Image of doctoral student.


Admissions decisions are based on the strength of the candidate’s academic record, test scores, recommendations, and a demonstrated ability and motivation to pursue research. Solid quantitative skills are a critical part of successful applications. Applicants come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. All have strong academic records, clear interests in research, and promise for a distinguished career.

Admission Process

The application process for the PhD program in Political Economy and Government is coordinated by the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Please visit the GSAS site for deadlines, additional information, and the link to the on-line application.

All applicants must choose a track - either Economics or Political Science - in their application essay.

Application Deadline: January 2, 2015

Things to consider before applying

Required quantitative preparation for the PhD in Political Economy and Government includes:

  • Minimum two semesters of Calculus.
  • Mathematics preparation up to and including Multivariable Calculus.

All doctoral candidates are expected to be in residence at Harvard for at least three years.

It is not possible to defer admission once an applicant has been accepted. The applicant will be required to re-apply for the next year to be considered for admission.

Application Requirements

You will need the following for your application:

  • Official GRE scores (we do not accept the GMAT)
  • Official TOEFL scores, if necessary
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Writing sample, single authored piece
  • CV
  • Application fee

Helpful Application Information


Do NOT send official transcripts to HKS.  Please refer to the GSAS web site for the address Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Office of Admissions.


All applicants are required to submit valid GRE scores (scores expire five years after the test date). If your scores will expire prior to the admissions deadline, you need to retake the GRE. We do not accept the GMAT. There is no minimum reqruirement for the GRE scores. Applicants should plan on taking the GRE by mid-November 2014 for admissions for Fall 2015. GRE scores should be sent to GSAS using ETS code 3451 (a department code is not needed).

International Students

All international students who do not hold the equivalent of a US Bachelor degree from an institution where the primary language of instruction is English must submit scores from the Internet based test (IBT) of the TOEFL. No other test scores will be accepted. Applicants should plan on taking the TOEFL by mid-November 2014 for Fall 2015. TOEFL scores should be sent to GSAS using ETS code 3451 (a department code is not needed).

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.

2014 Information Sessions

Two information sessions are held during the the Fall prior to the admissions deadline date.  The dates for the Fall 2014 sessions will be held on September 22nd and October 27th.  Both sessions will be held from 4:00-5:00 pm (location Taubman 202). For immediate inquiries, please email the doctoral program office