Policy Debate

Research | Argumentation | Persuasion

The Harvard Debate Council is pleased the announce the return of the Policy Debate workshop in the summer of 2020, offering two sessions entirely devoted to novice policy debate. 

Level: Beginner

Beginner or no policy debate experience

Summer 2020 Sessions:

Session 1: Sunday June 28, 2020 through Friday July 10, 2020

Session 2: Sunday July 12, 2020 through Friday July 24, 2020


Commuter: $2,199

Resident: $3,299

We will offer a comprehensive curriculum that prepares students to debate and research the upcoming year’s topic along with perennial debate arguments. Each lab will focus on the three pillars of research, argumentation, and persuasion. Students will conduct their research using the Harvard Libraries, the largest private library in the world; will learn to construct strategic, compelling arguments; and will practice speaking with clarity, conviction, and passion.


About Program

Why Choose Harvard?

At the HDC Summer Workshop in Policy Debate, students will:

  • Work with an experienced, proven, dedicated, and diverse faculty.
  • Be divided into labs of approximately 16-20 with 3-4 lab leaders each. (Introductory/Beginning labs for students with less than a year of experience of policy debate will be offered)
  • Participate in at least 16 practice rounds, 6 of which will be during the camp tournament in the final week.
  • Study at a world-renowned university in a college setting.
  • Have access to the world’s largest private library system.
  • Spend four weeks in Cambridge, MA, a thriving, safe, and vibrant university town.
  • Live in an a diverse environment, with students not only from all over the United States but also from all over the world.
  • Attend an exclusive session with a Harvard Admissions officer
  • Stay in one of the nicest Harvard dormitories (Currier House), with all single rooms, under the supervision of professional educators.

Sample Daily Schedule

9:00a-10:30a Morning Lecture I or Lab
10:30a-12:00p Morning Lecture II or Lab
12:00p-1:00p Lunch
1:00p-2:45p Afternoon Lab I or Practice Debate
2:45p-3:15p Afternoon Break
3:15p-5:00p Afternoon Lab II or Practice Debate
5:00p-7:00p Dinner Break
7:00p-9:00p Evening Lab or Practice Debate

Key Skills

Learning Objectives



Constructing strategic arguments


Advanced research practices


Line-by-line argumentation


Persuasive and clear speaking


Tournament preparation techniques
Excellent Teaching Staff


Will Jensen, PhD

Will Jensen, PhD


Will Jensen, PhD, is the Director of Debate and Assistant Professor of Communication at Trinity University. He debated at the University of Wyoming and earned his PhD in Communication from the University of Georgia. He has taught at numerous summer workshops, most recently at Georgetown and Michigan State.
Tripp Rebrovick, PhD

Tripp Rebrovick, PhD


Tripp Rebrovick, PhD, is the Director of Debate at Harvard University. He has a BA from Harvard and a PhD from Johns Hopkins University. Tripp has over twelve years of experience teaching at summer workshops and has worked with students of all skill levels. While a debater, he was the top speaker at the TOC, winner of NFL Nationals, and a four-time elimination-round participant at the NDT.
Maggie Solice

Maggie Solice

Novice Debate Curriculum Coordinator

Maggie is Associate Coach of Debate at Harvard University, where she has coached for three years. She debated at Trinity University.

Hemanth Sanjeev

Harvard Alum & Lab Leader

  • 2016 NDT Champion.
  • 2016 and 2017 Copeland Winner.
  • 2013 Patrick O’Neill Award Winner
  • Coach of the 2017 TOC Top speaker and Finalists from Peninsula H.S.

Ayush Midha

Harvard Debater & Lab Leader

  • Captain, Harvard Debate Council
  • 2017 Copeland Award Winner
  • 2014 Patrick O’Neill Award Winner
  • Coach for The Harker Schools
Sherry Hall

Sherry Hall

Workshop Director & Guest Lecturer

Sherry is a lifelong debate coach, serving as Coach of Debate at Harvard University since 1987. She maintains an active presence in the high school forensics community where she has taught at many summer debate camps, directed the Harvard National Invitational Forensics Tournament, and served as editor-in-chief of Planet Debate. Sherry is  a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Debate Tournament and spearheads the latter’s Healthy Debater Initiative.
David Glass

David Glass

Senior Lab Leader

David Glass, MD, is a lifelong debate coach, doctor, medical researcher, published author, and teacher. He has been an assistant coach at Harvard for many years and was formerly the coach at Edgemont HS. Dr. Glass currently teaches at Harvard and performs medical research for Novartis. He is particularly adept at working with debaters to improve their speaking and their rebuttals.

Harry Yu

Harry has been involved in debate for more than half his life. He competed in Lincoln Douglas in High School and Policy debate at Trinity University. Harry will be entering his 6 year of coaching speech and debate. He has coached finalists at TFA state, Harvard, UT, Grapevine, and NSDA nationals in multiple events.

Register for 2020

Applications open October 15th and are due by January 31st, 2020.