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. 

If there is a class not on the list below that you believe should count for Government elective credit, please fill out this form to petition to have it counted. 

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 2022-23. 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 (Unger)

East Asian Studies
EASTD 197: China’s Cultural Revolution (Koss)
EASTD 198: Political Parties of East Asia (Koss)

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 1123: Islam and Politics in the Modern Middle East (Zeghal)
GENED 1181: Meritocracy and Its Critics (may also count for Theory subfield) (Sandel)

Social Studies
SOC-STD 98td: The Theory and Practice of Democracy in the Global South (may also count for Gov 94 seminar credit) (Weaver)
SOC-STD 98vf: The Foundations of Democracy and Dictatorship (may also count for Gov 94 seminar credit) (Levitsky)

Freshman Seminars (as SAT/UNSAT Govt. elective only)
FS 41R: Media in American Politics (Matthew Baum)
FS 48K: Political Legitimacy and Resistance (Applbaum)
FS 72W: Is Privacy Dead? Privacy, Surveillance, and Freedom in the Digital Age (Pressly)
FS 72X: Holding Politicians Accountable (Weaver)


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 2022-2023: