Ph.D. On Campus

Social Policy

Harvard Kennedy School

60 months
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The PhD in Social Policy at Harvard Kennedy School is defined by its “discipline-plus” structure. 


In the Social Policy program from Harvard Kennedy School, you will build a strong foundation in either government or sociology before embarking on a sequence of multidisciplinary seminars and advanced research in social policy—all of which will focus primarily on the United States and Western Europe.

Key Features 

  • If your interests focus on developing countries, you may want to consider the Master in Public Administration in International Development or other master's degree programs at HKS.

Programme Structure

  • The joint PhD Programs in Social Policy are fundamentally about research, often in a highly specialized domain. 
  • The skills and cross-disciplinary insights you develop will allow you to identify important unanswered questions and create research strategies that improve our understanding of social problems.

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 60 months

Start dates & application deadlines




On Campus

Academic requirements

GMAT admission requirements GMAT

English requirements

We are not aware of any English requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • We encourage prospective applicants to look closely at the program’s substantive research domains and faculty research interests to assess whether this program is suited to their scholarly objectives. 
  • The programs do not focus in any sustained way on social policy in the developing world. While it may be possible to combine study of developing countries in the disciplinary department—government or sociology—with the analytic framework acquired in social policy, the social policy curriculum itself focuses almost exclusively on the issues and experiences of advanced industrial countries.
  • Students gain admission to the program in a two-stage process of review by both a multidisciplinary admissions committee in social policy and the admissions committee of the relevant disciplinary department. 

Tuition Fee

Living costs for Cambridge

1814 - 3756 USD /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Fresh content

Updated in the last year

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

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Social Policy
Harvard Kennedy School


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