 or a more advanced course)
- Two courses in Formal Political Theory or two approved courses in Political Economy
- Two courses in a major field of political science
- Two courses in a major field of economics
- A field seminar course in government
- Doctoral Research Seminar
PEG Economics Track: Course Requirements
- Microeconomic theory (Econ 2010a, Econ 2010b)
- Macroeconomic theory (Econ 2010c, Econ 2010d)
- Econometrics (Econ 2120, Econ 2140)
- Four courses in government, including two in the same major field of political science
Oral General Examination: Additional Requirement
Students in both tracks were tested in their mastery of economics and political science. The exam consisted of three parts:
- Examination in an approved field of economics
- Examination in an approved field of political science
- Examination in general analytical and research abilities based in part on a research paper prepared by the student
PhD in Political Economy and Government dissertation committees feature faculty from the Department of Economics and the Department of Government , as well as from HKS. This helps ensure the multidisciplinary nature of PEG’s research and advising process.
See a complete list of dissertations written by PEG candidates from 1973 to the present in the Political Economy and Government Dissertations Archive.
A student must successfully complete at least twelve four-credit courses, of which eight must be in political science. At least ten of these twelve four-credit courses and seven of the eight four-credit courses in political science must be listed in the catalogue as 1000- or 2000-level courses. Courses cross-registered with Harvard’s Divinity and Law Schools, the Fletcher School, or MIT can be used toward these requirements. Prior approval from the Director of Graduate Studies is needed for courses from the Harvard Kennedy and Business Schools. Students must complete six four-credit courses by the end of their second term in residence and nine by the end of their third. Courses numbered at the 3000-level do not count towards degree requirements.
Course Requirements for Students Admitted for Fall 2021 and beyond
Beginning Fall 2021, the three-course requirement in Political Philosophy, Quantitative Methodology and Gov 3001: Approaches to the Study of Politics was replaced with a choice of three out of the four field seminars: American Government (Gov 2305), Comparative Politics (Gov 2105), International Relations (Gov 2710), and Political Philosophy (Gov 2093) and one course in Quantitative Methods. Students in Political Philosophy will have the option to be exempted from the methods course requirement.
Course Requirements for Students Admitted prior to Fall 2021
Every first-year student must enroll in the government department graduate seminar, Gov 3001: Approaches to the Study of Politics. The course, offered each fall, is to be taken SAT/UNSAT for a full semester of credit. Additionally, each student must complete one course in quantitative methods and one in political philosophy.
Quantitative Methods Requirement
During their first or second year every student must successfully complete, with a grade of B or better, at least one graduate-level course in quantitative social science methods relevant to political science, from a list of appropriate government department and other Harvard/MIT courses regularly updated by the Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee.
Political Philosophy Requirement
During their first or second year, every student must take a minimum of one graduate-level four-credit course (or section) in Political Philosophy, chosen from a list of courses approved by the Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee.
Additional Requirements for all Students
A grade of Incomplete can be converted into a letter grade if the student completes the work before the end of the term following that in which the course was taken. If an Incomplete has not been completed within the period, the student must have the instructor and DGS approve a Petition for an Extension of Time for an Incomplete. No grade of Incomplete can be used to satisfy any departmental requirement.
If these conditions are not met, the student will be classified “not in good standing” by the Graduate School and the department and will become ineligible for a teaching fellowship, other financial aid, or employment within the University. After completing these requirements, the student may petition the department to be reinstated.
Courses Appropriate for the Department of Government Quantitative Methods Requirement
The following list presents the courses that satisfy the quantitative methods requirement for the Department of Government. The ﬁrst set of courses represents the core quantitative sequence taught within the department. These courses provide a foundation for the use of quantitative methods within political science and are therefore appropriate for all graduate students. The courses in the second set are offered outside of the department and may appeal to students with specialized interests. However, students interested in one of these courses must obtain permission to enroll from the course instructor. Students may also petition to substitute more advanced courses (or more specialized courses) on a case by case basis.
- Core Quantitative Sequence:
Gov 2001 — Quantitative Social Science Methods I
Gov 2002 — Quantitative Social Science Methods II
Gov 2003 — Causal Inference with Applications
- Courses Outside the Department:
Econ 2110 — Econometrics I
Psych 1950 — Intermediate Statistical Analysis in Psychology
Sociology 202 — Intermediate Quantitative Research Methods
API-208 (HKS) — Estimating Program Effectiveness with Empirical Analysis
MIT 17.800 — Quantitative Research Methods I: Regression
In order to ensure that students secure adequate training in research and writing, at least three seminar-style research papers must be completed. The usual means is through enrollment in seminars, but the requirement may be satisfied also by reading or lecture courses in which papers of this type are written. Only one of the three papers may be co-authored. Only one of the three papers may be written outside the Department. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain written verification from the instructor that the completed paper is of seminar quality.