Secondary Field

A concentration or a secondary field in Government is not one single thing. We encourage all students with either specific or eclectic political interests to explore our courses and faculty. 


Students must take five courses in the Government department for a letter grade and pass them with a grade of B- or better, except for Government courses that are graded SAT/UNSAT (such as Gov 92r or a Freshman Seminar offered by a Government department faculty member). Only one course graded SAT/UNSAT may count towards the secondary. No courses taken Pass/Fail may count towards the secondary.

No more than two foundational courses (Gov 10, 20, 30, and Gov 40) will be counted toward a secondary field; three courses must be 50 or above.


Unlike the requirements for Government primary concentrators, all courses taken for the Government secondary field must have a “Gov” number (except for Gov 91r, which counts for neither the primary nor the secondary field). In addition, there are a small number of outside courses taught by Government Department Faculty that may count towards the secondary field: EMR 13, ER 22, ER 39, ER 44, FS 30v, FS 42r, FS 70u, FS 71h, FS 71l, Soc Stud 98hp, Soc Stud 98nu, Soc Stud 98oa, Soc Stud 98of, Soc Stud 98ox, Soc Stud 98rd, SW 15, SW 50, USW 15, USW 20, USW 31. Please note that this list is different than the list of courses available to concentrators for concentration credit. 

Petitions of any kind for exceptions to Government secondary field requirements will not be accepted.

Secondary concentrators can count only one Harvard Summer School Government course, taught on campus by a Harvard Government Department faculty member, towards their secondary concentration in Government.

Gov 91r (Supervised Reading and Research) cannot be used to fulfill Government secondary field requirements.

Please note that these secondary field requirements differ from those for Government primary concentrators.

Faculty, Advising and Administrative Resources:

Advising for those with a secondary field in Government will be done through the Undergraduate Program Office and our regular undergraduate advising staff including the Director of Undergraduate Studies, the Concentration Advisers, and administrators. Students interested in pursuing a secondary field in Government or those who have any questions or concerns regarding the secondary field should contact the Government Undergraduate Program Office (; 617-495-3249). The office, located at CGIS Knafel Building, Room K151, 1737 Cambridge St., is open for drop-in advising M-F, 10am-5pm.