Harvard Kennedy School Library & Research Services

  • Harvard Library
  • Research Guides
  • HKS Library & Research Services

National & International Security

Articles & reports, arms & expenditures, armed conflict & terrorism, think tanks, hot topic: ukraine.

  • Books on the Ukraine-Russia Crisis
  • Articles and Reports on Ukraine

Harvard Kennedy School Research Guides

Other research guides.

Profile Photo

  • Book an in-person meeting at https://ken.sc/meet-a-librarian-in-person
  • Book a virtual meeting at https://ken.sc/meet-a-librarian-virtual
  • Lawfare A blog dedicated to national security issues, published by the Lawfare Institute in cooperation with the Brookings Institution.
  • Politico Pro (Harvard Login) In depth news and analysis on current issues before Congress with extra subscriber-only content. Includes defense and cybersecurity news pages.
  • Just Security National security blog with numerous contributors.
  • Foreign Policy (Harvard Login) Leading magazine for in-depth analysis of U.S. foreign policy, and relations with Russia, North Korea, the Middle East and Europe.Direct link to site's security channel.
  • Oxford Handbook on International Security (Harvard Login) The 48 essays collected in this Handbook use such questions to provide a tour of the most innovative and exciting new areas of research as well as major developments in established lines of inquiry in international security studies.
  • Oxford Handbook on US National Security (Harvard Login) Contributors include senior practitioners in US national security institutions and top academics in the field. Essays are geared toward both scholars within academia as well as graduate students in practitioner-oriented programs.
  • Research Handbook on the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (Harvard Login) Examines the law, policy and practice of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, including the Common Security and Defence, and gauges its interactions with the other external policies of the Union (including trade, development, energy), as well as the evolving political and economic challenges that face the European Union.
  • Routledge Handbook of Deradicalisation and Disengagement (Harvard Login)
  • DTIC Online A searchable database for the full-text of U.S Department of Defense research publications. Includes technical reports, dissertations and Congressional testimony.
  • Military & Government Collection (Harvard Login) Provides full text access to more than 300 journals on military and government topics.
  • ProQuest Military Database (Harvard Login) Includes scholarly and trade publications covering a wide range of topics, from military technology and armaments to defense policy, national and international security, counterterrorism, etc.
  • Oxford Bibliographies (Harvard Login) Recent articles written by academic experts, with commentary and annotations on a variety of international and national security topics.
  • US Department of State,Country Reports on Terrorism Annual report on trends and events in international terrorism that occur in individual countries.
  • National Academies Press Published reports by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Includes large selection of security topics.
  • East View Russia Military and Security Periodicals Russian defense and security journals from official and independent sources. Eastview also includes the leading English language Russian defense journal, Moscow Defense Brief
  • U.S Declassified Documents (Harvard Login) The majority of these documents are presidential records and all of them were formerly classified. They provide a unique, behind-the-scenes view of the highest level of American policymaking on the most sensitive issues of national security and foreign policy.
  • Digital National Security Archive (Harvard Login) Over 43,000 of the most important declassified documents that led to key policy decisions in the post-World War II era.
  • Homeland Security Digital Library (Harvard Login) Access to U.S. policy documents, presidential directives, and national strategy documents.
  • US Department of Defense Archives Includes speeches, press releases, stories, contracts and other publications dating back to the mid 1990s.

Statistics & Data

  • DoD Budget Request Materials The Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller's) budget materials site provides detailed documentation for the current and past DoD budget requests, including the National Defense Budget Estimates from 1998 to present (the "Green Book").
  • Global Firepower rankings Commercial site that ranks countries by each nation's war-making capabilities.
  • Military Balance (Harvard Login) Published by the IISS, the Military Balance is the annual assessment of the military capabilities and defense economics of 170 countries world-wide, produced annually by the IISS since 1961.
  • SIPRI Military Expenditure Database Military expenditure data based on open sources only, including a SIPRI questionnaire which is sent out annually to all participating countries.
  • SIPRI Yearbook: World Armaments and Disarmament (Print Only) This annual yearbook is a compendium of data and analysis in the areas of: security and conflicts, military spending and armaments and non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament.
  • Small Arms Survey Includes the following data on global violent deaths,global firearms holdings, peace operations data set, small arms trade transparency barometer and unplanned explosions at munitions sites
  • United Nations Report on Military Expenditures Searchable database of military expenditures by country.
  • World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers (WMEAT) Annual publication from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance that provides statistical information and in-depth analysis on military expenditures, arms transfers, armed forces, and related economic data for each country of the world. Reports issued under previous administrations can be found in the "archived reports" section; most recently: 2017-2021 , 2009-2017 .
  • Correlates of War Project Includes datasets on international relations topics, including international conflict, militarized international disputes, bilateral trade, and diplomatic exchanges.
  • CPOST Suicide Attack Database Comprises the most complete and comprehensive list of suicide attacks since 1980. Hosted by University of Chicago's Project on Security & Terrorism.
  • Global Terrorism Database Hosted by University of Maryland, an open-source database that includes information on terrorist events around the world. Includes data on domestic, transnational and international terrorist incidents.
  • Terrorism & Preparedness Data Resource Center ICPSR-hosted archive containing data about terrorism, homeland security and government preparedness issues. Includes Terrorism and Preparedness Survey Archive with data from relevant surveys conducted around the world.
  • World Handbook of Political Indicators A set of country-level measures of contentious political events. Covers 231 countries and territories using 40 event forms to identify 263,912 events. Political events are identified by searching Reuters news wire stories.


  • Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich An online library that specifically focuses on international relations and security studies. The library now includes approximately 75,000 open source books, chapters, articles, reports, transcripts, etc. Hosted by Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich
  • Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments Think tank with detailed reports on national security strategy, defense planning and military investment options for the 21st century.
  • Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) One of top US think tanks on national security and international relations.
  • Federation of American Scientists Contains CRS reports, issue briefs and other publications on national and international security issues connected to applied science and technology.
  • HKS Library Think Tank Search A Google Custom Search of nearly 700 think tanks and research center websites.
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) British research institute with a focus on international security and international relations.
  • James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) Largest non-governmental organization in the United States devoted exclusively to research and training on nonproliferation issues.
  • National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism A university-based research center committed to the scientific study of the causes and human consequences of terrorism in the United States and across the globe.
  • Rand Corporation A non-profit research think tank that publishes over 17,000 reports dating from 1948. Topics include criminal justice, national security, terrorism and international affairs.

For context on the current crisis in Ukraine, here are a few resources: 

Ukraine: What Everyone Needs to Know (Harvard Login)

Articles and Reports

  • HKS Insights and Analysis on the Russia-Ukraine War Read what Harvard Kennedy School faculty members and other experts are saying about the Russia-Ukraine war. From geopolitics to sanctions to the role of misinformation and cyberattacks, HKS scholars analyze the Russian invasion of Ukraine and what it means for the world.
  • Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute The website of HURI features extensive information on Ukraine, both historical and contemporary, including MAPA: Digital Atlas of Ukraine and a dedicated page with background and updates on Russia's War on Ukraine .
  • Congressional Research Service: Reports on Ukraine This links to a search for constantly updated research and analysis on Ukraine by CRS researchers.
  • EastView Universal Databases (Harvard Login) This collection of databases covers news, scholarly periodicals, and a wealth of primary sources on Russia, Ukraine, and other former Soviet republics, including the Ukrainian National Bibliography .
  • EMIS (Harvard Login) This database contains market research, company research, as well as economic information on emerging markets, including up-to-date information on Ukraine, Russia, and other parts of Eastern Europe.
  • American Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies (ABSEES) (Harvard Login) This database indexes English-language humanities and social science scholarship on Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, starting in 1989.
  • Historical Abstracts (Harvard Login) This database surveys scholarship on world history from 1450 to the present and has excellent coverage of the history of Eastern Europe in a variety of languages.

Other Guides

  • Country Information Sources
  • International Relations
  • Harvard Library, United States Declassified Documents
  • Penn State University Libraries, Military Studies
  • Last Updated: Jul 26, 2023 11:49 AM
  • URL: https://guides.library.harvard.edu/hks/security

Harvard University Digital Accessibility Policy


Harvard key sign in.

CAPSLOCK key is turned on!

Our security program includes: key access protocols, uniformed security, card access, lighting, vendor screening, trespass notices at main entrances, HUPD, and Building Services strategic and day-to-day role.

Emergency Numbers:


HUPD (617) 495-1212

Securitas Security Inc. is the security provider for the GSD. The school is staffed by a security guard 24/7 during the Academic Year and Summer Term.

GSD On-Site Security: 617-874-6954

During non-business hours access to Gund Hall is limited to GSD students, faculty and staff with current identification. Faculty, staff and students may bring a visitor into the GSD during non-business hours. Visitors not accompanied by faculty, staff or students shall be limited to the library, Piper Auditorium and the exhibit area in the lobby.

During the summer the GSD closes for students at 12AM.

The GSD uses a card access system on the three main exterior doors of Gund Hall and the main entrance of 7 Sumner Road. These card access units allow any current GSD student, faculty or staff member to gain access to Gund Hall 24 hours a day, and staff, faculty and students housed at 7 Sumner Road access to this building 24 hours a day (Note: In the summer, faculty and staff can access the GSD 24 hours a day but student IDs will only allow entry until 12AM).  Individuals use their valid Havard ID cards to gain access.

Emergency Contact Information

Global Health and Security: An Integrated Approach to Protecting Threatened Health Systems

In this section, an executive program offered by harvard kennedy school and harvard medical school.

Cambridge, MA  


Global Health and Security: An Integrated Approach to Protecting Threatened health Systems Faculty Chairs: Paul Farmer and Juliette Kayyem

Armed conflict. Natural disasters. West Africa's Ebola epidemic. The cholera outbreak in Yemen. Crises such as these have sparked global discussions about pressing issues at the nexus of health and security. As the G20, World Health Summit, Munich Security Conference, and other international assemblies have highlighted, finding solutions to prevent and mitigate potentially destabilizing health threats is becoming an increasingly urgent priority. 

Global Health and Security: An Integrated Approach to Protecting Threatened Health Systems will bring together key actors to explore novel approaches to global health security. This new executive program, created and offered jointly by Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Medical School, will educate participants on: 

  • Assessing health systems around the world
  • Detecting potential or emerging health threats
  • Creating approaches for coordinating the efforts of international security forces, health agencies, and local stakeholders to address these threats

This groundbreaking program will be co-chaired by Dr. Paul Farmer, Kolokotrones University Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Juliette Kayyem, Belfer Lecturer in International Security at HKS and Director of its Homeland Security Project.

View a draft schedule  for the program.

For questions or additional information, please contact Program Director Pia Agliati .

Global Health and Security is designed to engage high-level military planners, security policymakers and advisors, critical health system personnel, and international health agency decision makers. Participants will examine crucial questions such as: 

  • What are the global health and security consequences of weak health systems?
  • What is the role of security forces in protecting health institutions in conflict-affected states?
  • Why are conflict-affected states largely impervious to global health initiatives?

Through a powerful combination of lectures, interactive discussions, case studies, and group work, you'll develop the knowledge and tools to detect and respond to indigenous health threats during crises. You'll also learn to identify and analyze the connections between health systems, global security policies, and international responses, thus enhancing your ability to protect health assets in conflict-affected states. 

Security Studies

Topics of study include:

  • Grand strategies of the major powers.
  • Arms competitions.
  • Coercive diplomacy.
  • Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
  • Rapid shifts in regional and global distributions of capabilities.
  • Insurgency, civil war, and regional political instability.
  • Military force composition and capability.
  • Civil-military relations.
  • Innovations in military technologies.

The cluster combines social science training in international security and national defense policy, focused study of specific regions of the world, and exploration of the technical and scientific aspects of proliferation, weapons innovations, terrorist and counterterrorist operations, and insurgency and counterinsurgency warfare. This is an in-residence program, though absences may be taken for approved field research.

MIT Security Studies Program (SSP)

MIT Security Studies Program

Search this site

  • Nuclear Security
  • National Security
  • Russian Security
  • Doolittle Archive
  • Ruina Archive
  • SSP Classes
  • Annual Report
  • Graduate Students
  • Senior Fellows
  • Russian Policy Fellow
  • Military Fellows
  • Stanton Fellows
  • Alumni Events DC
  • Alumni Publications
  • Alumni Profiles
  • Job Openings
  • Publications
  • Wednesday Seminars
  • Recent News
  • Upcoming Events
  • Past Events
  • News & Events
  • 2023 US-China Economic Conflict Simulation
  • Wednesdays with SSP


The Security Studies Program currently has three active programs for visiting fellows:

Nuclear Security Fellows Program

With the support of the Stanton Foundation, the Security Studies Program hosts the Nuclear Security Fellows Program for junior faculty as well as pre-doctoral and post-doctoral scholars. The Nuclear Security Fellows Program seeks to stimulate the development of the next generation of thought leaders in nuclear security by supporting research that will advance policy-relevant understanding of the subject.  

National Security Fellows Program

The MIT Security Studies Program began hosting in the 1990s U.S. military officers earning war college credit as visiting fellows. Each academic year SSP welcomes one serving member of the United States Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, and two serving members of the Army to participate in classes, and offer their unique expertise to our students.

Russian Foreign and National Security Policy Fellow

This two-year residential fellowship is for scholars of post-Cold War Russian foreign and national security policy.  We interpret this broadly, to include any aspect of Russia’s foreign relations including economic, political, military, or intelligence efforts.  The fellows participate fully in the activities of the Security Studies Program, and interact intensively with faculty, students, and other fellows.  Regular publication and other forms of outreach are central to the position. 

Inactive fellowships

Grand strategy, security, and statecraft fellows program.

Until 2023, the International Security Program at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Security Studies Program at MIT invited applications for a two-year pre- or post-doctoral fellowship in Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft. The program was open to applicants from political science, history, and other relevant disciplines. It is intended to support research addressing fundamental issues of U.S. grand strategy, foreign policy, and America’s role in the world.

  • Academics /

International Relations Master’s Degree Program

Explore the complexities of foreign affairs and gain a global perspective.

Online Courses

11 out of 12 total courses

On-Campus Experience

2 weekends or one 3-week summer course

$3,220 per course

Program Overview

In today’s globalized world, a master’s in international relations can be instrumental in opening doors to an array of career opportunities — from diplomacy and journalism to international business and conflict resolution.

By gaining a comprehensive understanding of global issues — such as international politics, economics, and law — you’ll develop multicultural competence, learn to navigate rapidly changing circumstances, and deepen your knowledge of the world and its complexities.

Through your learning journey, you will develop critical insights into the precursors, processes, and outcomes of international interactions between governments, organizations, and individuals.

Program Benefits

Customizable path, stackable certificates, & experiential learning

Expert instructors, including faculty from Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Personalized academic and career advising

A faculty-supported thesis or applied research project

Paid research opportunities

Harvard Alumni Association membership upon graduation

Customizable Course Curriculum

Our curriculum is flexible in pace and customizable by design. You’ll experience the convenience of online learning and the immersive benefits of learning in person. You can study part time, choosing courses that fit your schedule and align with your professional goals.

As you work through the program’s 12 courses, as well as a thesis or capstone project, you’ll have the opportunity to examine topics like human rights, international security, armed conflict, comparative politics, and world religions.

11 Online Courses

  • Synchronous and asynchronous
  • Fall, spring, January, and summer options

You’ll complete 1 on-campus course, Engaging in Scholarly Conversation, at an accelerated or standard pace:

  • 2 weekends (1 in fall and 1 in spring)
  • A 3-week summer session

Capstone or Thesis Track

  • Thesis: features a 9-month independent research project with a faculty advisor
  • Capstone: includes exploring a topic and completing a project in a classroom community

The path to your degree begins before you apply to the program.

First, you’ll register for and complete 3 required courses, earning at least a B in each. These foundational courses are investments in your studies and count toward your degree, helping ensure success in the program.

Getting Started

We invite you to explore degree requirements, confirm your initial eligibility, and learn more about our unique “earn your way in” admissions process.

Earning a Stackable Certificate

As you work your way toward your master’s degree, you can take courses that also count — or “stack” — toward a graduate certificate. It’s a cost-effective, time-saving opportunity to build specialized skills and earn a professional credential along the way to your degree.

Here are a few examples of stackable certificates and courses.

International Security View More

Gain insight into the complex issues that shape the global security landscape.

Sample stackable courses:

  • Cyberspace and International Security
  • American Foreign Policy
  • Women, Peace, and Security
  • Grand Strategy and Instruments of National Power

Learn more about the International Security Graduate Certificate .

Nuclear Deterrence View More

Examine the history and contemporary issues related to nuclear deterrence, security nonproliferation, and arms control.

  • Nuclear Weapons and International Security
  • International Conflict and Cooperation
  • Evolution of Deterrence Theory
  • Religion, Conflict, and Peace in Contemporary Global Affairs

Learn more about the Nuclear Deterrence Graduate Certificate .

Social Justice View More

Explore theoretical and practical questions of economic, political, and civil rights through several social lenses.

  • Racial Equity and Economic Development
  • Anthropology and Human Rights
  • The Opioid Epidemic
  • Environmental Justice

Learn more about the Social Justice Graduate Certificate .

A Faculty of International Relations Experts

Studying at Harvard Extension School means learning from the world’s best. Our instructors are renowned academics in international affairs, international security, conflict negotiation, and more. They bring a genuine passion for teaching, with students giving our faculty an average rating of 4.6 out of 5. Alt: They bring a genuine passion for teaching, evidenced by the consistently positive and productive classroom experience students’ report.

Nikolas Gvosdev

Professor of National Security Affairs, Naval War College

Joan Johnson-Freese

Professor Emeritus, National Security Affairs, Naval War College & Senior Fellow, Women in International Security

Dustin Tingley

Professor of Government, Harvard University

Our Community at a Glance

Nearly 70% of our international relations students are enrolled in our master’s degree program to either advance their careers or make a career change. They are putting their global understanding and policy training to work in a variety of public service, corporate, and nonprofit industries.

Download: International Relations Master's Degree Fact Sheet

Average Age

Work Full Time

Would Recommend the Program

Professional Experience in the Field

Pursued for Career Advancement

Career Opportunities & Alumni Outcomes

Graduates of our International Relations Master’s Program work in the fields of international affairs, environmental services, public relations, financial services, management consulting, government administration, law, and more.

Some alumni continue their educational journeys and pursue further studies in other nationally ranked degree programs, including those at Boston College, Georgetown University, Northeastern University, and Pace University.

Our alumni hold such titles as:

  • Foreign Affairs Officer
  • Government Administration Consultant
  • Defense and National Security Research Manager
  • Energy Policy Analyst
  • Assistant Attorney General
  • Director of Policy and Research
  • Sustainable Development Consultant
  • Chief of Congressional and Media Affairs

Our alumni work at a variety of leading organizations, including:

  • American Red Cross
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • United States Department of Defense
  • United Nations
  • Wells Fargo

Career Advising and Mentorship

Whatever your career goals, we’re here to support you. Harvard’s Mignone Center for Career Success offers career advising, employment opportunities, Harvard alumni mentor connections, and career fairs.

Your Harvard University Degree

Upon successful completion of the required curriculum, you will earn the Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: International Relations.

Expand Your Connections: the Harvard Alumni Network

As a graduate, you’ll become a member of the worldwide Harvard Alumni Association (400,000+ members) and Harvard Extension Alumni Association (29,000+ members).

My time at HES was an opportunity to prove to myself that I was capable of academic excellence, of having the discipline to put in the time and intellectual resources to achieve the top grades that had previously eluded me.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Affordability is core to our mission. When compared to our continuing education peers, it’s a fraction of the cost.

After admission, you may qualify for financial aid . Typically, eligible students receive grant funds to cover a portion of tuition costs each term, in addition to federal financial aid options.

Coffee Chat: All About Liberal Arts Programs at HES

Are you interested in learning more about liberal arts graduate degree programs at Harvard Extension School? Attendees joined us for an informational webinar where they had the opportunity to connect with program directors, academic advisors, and alumni.

What can you do with a master’s degree in international relations?

A master’s degree in international relations provides an incredible foundation for careers in diplomacy, government, and non-profit organizations. You can work as a foreign service officer, policy analyst, intelligence analyst, or public affairs consultant. In our globalized society, having a strong understanding of issues around the world will help you succeed in both your professional and personal life.

Is a master’s degree in international relations useful?

With 99% of recent graduates recommending our International Relations Master’s Degree Program, we believe the degree is extremely useful. The curriculum provides a range of courses that allow you to graduate with knowledge and skills that are transferable to a wide range of industries and careers.

How long does it take to complete the international relations graduate program?

Program length is ordinarily anywhere between 2 and 5 years. It depends on your preferred pace and the number of courses you want to take each semester.

For an accelerated journey, we offer year round study, where you can take courses in fall, January, spring, and summer.

While we don’t require you to register for a certain number of courses each semester, you cannot take longer than 5 years to complete the degree.

What skills do you need prior to applying for the international relations graduate program?

Harvard Extension School does not require any specific skills prior to applying, but in general, it’s helpful to have solid reading, writing, communication, and critical thinking skills if you are considering an international relations master’s degree. Initial eligibility requirements can be found on our international relations degree requirements page.

Related Programs

  • Government Master’s Degree Program
  • History Master’s Degree Program
  • International Relations Graduate Certificate
  • International Security Graduate Certificate
  • Nuclear Deterrence Graduate Certificate
  • Social Justice Graduate Certificate

Harvard Division of Continuing Education

The Division of Continuing Education (DCE) at Harvard University is dedicated to bringing rigorous academics and innovative teaching capabilities to those seeking to improve their lives through education. We make Harvard education accessible to lifelong learners from high school to retirement.

Harvard Division of Continuing Education Logo

  • Crimson Careers
  • For Employers
  • Harvard College
  • Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
  • Harvard Extension School
  • Premed / Pre-Health
  • Families & Supporters
  • Faculty & Staff
  • Prospective Students
  • First Generation / Low Income
  • International Students
  • Students of Color
  • Students with Disabilities
  • Undocumented Students
  • Explore Interests & Make Career Decisions
  • Create a Resume/CV or Cover Letter
  • Expand Your Network
  • Engage with Employers
  • Search for a Job
  • Find an Internship
  • January Experiences (College)
  • Find & Apply for Summer Opportunities Funding
  • Prepare for an Interview
  • Negotiate an Offer
  • Apply to Graduate or Professional School
  • Access Resources
  • AI for Professional Development and Exploration
  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Climate, Sustainability, Environment, Energy
  • Government, Int’l Relations, Education, Law, Nonprofits
  • Life Sciences & Health
  • Technology & Engineering
  • Still Exploring
  • Talk to an Advisor

APSIA: National Security & Global Threats Graduate School Open House

  • Share This: Share APSIA: National Security & Global Threats Graduate School Open House on Facebook Share APSIA: National Security & Global Threats Graduate School Open House on LinkedIn Share APSIA: National Security & Global Threats Graduate School Open House on X

“Thinking about a masters, mid-career, or PhD program to advance your international career? The Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) makes it easy to build relationships with top international affairs and policy programs worldwide. Meet top programs in small groups and get your personal questions answered!

Join APSIA for their VOHs this spring! The goal of the VOHs is to celebrate APSIA member school programs in a more intimate setting than a fair and expand prospective students’ knowledge of different degree options. These open houses allow for in-depth conversations about programs. Each session will last for 75-90 minutes The open houses will take place on Zoom. Sessions will not be recorded.” Find the full list at  https://apsia.org/events/”.

Note: This is a career-related event (not hosted by MCS) shared because it is open to Harvard students.

Tags: Non-Harvard Events , Apply to Graduate or Professional School , Class Year , First Year , International Relations, Global Development, Human Rights , Junior , Senior , Sophomore

One more step:

Spread the word by sharing this event with your social networks, save it to your calendar, add to calendar.

Melia Granath-Panelo_1

Taking in the views with a friend in Acadia National Park in Maine

Taking in the views with a friend in Acadia National Park in Maine

News from the School

Bethany Kotlar, PhD '24, studies how children fare when they're born to incarcerated mothers

Bethany Kotlar, PhD '24, studies how children fare when they're born to incarcerated mothers

Soccer, truffles, and exclamation points: Dean Baccarelli shares his story

Soccer, truffles, and exclamation points: Dean Baccarelli shares his story

Health care transformation in Africa highlighted at conference

Health care transformation in Africa highlighted at conference

COVID, four years in

COVID, four years in

Fruitful Research

Anastasia Repouliou, PhD Student

phd security studies harvard

Share this page

Anastasia Repouliou is a PhD student in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. She discusses her work on uncovering the mechanism of a protein essential to the development of fruit flies, how she came to her research, and the lessons she learned from switching labs at Harvard.

The Oskar Goes to . . . 

Fruit flies are the little insects you might find in your kitchen if you’ve left bananas out. To reproduce, fruit flies need special cells like we do: sperm and eggs that come together to make a new fly. This reproductive process starts with a fertilized egg cell that eventually develops into a mature fruit fly with all sorts of different cell types: brain cells, heart cells, and its own egg or sperm cells. 

PhD student Anastasia Repouliou in the lab

Each of these cell types gets some sort of instruction to tell them what kind of cell to become. For egg and sperm cells in particular, a whole group of molecules has to come together in the right place at the right time to instruct some of the early cells in the fruit fly embryo to become reproductive cells. A single protein, called Oskar, orchestrates this entire process. 

Biologists have long known that Oskar can assemble all these instructive molecules where they need to be, but we don’t know exactly how the protein does it—its “molecular mechanism.” In my research, I’m trying to figure out how Oskar interacts with all these other molecules. 

There are various types of interactions that molecules can have with one another and with their surrounding environment. The interactions a molecule uses to perform its function are basically its molecular mechanism. Since molecules with similar properties often use the same mechanisms, learning about the molecular mechanism of one protein helps us understand how others work as well. For example, if we can figure out Oskar’s molecular mechanism, then we might get closer to figuring out how similar proteins work, even unrelated proteins in humans. And the more we learn, the more we understand about how our bodies work in health and disease.  

From the Cosmic to the Microscopic

When I was young, I was really into astronomy and astrophysics. Then I started to study biology and was fascinated by it. I am amazed by how things as small as proteins can create big and complex organisms. I sometimes parallel proteins to LEGOs—they’re essentially building blocks that can be combined in innumerable ways to generate the complexity of life. 

In terms of techniques, I love microscopes and imaging work. I like being able to see what I’m studying and then treat it quantitatively, to have this beautiful image, and then extract information from it. Almost all of my data is based on imaging, which means I take thousands of pictures and analyze them to draw conclusions. As far as future research plans go, I am open to different fields and different scientific questions. I will be happy as long as I find another protein with an interesting molecular mechanism like Oskar and can work to figure out how it does its job. 

Repouliou at her lab bench

Change Is Good

I came to my current project because I told Professor Cassandra Extavour, my advisor here at Harvard Griffin GSAS, that I was interested in studying protein interactions at a molecular level, which made studying the molecular mechanism of Oskar a perfect fit. 

But I didn’t start in the Extavour Lab. I switched during my third year of graduate school. Of course, leaving behind a project you have invested significant time and effort into and parting with labmates you have grown close to is not easy, but you get the most out of your PhD if you find the right fit with your lab and your advisor. I've learned valuable lessons both from my time in my initial lab and from transitioning to my current lab. I discovered that more people than I had realized switched labs. I think talking about such transitions more openly can help normalize them within our community.

Science is inherently dynamic. Developing resilience to change and thriving in diverse environments are key parts of the scientific journey. Throughout this process, I've learned that two of the most valuable aspects of a PhD are learning to think critically about science and to meticulously design experiments. These skills are transferable across projects and can be developed in any supportive, intellectually stimulating environment regardless of the specifics of any particular project. So I encourage younger graduate students not to be afraid of change. It can turn out more than all right!

Get the Latest Updates

Join our newsletter, subscribe to colloquy podcast, connect with us, related news.

Kara Hartig standing in front of an iceberg

Cold Facts about Global Warming

Research by PhD student Kara Hartig could help forecasters predict weather patterns as climate change makes them more extreme.

Running with Scissors

Physics student Noah Toyonaga envisions new applications for the geometric shape of shears in the shelters we build and even the clothes we wear. 

Harvard Horizons Scholar Noah Toyonaga surrounded by some of the structures he's created in his exploration of the scissors motif

Untangling the Cosmic Web

By gauging the “intrinsic alignment” of galaxies, PhD student and Harvard Horizons Scholar Clare Lamman enables astronomers to get a better understanding of the universe and how it evolves. 

Image of a "cosmic web"

A Passion for Science, A Concern for Community

Through genetic research and analysis, Roslyn Curry works to address health inequities, help heal the wounds of colonialism and slavery, and recover histories long lost to the Indigenous and Black communities to which she belongs.

Student Roslyn Curry in front of white board with equations

  • Utility Menu

University Logo

Department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies  

The Art, Film, and Visual Studies Department's Alumni Directory is a catalogue of over 400 AFVS-VES alumni and growing.  Profiles from participating alums feature such information as biographies, place of work, graduate education, location, contact information, and even courses taken during their time in the department. 

If you already have a HarvardKey, please use this link  to visit the directory. To  update  the information in your profile, please fill out this  form . To  create  a profile, fill out this  form .

If you do not yet have a Harvardkey, you will need to claim it. To claim your HarvardKey, simply  start here  and follow the prompts to register with your Harvard credentials, including your 10-digit HAA ID, last name, and Harvard degree year(s) (any will work). Not sure what your HAA ID is? Learn about the HAA ID here . 


  1. Top 10 Harvard-Approved Cybersecurity Courses to Enroll in 2023

    phd security studies harvard

  2. Harvard VPAL Cybersecurity: Managing Risk in the Information Age Online Short Course

    phd security studies harvard

  3. Security Studies : An Introduction

    phd security studies harvard

  4. Security Studies

    phd security studies harvard

  5. fully funded phd in cyber security in usa

    phd security studies harvard

  6. Harvard University Information Security

    phd security studies harvard


  1. Democracy, Race, and Gun Violence in America

  2. Palestine Solidarity Committee Holds Harvard Yard Vigil for Civilian Victims in Gaza and Israel

  3. CS75 (Summer 2012) Lecture 8 Security Harvard Web Development David Malan

  4. Can Mortgage Forbearance Help Stabilize the Economy?

  5. Responding to the Rising Threat of Antisemitism

  6. At Harvard Yard Vigil, More Than 1,000 Mourn Victims of Hamas Attacks, Stand with Israel


  1. International Relations & Security

    The Great Creep Backward: Policy responses to China's slowing economy. As the Chinese economic juggernaut falters, HKS Professor Rana Mitter and Harvard Business School Associate Professor Meg Rithmire say policymakers can find silver linings amid the dark clouds. International Relations & Security. Two peoples. Two states.

  2. International Security Program

    Each year ISP develops and trains new talent in security studies by hosting pre- and postdoctoral research fellows. The Program also created and continues to publish a book series, the Belfer Center Studies in International Security, to provide an outlet for policy-oriented research and analysis in the field of international security.

  3. What We Look For

    The PhD in Public Policy (PPOL) program balances theory with practical methods to prepare students for careers in academia, in government, at research organizations, or in the private sector. A university-level course in social science or social theory of science and technology (e.g., science and ...

  4. Feminist Security Studies

    Courses. Feminist Security Studies. EMR 165. Feminist security studies originated as critical analyses of and responses to the patriarchal imperatives of national and global security efforts. This course will examine empire, war, and militarism as gendered processes, as well as their multiple intersections with capitalism, colonialism ...

  5. Home

    An online library that specifically focuses on international relations and security studies. The library now includes approximately 75,000 open source books, chapters, articles, reports, transcripts, etc. Hosted by Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich. Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

  6. HarvardKey

    The HarvardKey system, and the systems, data, and other resources that require HarvardKey authentication for access, are only for legitimate Harvard University users. Use may be monitored, and improper use of the HarvardKey system or those resources may result in disciplinary action and civil and criminal charges.

  7. Senior Executives in National and International Security

    In the Senior Executives in National and International Security, you will join other global senior security officials for a range of interactions, from traditional academic learning activities to more intimate discussions and discourse.This ensures a well-rounded, hands-on educational experience. Faculty Chair Eric Rosenbach leads a program of formal classes, discussion groups, interactive ...

  8. Security Studies

    Security Studies. Morris and Anna Feldberg Professor. ... PhD Student in Government. ... I am a professor in the Department of Government at Harvard University, where I specialize in the intersection of international security, foreign... Read more about Joshua D. Kertzer. Joshua D. Kertzer's Website.

  9. International Security Graduate Certificate

    The professional graduate certificate in International Security requires four courses. You may choose any four courses from the International Security certificate course group, using the certificate course search. Search for Courses. You can browse courses by term — fall, spring, or summer — in the DCE Course Search & Registration platform.

  10. Security

    Emergency Numbers: FIRE, POLICE & MEDICAL (911) HUPD (617) 495-1212. Securitas Security Inc. is the security provider for the GSD. The school is staffed by a security guard 24/7 during the Academic Year and Summer Term. GSD On-Site Security: 617-874-6954.

  11. Home

    SSP PhD Candidates Suzanne Freeman and Wright Smith receive World Politics and Statecraft Fellowships . Tweets by MIT_SSP. Wednesday Seminar Recordings. ... MIT Security Studies Program Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1 Amherst St., E40, 4th floor Cambridge, MA 02139 [email protected].

  12. Global Health and Security: An Integrated Approach to Protecting

    This groundbreaking program will be co-chaired by Dr. Paul Farmer, Kolokotrones University Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Juliette Kayyem, Belfer Lecturer in International Security at HKS and Director of its Homeland Security Project. View a draft schedule for the program.

  13. Security Studies

    Security Studies. This five-year program is designed to prepare Ph.D. students for rigorous, policy-relevant research on the major threats to international and national security and the relevant strategies, institutions, and capabilities that will be needed to confront those threats. Topics of study include: Grand strategies of the major powers.

  14. Grand Strategy Fellows Program

    The fellowship in Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft is a one-year fellowship hosted by the International Security Program at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Security Studies Program at MIT. The program is supported by a grant from the Charles Koch Foundation with applicants from political science, history, and other relevant disciplines.

  15. Fellowships

    Until 2023, the International Security Program at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Security Studies Program at MIT invited applications for a two-year pre- or post-doctoral fellowship in Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft. The program was open to applicants from political science, history, and other relevant disciplines.

  16. American Studies

    In Harvard's American Studies doctoral program—the second-oldest in the nation—we unite around the goal of understanding how historical events and cultural acts of meaning-making affect each other. The resources available to students in American Studies are as broad as Harvard University itself. Our program is guided by a core committee ...

  17. International Relations Master's Degree Program

    A master's degree in international relations provides an incredible foundation for careers in diplomacy, government, and non-profit organizations. You can work as a foreign service officer, policy analyst, intelligence analyst, or public affairs consultant. In our globalized society, having a strong understanding of issues around the world ...

  18. APSIA: National Security & Global Threats Graduate School Open House

    Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences Harvard FAS Mignone Center for Career Success Instagram YouTube Harvard University 54 Dunster Street Cambridge, MA 02138 617-495-2595 [email protected]

  19. 2024 Global Health Week Symposium Agenda and Speakers

    Andrea Baccarelli, Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD, is the Dean of the Faculty at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.. A distinguished scientist, Dr. Baccarelli investigates the molecular mechanisms by which a wide array of environmental exposures causes human disease.

  20. Melia Granath-Panelo_1

    Bethany Kotlar, PhD '24, studies how children fare when they're born to incarcerated mothers Soccer, truffles, and exclamation points: Dean Baccarelli shares his story Health care transformation in Africa highlighted at conference

  21. Belfer Briefing on Europe with…

    Please join the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies for a Belfer Briefing on Europe with Karen Donfried, Belfer Center Senior Fellow, and Nikolaos Dendias, Greek Minister of National Defense.They will discuss "Geopolitics and Security Challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean: The Role of Greece."

  22. Fruitful Research

    Repouliou studies fruit flies to uncover the molecular mechanisms that enable proteins to work. ... The Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is a leading institution of graduate study, offering PhD and select master's degrees as well as opportunities to study without pursuing a degree as a visiting student.

  23. Alumni

    https://alumni.afvs.fas.harvard.edu/ Welcome to the Directory! The Art, Film, and Visual Studies Department's Alumni Directory is a catalogue of over 400 AFVS-VES alumni and growing. Profiles from participating alums feature such information as biographies, place of work, graduate education, location, contact information, and even courses taken during their time in the department.

  24. Faculty

    Program Director: Shiv Pillai, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of MedicineShiv Pillai is a Professor of Medicine and Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard Medical School. He is the director of the Harvard PhD and MMSc Immunology programs and of the HMS-HST MD student research program. He is also the program director of an NIH-funded Autoimmune Center of Excellence at Massachusetts General Hospital.