Social Studies is a great concentration for students who are interested in studying a social science topic from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students craft their own plans of study, drawing courses from across the college and, frequently, from the graduate schools. We offer small tutorials, one-on-one advising, and a vibrant and supportive intellectual community.
You don’t need to know what you want to study to declare Social Studies, but you do need to be committed to actively shaping your undergraduate education and to working closely with your adviser to identify and pursue your academic interests. Our curriculum is sufficiently flexible that students can change their focus fields, if necessary, up to the beginning of their senior year. Our curriculum is also flexible enough to allow students to complete pre-medical requirements or to complete secondary fields in areas that are different from their focus fields.
First-year students considering Social Studies may want to take Economics 10 or any upper level course for which Economics 10 is a prerequisite. They may also want to take an ethical reasoning or philosophy course to determine whether they enjoy social theory.
Potential concentrators must enroll in Social Studies 10a, which is a prerequisite for applying to the concentration. Sophomores should take courses in economics and statistics, especially if they are planning to study abroad their junior year, and should continue to take social science courses in areas that interest them.
Yes. Students can submit a Declaration of Intent in the Spring of their sophomore year, and in the Fall of their junior year. The form will be available on the website in mid-late January for second semester sophomores, and in late August-early September for first term juniors. Please contact Bonnie Talbert for more information.
High school students who are interested in applying to Harvard College should contact Harvard College Admissions with any questions. Members of the Social Studies Committee will be happy to advise you after you have been accepted to Harvard and have enrolled in classes as a first-year student.
First-semester sophomores will be advised in their houses, but are also encouraged to consult their sophomore tutor or members of our freshmen-sophomore advising team: Dr. Bonnie Talbert, the Assistant Director of Studies for Freshmen and Sophomores, and Kate Anable, our Undergraduate Program Administrator.