APPLY ONLINE: Deadlines and Requirements

APPLY ONLINE: Deadlines and Requirements

Apply now to non-degree programs
 

Application Deadlines and Decision Dates

The dates below apply to both Special Students and Visiting Fellows applicants.

The application fee is $105.  The only acceptable form of payment for the online application is credit card.  Application fee waivers are not offered upon request.

Application deadline:         March 1 – 11:59 p.m. ET
Full Academic Year (September to May) or Fall Term only (September to December)
Notification of admission decision:     Mid-April - May

Application deadline:         October 1 – 11:59 p.m. ET
Spring Term only (January to May)
Notification of admission decision:     November

Applicants are notified of the admissions committee’s decision electronically via the online application system and by standard postal mail during the timeframe indicated above. Applicants will receive an email stating that their decision is available to view electronically. The email will include instructions on viewing the decision.

Students and Fellows may apply for a half (one term) or a full (two terms) academic year, with extension possible for the following year by formal reapplication. There is no summer term for Special Students and Visiting Fellows.

Applicants cannot be considered for separate or more than one affiliation with a program, department or committee within the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Only complete applications (including the application form and fee, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and TOEFL results for international applicants) received by the appropriate deadline are assured full consideration.  TOEFL results, if required, may be submitted directly to the Special Student and Visiting Fellow Office by the Educational Testing Service.  The Special Student and Visiting Fellow Office cannot guarantee full consideration of incomplete applications once the appropriate deadline has passed.
 

Application Requirements and Instructions

All applications must be submitted using the Online Application System. The system facilitates submission of essays and supporting materials, including letters of recommendation, transcripts, published works and papers.

An application will not be considered complete until all required materials have been received by the Special Students and Visiting Fellows Office.

The application for admission, together with all supporting materials, becomes the property of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.  Materials submitted to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences degree-seeking Admissions Office cannot be forwarded to the Special Students and Visiting Fellows Office.  Separate materials, including letters of recommendation, transcripts, published works and papers are required to be sent to the Special Students and Visiting Fellows Office or, preferably, uploaded into the online system.
 

Transcripts

Students are required to provide official transcripts upon admission and acceptance into the program. However, for the online application students are required to upload an electronic version of all transcripts.

Applicants should upload to the online application system transcripts from (1) the institution from which the student received his or her bachelor's degree and (2) postgraduate degree (if applicable); (3) any previous work done at Harvard (e.g., Extension School, Summer School; (4) any other transcripts, degree or non-degree, from institutions from which the applicant has received credit for courses taken.

Upon admission and acceptance into the program, the Special Students and Visiting Fellows Office requires that one official university/college transcript from each university/college attended - bearing the seal of the institution and signature of the registrar or appropriate official - be submitted to the Special Students and Visiting Fellows Office in support of your application.


Transcripts should be sent to:
Special Students and Visiting Fellows Office
Harvard University
1350 Massachusetts Avenue
Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center 350
Cambridge, MA 02138
USA

Note to re-applicants: those re-applying within 3 years of original application are not required to submit another set of transcripts. However, transcripts of any courses taken for credit as a Special Student should be included.

Please note: Applicants from institutions that do not provide transcripts for current students should provide a letter confirming their current standing with the institution as an online upload or sent by mail. 

An official transcript showing the conferral of an undergraduate degree is required to register in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Letters of Recommendation

All letters of recommendation should be submitted via the online application system.  The system will request the name and email address(es) of your recommender(s) to which an email will be sent including login information.  The referee will use this login information to submit a confidential letter of recommendation directly to the Special Students and Visiting Fellows Office.

Applicants for Special Student status are required to submit three (3) letters of recommendation.  Applicants for Visiting Fellow status are required to submit one (1) letter of recommendation.

If recommenders are unable to use the online system, they should seal their letters and sign across the seal of the envelope.  The letters should be mailed directly to the Special Students and Visiting Fellows Office.  Submitting a letter by mail could delay the completion of an application for many reasons and the Special Students and Visiting Fellows Office cannot guarantee letters received after the application deadline will be fully considered.  We strongly urge applicants to have their referees use the online system.

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required, but Special Student applicants may provide their score report by mail if they wish to do so.

English Proficiency

If your native language is not English, you must meet one of the following English proficiency requirements:

  1. TOEFL
    The preferred test for proof of English language proficiency is the TOEFL IBT. It is therefore highly recommended that applicants take the TOEFL IBT whenever possible. This test is administered by the Educational Testing Service, Box 899, Princeton, New Jersey 08540. Only official scores sent directly to the Special Student/Visiting Fellow Office from the test administrators will be accepted. The Special Student program code number is 3478. When you take the TOEFL, be certain to use this code so your scores will be sent directly to the Special Student/Visiting Fellow Office.
  2. Full-time enrollment at a university or in a program for at least one year in which English is the language of instruction.
  3. If neither of these requirements is met, please state in the application form when and how you feel that this requirement has been met.*

*If you require a J-1 visa and you have not taken the TOEFL nor have attended an English speaking institution, then you may be required to demonstrate adequate English proficiency by means of an official interview before acceptance into the program.

Resume/Curriculum Vitae

We strongly urge applicants to upload a resume or curriculum vitae via the online system regardless of academic or professional career to date.
 

Continuing Special Students and Visiting Fellows and Re-applicants

Special Students or Visiting Fellows who have registered in a previous academic year and wish to return or extend their stay for another academic year or term must reapply for Special Student or Visiting Fellow status via the Online Application System linked to above just as they did with their first application for admission.

There is a reduced application fee for continuing Special Students and Visiting Fellows because submission of supporting materials is not required. The Special Students and Visiting Fellows Office will match your previous application's supporting materials with your new application.

Mailing Application Materials

To submit supporting materials to your application by mail, please use the following address:
Special Students and Visiting Fellows Office
Harvard University
1350 Massachusetts Avenue
Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center 350
Cambridge, MA 02138

Questions?

All questions regarding the Special Students and Visiting Fellows Program should be directed to
Phone: (617) 495-5392
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.