On these pages, you'll find information about the policies and procedures governing your student career at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The information on these pages falls under the umbrella of the GSAS Office of Student Affairs, which is responsible for the welfare of graduate students and which monitors their academic status, progress, and discipline. The office also administers leave/travel applications and readmission applications. We invite you to contact us as you navigate your way through your graduate program at Harvard.


Garth McCavana

Garth McCavana, Dean for Student Affairs

1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center 350
telephone: 617-495-1816

Dean McCavana has general responsibility for the welfare of graduate students and monitors students’ academic status, progress, and discipline. He oversees the Student Affairs Office, GSAS Residence Halls, the Office of Student Services, and the Office of Housing Services in Dudley House. The Student Affairs Office administers the various graduate fellowship competitions and processes, leave and travel applications, intra-Faculty of Arts and Sciences transfer applications, and readmission applications. Dean McCavana represents students in disciplinary cases before the Administrative Board and advises students on Title IX issues and concerns. He coordinates orientation and registration activities. He represents the interests of GSAS students on numerous University-wide committees, including the Student Health Planning Committee.


Patrick O'Brien

Patrick O'Brien, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs

1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center 350
telephone: 617-495-1814

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Patrick O’Brien serves as a point of contact and resource for all students, faculty, and staff in communicating and interpreting GSAS policy and procedure. He monitors graduate students’ status in maintaining satisfactory academic progress and advises students on administrative interaction and processes within FAS and across campus. He coordinates the transfer and readmission processes, the Exchange Scholar Program, the non-resident application process, the JD/PhD coordinated program, and annual events, including January@GSAS, Orientation DudleyFest, and the GSAS Commencement Diploma-Awarding Ceremony. He advises students, faculty, and staff through all procedures and petitioning processes tied to registration and course enrollment. He advises international students on English proficiency resources and assists in coordination of the summer English Language Program for new international graduate students. Assistant Dean O’Brien is a liaison to the MD-PhD and HST programs and for students, administrators, and faculty in all interfaculty PhD programs. He is available to discuss any of the above topics and in particular any issues related to a student’s progress toward his/her degree and non-resident status, including Traveling Scholars and Leaves of Absence.