GSAS Fact Sheet

GSAS Fact Sheet


The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) offers the PhD and select terminal master’s degrees in 57 departments, divisions, and committees across all disciplines. The newest of these programs is the interfaculty PhD in education, which begins accepting applications in 2013–2014 for admission 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 2013

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

GSAS is composed of 57 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 (contributing to the course offerings of Harvard’s new General Education undergraduate curriculum):

Seminars offered 2012–2013

  • Frameworks in the Humanities: The Art of Listening, by John T. Hamilton and Alexander Rehding
  • Frameworks in the Humanities: The Art of Reading, by Homi K. Bhabha
  • Frameworks in the Humanities: The Art of Looking, by Robin E. Kelsey and Jennifer L. Roberts
  • Animated Spirituality: Japanese Religion in Anime, Manga, and Film, by Helen Hardacre
  • Einstein Reversed, by Peter L. Galison


Seminars to be offered in 2013-14 (partial):

  • The American Attic, by Jill M. Lepore and Robin E. Kelsey
  • Frameworks in the Humanities: California in the ’60s, by Kate van Orden


83 (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 online here.


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


3 Interdisciplinary Graduate Consortia
Graduate Consortium in Energy and Environment
Graduate Consortium in Microbial Sciences
Graduate Consortium in Infectious Diseases


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, more than 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 (2012-2013)

4,160 registered degree candidates (4,001 PhD and 159 AM)
21 percent in the humanities
52 percent in the natural sciences
27 percent in the social sciences
44 percent women
34 percent international (Harvard’s largest international student population)
7 percent underrepresented minorities