For Freshmen and Sophomores
Your first three semesters at Harvard are a time for exploration and discovery, with an eye towards choosing a concentration that speaks to your passions, serves your interests, and points you toward a future career. There is no one path through the Government Department, and no single point of entry. Rather, Government offers a wide variety of subjects to study, even as it deepens your analytical and writing skills. If you are not sure that you want to concentrate in Government, or if you haven’t taken any Government classes yet and are wondering where to start, please click here for course selection and sequencing advice. Most, but not all, students who are thinking about concentrating in Government take a Government course sometime during their first three semesters.
All sophomores who declare a concentration in Government formally enter the department by taking the required sophomore tutorial (Gov 97) offered in the spring term. Please click on the sidebar link for information on the current Gov 97. We also recommend that you consider taking Gov 50: Introduction to Political Science Research methods early on in your career as a Government concentrator. Click on the sidebar link for a recent syllabus. Gov 50 is a requirment for all Gov concentrators in the Class of 2015 and beyond and also counts for the Empirical and Mathematical Reasoning General Education requirement.
For advice about choice of concentration or course selection, please do not hesitate to contact the Undergraduate Program Office, either by dropping by CGIS K151 ( at 1737 Cambridge Street), or via email or phone (5-3249). It is easy to set up a time to talk with the Director of Studies or one of the Program Staff. You should also feel free to talk to any of the Government resident tutors in the Houses who act as official Advisers to Government concentrators. Another good way to find out if Government is the best concentration for you is to attend events that we sponsor especially for students. If you would like to be informed of upcoming events of particular interest to concentrators or potential concentrators, please click here and we’ll add you to our list!