The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) offers the PhD and select terminal master’s degrees in 55 departments, divisions, and committees across all disciplines. The newest of these programs is the interfaculty PhD in education, which admitted its first class in fall 2014.

GSAS is the only school at Harvard to award the doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree. It also awards the master of arts (AM), master of science (SM), master of engineering (ME), and master of forest science (MFS).

GSAS offers 16 interfaculty PhD programs, which bring the arts and sciences together with Harvard’s professional graduate schools. GSAS also offers its PhD students the chance to complete a secondary field in one of 18 areas of study, including computational science and engineering, critical media practice, and science, technology, and society.

GSAS students seek to answer fundamental theoretical questions and discover new modes of thinking. In their roles as teachers at Harvard College, they engage and challenge some of the most talented undergraduate students in the world. And in their future careers, whether within or outside of academe, they become leading members of their communities, drawing upon the spirit of intellectual curiosity, scientific inquiry, and prudent skepticism that their work here instilled.

GSAS trains the next generation of faculty, university leaders, makers of law and policy, and industry executives. 



Fall 2014

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) is the only Harvard school to award the doctor of philosophy (PhD).

GSAS is composed of 55 degree-granting departments, divisions, and committees. It currently offers the PhD in 54 of those departments and divisions. It offers a terminal master’s degree in select subject areas.

GSAS offerings include:

16 Interfaculty PhD Programs (jointly offered with Harvard’s professional graduate schools):
Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning
Biological Sciences in Dental Medicine
Biological Sciences in Public Health
Business Economics
Chemical Biology
Division of Medical Sciences
Health Policy
Organizational Behavior
Political Economy and Government
Public Policy
Social Policy
Systems Biology


Graduate Seminars in General Education and in Undergraduate Education

These seminars for graduate students are committed to the discussion, development, and design of undergraduate courses that will be appropriate for the undergraduate curriculum, including the Program in General Education. Graduate students actively engage with faculty to consider central conceptual and analytic themes, course design and pedagogy, as well as other important decisions in the development and implementation of undergraduate courses.


Graduate Seminars in General Education

  • Changes in the Land: The Archaeology of Humans and the Earth, taught by Christian Alexander Tryon and Jeffrey Quilter
  • Histories of the Future, taught by Alison Frank Johnson
  • Looking Back: Re-imagining an Introduction to the History of Western Art, taught by Jeffrey F. Hamburger and Joseph Koerner
  • The Changing Concept of Race in Science and Medicine in the United States: From Jefferson to Genomics, taught by Evelynn M. Hammonds
  • The Art of Living, taught by Sean D. Kelly
  • The Epistemic Authority of Science, taught by Edward J. Hall and Scott Brewer (Law School)
  • Sex as an Ethical Problem, taught by Mark D. Jordan (Divinity School)

Graduate Seminars in Undergraduate Education

  • Integrated Science, taught by Andrew W. Murray, Michael Manish Desai, Erel Levine, and Mary Elizabeth Wahl
  • Reading Contemporary Russia, taught by Stephanie Sandler


81 (currently funded) Graduate Research Workshops

GSAS Research Workshops, funded by alumni through the Graduate School Fund, are ongoing working groups for graduate students and faculty to discuss emerging research and new publications. View 2014–2015 workshops.


18 Secondary PhD Fields
African and African American Studies
American Studies
Celtic Medieval Languages and Literatures
Comparative Literature
Computational Science and Engineering
Critical Media Practice
Film and Visual Studies
Historical Linguistics
Linguistic Theory
Medieval Studies
Mind, Brain, and Behavior
Romance Languages and Literatures
Science, Technology, and Society
Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality


4 Interdisciplinary Graduate Consortia
Graduate Consortium on Energy and Environment
Graduate Consortium on Evolutionary Genomics
Graduate Consortium in Infectious Diseases
Graduate Consortium in Microbial Sciences


Shaping the Harvard Undergraduate Experience

  • Each term, 1,400 GSAS students are teaching fellows—working alongside faculty to shape curriculum, perform essential teaching and mentoring duties, and innovate with emerging classroom technology.
  • Each year, approximately 100 GSAS students are resident tutors in Harvard’s Houses or proctors in its freshman dorms, serving as academic advisors and community builders, helping to create lifelong memories and connections for Harvard College students.

Enrollment Statistics (2014–2015)

4,033 registered degree candidates (3,871 PhD and 162 AM)
20 percent in the humanities
54 percent in the natural sciences
26 percent in the social sciences
44 percent women
34 percent international (Harvard’s largest international student population)
8 percent underrepresented minorities



To provide global leadership and innovation in graduate education


To identify and attract the most promising students to form a dynamic and diverse community, and to shape them into visionary scholars, innovative educators, and creative leaders.