By MyHowBook Team ⚈ Published On:

The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University is a public policy and public administration school, and one of Harvard's graduate and professional schools. It offers master's degrees in public policy, public administration, and international development, grants several doctoral degrees, administers executive programs for senior government officials, and conducts research in subjects relating to politics, government, international affairs, and economics. The School's primary campus is located off of John F. Kennedy Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. Harvard Kennedy School was originally the Harvard Graduate School of Public Administration (GSPA), and was founded in 1936 with a $2 million gift (equivalent to ~$30 million in 2010) from Lucius N. Littauer, a graduate of Harvard College. The School's original home was in the Littauer Center north of Harvard Yard, now the home of the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Economics Department. Currently, Harvard Kennedy School offers four master's degree programs. The Harvard Kennedy School has a number of joint and concurrent degree programs, within Harvard and with other leading universities, which allow students to receive multiple degrees in a reduced period of time. Students enrolled in the Master in Public Policy program select a major, called a Policy Area of Concentration, on which they focus their coursework, take a year-long research seminar in their second year, and prepare a master's thesis, called a Policy Analysis Exercise. There is an active student life at HKS. Most of the activities are centered around interest-driven student 'caucuses,' the student government (Kennedy School Student Government, known as KSSG), a student newspaper (The Citizen), student-edited policy journals, and a number of athletic groups. Harvard Kennedy School receives high rankings in the U.S. News & World Report listing of top graduate schools of public affairs.

Harvard Kennedy School is about an abiding commitment to advancing the public interest. Thousands of Harvard Kennedy School graduates are changing the world in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors with their leadership skills and through their commitment to public service. The HKS degree programs aim to provide students with the necessary skills in analysis, management, and advocacy and with an ability to call on these skills under ever-changing circumstances.

Harvard Kennedy School leads the global search for innovative, effective means of governance. We generate ideas and bring them into the classroom, where we train the next generation of leaders for public service. We also test our ideas in practice. Our faculty is engaged in the affairs of the world, shaping public policy, advising governments, and running major institutions.

Harvard Kennedy School has also emerged as a forum for passionate debate. An impressive international roster of leaders visits us each year to share their ideas with our students, and with the world. Our student body represents over 80 countries from every region of the world, bringing diverse perspectives to HKS.

Life both inside and outside the classroom at HKS prepares students for significant leadership positions in public service. Beyond the classroom, students immerse themselves in the rich HKS community by joining clubs and caucuses, student government, and by attending events hosted by the 15 policy research centers housed on campus, including Harvard’s Institute of Politics.

Through the efforts of our faculty, the energy of our students, and the accomplishments of our graduates, Harvard Kennedy School leads change by joining compelling ideas and excellent practice.

The Harvard Kennedy School is a member of the Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) Graduate School Consortium and the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA).

The two-year Master in Public Policy (MPP) program provides future public leaders with the conceptual framework and practical skills necessary to succeed in public service.  The MPP core requirements are built upon strong foundations in analysis, management, and leadership. The two-year Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) program, the Harvard Kennedy School's newest program, is designed to prepare the next generation of leaders in international development. It is an economics-centered, multi-disciplinary program, combining rigorous training in analytical and quantitative methods with an emphasis on policy and practice. The two-year Master in Public Administration (MPA2) is a flexible program designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of established professionals and dual-degree students seeking further leadership responsibilities in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. The two-year Master in Public Administration (MPA2) is a flexible program designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of established professionals and dual-degree students seeking further leadership responsibilities in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. Two-year masters degree candidates of the Harvard Kennedy School may choose to pursue a combined degree with a number of professional schools at Harvard University or other approved universities.  Joint and concurrent programs allow students to complete two degrees in one fewer year than is normally required.

By investigating successes and failures of real people in real time, participants draw lessons relevant to their own professional experiences and challenges.  The broad range of perspectives at the Kennedy School enriches this learning process, adding useful insights into the difficult task of decision-making in a diverse and complex environment.

In addition to in-class activities, our programs offer participants the chance to reflect on their own personal and professional experiences by breaking into smaller work and discussion groups where each participant has the opportunity to present his or her own case study to peers. Participants are housed, except when noted, at Soldiers Field Park Apartments (SFP), a graduate student housing complex adjacent to the Harvard Business School.  Take a moment to watch our virtual tour.

From SFP, it is a pleasant fifteen-minute walk across the Charles River to the Harvard Kennedy School campus. The furnished apartments have two or three private bedrooms with a shared bath, living room, and kitchenette.   For your convenience, amenities are provided in each apartment:

  • Free wireless internet
  • Coffee maker
  • Telephone
  • Television
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Bed linens and towels

In addition to wireless internet access, SFP offers a community room with desktop computers, printers, and ample space to conduct group sessions. As many Executive Education programs last 2 or more weeks, there are also numerous coin-operated washer/dryers on-site.