Dean's Space

What is Dean’s Space?

Dean’s Space is shared, flexible space located on floors 2-4 in CGIS South that is available to members of the Division of Social Science for use on a short-term basis. The Dean of Social Science assigns space through an application process that prioritizes efficient use of the space for academic activities (teaching and/or research) that benefit from a CGIS location and cannot be accommodated elsewhere. CGIS Dean’s Space is a scarce resource, and, in order to allow for the greatest access to the space for all, space assignments will span from one month to one year. Renewal requests for a second year will be considered, but no further extensions will be granted.


  • Applicants for Dean’s Space should ask only for the amount of space they truly need and for the amount of time that they need it (no more than one year at a time).
  • Space will be assigned to maximize utility; there is no need to request specific rooms.
  • Efficient use of Dean’s Space is utilization of the space at least 20 hours per week for the requested period.
  • Dean’s Space is not available to Harvard faculty except if the faculty member is on sabbatical and will not be using his/her regular faculty office. Faculty applicants to Dean’s Space are expected to use the space for at least 20 hours/week through their sabbatical period. Priority among faculty applicants will go to faculty who are not Cambridge-based, e.g. from Allston or Longwood.
  • All proposed utilizations of the space must be under the direct supervision of a Harvard faculty PI or a center or department within the Social Science Division.
  • Efficient use of the unit’s own controlled space is a precondition for access to Dean’s Space. The applicant must demonstrate that the proposed activity cannot be accommodated within the unit’s existing footprint and that it meets the criteria listed above. Therefore, as part of the application process, we may require an accounting of how the center, program, or department’s current space is used.
  • Ordinarily, Dean’s Space occupants will be charged CGIS space rates; charges will be prorated for the amount of space that is occupied (e.g., one occupant will be charged 1/3 for space in large offices and 1/2 for space in smaller offices).

*By submitting an application for Dean’s Space, you affirm that you have read and commit to following the above guidelines.*
[Please email if you believe you need dean's space.]


Social Sciences Administrative Support Group (SSASG)

The Social Sciences Administrative Support Group is a shared services team contracted by selected Division units to provide limited faculty and technical assistance.

Resources/Responses to the Current Sociopolitical Climate

Institutional Communications

Travel Advice

  • Please, upon traveling outside the U.S., register on Harvard Travel Assist, especially if you are not a U.S. passport-holder.  It is important for Harvard’s Global Support Services to know your international travel schedule in the event that you are compelled off a boarded plane as it stops over at some airport. In the current political climate there is no reason to be confident that a ban on entry into the U.S. will remain in effect only for non-U.S. citizens in the current 7 countries. It could possibly be extended to include, for example, Mexico or China, and the ban on green card holders could be reinstated.
  • Everyone eligible should register for Global Entry or a similar expedited process; that is likely to facilitate passage into the U.S. given that the U.S. government will already have a lot of information about you.
  • We urge non-U.S. citizens, emphasizing that this advice is broad and not limited to the current seven countries, to carry with you three additional documents. Each entry situation at airports is supposed to be decided on a case-by-case basis. This kind of documentation could be the difference between 10 minutes and 10 hours at an airport:
    • Your resumé or curriculum vitae.
    • A letter from your Resident House Dean, if an undergraduate student, or the Department chair, if a graduate student, postdoc, staff member, or faculty member, attesting to your regular ongoing status at Harvard; this letter can be just a couple of sentences.
    • The contact information of a Harvard person (not merely a family member) who may be contacted for help.

Safety/Harassment Concerns

  • Harvard University Police Department (HUPD)
    • Call 617-495-1212 to report immediately a bias-related incident, hate crime, or harassment.
    • For anonymous reporting, call the 24-hour automated voice mail system at 617-496-2700 or report online at
  • Massachusetts Attorney General (MA AG)

Immigration and Other Concerns

Finding & Applying for Research Funding - Faculty/PI Resources

Finding Funding

Applying for Funding

Points of Contact

General inquiries or requests for service should be sent to  or to Susan Gomes, or 617-496-9448. Questions regarding limited submission opportunities should be sent to Erin Cromack, or 617-496-5252.


For Current Undergraduates

Getting Started in the Social Sciences

There are many sources of information about concentration options at Harvard College. The fields of concentration section of the Handbook for Students  offers an overview and list of tracks and required courses for each concentration. The Advising Programs Office 49 Book  provides an introduction to each concentration that includes distinguishing features, a section on what alumni have done with their degrees, and a "Ways to Explore" page listing gateway courses. The undergraduate program sections on each department and degree committee website present the most detailed information. We encourage you to use all of these resources as you plan your program of study.

African and African American Studies
To get a flavor of this field, consider any of the following introductory courses: AAAS 10: Introduction to African American Studies; AAAS 11: Introduction to African Studies; AAAS 16: Sociology of the Black Community; and AAAS 20: Introduction to African Languages and Cultures.

Anthropology (includes Archaeology)
To explore Anthropology, consider one or both of the introductory courses that are given every year: Anthro 1010: The Fundamentals of Archaeological Methods and Reasoning and Anthro 1600: The Ethnographic Encounter: An Introduction to Social Anthropology. The Gen Ed courses and First-year Seminars given by Anthropology faculty also provide engaging introductions to the fields. These are liable to change year to year, so please check this page for current offerings.

has created a guide for first-year students interested in the field.

Government (political science)
Interested first-year students should read this , and might want to consider any of the following courses: Gov 10: Foundations of Political Theory (spring); Gov 20: Foundations of Comparative Politics (fall); Gov 30: American Government - A New Perspective (fall); Gov 40: International Conflict and Cooperation (spring); Gov 50: Research Methods in Political Science (fall)

has a number of First-year Seminars and General Education courses suitable for first-year students, but they vary from year to year; visit this page for current listings.

History and Science
Introductory courses include HS 100: Knowing the World - Introduction to the History of Science, and three General Education courses: Culture & Belief 34: Madness and Medicine; Culture & Belief 47: The Darwinian Revolution; Ethical Reasoning 33: Medical Ethics and History.

Science of Living Systems 20: Psychological Science is the main gateway course into psychology.

Social Studies
Concentrating in social studies requires a broad exposure to diverse social science fields, so first-year students might consider Ec 10 and/or an introductory Statistics course. Courses like Gov 10 or Gov 20 are useful to see if one actually finds political theory interesting and enjoyable. Additionally, the readings for those courses provide an introduction to a number of theorists and philosophers covered in Social Studies 10. Other introductory options include History 13a or any Ethical Reasoning course.

If you are interested in exploring sociology there are four routes to consider:

  1. You can take one of the courses designed to give you an introduction to the discipline including: Soc 24: Introduction to Social Inequality; Soc 25: Introduction to the Sociology of Organizations; Soc 26: Introduction to Global Social Change; Soc 27: Introduction to Social Movements.
  2. You can take an elective from among the 100-level courses (see current list) in an area that interests you.
  3. You can take a General Education course that is also a sociology course including: Societies of the World 44: Human Trafficking: Slavery and Abolition in the Modern World and United States in the World 24: Reinventing Boston: The Changing American City. For an updated list of such courses please contact Laura Thomas at
  4. If you have confidence that you are going to concentrate in sociology you can consider taking one of the following core courses that are required for concentrators: Soc 97: Social Theory (offered fall and spring); Soc 128: Models of Social Science Research (offered fall only).

Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality
There is a growing collection of General Education courses offered by WGS faculty that are specifically designed to serve as gateways into the concentration, for instance, Aesthetic & Interpretive Understanding 26: Race, Gender, and PerformanceUnited States in the World 26: Sex and the Citizen: Race, Gender, and Belonging in the United States; and Culture & Belief 37: The Romance - From Jane Austen to Chick Lit. Interested students may also wish to take a First-year Seminar offered by WGS faculty (current listings).

Secondary Fields

with a social science component

Comparative Study of Religion
Environmental Science & Public Policy
Ethnicity, Migration, Rights
Global Health & Health Policy
Mind, Brain, Behavior
Regional Studies–Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia

Students seeking to integrate two disparate fields into a coherent plan of study may wish to purse a joint concentration.


Resources for Undergraduates

For Prospective Students

For prospective undergraduates

Those interested in obtaining an undergraduate degree from Harvard should visit the College's admissions website for application information and materials, deadlines, fees and financial aid information, and general tips and guidance about student life and the application process. There is a section for international applicants, a helpful FAQ section, information about visiting the campus, and sections on living at Harvard as well as life beyond the classroom.

To discover information sessions about Harvard (and four other universities) in your home state or country, go to Exploring College Options.

For a student perspective, you may want to check out the Harvard Crimson, "the nation's oldest continuously published daily college newspaper."

For prospective graduate students

Those interested in obtaining a graduate degree from Harvard should visit the admissions section of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) website. Here you can find application materials as well as information about admission requirements, fees, financial aid, student life, and much more. There are more than 70 programs of study, including sixteen interfaculty programs (with the Law School, Kennedy School of Government, Business School, Medical School/MIT, and School of Public Health). A PhD degree typically requires at least five years of study; a master's degree (not offered in every program) typically requires about two years. The deadline for applications is typically in December for enrollment the following August (but see the website for precise dates).

Continuing and Online Education

The Division of Continuing Education in the Faculty of Arts & Sciences offers a variety of open-enrollment evening, online, and summer school courses, as well as professional development seminars and peer teaching for retirees.

Anyone interested in free online courses from Harvard, MIT, and over fifty other schools around the world should check out the offerings from edX.