Admissions FAQ

Poster session

  • What is a qualified applicant's likelihood for admission?
      • Admission to the PhD program is extremely competitive, so it is difficult to assess any qualified applicant's likelihood of admittance. However, on average, we admit approximately 10% of qualified applicants.
  • What is the application deadline?
      • The complete online application and fee are due by December 1, 2017, 5:00 pm EST, for September 2015 enrollment. We cannot make exceptions for late applications. Transcripts, letters of recommendations, etc. should follow as soon as possible. Applications that are not complete when the faculty begin reviewing them will not receive full consideration.
  • Can I start the program in the spring?
      • No. Students may only enroll in the fall.
  • Can I apply to two different GSAS degree programs at the same time?
      • Yes, but two separate applications are required, each with its own supporting letters of recommendation, transcript, GRE scores, etc. Each department will then independently consider the application. If admission is granted to both programs, the applicant will need to decide in which program to enroll. Once admitted, note that students may cross-register in courses offered by the other program, so there is flexibility to design a program that suits his/her needs and interests.
  • Is a Math or Stats major required for admission?
      • No, but it is helpful. An applicant should have the equivalent math background of Mathematics 21a and 21b (see Harvard course catalog), at minimum. Students who do not have that level may not compete well against undergraduate math or statistics majors in admissions and will struggle in upper-level statistics courses.
  • Is the GRE Mathematics Subject Test required?
      • No, the GRE Math Subject Test is not required, however some faculty do want to see the math subject test score. We only recommend taking the GRE Math Subject Test if the applicant is very confident of doing well.
  • For how long are the GRE exam results valid?
      • Five years.
  • Does it matter if an applicant takes the PBT (paper-based test) or the CBT (computer-based test) GRE?
      • Both PBT or CBT are acceptable as long as they are reached by the deadline. Please read the "Graduate Record Examination" section of this GSAS web page.
  • Can I send an unofficial GRE score in with my application in order to meet the application deadline?
      • Yes, you can send the unofficial GRE scores, which are available immediately, but you must make sure to request that Educational Testing Services (ETS) send the official scores.
  • What are the guidelines for proficiency in the English language for an international applicant?
      • Applicants whose native language is other than English and who do not hold the equivalent of a US Bachelor degree from an institution at which English is the language of instruction are required to take the TOFEL exam. Please read the "English Proficiency" section of this GSAS web page.
  • What is the GRE/TOEFL institution code for Harvard GSAS?
      • 3451
  • How much is tuition?
  • Is Financial Aid available?
      • Virtually all PhD students are fully supported with a combination of tuition, stipend grants, teaching, and research assistantships. PhD students are required to work part-time during the academic year as teaching fellows and research assistants. Harvard University does not provide any financial aid for AM students, however AM students may be eligible for on-campus employment.
  • What is the cost of living in Cambridge/Boston?