The Department of Government at Harvard is a world leader in the study of political science, and the department’s faculty covers a wide range of fields and methodologies. The Department’s breadth and depth allows you to pursue ground-breaking research on a variety of topics. The doctoral program’s diversity and flexibility enables scholars from all backgrounds and interests to thrive.

In the Department of Government, you will study and do research with the faculty of the department, as well as leading scholars in other Harvard departments and schools, including Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School. You have access to unparalleled resources, ranging from the largest university library in the world to the Harvard research computing cluster, to a wide array of centers and institutes associated with the department.

Graduates of the department write dissertations on topics ranging from ancient political theory to the politics of cybersecurity. They go on to jobs at leading academic institutions, companies, government agencies, and non-profits.

Additional information on the graduate program is available from the Department of Government and requirements for the degree are detailed in GSAS Policies

Admissions Requirements

Please review GSAS admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program-specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying from the Department of Government.

Writing Sample

A writing sample is required as part of the application and should be a recent scholarly or critical paper and 15 to 25 pages in length.


For the coordinated JD/PhD in law and political science, applicants must apply separately to each program and indicate in the application to the PhD program that a concurrent application has been submitted to the Harvard Law School.

Theses & Dissertations

Theses & Dissertations for Government

Government Faculty