Printer-friendly versionSend by email

Program Overview (For Undergraduates)

  • The Harvard Public Opinion Project is a group of engaged students from a range of concentrations who share an interest in public opinion research. Our work starts by brainstorming and writing interesting and relevant questions that give insight into the political opinions and civic engagement of young Americans.  The bi-annual poll provides multiple opportunities to learn, implement, and analyze public opinion research under the guidance of IOP Polling Director John Della Volpe. We meet on Monday afternoons at the Institute of Politics.

  • Citizenship Tutoring is a program which aims to combine public service and policy discussion, specifically with regard to the issue of immigration. Students involved in the program are each matched with one Harvard employee who is applying for US Citizenship. Meeting once a week for one hour sessions, tutors help prepare the employee for the US Citizenship exam. Subjects range from US history to the structure of the American government to recent current events.

  • The Harvard CIVICS Program places motivated undergraduates in classrooms throughout the Boston area, teaching civics and government classes to inspire students to take an active role in their communities and grow into participants in our democracy. We focus our curriculum on the function of government, the meaning of active citizenship, and avenues of community engagement. In the fall we teach about the structure of government, the three branches of government, elections, media, and current events.

  • The Community Action Committee (CAC) helps Harvard students impact the political process by taking action in their community. To this end, CAC is the entry point for community service and direct action at the IOP. Our projects and activities work to empower our community and foster political participation and awareness. In addition, CAC aims to bridge the gap between the various programs of the Institute of Politics by building a stronger IOP community.

  • The Fellows Program represents a unique opportunity for political practitioners with diverse experiences and viewpoints to spend a semester at Harvard. Fellows lead a not-for-credit study group, participate in Institute activities, and engage in informal interchange with students and faculty.  The Fellows Program is central to the Institute's dual commitment to encourage student interest in public life and to develop ways for the academic and political communities to learn from each other. 

  • The Harvard Political Review is a quarterly, nonpartisan political journal and dynamic online platform produced entirely by undergraduates. We welcome all Harvard College students regardless of concentration, experience, or political leaning.

  • The Harvard Political Union is the premier association for political debate and discussion at Harvard University. Every Monday evening, undergraduates are invited to an informal dinner and discussion event on controversial topics ranging from stem cell research to foreign policy. At the end, members vote on a resolution or series of resolutions that will constitute the HPU’s position on the topic. Furthermore, we host campus-wide debates on particular topics throughout the semester on a regular basis.

     

  • The John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum is Harvard University’s premier arena for political speech, discussion and debate. Located at the heart of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Forum regularly hosts heads of state; leaders in politics, government, business, labor and the media; academics; community organizers; and artists. In addition to speeches, debates and panel discussions on pressing issues, the Forum regularly sponsors television and radio programs, film screenings, and theatrical productions.

  • The National Campaign student committee at Harvard is dedicated to making voting easy and accessible to all Harvard students. Each fall, National Campaign coordinates the H-VOTE competition between upperclassman houses and freshman dorms to not only register students to vote, but to encourage and facilitate voting on campus, either via absentee ballot or in person at the polls on Election Day.

  • The Policy Program includes groups of undergraduates united over a common interest in a particular policy area. Groups meet regularly, research their area of interest, and produce a brief policy proposal of their findings. The program allows undergraduates to take the time to study an issue they are passionate about, explore potential policy solutions, and advocate for those solutions.

  • Special Events includes a variety of IOP events including Pizza and Politics discussions, Director's Dinners, conferences such as the New Mayors and New Members of Congress Conferences, and the New Frontier Awards.

  • The process of voting in the U.S. can be a very confusing - especially for first time voters and students who attend school out-of-state. State deadlines, laws, and verification processes differ greatly, and often students - and the rest of the general public - look for resources to help them navigate the system. The Institute of Politics, as part of its mission, is dedicated to providing useful information to help U.S. citizens register to vote and cast their ballots.

  • The Institute of Politics’ Women’s Initiative in Leadership (WIL) was created to address the interest and importance of female students at Harvard in developing leadership skills. The program strives to explore and understand leadership through seminars, discussions, and interactive workshops over the course of a semester. Candidates for the Women’s Initiative in Leadership must be currently enrolled at Harvard College. Applications are open to all undergraduate women during the first weeks in the fall and the spring; however, space is limited.