As an exceptional scholar, you want an exceptional graduate program.


The PhD in Public Policy (PPOL) program provides the advanced graduate training you need to successfully launch yourself into a research or related position in academia, government, a nongovernmental organization, or the private sector. 

You will get the training you need to conduct analytical research, help shape and execute policy, and teach the next generation of educators, researchers, and practitioners. The program encourages scholarly research that empowers public policy practitioners like you to make informed decisions and be leaders in their fields. 

PPOL PhD alumnus Todd Gerarden’s fascination with bike mechanics mingled with his love of cycling and the outdoors; what emerged was a budding interest in energy and environmental policy. An undergraduate professor suggested he read Economics of the Environment, a collection of selected readings edited by HKS professor Robert N. Stavins. That suggestion changed the course of his career.

Todd Gerarden PPOL PhD 2018

The Complete PhD

The PPOL admits students to one of four tracks: Economics; Judgment and Decision Making; Politics and Institutions; and Science, Technology and Policy Studies.    

PPOL graduates enter the workplace prepared to teach, carry out research, and make a profound impact in academia, while for others the degree leads to productive careers in think tanks, multinational organizations, NGOs, or the private sector.

"I've joined two research labs at HKS: Jennifer Lerner's and Julia Minson's. The brainstorming, feedback, and mutual pursuit of important research that comes from working in the labs is truly fulfilling."