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The Mid-Career Summer Program is an intensive five-week, non-credit course held in July and August, to help prepare MC/MPA students for the coming academic year at Harvard Kennedy School.
The program is designed to build and renew students’ analytic, conceptual, and study skills, and introduce them to core methodologies used at HKS. Students begin to develop connections with their classmates and academic instructors during the Summer Program, and become better acquainted with the resources available to them at HKS, Harvard University, and in the Boston-Cambridge area.
Students attend classes daily during the Mid-Career Summer Program, complete assignments, and read and discuss case studies and other materials – mostly in an interactive classroom setting where academic instructors provide students with constructive feedback. The coursework and feedback are designed to help students identify their strengths and interests as they prepare for the academic year.
Importantly, the Mid-Career Summer Program also gives students the time to think about and determine the academic, professional, and personal goals they want to accomplish during their year at HKS.
Mid-Career seminars are held each week for students learn more about the cultures of their peers as well as their careers and the professional challenges they have encountered. Along the way, the program’s academic components are rounded out with different social activities.
Macroeconomics: students focus on fiscal, monetary, and balance-of-payments issues in these lectures.
Microeconomics: students focus on learning basic microeconomic concepts, and their importance in informing and resolving public policy issues. This course is taught in a small group setting for students to learn with others at the same understanding level, and work through materials and daily homework assignments together.
Political Institutions: students study the origin and function of U.S. political institutions as well as the larger issues of governance and politics. The lectures examine constitutional history, the branches of government, and behavior of citizens and political groups.
Quantitative Methods: students learn about the quantitative tools they will be using during the academic year. This course is taught in a small group setting for students to review and expand on their understanding of basic math and probability used in policy analysis courses.
Studio Lab: this allotted time allows students to work on problem sets from their quantitative methods and economics courses, with certain HKS faculty members available to help.
Trends in Globalization: students are urged to think broadly during this session about the many different angles of the ever-changing global context in which we live. Topics such as the environment, human rights, information technology, international security, and international trade may be discussed.
Mid-Career Summer Program Registration
Students will receive information about the Mid-Career Summer Program after they are admitted to the MC/MPA Program. They will be required to complete an online registration form on the New Admit website within two weeks after they receive their admissions notification from Harvard Kennedy School.
Computer Skills and Equipment
It is assumed that students will arrive at the Mid-Career Summer Program with working knowledge of Windows and Microsoft software, Word and Excel specifically. They will be using these programs for their economics and quantitative courses and should be familiar with them before arriving at HKS. Visit the HKS Information Technology website to learn about computer labs and IT support available to HKS students.
Massachusetts law requires students to have health insurance coverage for the entire academic year; Harvard University Health Services and Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance is available to all students and their dependents. This coverage may be waived only for students who hold U.S.-based health insurance that meets Massachusetts requirements. All students are also required to pay a University Health Service fee. Visit the Harvard University Health Services website to learn more about health insurance policies and how to get coverage through Harvard University.
Students are expected to make their own housing arrangements. Harvard University Housing (HUH) is a helpful resource for finding on- and off-campus housing options. If you plan on arriving in Cambridge ahead of the Mid-Career Summer Program, bring a copy of your admissions letter so you can access the HUH office, which will provide you with a list of local hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts for you to stay until you have secured permanent housing. Housing in the Boston-Cambridge area is usually unfurnished, so please plan to either buy or rent furniture upon your arrival.