Scholars intending to do research who hold a doctorate, or have equivalent professional experience, or are advanced doctoral candidates who have completed all required coursework, are encouraged to apply for Visiting Fellow status at Harvard University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS).

Although Visiting Fellows are sometimes invited by departments or research centers to participate in seminars or other organized activities, they are expected for the most part to conduct their research independently as full-time student researchers.  A Visiting Fellow, therefore, is an independent researcher who occasionally audits a course or two. Visiting Fellows are normally admitted under the auspices of and in affiliation with an academic department, program or committee within GSAS.

Visiting Fellows wishing to concentrate their research in one of the other nine Harvard graduate schools (e.g., the Graduate School of Education, the Harvard Business School) should contact the appropriate admissions office directly.  Note that non-degree status varies greatly from one Faculty to another.

Visiting Fellows register as full-time research students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and have access to most university facilities. They are also eligible to apply for membership in the Harvard Faculty Club.

Visiting Fellows do not register in or take coursework for credit.  Courses within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) may be audited with permission from the course’s instructor.  Fellows may also wish to audit courses at the other Harvard graduate schools (e.g., The Law School, John F. Kennedy School of Government) or at other cooperating schools (i.e., M.I.T. and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University) with permission from the course’s instructor.  Please note that Harvard Business School charges auditors a cross-registration materials fee.

Students looking to take courses for credit to contribute to a degree at a foreign home institution, to strengthen their academic background before applying to graduate degree programs, to change their focus of their studies, or seeking personal enrichment or career-based knowledge are encouraged to apply for Special Student status.  Visiting Fellows and other auditors are normally not permitted to audit basic skills courses such as beginning languages or computer science.

Faculty members from other universities whose scholarship distinguishes them in their field may be eligible for a special departmental appointment as Visiting Scholar. Advanced scholars should contact the appropriate academic department about this status.

To learn more about Application Requirements, Deadlines and Applying Online, click here.