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 2019-20. 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)

East Asian Studies
EASTD 98b: Junior Tutorial: Japan and the World (may also count as Gov 94) (Pharr)
EASTD 98j: Political Economy of 21st Century China: Junior Tutorial (may also count as Gov 94) (Koss)
EASTD 196: Political Geography of China (Koss)
EASTD 197: China’s Cultural Revolution (Koss)
EASTD 198: Political Parties in East Asia (Koss)

Gen Ed
GENED 1008: Power and Identity in the Middle East (may also count for Comparative subfield) (Cammett)
GENED 1035: Dissent and Disobedience in Democracies (Applbaum)
GENED 1052: Race in a Polarized America (may also count for American subfield) (Hochschild)
GENED 1058: Tech Ethics: AI, Biotech, and the Future of Human Nature (may also count for Political Theory subfield) (Sandel/Melton)
GENED 1102: Making Change When Change is Hard: the Law, Politics, and Policy of Social Change (Power/Sunstein)
GENED 1119: Law, Politics, and Trade Policy: Lessons from East Asia (may also count for IR subfield) (Davis)
GENED 1123: Islam and Politics in the Modern Middle East (Zeghal)
GENED 1142: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Question of Conscientious Citizenship (Terry) (formerly AFRAMER 199y)

HIST 14u: The Political Thought of Christendom (Hankins/Nelson)
HIST 82f: The Origins of the Cold War: The Yalta Conference (1945) (Plokhii)
HIST 1465: The United States and World Order Since 1900 (Manela)

Social Studies
SOC-STD 98qb: Democracy and Education in America (Finger)

SOCIOL 1023: Political Sociology (Bonikowski)

Freshman Seminars (as SAT/UNSAT Govt. elective only)
FRSEMR 40i: The Supreme Court in U.S. History (Fallon)
FRSEMR 40l: Free Speech (Ungar)
FRSEMR 41p: American Presidential Campaigns and Elections 1960-2016 (Isaacs)
FRSEMR 41r: Media in American Politics (Baum)
FRSEMR 48k: Political Legitimacy and Resistance (Applbaum)

FRSEMR 71w: The Political Significance of Espionage and Subversion (Rosen)

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 2019-2020: