Courses

Is the list of courses that meet secondary-field requirements the same as the list of courses that meet the concentration "elective" requirements?

No. Only courses in the Government Department, and a small number of outside courses taught by Government Department faculty, may be used toward the secondary field requirements. Many of the courses outside the Department that concentrators take for elective credit (for instance, courses at the Harvard Kennedy School) cannot be used toward the secondary field.

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If I am doing Government as a secondary field, how many Gov courses can I double count with other requirements?

You are limited to counting only one course for your Secondary Field and your primary concentration.  However, you may double-count more than one Secondary Field course with other programs, such as Gen Ed or language citations. See the Secondary Fields website for more information. Read more about If I am doing Government as a secondary field, how many Gov courses can I double count with other requirements?

Can I get credit for Government courses taken at Harvard Summer School?

Generally, students can count only one Harvard Summer School Government course, taught either on campus or abroad, towards their Government concentration requirements. If that course is not taught by a Harvard Government Department faculty member, the student must petition the Government DUS before the course is taken.

How do I cross-register for a course at the Kennedy School, and does it count for Government concentration credit?

There is a pre-approved list of Harvard Kennedy School courses for which Government concentrators will automatically receive Gov elective credit. However, the cross-registration form must still be signed by the Government DUS and turned in to the Registrar’s office in the Smith Center. Cross-registration forms are available at the Registrar and the Government Undergraduate Office. Please note that Law School courses are not letter-... Read more about How do I cross-register for a course at the Kennedy School, and does it count for Government concentration credit?

What is the benefit of taking a foundational course (Gov 10, 20, 30 or Gov 40) rather than a 1000-level course to fulfill the distribution requirement?

The foundational courses are designed to provide you with a firm grounding in the fundamental concepts and themes of the subfield. If you are unfamiliar with the subfield, or intend to study it in greater depth later, you may find it useful to take the foundational course rather than a 1000-level course in order to ensure that you have a good overview of the subject matter. This breadth of study will give you a firm base for upper-level work in the subfield, and will help you if you need to take oral exams for your final honors determination.

As a freshman, am I allowed to take 1000-level Gov courses?

Yes. We recommend that freshmen take Foundational (Gov 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50) and/or 1000-level courses, as well as General Education courses taught by Government faculty. We generally do not recommend that freshmen take seminars, although it is possible for second-semester freshmen to enroll in a Gov 94 (Undergraduate Seminar) with the instructor’s permission.

 
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