Admissions

Admissions Overview

The Graduate School invites applications from students whose breadth of academic experience and fitness for the specific field of study suggest the potential for scholarly achievement. We require online submission of the application.

In general, only applicants holding the BA or equivalent, with distinguished undergraduate records, are admitted. Faculty recommendations and the applicant’s statement of purpose are carefully weighed. Research papers, publications, and other original works may also be considered by the admissions committees during their evaluations.

Persons holding a PhD or its equivalent, or who have completed most of the work required to earn the PhD elsewhere, may apply to a PhD program in the Graduate School only if it is an unrelated field of study. In view of the large number of excellent applicants for the limited number of places in the Graduate School, preference for admission and financial aid will be given to those who have not already had an opportunity to receive a doctoral degree here or elsewhere. As an alternative, such people may apply for Visiting Fellow Status.

Simultaneous enrollment in another degree program while a candidate for a degree in GSAS is not ordinarily permitted.

Students may receive the PhD degree from only one program in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Approximately 9 percent of the applicant pool is offered admission to enroll in an incoming class of about 640.

All programs require the General GRE test scores; some require the GRE Subject test scores (some programs allow the GMAT to substitute, see Program Details). Some programs require specific undergraduate courses, languages, or quantitative expertise.

Before filing your application, please be sure to read carefully the descriptions of the degree program(s) and requirements of the department(s) to which you seek admission.

We expect accuracy in all documents provided by applicants. If a candidate for admission makes inaccurate statements or submits false material in connection with the application, appropriate action will be taken. If a misrepresentation is discovered after a candidate is admitted, the offer of admission normally will be withdrawn.

Applicants are considered for admission to the fall term only. There are no spring or summer admissions.

Only the Dean of the Graduate School has the authority to make an offer of admission.

If you have decided that Harvard University offers the graduate education you are seeking, we hope you will apply. Be sure your statement of purpose outlines your goals for graduate study. This is very important to academic departments in deciding whether to recommend admission. If you need additional information beyond what is provided in the following pages, do not hesitate to contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. We look forward to receiving your application.