Programs

Develop personally and professionally. Interview your heroes. Help a new friend become a U.S. citizen. Join one of fifteen student programs at the Institute of Politics.

Harvard undergraduates can get involved with the IOP by applying to any student programs that interest you at the beginning of each semester through the IOP Common Application. The entire Harvard community is invited to attend JFK Jr. Forums, debates, special events, and study groups.
 

Our Undergraduate Programs



Campaign and Advocacy Program (CAP)

The Campaign and Advocacy Program (CAP) was created to address student interest in developing campaign and advocacy skills. CAP members gain a better understanding of campaigns and advocacy through discussions and interactive workshops.
 

Citizenship Tutoring (Cit Tut)

The Citizenship Tutoring (Cit Tut) program is rooted in the idea that public service can build greater civic engagement throughout the Harvard community. The program is a partnership between the undergraduate program members at the IOP and the Harvard Bridge, an adult training program open to all Harvard University staff and faculty. Every week our tutors meet with employees from various departments within the Harvard community to help them apply for citizenship and study for the four components of the U.S. citizenship test: civics, speaking, reading, and writing.
 

Community Action Committee (CAC)

The Community Action Committee's (CAC) goal is to educate and inform members about community organizing through theory, historical case studies, and guest speakers, and then to use that knowledge to politically engage the Harvard, greater Boston/Cambridge communities, and the nation as a whole. The committee's programming offers a rewarding opportunity for Harvard students interested in public service and community organizing to work directly with non-profit organizations through the development of capstone projects.
 

Fellows and Study Groups (FSG)

The Fellows Program offers a unique opportunity to interact with and get to know one of our resident fellows - public figures with exceptional careers and experiences in politics and public service - in an intimate and personal setting. Student liaison teams of six help plan, produce, and publicize a study group each week during the semester.
 

Harvard Political Review (HPR)

The Harvard Political Review is a quarterly student-run journal of politics, policy, and culture written and produced by Harvard undergraduate students.
 

Harvard Political Union (HPU)

The Harvard Political Union is the premier association for political debate and discussion at Harvard University. ​
 

Harvard Public Opinion Project (HPOP)

Members of the Harvard Public Opinion Project brainstorm and draft the questions for the biannual Harvard Youth Poll examining the political opinions and civic engagement of young Americans, analyze the collected data, and present the results to the media and other interested parties.
 

Harvard Votes Challenge (HVC)

The Harvard Votes Challenge is a non-partisan movement to increase voter participation around the University and beyond.
 

John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum

The John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum is Harvard University's premier arena for political speech, discussion, and debate. Students help with event ideation, execution, promotion, and outreach.
 

Politics of Race and Ethnicity (PRE)

The Politics of Race and Ethnicity (PRE) Program focuses on highlighting and discussing the intersection of race, ethnicity, and politics. ​
 

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM)

The IOP Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) Program explores the interdisciplinary study of politics. In a time of rapid technological change, STEAM promotes intelligent policy-making capable of tackling modern societal issues.
 

CIVICS

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.
 

The Policy Program

The Policy Program is the leading group on campus for researching and developing actionable solutions to issues facing the Commonwealth and nation. Similar to an undergraduate think-tank, the program allows students to take the time to study an issue they are passionate about, explore potential policy solutions, and advocate for those solutions.
 

Women's Initiative in Leadership (WIL)

The Women’s Initiative in Leadership (WIL) is a program aimed to connect students of all gender and gender identities in the Harvard community to inspiring women in various fields and points of their career.
 

IOP Coalitions
 

Coalition for Global Affairs (CGA)

The CGA works to bolster and support existing global affairs programming throughout the Institute of Politics as well as introduce and facilitate new avenues for globally-minded public service opportunities at the IOP. More specifically, the Coalition responds to international events on behalf of the IOP, encourages current IOP programs to include globally conscious programming in their calendars, and serves as a springboard for new initiatives in global affairs. CGA's previous work includes intimate speaker engagements with global public servants, advocacy hours, foreign election watch parties, and more. In doing so, CGA creates space for discussion of foreign affairs from an analytical, academic, and actionable perspective in order to encourage a holistic and international understanding of politics, support the career and personal aspirations of students interested in public service around the world, and reinforce the IOP's commitment to diversity and inclusion across all programs and initiatives.
 

Conservative Coalition

The Conservative Coalition gathers conservative members of the IOP and Harvard's community to promote the inclusion of conservative voices at the Institute through existing programming, innovative collaborations, and exclusive opportunities. All ideological backgrounds are welcome, and the Conservative Coalition aims to foster a space friendly to open civil discourse, earnest exchange of ideas, and community oriented dialogue.
 

Gender and Sexuality Coalition (GSC)

The GSC is dedicated to fostering insightful conversations and profound explorations of the multifaceted realms of gender and sexuality within the realm of politics and beyond. Through an array of engaging activities, the Gender and Sexuality Coalition seeks to invigorate dialogue, elevate understanding, and champion inclusivity. Our coalition proudly brings prominent speakers, trailblazers, and thought leaders to our campus, igniting conversations that resonate with students, faculty, and the broader community. With a focus on advocacy, awareness, and empowerment, we aim to inspire dialogue and change both on campus and in the wider world. By creating a platform that encourages thoughtful discourse and critical thinking, the GSC contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of how gender and sexuality intersect with political dynamics, shaping policies and societal perspectives. Join us in this enriching journey of exploration and dialogue, where diverse voices come together to explore and contribute to a more inclusive and informed society.
 

Athletics 

The IOP Athletics Coalition is committed to amplifying the voices of student-athletes in pursuit of public service, making the IOP more accessible for student-athletes and their schedules, and bringing former student-athletes to the IOP as speakers and mentors. The Student-Athlete Coalition works to make existing programs and events at the IOP more available and engaging for athletes, and to host new events that relate to the experiences and leadership opportunities that athletes pursue and are interested in. 

Staff contact:

Melanie Pagan, mpagan@hks.harvard.edu