Harvard Admission Requirements (2023 Guide)
Harvard admission requirements: This article is a carefully researched and detailed explanation of each requirement of the application to study at Harvard.
What are the requirements to get into Harvard? Find out below.
You must note that Harvard is very competitive. Only a small percentage of yearly applicants get admitted. Hence you must follow this application guide keenly to get admitted to Harvard.
Factors considered by the Harvard Admissions Committee
The following are factors considered by Harvard Admissions Committee:
- Academic accomplishments
- Strong personal qualities
- Special talents or excellence of various kinds
- Perspectives formed by unusual personal circumstances, and
- The ability to take advantage of available resources and opportunities.
Harvard Admission Requirements: What Really Matters When Applying
- High School GPA – Recommended
- High School Rank – Recommended
- High School Transcript – Required
- College Prep Courses – Neither required nor recommended
- SAT/ACT – Considered but not required
- Recommendations – Required
Harvard Admission Requirements: First-Year Admission Requirements
All first-year applicants (both international and U.S. candidates) must complete the Common Application or apply Coalition, Powered by Scoir, along with the required supplements.
You will need to submit the following:
- Common Application or apply Coalition, Powered by Scoir. Both are treated equally by the Admissions Committee.
- Harvard College Questions for the Common Application or Coalition Application Harvard supplement
- $85 fee (or request a fee waiver)
- SAT or ACT (with or without writing) – optional for 2022-2026 application cycles
- Optional: AP or other examination results
- School Report (which includes a counselor letter) and high school transcript
- Two (2) Teachers Report
- Midyear School Report (after your first semester grades)
- Final School Report (for admitted students only)
If you use the Common Application, you must submit your application before your supporting materials (Secondary School Report, Teacher Reports, etc.) can be released to a college. No part of your application will be transmitted to the Harvard Admissions Office until you submit your own application sections.
Printable First-Year Application Forms
Click the links below to access the PDF application forms.
Submitting your Application
You can submit your application through mail or online.
Applications that are received in the mail will be treated equally by the Admissions Committee. However, applications submitted online are processed faster and allow your school officials to submit their part of your application online as well.
Please choose one option only: either apply online or send an application through the mail.
After you submit your application, you will receive an email confirmation with a PIN to access the Applicant Portal.
You should expect these daily application confirmation emails in mid-September each year. Most applicants receive their confirmation email the day after they submit their application online. And applications sent in the mail will take up to two weeks to process.
Where to mail your application form
Please mail your entire application to the following address:
Harvard College Admissions 86 Brattle Street Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
What to do if you have not received your confirmation email
- If you have not received your confirmation email, please check your spam/junk folder for messages from [email protected] or [email protected].
- If you have searched your inbox and still cannot find your confirmation email, we encourage you to check the application system you used and ensure you clicked “Submit” and not just “Save.”
- If you still cannot locate your application confirmation email, please contact Harvard Admissions. Choose the category “Admissions” and then the subject “Applicant Questions (if you’ve already submitted your application)” in the drop-down menu.
- Call 617-495-1551.
How to pay your application fee
You can pay your application fee with a credit card online through the Common Application or Coalition Application, Powered by Scoir websites.
You can also mail your payment to Harvard College Admissions, 86 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. With the payment, please include the applicant’s name.
How to apply for a fee waiver
The school is committed to making the application process accessible for all students. If the admissions application fee presents a hardship for you or your family, the fee will be waived. Please follow these instructions to request your fee waiver.
- Select “Yes” when asked, “Do you feel that your financial circumstances might qualify you for an application fee waiver?” Confirm that you meet at least one of the indicators of economic need.
- If you do not meet one of the indicators of economic need, select “You can provide a supporting statement from a school official, college access counselor, financial aid officer, or community leader.” Harvard will not ask you to provide a supporting statement, and your application will not be penalized if you select this option.
Coalition Application, Powered by Scoir:
- Confirm that you meet at least one of the indicators of economic need listed in the Fee Waiver section of your Profile.
- If you do not meet one of the indicators of economic need, you may enter the Harvard-specific fee waiver code on the payment page: JH3S5Q2LX9.
Requesting a fee waiver will not disadvantage your application in any way.
How to make updates to your application after you submit
To make updates do not resend your application.
Please use the Applicant Portal to update your identification or contact information or to send updates, additional information, or corrections.
What happens if your application is inaccurate or contains misrepresentations
It is essential to make sure your application materials are completely accurate.
You will be denied admission if it is discovered that there is a misrepresentation during the admissions process.
If you have already been accepted, your offer will most likely be withdrawn. What if you have already registered? Your admission will be revoked, and you will be required to leave the College. If misrepresentations in application materials are discovered after you complete your studies, Harvard revokes degrees.
The Admissions Office is solely responsible for determining whether an application is accurate or contains misrepresentations, and this determination will be resolved outside of the student disciplinary process.
Harvard Admission Requirements: Application Timeline
You can apply to Harvard through either:
- The Restrictive Early Action Program, or
- The Regular Decision Programs.
These programs allow you to compare admission and financial aid offers from other schools and wait until May 1 to make a final college decision.
Candidates for Restrictive Early Action must apply by November 1 and will be notified by mid-December.
Regular Decision applicants must apply by January 1 and will be notified by the end of March.
You may apply to Harvard via the Common Application or the Coalition Application, Powered by Scoir.
The Common Application will open on August 1 for applicants to begin filling out their applications.
The Coalition Application, which is being developed in collaboration with Scoir/Technolutions for the 2022-23 application cycle, will be available on September 1.
What is the Restrictive Early Action?
Restrictive Early Action is a non-binding early program, signifying that if admitted, you are not obligated to attend and have until May 1 to reply to the offer of admission from Harvard.
Applying to Harvard through the Restrictive Early Action program allows you to make a college decision sooner. Early applicants must apply by November 1st and will get a response by mid-December.
Restrictive Early Action may be an appealing option if your record and accomplishments have been consistently strong over time. You are not required to commit to attending Harvard, but you will know sooner if it is an option for you.
- If you are applying to Harvard under Restrictive Early Action, you may not apply to any other private institution under an Early Decision, Early Action, or Restrictive Early Action plan, or to a binding early program at a public university.
- You are welcome to apply early to any public university, military academy, or university outside of the United States under a non-binding program.
- Additionally, you are able to apply to other universities under their Regular Decision or Early Decision II programs.
- If your application is deferred in the early action round, you may apply to another college’s binding early decision program (i.e., Early Decision II).
- If the timing is proven to be a necessary aspect for consideration and the outcome is non-binding, you may apply for scholarships or special academic programs with an early deadline at another institution, public or private.
- Harvard will meet the full financial need of admitted students regardless of whether they apply Restrictive Early Action or Regular Decision.
- Harvard does not offer an advantage to students who apply early. While admit rates tend to be higher in Restrictive Early Action. This reflects the remarkable strength of the applicant pool rather than the benefit of application timing.
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Benefits of applying for the Regular Decision Program
Regular Decision offers important practical advantages.
- You will have more time to edit and proofread your portions of the application and more time for your teachers and counselors to become familiar with you before they write on your behalf.
- Senior-year extracurricular achievements, course selections, academic performance, and other important factors may strengthen your application.
For more information about Harvard Admission Requirements, click here.
Harvard Admission Deadline
The deadlines for admission to PG programs at Harvard University vary depending on the course. Some courses have deadlines in December, while others have deadlines in January.
Undergraduate programs, on the other hand, are typically offered in the spring.
The following are the deadlines for Harvard University undergraduate admission in 2023:
|Early Action||November 1|
|Regular Decision||January 1|
|Financial Aid Application||February 1|
Harvard Admission Deadlines for Post-Graduate Programs
|M.S Data Science||Application Deadline for Fall Semester 2023[1 Dec, 2022], Application Deadline for Spring Semester 2023[15 Apr, 2023]|
|M.B.A||Application Deadline for Round 1[7 Sep, 2022], Application Deadline for Round 2[4 Jan, 2023], Decision Deadline for Round 1[8 Dec, 2022], Decision Deadline for Round 2[29 Mar, 2023]|
|M.Arch||Application Deadline for Fall Semester 2023[1 Dec, 2022], Application Deadline for Spring Semester 2023[15 Apr, 2023]|
|M.S Computational Science and Engineering||Application Deadline for Fall Semester 2023[1 Dec, 2022], Application Deadline for Spring Semester 2023[15 Apr, 2023]|
|M.S Biomedical Informatics||Application Deadline for Fall Semester 2023[1 Dec, 2022], Application Deadline for Spring Semester 2023[15 Apr, 2023]|
|M.S Biostatistics||Application Deadline for Fall Semester 2023[1 Dec, 2022], Application Deadline for Spring Semester 2023[15 Apr, 2023]|
|L.L.M||Application Deadline for Fall Semester 2023[1 Dec, 2022], Application Deadline for Spring Semester 2023[15 Apr, 2023]|
|M.B.A Entrepreneurship||Application Deadline for Fall Semester 2023[1 Dec, 2022], Application Deadline for Spring Semester 2023[15 Apr, 2023]|
|M.S Applied Computation||Application Deadline for Fall Semester 2023[1 Dec, 2022], Application Deadline for Spring Semester 2023[15 Apr, 2023]|
|M.Eng Computational Science and Engineering||Application Deadline for Fall Semester 2023[1 Dec, 2022], Application Deadline for Spring Semester 2023[15 Apr, 2023]|
|M.P.A International Development||Application Deadline for Fall Semester 2023[1 Dec, 2022], Application Deadline for Spring Semester 2023[15 Apr, 2023]|
|M.S Medical Sciences – Global Health Delivery||Application Deadline for Fall Semester 2023[1 Dec, 2022], Application Deadline for Spring Semester 2023[15 Apr, 2023]|
|M.Med.Sc Immunology||Application Deadline for Fall Semester 2023[1 Dec, 2022], Application Deadline for Spring Semester 2023[15 Apr, 2023]|
|M.B.A Finance||Application Deadline for Fall Semester 2023[1 Dec, 2022], Application Deadline for Spring Semester 2023[15 Apr, 2023]|
Harvard Admission Requirements for International Students
International students are applicants who apply from schools outside the United States. The documentation submitted by those schools may differ substantially from that submitted by an American high school and may require specialized knowledge.
The application requirements are the same for all applicants, whether a student attends high school inside or outside the U.S.
All first-year candidates must complete the Common Application or the Coalition Application along with the required supplements.
Harvard has no preference, and each application is treated equally by the Admissions Committee.
Harvard welcomes applications from all over the world. The admissions and financial aid processes are the same for all applicants – regardless of nationality or citizenship.
A strong knowledge of English is essential for successful study at Harvard, including the ability to understand and express thoughts quickly and clearly.
First-year and transfer applicants are not required to take an English proficiency exam, but you may submit scores if you wish to do so.
But Visiting Undergraduate Students program applicants are required to take the TOEFL.
Fun Facts about Harvard Admissions
77% of students say the admissions process made them feel like the school cared about them as an applicant.
A great percentage of students feel the admissions process evaluated them individually as real people, not just a set of numbers.
Harvard admission is extremely selective, with an acceptance rate of 5%.
Admissions to Harvard University courses are the most selective among the 8 Ivy League institutes.
Most students admitted to Harvard courses have an unweighted GPA of 4.18 or above.
International student enrollments at Harvard are good compared to universities like Yale, MIT, and Stanford. Currently, the university houses 15.6% of international students on campus.
Students that get into Harvard have an average SAT score between 1460-1580 or an average ACT score of 33-35.
Harvard University is test optional and allows students to apply for undergraduate admission without SAT or ACT scores.
TOEFL requirement is also waived for Harvard College applicants. However, for other colleges and courses, a TOEFL score of 90 is highly recommended.
Harvard admission requirements are not too tedious. Follow our guide as outlined to make a successful application to Harvard. To your advantage!
If you have any questions or inquiries, drop them off using the comment section below. Thank you.
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