Timeline of Non-Resident Process


Begin your application for non-resident status now.


There are three types of non-resident status for which students can apply:

Traveling scholar
For students away from the Boston area who are engaged primarily in their degree work.

Leave of absence
For degree candidates whose time will be devoted primarily to activities other than degree work. It is not advisable for students to take more than one year of leave. In unusual situations where additional leave may be required, the department should contact Patrick O'Brien, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, (617-496-5275, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to discuss the situation.

Studying at Another Harvard School
For students who will be registered and studying full-time at another Harvard school.

To cancel a submitted application or make a change, please submit one of the forms below:

Change in Non-Resident Status (PDF)

Cancellation of Non-Resident Status (PDF)


If you do not have internet access, you may complete and submit a PDF of one of the forms below. If you have internet access, click here.

Traveling scholar (PDF)

Leave of absence (PDF)

Studying at Another Harvard School (PDF)


Previous Year Forms

Traveling Scholar 2013-14

Leave of Absence 2013-14

Application to Study at Another Harvard School 2013-14


*Please note: Adobe Acrobat Reader is required for viewing of the application. You may download Acrobat Reader from the Adobe Web site .


Approval Process

Before deciding on non-resident status, students should discuss their plans with their advisor and then complete the appropriate application. Applications must be approved by the student's advisor, the departmental director of graduate studies, and the Dean's Office. International students considering non-resident status must also obtain approval from the International Office of their non-resident application. GSAS students who have loans and are going on leave should speak to their financial aid officer about the repayment of loans. Those students applying for Leave of Absence or Study at another Harvard School (SAHS) are encouraged to contact their department regarding the possible effect of their leave or SAHS on their departmental G-year and progress toward their degree.



Applications should be submitted online.

Students should be aware that any unpaid term bill balance from the previous term, and current term charges other than tuition and health insurance coverage fees will delay the approval of their non-resident application.

The address on the application should be a mailing address for the period a the student is on non-resident status. Students who will be traveling may want to use a local or permanent address from which mail can be forwarded if necessary.

Applications for non-resident status are due in department offices by July 1 for the fall term or academic year, and by December 1 for the spring term. After those dates, late registration fees apply. The student will be charged $50 plus $5 for each week that the application is late.



The tuition requirements for the PhD are two years of full tuition and two years of reduced tuition. Students applying for non-resident status may request to delay payment of the required full or reduced tuition, and instead pay the active file fee or the facilities fee. Students delaying payment of tuition should be aware that the required tuition, at the rates current at the time of payment, must be paid prior to the receipt of the degree. If a student owes required tuition and plans to graduate the year the student is a non-resident or the next year, the student may be asked to pay that tuition while in non-resident status. Please contact your financial aid officer regarding your grant and choosing an appropriate tuition option.

GSAS students who will be enrolled in another Harvard school may choose to delay the payment of tuition. If they choose to do so, they will be charged the required GSAS tuition at the rates current at the time of payment, prior to their receiving their degree. Tuition is not shared between the schools.


Health Coverage

A student registered as a Traveling Scholar will be charged fees for both the Harvard University Student Health Program (HUSHP) Student Health Fee and the Student Health Insurance Plan. All traveling scholars are eligible to apply to waive the Student Health Fee; and if they have comparable coverage, they can apply to waive the Student Health Insurance Plan as well. For information on HUSHP plan benefits and the online waiver form, visit the HUSHP website. Waiver deadlines are July 31 for the fall term and January 31 for the spring term.

For students taking a Leave of Absence, the Student Health Fee and the Student Health Insurance Plan will be end- dated on the last day of the month the student’s leave is effective; a refund will be applied to the student’s term bill for the remaining months of coverage not used. Students who wish to extend HUSHP coverage should visit the HUSHP website for more information or contact HUSHP Member Services at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 617-495-2008. Learn more on the HUSHP site.

Students Studying at another Harvard school will not be charged health insurance coverage by GSAS. Instead, their health insurance will be handled by the school they are attending. 


International Students

Immigration regulations require F-1 or J-1 visa holders to maintain full-time enrollment status while in the United States. F-1 or J-1 students who are considering applying for a leave of absence must speak to an advisor in the Harvard International Office (Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center 858, 617-495-2789) before submitting an application form. All international students must have their non-resident applications approved by the International Office.


Additional Information

If a student is currently in non-resident status and wants to continue in that status next term or next year, a new non-resident application needs to be  submitted.

Once a non-resident application has been approved, a traveling scholar may request a formal letter of introduction from the Dean's Office in the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center. This letter, known as a "dazzler," may assist the student in gaining access to research facilities and libraries abroad.

For more information, please contact the Dean's Office at 617-495-1814 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..