h o m e i n t r o c u r r i c u l u m f a c u l t y s t u d e n t s r e s o u r c e s n e w s a p p l y
P h. D.  P r o g r a m s  i n  S o c i a l  P o l i c y  H o m e




The "discipline-plus" model

The defining characteristic of the joint Ph.D. programs in Social Policy is their "discipline-plus" structure. Students develop a thorough grounding in a traditional discipline—Government or Sociology—before embarking on a sequence of multidisciplinary seminars and advanced research in Social Policy.

While the Government and Sociology tracks differ in their specific requirements and timetables, the general trajectory of doctoral students in the joint programs focuses on coursework in the first two years of graduate school, followed by development of a dissertation prospectus and 2-3 years of dissertation research and writing. Expected time to degree in either track is 5-6 years.

Government track
CGIS North, home to the Government Department The Government curriculum aims to ensure that students acquire broad mastery of the discipline of political science, as well as specialization in a defined subfield: American politics, comparative politics, international relations, or political philosophy.
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Sociology track
William James Hall, home to the Sociology Department. The Sociology curriculum provides a general foundation in classical and contemporary sociological theory. Students pursue further study in stratification, social organization, and two elective fields: culture, development, gender, political sociology, or race and ethnicity.
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Social Policy module (both tracks)
Taubman Building, home to the Social Policy faculty of the John F. Kennedy School of Government The Social Policy curriculum centers on the Proseminar in Inequality & Social Policy, an intensive, multidisciplinary, three-semester course sequence. An additional dissertation workshop in Social Policy provides opportunities to develop research ideas and presentation skills in a collegial multidisciplinary setting.
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Research domains

The joint Ph.D. Programs in Social Policy are structured broadly around seven major research domains, which together define the principal substantive concerns of the program.
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Dissertation titles
Book jackets on display

Recent dissertation titles, completed and in progress, convey the range of substantive topics and methodological approaches represented in the joint Ph.D. Programs in Social Policy.
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Harvard Ph.D. Programs in Social Policy | Housed at the John F. Kennedy School
of Government | 79 JFK Street | Cambridge, MA 02138 | Tel: 617.496.0109

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