The prestigious Harvard Kennedy School is well known across the United States and around the world for producing top leaders in government, public service, and business. But is Harvard Kennedy School actually part of Harvard University?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, Harvard Kennedy School is one of the graduate schools that make up Harvard University.

In this comprehensive article, we will examine the history of Harvard Kennedy School, its relationship to Harvard University, its degree programs, campus location, famous alumni, and more. We will provide detailed information to answer conclusively whether Harvard Kennedy School is part of Harvard University.

Brief History of Harvard Kennedy School

The Harvard Kennedy School is a prestigious institution known for its excellence in public policy and international affairs. But is it part of Harvard University? Let’s take a look at the school’s history to find out.

Founded in 1936 as Harvard Graduate School of Public Administration

The Harvard Kennedy School has a rich history that dates back to its founding in 1936. Originally known as the Harvard Graduate School of Public Administration, its mission was to train leaders in public service and administration.

From its inception, the school has been committed to the idea that public service is a noble calling and that well-trained professionals can make a positive impact on society.

Over the years, the school has evolved and adapted to the changing needs of the world. It has expanded its programs, introduced new areas of study, and attracted renowned faculty members who are experts in their fields.

Renamed John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1966

In 1966, the school was renamed the John F. Kennedy School of Government in honor of President John F. Kennedy. This renaming was a testament to President Kennedy’s commitment to public service and his belief in the power of government to effect positive change.

Since then, the school has continued to uphold President Kennedy’s legacy by preparing leaders who are dedicated to public service and who possess the skills and knowledge needed to address the complex challenges of the modern world.

Expanded degree programs in public policy and international affairs

Over the years, the Harvard Kennedy School has expanded its degree programs to offer a wide range of options for students interested in public policy and international affairs. Today, the school offers master’s degrees in Public Administration, Public Policy, and International Development, among others.

These programs provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the policy-making process, as well as the skills needed to analyze and address the pressing issues of our time. Students learn from distinguished faculty members who are leading experts in their respective fields, and they have the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning through internships, research projects, and fieldwork.

The Harvard Kennedy School’s commitment to excellence and its focus on real-world impact have made it a top choice for students who are passionate about public service and who want to make a difference in the world.

As part of Harvard University, the school benefits from the university’s vast resources and network, further enhancing the educational experience for its students.

For more information about the Harvard Kennedy School and its programs, you can visit their official website:

Harvard Kennedy School’s Ties to Harvard University

Harvard Kennedy School, also known as HKS, is indeed a part of Harvard University. As one of the 13 graduate schools at Harvard, HKS offers a unique and distinguished education in public policy and administration.

With its rich history and esteemed reputation, Harvard Kennedy School stands as a pillar of excellence within the larger institution of Harvard University.

One of 13 graduate schools at Harvard

Harvard University is renowned for its diverse range of graduate programs, and the Harvard Kennedy School is no exception. Alongside schools such as Harvard Law School, Harvard Business School, and Harvard Medical School, HKS contributes to the university’s comprehensive educational offerings.

This allows students at Harvard Kennedy School to benefit from the vast resources and interdisciplinary collaborations that Harvard University provides.

Shares Harvard’s Board of Overseers

One of the ways in which Harvard Kennedy School is deeply connected to Harvard University is through its shared governance structure. Like other schools within the university, HKS shares Harvard’s Board of Overseers.

This board, composed of Harvard alumni and fellows, plays a crucial role in the oversight and strategic direction of the entire university, including Harvard Kennedy School. This ensures that HKS remains integrated into the broader Harvard community.

Faculty can teach across schools

Harvard University encourages collaboration and cross-disciplinary teaching among its faculty members. This means that professors at Harvard Kennedy School have the opportunity to teach courses not only within their own school but also in other graduate schools at Harvard.

This cross-pollination of ideas and expertise further enhances the educational experience for students and promotes a holistic approach to addressing complex societal issues.

Students can take classes at other Harvard grad schools

Another advantage of being a part of Harvard University is the ability for Harvard Kennedy School students to take classes at other graduate schools within the university. This flexibility allows students to explore additional areas of interest and gain a broader perspective on public policy and administration.

Whether it’s attending a lecture at Harvard Law School or participating in a seminar at the Harvard Business School, HKS students have the opportunity to engage with a diverse range of academic disciplines.

Harvard Kennedy School Campus and Location

Located in Cambridge, MA like rest of Harvard

The Harvard Kennedy School is indeed part of Harvard University and is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just like the rest of the university. Situated along the banks of the Charles River, the school enjoys a beautiful and prestigious location that is synonymous with the Harvard name.

Being in close proximity to other Harvard schools and departments allows for easy collaboration and access to resources.

Has own campus but integrated with Harvard

While the Harvard Kennedy School has its own campus, it is fully integrated into the larger Harvard University community. The school’s campus features state-of-the-art facilities, including classrooms, research centers, and administrative offices.

However, being part of Harvard University means that students and faculty at the Kennedy School have the opportunity to engage with a diverse range of disciplines and expertise from other Harvard schools.

Uses many Harvard facilities like libraries, gyms, housing

The Harvard Kennedy School benefits from its affiliation with Harvard University by having access to a wide range of facilities and resources. Students and faculty at the Kennedy School can utilize Harvard’s extensive library system, which includes one of the largest academic library collections in the world.

Additionally, they have access to Harvard’s world-class athletic facilities, including gyms and sports fields. Housing options are also available to Kennedy School students through Harvard’s residential system, ensuring a seamless experience for those pursuing their education at the Kennedy School.

Degree Programs Offered by Harvard Kennedy School

Harvard Kennedy School is a prestigious institution that is part of Harvard University. It is renowned for its excellence in public policy and offers a range of degree programs to cater to the diverse needs of its students.

Master’s degrees: MPP, MPA/ID, MC/MPA

Harvard Kennedy School offers several master’s degree programs, including the Master in Public Policy (MPP), Master in Public Administration/International Development (MPA/ID), and Master in Public Administration (MC/MPA).

These programs provide students with a comprehensive understanding of public policy, governance, and leadership, equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to tackle complex global challenges.

The MPP program focuses on policy analysis and aims to develop analytical and problem-solving skills. The MPA/ID program combines training in economics and quantitative analysis with a focus on international development.

The MC/MPA program is designed for mid-career professionals seeking to enhance their leadership skills and policy expertise.

PhD in Public Policy

For those interested in pursuing a research-oriented career in public policy, Harvard Kennedy School offers a Ph.D. in Public Policy. This program provides students with the opportunity to conduct in-depth research on critical policy issues and contribute to the body of knowledge in the field.

Students work closely with faculty members who are leading experts in their respective areas of research.

Executive Education programs

In addition to its degree programs, Harvard Kennedy School offers Executive Education programs for professionals seeking to enhance their skills and knowledge in public policy and leadership. These programs are designed to provide practical insights and tools that can be applied in real-world settings.

With a focus on experiential learning, participants engage in case studies, simulations, and discussions with faculty and fellow professionals.

Whether you are a recent graduate, a mid-career professional, or an experienced leader, Harvard Kennedy School offers a range of degree programs and executive education options to suit your needs and aspirations.

With its rich academic resources and distinguished faculty, Harvard Kennedy School is a prime destination for those seeking to make a positive impact in the field of public policy.

Notable Harvard Kennedy School Alumni

Heads of state like Mexican President Felipe Calderón

The Harvard Kennedy School has produced numerous graduates who have gone on to become heads of state, including Mexican President Felipe Calderón. Calderón, who served as the President of Mexico from 2006 to 2012, earned his Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School.

His time at the school equipped him with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead a nation, and his success serves as a testament to the quality of education provided at the institution.

U.S. Senators and Representatives

Many alumni of the Harvard Kennedy School have also pursued careers in politics, with a significant number of them serving as U.S. Senators and Representatives. These individuals have utilized the knowledge and expertise gained during their time at the school to shape public policy and make a positive impact on the lives of their constituents.

Some notable examples include Senator Tammy Duckworth and former Representative Beto O’Rourke, both of whom credit their education at the Harvard Kennedy School for their successful political careers.

Leaders in law, business, activism, and more

The influence of Harvard Kennedy School alumni extends beyond politics. Graduates have gone on to become leaders in various fields, including law, business, activism, and more. For instance, former United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch obtained her Master’s in Public Administration from the school before embarking on a distinguished career in law.

Other notable alumni include Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, and activist Malala Yousafzai, both of whom have utilized their Harvard Kennedy School education to drive positive change in their respective fields.

These examples represent just a fraction of the notable individuals who have graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School. The school’s commitment to providing a rigorous and comprehensive education, combined with its prestigious reputation, continues to attract exceptional students who go on to accomplish great things in their chosen fields.


As this comprehensive exploration shows, Harvard Kennedy School has a long history of being an integral part of Harvard University. While it has its own campus, faculty, and degree programs focused on public policy and leadership, Harvard Kennedy School remains tied to Harvard through administration, academics, location, and student life.

So the clear answer is yes – Harvard Kennedy School is part of the prestigious Harvard University academic system. It carries on Harvard’s mission of education and research at the graduate level, training some of the world’s top leaders in government and public service.

Harvard takes pride in Harvard Kennedy School as one of its preeminent graduate schools.

Similar Posts