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 sexual harassment complaints. He coordinates orientation and registration activities. He represents the interests of GSAS students on numerous University-wide committees, including the Student Health Coordinating Board.


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

Assistant Dean Patrick O'Brien works closely with Dean McCavana and serves as a contact person and resource for the registrar, the departments, and other Faculty of Arts and Sciences and University offices in communicating and interpreting GSAS policies and in assisting graduate students in maintaining academic satisfactory progress. He coordinates the transfer and readmission process, the Exchange Scholar Program, the non-resident application process, and the JD/PhD coordinated program. He provides advice to students throughout the petitioning process including extension of incomplete petitions, part-time petitions, and add/withdrawals after the deadline. He advises international students about English as a Second Language resources and helps to coordinate the summer English Language Program for new international graduate students. Assistant Dean O'Brien also monitors the MD-PhD and HST programs and is a liaison for students, administrators, and faculty in all interfaculty programs. He assists with registration and commencement.