Meeting the Elective Requirements

All Government Department concentrators are required to take at least 3 Government electives; concentrators who take a methods course besides Government 50 are required to complete one additional elective course. The list below details ways to meet this requirement. Concentrators can meet up to 2 of their 3-4 elective requirements by taking classes at the Harvard Kennedy School, but only using courses preapproved by the Department of Government. 

Please note: The list below is intended for concentrators, not students interested in the secondary field in Government. Not all of the courses below will count toward the secondary field. For the list of courses that meet secondary-field requirements, please visit the Secondary Field in Government page of this website. 


Government Elective Courses for Concentration Credit

All Government Department courses (except Gov 91r, Supervised Reading and Research) count for Government elective credit.  Gov 92r may be taken more than once, but only one semester may count as a Gov elective.  

The following courses have been approved for elective concentration credit in Government for the academic year 2020-21. Except as noted, these courses may not count for subfield credit. If there is a course that you think should count toward the Government Department requirements and it is not on this list, please contact the Undergraduate Program.

African and African American Studies
AFRAMER 123z: American Democracy (West/Unger)
AFRAMER 217X: Themes in the History of African American Political Thought: Seminar (may also count for Theory subfield) (Terry) 

East Asian Studies
EASTD 98j: Political Economy of 21st Century China: Junior Tutorial (may also count as Gov 94) (Koss)
EASTD 197: China’s Cultural Revolution (Koss)
EASTD 198: Political Parties in East Asia (Koss)
EASTD 199: China and the African Continent (Koss)

Environmental Science and Public Policy
ESPP 78: Environmental Politics (Jasanoff)

Gen Ed
GENED 1032: Res Publica: A History of Representative Government (may also count for American subfield) (Carpenter)
GENED 1052: Race in a Polarized America (may also count for American subfield) (Hochschild)
GENED 1092: American Society and Public Policy (may also count for American subfield) (Skocpol)
GENED 1102: Making Change When Change is Hard: Law, Politics, and the Policy of Social Change (Power/Sunstein)
GENED 1123: Islam and Politics in the Modern Middle East (Zeghal)
GENED 1171: Justice: Ethics in an Age of Pandemic and Racial Reckoning (may also count for Theory subfield) (Sandel)

HIST 82f: The Origins of the Cold War: The Yalta Conference (1945) (Plokhii)
HIST 1323: German Social Thought, Nietzsche to Habermas (Gordon)
HIST 1324: French Social Thought, Durkheim to Foucault (Gordon)
HIST 1465: The United States and the World Order Since 1900 (Manela)

Freshman Seminars (as SAT/UNSAT Govt. elective only)
FRSEMR 41p: American Presidential Campaigns and Elections 1960-2016 (Isaacs)

Courses at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Please refer to this page for information on meeting elective requirements through coursework at HKS, including the list of HKS classes that have been preapproved for concentration credit in 2020-2021: