fbpx Courses | Harvard Kennedy School

The following list of HKS degree program courses offer substantial climate-related content. Students interested in climate change issues are encouraged to explore other course offerings via the additional resources at right. We encourage students to look for course cross registration opportunities at other Harvard schools, MIT, and Tufts.

Click a course's number to view its full description.

Economics of Climate Change and Environmental Policy

Robert Stavins | Spring | 4 Credits

Provides a survey, from the perspective of economics, of global climate change and public policies to address it, including international, regional, national, and sub-national policies.  The political economy and politics of alternative policies are also covered.

Seminar in Environmental Economics and Policy

Robert Stavins & James Stock | Year | 4 Credits

This is an advanced research seminar on selected topics in environmental and resource economics. Emphasizes theoretical models, quantitative empirical analysis, and public policy applications. Includes presentations by invited outside speakers. Students prepare critiques of presented papers and prepare a research paper of their own.

Management, Finance, and Regulation of Public Infrastructure in Developing Countries

Henry Lee | Spring | 4 Credits

This course explores efforts to manage, finance, and regulate the transportation, water, sanitation, and energy infrastructure systems in developing countries. Issues to be discussed include public-private partnerships (PPPs), the fundamentals of project finance, contract and discretionary regulation, corruption, stakeholder involvement, and managing the political and strategic context in which infrastructure decisions are made.

Confronting Climate Change: A Foundation in Science, Technology and Policy

Dan Schrag | Fall | 4 Credits 

This course will consider the challenge of climate change and what to do about it.  The course emphasizes the scientific and technological aspects of climate change (including the clean energy transition), but in the context of current issues in public policy, business, design and public health.

Climate Disruption: Emerging Topics in Policy, Politics, and Technology of Climate Change

David Keith | Spring | 4 Credits

This interactive seminar on climate change aims to build community among Kennedy School students interested in emerging topics in climate policy, politics, and technology. The course combines two linked seminars: the practitioner's seminar and the student seminar.

The Geopolitics of Energy

Meghan O'Sullivan | Spring | 4 Credits

This course examines the intersection between international security, politics, and energy. Energy has long been a major determinant of power in the international system and that every shift in global energy patterns has brought with it changes in international politics. IGA-412 explores how countries shape their grand strategies to meet their energy needs, as well as how such actions have implications for other countries and global politics.

The Energy-Climate Challenge (NEW)

Henry Lee | Fall 2 | 2 Credits

This module will look at the challenges and opportunities of transitioning from a dependence on fossil fuels to an economy reliant on low carbon energy sources. We will focus on electricity systems, buildings, and transportation in the context of the United States, China, and India. Students will be asked to develop plans on what should be done between 2021 and 2030 to accelerate the deployment of low carbon energy options to meet the Paris targets.

Environmental Politics: Persuasion, Advocacy and Negotiation

Rand Wentworth | Spring | 4 Credits

Leadership is difficult in any enterprise, but it is especially difficult for environmental leaders who face opponents with vastly more power and money. In this course, students will learn three core skills to overcome power asymmetries: persuasion, advocacy, and negotation.


Science, Power, and Politics

Sheila Jasanoff | Fall | 4 Credits

This seminar introduces students to the major contributions of the field of science and technology studies (STS) to the analysis of politics and policymaking in democratic societies. The objective is to expand students' understanding of the ways in which science and technology participate in the creation of social and political order.

Analytical Methods for Complex Adaptive Systems

Afreen Siddiqi | Fall 1 | 2 Credits

This course introduces theory and methods for quantitative analysis of complex, sociotechnical systems. The course will introduce complex adaptive systems theory and approaches for ‘systems thinking’ for analyzing modern systems that embody technological and social elements and operate within a changing environment.

Policy and Social Innovations for the Changing Arctic

Halla Hrund-Logadottir | January | 2 Credits

Through the lens of the rapidly changing Arctic region, this module will give students an overarching understanding of these local and global challenges, as well as tools and experience in developing their own policy and social innovations to address complex issues in a sustainable way. It will also provide students with skills to communicate new policy ideas effectively to a global audience.


Additional Resources for Course Selection

Harvard Syllabus Explorer

Syllabus Explorer allows you to search more than 10,000 Harvard syllabi, to find classes, instructors, and course material relevant to your interests. It is a project developed in partnership by the Office of the Vice Provost for Advances and Learning and Harvard University IT.

Course Guide - Harvard University Center for the Environment

The Center for the Environment has compiled a list of Harvard courses most relevant to environmental studies. All attempts are made to ensure accuracy of listed course information; however, for up-to-date listings of Faculty of Arts and Sciences courses, visit My.Harvard. For a comprehensive list of courses offered at Harvard, visit the University's Course Catalog.

KNet Course List

Browse current HKS courses, view student evaluations, and explore the syllabus archive. HKS login required.

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