The full doctoral student experience at Harvard is not just about outstanding academics. It’s also about the community you build, the connections you make, and the many ways for you to grow academically, professionally, and personally.

There are many student organizations and opportunities for you to make your doctoral program experience truly your own—and resources to support you along the way.

As a “discipline-plus” program, Social Policy (SPOL) PhD students will take the bulk of their courses within their disciplinary departmental homes, therefore forming strong connections to the political science and sociology communities at Harvard, including with other PhD students in the Government and Sociology Departments.

Because students enroll in the Proseminar on Inequality and Social Policy starting in G2 year and many go on to regularly attend the weekly workshops at HKS, SPOL PhD students will also benefit from the strong community of scholars and practitioners at HKS—a community that includes other PhD students focusing on public policy and applied social science research.

Finally, SPOL PhD students become affiliates of the Multidisciplinary Program on Inequality and Social Policy, which hosts the Inequality & Social Policy Seminar Series and features other funding opportunities for students interested in inequality, wealth distribution, and social policy.

Additionally, SPOL students have access to all of the resources and student groups at the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Harvard Griffin GSAS).  Those below are just a few:

Sociology Graduate Student Organization

The Graduate Student Organization within the Sociology Department is a student-run organization that focuses on social events and specific programs based on student need.

GSAS Engage

Engage offers a platform for graduate student groups to promote their organization and their events.  You can search by topic or affinity group. 

Diversity at Harvard

Harvard Griffin GSAS and Harvard is a community of students and scholars who represent different races, ethnicities, belief systems, nationalities, genders, and sexual orientations. There are student affinity groups and resources at Harvard Griffin GSAS and HKS alike that provide opportunities for you to become part of communities and help you thrive academically, develop professionally, and grow personally during your time at Harvard. 

Supporting the Whole You

Harvard Griffin GSAS and Harvard provide a range of resources to support your academic, physical, social, and mental well-being as you pursue your doctoral research. Several professional development programs are also available to prepare you for each step as you work toward your doctoral degree. 

Among the Harvard Griffin GSAS resources include those that are academically focused, particularly the Academic Resource Center and the Fellowships and Writing Center. But they also include family-minded resources such as the Harvard Student Spouses and Partners Association and as well as those focused on your mental health and wellbeing.   

Read about the support programs available at Harvard Griffin GSAS and HKS during your time at Harvard.