Concentration Overviews


anthroBy the most common definition, anthropology is the study of human diversity in the distant past and the present and, as such, teaches us to recognize the remarkable array of circumstances in which human beings live their lives and make meaning from them. 

Our faculty...

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Applied Mathematics

applied mathWe can characterize what applied mathematicians should learn by examining what they do.  Mathematical scientists who identify themselves primarily as applied mathematicians function in complementary dual rolesin varying proportions. 

First, they develop, implement, and study mathematical,...

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astrophysicsThe science of astrophysics involves the study of matter and radiation in the universe as understood through the laws of physics. Astronomical phenomena exhibit an extreme range of physical conditions, from superfluid neutrons in neutron stars, high-temperature nuclear reactions in supernovae, and strong gravitational fields...

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chemChemistry is both a basic science, fundamental to an understanding of the world we live in, and a practical science with an enormous number and variety of important applications.  Knowledge of chemistry is fundamental to an understanding of biology and biochemistry and of certain aspects of geology, astronomy, physics, and engineering....

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Chemistry and Physics

chem and physicsThere is exciting science on the somewhat arbitrary and fluid boundary between chemistry and physics. Chemists and physicists often study the same phenomena in slightly different ways, and it is very useful, in the boundary area, to have training in both fields. Recognizing this, the physics department has for many...

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classicsThe Department of the Classics offers its students the opportunity to explore the whole range of Greco-Roman civilization from the Bronze Age through Byzantium and medieval Europe to Modern Greece.

Its faculty provide instruction in all the major areas of classical studies, including language and linguistics,...

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Comparative Literature

comp litComparative literature is the department for students who want to cross boundaries -- between languages, between cultures, between disciplines. We welcome students who are interested in studying literature in more than one national and linguistic tradition, students who want to explore literature in relation to other arts and media (e.g...

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Computer Science


Computer science is a dynamic, versatile field, full of open problems and opportunities for creative invention. The concentration in computer science is designed to teach students skills that they will use immediately and also ideas they will exploit in the future in ways we cannot even imagine today.


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East Asian Studies

east asian studies

East Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary concentration that seeks to develop a critical understanding of the human experience in East Asia. A concentrator develops language skills, participates in a series of tutorials, and selects from a rich offering of lecture courses and seminars. The program...

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econEconomics is at once broad in its subject matter and unified in its approach to understanding the social world. The Harvard Economics Department aims to teach undergraduate students the basic principles of economics, to introduce them to various subfields within economics, and to give them a foundation in understanding and carrying out...

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Electrical Engineering


Electrical Engineering provides the information and communications pathways that link us together, the techniques that allow us to send a multitude of complex information over long distances ever more rapidly, and that allow us to carry out demanding computation on massive amounts of data in ever shorter periods of time...

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Engineering Sciences

engineering sciences

Engineering plays a critical role in enhancing social progress and improving our quality of life. The Engineering Sciences program educates future leaders with the technical background necessary to develop and critically evaluate the next wave of engineering innovations, to apply these...

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english“We like books,” explains Professor Steph Burt, Director of Undergraduate Studies. “We also like collections of letters and manuscripts and recitations of poems and stage plays. We even like tweets and sometimes films and videos. We study all of those things in their contexts. We study what goes on inside them, and we...

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Folklore and Mythology

folk & mythConcentrators develop skills for understanding past and present societies and their sub-groups through the study of language, traditional expressive forms and ritualized behaviors, drawing on the methodologies of several humanities and social sciences disciplines.

Students focus on how the many...

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Of all the social sciences, political science has perhaps the least definite boundaries and the most adventurous border crossers.  Because it concerns itself with power in all of its many forms and consequences, political science covers many different subjects.  These include the philosophy and  ethics of...

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History is more than just the study of the past; it examines how societies, people, and nature actually functioned in the past and in turn, how that context affects the present. Our faculty’s courses enablestudents to encounter the unfamiliar and to approach it with empathy and analytical understanding. We teach our...

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History and Literature

hist and litHistory & Literature is the study of ideas in context. A rigorous honors concentration built on student-centered tutorials and individualized advising, History and Literature balances structure and flexibility.Designed for students who want to take charge of their education, History & Literature trains students...

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History and Science


History & Science is an interdisciplinary field of study. The program offers students a variety of opportunities to expand their understanding of the scientific enterprise and to explore in detail how science has developed in history and how science has shaped other human activities. Students are challenged to ask big...

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History of Art and Architecture

haaThe History of Art & Architecture concentration offers training in the historical interpretation and critical analysis of the visual arts and  architecture. It develops the skills of visual discrimination and verbal expression fundamental to art historical analysis. Art history is a multifaceted discipline...

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Human Evolutionary Biology

hebEvolutionary theory provides a powerful framework for investigating questions about why humans are the way they are. Human evolutionary biologists seek to understand how evolutionary  forces have shaped our anatomy, our biology, and our patterns of behavior. Examples of questions in which we are interested include:...

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Integrative Biology (OEB)

ibEvolution is the strand that ties together all of biology: from the adaptive specifics of a membrane pore to grand events in the history of life, such as the Cambrian Explosion, when, 540 million years ago, life went in a single bound from simple to complex. But adaptive evolution is a response to the demands of the... Read more about Integrative Biology (OEB)



“Linguists are no different from any other people who spend more than nineteen hours a day pondering the complexities of grammar and its relationship to practically everything else in order to prove that language is so inordinately complicated that it is impossible in principle for people to talk.” - Ronald W. Langacker...

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mathMathematics is the science of order, and mathematicians seek to identify instances of order and to formulate and understand concepts that enable us to perceive order in complicated situations. Perhaps the most important concept of mathematics is that of function, which provides us with the means to study dependence and change. The study of...

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