fbpx What We Look For | Harvard Kennedy School

The interdisciplinary PhD in Political Economy and Government (PEG) prepares students who are interested in the intersection of economics and politics for rewarding careers in academia and policymaking.

What do we look for in our PEG students?

First of all, a passion for the subject matter. The curriculum covers a range of topics—international economic relations, political development, political and economic institutions, and institutional transition and reform.

Your academic background is important. To be prepared for the rigors of the program, you must have completed and excelled in the following before you enroll:

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

Importantly, we look for strong recommendations from individuals in academia or other professional sectors who know you well and can tell us about your qualifications for our program.

What else you should know

The deadline for applications to the PhD in Political Economy & Government (PEG) is December 15, 2019. 

You are not required to have a Harvard Kennedy School faculty advisor before submitting your application. You will be assigned to an advisor if you are admitted to the PEG Program. You will need to specify the academic track—either economics or political science—that you will focus on, and commit to your declared track for the full duration of our program.  You must also be in-residence at Harvard for at least three years.

We will also look at your GRE scores for any tests you have taken in the past five years. Just note we do not accept the GMAT or LSAT.  There is no minimum GRE score to apply.

If you are an international applicant, you will need to submit either your TOEFL iBT or IELTS score. International applicants who hold the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction do not need to submit the TOEFL iBT or IELTS. The minimum TOEFL score to apply is 103 and a minimum IELTS score to apply is 7. If you are an international student whose bachelor’s degree was not in English—but whose master’s degree was conducted in English—you must submit the one of the two tests.

We often receive the following question: My undergraduate degree is from an institution where English is not the primary language of instruction. However, my master’s degree is from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction.  Do I still need to take the TOEFL? The answer is: Yes.