Welcome from the Chair

Chair of DepartmentWelcome to the Harvard University Department of Government! 

The Government Department at Harvard is home to one of the world’s leading communities of study and scholarship in political science. With 165 Ph.D. students, over 450 undergraduate concentrators and a range of visiting scholars and postdoctoral fellows, our academic community is large, diverse, and vibrant.  It represents a broad and changing spectrum of interests, backgrounds, and approaches. We have strength in teaching and research not only in the four main fields of political science—American Politics, Political Theory, Comparative Politics, and International Relations—but also in Quantitative Methods and Formal Theory and in approaches such as Historical Institutionalism, Political Economy, Race, Ethnicity and Politics, and Social Policy. 

The Department’s graduate program trains students for careers in advanced research and education in political science. Our 165 Ph.D. candidates receive hands-on training by conducting supervised dissertation research and by working with faculty in research projects and undergraduate teaching. A diverse graduate student body benefits from classroom and other intellectual opportunities in robust programs at Harvard in political science and cognate disciplines, some of the top international studies centers in the world, and a remarkable array of research institutes and seminars that draw scholars from around the globe. 

With over 400 undergraduate concentrators, the Government Department also has one of the largest concentrations in Harvard College. We offer an extraordinary range of courses and paths of study.  You can go from the Politics of Inequality to the Politics of Climate Change, from Democratization to Democratic Resilience, from Tech Ethics to Feminism, from the Political Economy of Trade to Identity and Political Participation. 

Together our faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate concentrators comprise a vibrant community of political science scholars and students at Harvard.  

We've created this website to provide information about the many opportunities for research and study in the Government Department. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Daniel Carpenter
Allie S. Freed Professor of Government
Chair, Department of Government