PEG PhD student standing outside in alleyway
PhD Candidate Perspective

The great thing about my program is that you can take classes at all departments at Harvard. I was deeply impressed by Matthew Desmond's class, 'Poverty in America,' which sheds light on the day to day struggle of Americans living below the poverty line.

Soeren Henn PEG PhD Candidate

The PhD Program in Political Economy and Government (PEG) curriculum gives you a PhD-level proficiency in macroeconomics, microeconomics, political science and quantitative methods. It also lets you tailor your program of study to track with your dissertation.

During your first two years in residence, you typically complete courses where you develop a deeper understanding of economic theory as well as the areas of political or social science theory that are most relevant to your dissertation research topic.

You also master two substantive fields related to your dissertations during your second year. By the start of your third year, you complete your oral general examination to ensure that you have achieved enough understanding of your field to be considered an expert.

By the beginning of your fourth year, you submit and defend a dissertation prospectus, after which you research, write and prepare to defend your dissertation under the guidance of your faculty committee. To be successful, dissertations must demonstrate highly-skilled research abilities as well as a capacity to make original and substantial contributions to the broader intellectual community.