PEG PhD candidate Meliheh Paryavi


The application deadline for fall 2016 admission is Tuesday, December 15 by 5 p.m. EST. Applicants will receive an admissions decision notification in mid-March.

The Admissions Committee admits students based on the strength of their academic records, test scores, letters of recommendations, and demonstrated ability and motivation to pursue research. Strong quantitative skills are an important part of a successful application as well. Applicants come from a wide spectrum of backgrounds and experience, but all show interest in research and promise for distinguished careers.

The PhD in Political Economy and Government application process is managed by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Office of Admissions. Applicants must send all admissions materials to the GSAS Office of Admissions, not to Harvard Kennedy School. Please visit the GSAS website to learn more about the application process, important deadlines, and how to submit your application online.

While preparing their statement of purpose, applicants will need to specify their academic track – either economics or political science – that they will focus on while in the program. There is no need for them to have an HKS faculty advisor before submitting their application; students will be assigned to an advisor once they are admitted to the program.

Course prerequisites and in-residence requirements

In order for students to be adequately prepared for the rigor of the PhD in Political Economy and Government program, they are required to have completed and excelled in the following before enrolling:

  • At least two semesters of calculus
  • Mathematics courses up to and including multivariable calculus

In addition to the above course requirements, applicants should be aware that PhD in Political Economy and Government students must be in-residence at Harvard for a minimum of three years.

Supporting documents

All application materials must be submitted online. If you are interested in applying to the PhD in Political Economy and Government, you will need to prepare and submit:

  • An online application form
  • The application fee
  • Your CV or résumé
  • Official GRE scores (GMAT and LSAT are not accepted)
  • Official TOEFL scores, if necessary
  • Official academic transcripts
  • A statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A writing sample authored by you

Additional application information

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) 
Applicants must submit their GRE scores for tests they have taken within the past five years; GMAT or LSAT scores are not accepted. There is no minimum requirement for the GRE scores. Please plan to take the GRE by mid-November 2015 for fall 2016 admission. Applicants must send their GRE scores to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Office of Admissions, using ETS code 3451. A department code is not required.

International applicants
International applicants are required to submit scores from the TOEFL’s Internet-based test (iBT) if they hold an equivalent of a bachelor’s degree from an institution where the primary language of instruction is not English. No other test scores will be accepted.

We require international applicants who are non-native English speakers to submit TOEFL scores even if they hold master’s degrees from institutions where English is the primary language of instruction.

Please plan to take the TOEFL by mid-November 2015 for fall 2016 admission. Applicants must send their TOEFL scores to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Office of Admissions, using ETS code 3451. A department code is not required. 

Admission deferral

Applicants cannot defer admission once they have been accepted to the program. They will have to submit a new application if they are interested in attending the program at a later date.

Apply to the PhD in Political Economy and Government Program

The application for the 2016-2017 academic year will be available in mid-August 2015.

PEG Dissertations Archive

View a complete list of dissertations written by PEG PhD candidates from 1973 to 2015.

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