Darcy Burner Earned THE Harvard Economics Degree

Subtitle: LIAR GATE and How it Relates to Lying Dave Reichert

Many have addressed the Neocon lying smear campaign belittling the Economics degree Darcy Burner earned from Harvard University, including Goldy at Horsesass.org, the Huffington Post, and even Harvard University Professor Harry Lewis.

Given that most have discussed details about a “concentration” in Economics at Harvard and Darcy Burner herself commented that she took five courses offered by the Economics Department, don’t for one second assume that Darcy Burner somehow earned some kind of “lesser” degree in Economics from Harvard. The only Economics degree offered to undergraduates at Harvard University is a “concentration”; Harvard University undergraduate students in Economics are referred to as “Concentrators”.

Yes: Darcy earned the Harvard Economics degree. Anyone and everyone who earns an undergraduate degree in Economics at Harvard University does it the same way Darcy did.

Go to http://www.economics.harvard.edu/, click on Undergraduate near the top of the page, and then select Requirements. Download either the PDF for Concise summary of Requirements or Econ Undergraduate Handbook and read.

This is NOT a matter of symantics.

Lying Neocon liars like Dave “Green River—NOT” Reichert know a lot about lying, fibbing, half-truths, sins of omission, and bald-faced lying. It’s truth and fact that these Neocon conmen can’t recognize. And in the interest of his Neocon cronies like McCain, Palin, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the whole miserable rest of them, Reichert is launching the biggest lying, cheating, influence-peddling, Election Commission rule-braking, illegal loan borrowing, smear campaign that he can in the last two weeks leading up to Election Day.

There is only one undergraduate degree in Economics at Harvard University; it can be the regular concentration or it can be the “honors” concentration, which requires an additional “honors” course.

Darcy Burner earned this degree—THE degree—in Economics from Harvard University.


UPDATE: See clarifications by M and Darryl in the Comments section.

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13 Responses to “Darcy Burner Earned THE Harvard Economics Degree”

  1. Carolelynne Says:

    You need to catch up, Professor. Goldy posted this information yesterday about “Dave “Green River—NOT” Reichert’s” confusion on the difference between a two year degree and one resulting from a four year program. The confusion was first noticed in Reichert’s Congressional Bio, which has since been changed to reflect Reichert’s new understandings.

    All of which tells us that Reichert isn’t very well acquainted with the ways of the Internet or the Google cache, either.

    Fascinating stuff.

  2. Joshua Says:

    Greetings from Southern Oregon. Thanks for all that you do…

    Any chance the Senate count has bumped up to 60 yet?

  3. M Says:

    Sadly, this article in almost entirely factually incorrect. I know this since I also went to Harvard, took courses from Harry Lewis, have known Darcy since her Harvard days, and have strongly supported both of the campaigns.

    But she doesn’t benefit from people who just get the facts wrong even when trying to defend her.

    Darcy does not have, and has never claimed to have, an undergraduate degree in Economics from Harvard. She was not an Econ concentrator.

    Darcy’s concentration was in Computer Science, and her degree is in Computer Science. As part of the Comp Sci program at that time you had to choose an area of special focus, to take upper level classes in that area, and to write a thesis that involved Comp Sci and your area of special focus. Darcy’s focus was on economics.

    This is the rough equivalent of doing a minor in Economics at another university, but it’s not actually a minor because at the time Harvard didn’t have minors. The idea of an area of special focus was a requirement of the CS department and of getting a CS degree, not an official part of the overall University degree program. That’s why it doesn’t appear on a degree certificate, and why the registrar’s office doesn’t know anything about it.

    And that’s exactly what Harry Lewis explains in the campaign commercial he just did for Darcy.

  4. SeattleJew Says:

    The sad thing is that this kinf d of inanae debate goes on at all.

    I have no idea what expertise either Darcy or Reichert has in economics.

    I have no concern about whether Reichert’s associarte degree prepared hime to be an astronaut or whether Darcy attending Radcliffe would be more impressive than her gettung a Harvard degree.

  5. Darryl Says:


    I agree with most of what M says. Harvard has changed their language since Darcy was a student in the mid-90s. So the proper terminology is that Darcy has an A.B. with a concentration in Computer Science and a specialization in Economics. A specialization in an allied field was a requirement for the C.S. concentration.

    That said, there is a lot of misunderstanding about degrees. At most U.S. universities, one earns THE DEGREE—a B.S., B.A., A.B, etc. The Bacheloriate is the degree, the “Computer Science” part is, generically, a “field of study” that is called a Major at some institutions, a “Concentration” at Harvard. The field of study is not the degree.

    There are exceptions to this. Some institutions combine the degree and the field of study. So, one can earn a B.E. (Bachelor of Economics). Likewise, some institutions offer B.S.C. (Bachelor of Computer Science).

    I hear students misuse the terminology all the time. They will say something like, “I am getting an Anthropology degree.” This is incorrect. They are getting a B.A. degree with a field of study (or Major, as it is called at my institution) in Anthropology.

    Darcy’s critics (and some journalists) have added to the confusion by saying that she claims having a Economics degree—she doesn’t. She doesn’t even have a Computer Science degree. She has an A.B. degree. The degree was awarded with a concentration in C.S. and a specialization in Economics. This is not the same thing as a double concentration, which are quite rare at Harvard.

    Given how abused the terminology is (in part, from a misunderstanding of the difference between the degree and the field of study), combined with Harvard’s non-standard terminology, and the structure of the computer science degree at Harvard, it is no surprise that Darcy’s statement wasn’t precise. If she had said that she had “majored in C.S. and minored in Econ.”, you just know that some WingDing would have scandalized the statement by pointing out that Harvard didn’t have Majors and Minors in the mid-1990s.

  6. Darryl Says:

    As of last night, the mean number of seats has gone up to 59.1 since last weekend. That is an increase of 0.1 seats. I’ll put up a new Senate race analysis tomorrow.

  7. Ted Says:

    Well, whether it is a “concentration” or a “degree” one thing is clear: She is getting killed by T.V. commercials calling her a liar and unless she does more to address this misunderstanding she is going to lose the election. And, rather than argue that a concentration is a degree which I do not think it is, she would be better served to take a more nuanced approach because the arguement presented above does not fly. PERIOD.

  8. Jerry Says:

    WOW – I have to say, Ted is correct. I was having dinner and watching when I saw this commercial about her not having the credentials she claimed to have. My jaw about hit the floor. I immediately believed foul play on the part of Reichert. Amazing, what a jerk. I haven’t voted, and didn’t know who I was going to vote for, but now I am certain – this guy just made an enemy. I don’t want someone like him in office, who would obviously try to sell us on half-truths, distortions of the facts, etc.

    I thank God for the internet so we can at least validate this sort of thing, in the past, we were left to what we were told in the commercials… kind of scary isn’t it?

  9. Getting Out of Debt Says:

    Well, It’s good to see you at least have an open mind on the subject. I prefer to just listen to the candidates themselves, then check the facts to see if there are at least some similarity between their words and the facts. In this case there are similarities. Unfortunately, that’s all. I would rather have more than that when deciding who to vote for. Socialism isn’t dead, it’s about to take up residence in DC.

  10. Getting Out of Debt Says:

    You might want to check out this video to see what Darcy says in her own words:
    Were it only the complete, unvarnished truth….

  11. Hazen Colbert Says:

    If all that Riechart can hang his hat on is that Burner has a “Harvard degree in Computer Science with a concentration in economics” rather than a “Harvard Degree in economics”, then Reichart is out of a job.

  12. King Solomon Says:

    I read all the posts.

    I watched the video.

    She lied.

  13. Darryl Says:

    King Solomon,

    Nope. She didn’t.

    Lay off the Wingnut Talk Radio for awhile, Squirt…you’ve been brainwashed!

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