Timeline of Non-Resident Process


Applications for non-resident status are submitted online.


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)


It is important that you read and understand GSAS policy as it applies to applications for and students on non-resident status as outlined in the GSAS Handbook (Chapter V: Registration and Enrollment).


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/or the department administrator/coordinator of graduate studies and the GSAS 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 repapayment 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 are submitted online..

Applications for non-resident status must be submitted for departmental approval online 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.

If a student is currently in non-resident status and wants to continue in that status for additional terms, a new non-resident application must 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 to 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..