Pandemic Impacts on Fall 2021 Admissions
Accommodations for Applicants
We realize that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, recent natural disasters, and other extenuating circumstances may have significant impacts on applicants’ academic and personal lives, including the ability to provide all required application materials prior to our stated deadlines. If this pertains to your circumstances, please review the information below for next steps.
GSAS welcomes applications for admission from individuals who have or will have by the time of matriculation a BA, BS, or equivalent undergraduate degree (for prospective international students, a three- or four-year undergraduate degree from an institution of recognized standing) and actively seeks applicants from groups historically underrepresented in graduate schools. All degree candidates are admitted for full-time study beginning in the fall term.
Immigration status does not factor into decisions about admissions and financial aid. For more information, see Undocumented at Harvard.
GSAS enables PhD students to coordinate their studies for an additional advanced degree. If you are planning a career in biomedical research and academic medicine and would like to earn an MD and a PhD, visit the Harvard-MIT MD/PhD program for more information. The JD/PhD Program enables students to study for a JD at Harvard Law School and a PhD in any program of study.
If you already hold a PhD or its equivalent or are an advanced doctoral candidate at another institution, you may apply to a PhD program only if it is in an unrelated field of study; however, preference for admissions and financial aid will be given to those who have not already had an opportunity to study for a doctoral degree at Harvard or elsewhere. You may also want to consider pursuing non-degree study through our Special Student or Visiting Fellow programs.
Eligible Harvard College students may apply in the fall of their junior year to earn an AM or SM degree during their final year of undergraduate study. Interested students must contact the Office of Undergraduate Education for eligibility details before applying.
Accommodations for applicants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, or other extenuating circumstances
We realize that the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, recent natural disasters, and other extenuating circumstances may have significant impacts on applicants’ academic and personal lives, including the ability to provide all required application materials prior to our stated deadlines. We understand that these impacts may extend to recommenders and offices at institutions previously attended.
If any of these conditions apply to you, we encourage you to apply, even if required materials are missing. Our application form includes a section for you to let us know about any of your materials that may be unavailable or delayed. This information will be shared with the appropriate admissions committee and your admissions decision will be based on the materials available at the time of review. Please note that even though the online application system may indicate that your application is incomplete, it will still be reviewed by the appropriate admissions committee.
If you are able to gather missing materials after the admissions deadline, you will find that our application system does not allow applicants to attach new materials to an application once it has been submitted; please contact the GSAS Office of Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. Any materials that become available before the admissions committee has finished deliberating will be passed along for consideration.
If your application is incomplete and you are denied admission, GSAS will not count it toward our lifetime limit of three total applications that an individual may submit.
Consent regarding Sensitive Personal Data
Certain kinds of personal data are regarded by some laws as sensitive and deserving of special protection (“Sensitive Personal Data”). For example, in Europe, Sensitive Personal Data can include personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership; genetic or biometric data; data concerning health; data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation; and personal data relating to criminal convictions and offenses.
During the application process, you and others, such as recommenders, may provide the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) at Harvard University with certain kinds of personal data about you that is regarded as Sensitive Personal Data. By submitting an application, you consent to Harvard’s processing of Sensitive Personal Data about you in order to evaluate your application for admission and your eligibility for financial aid, if applicable. Sensitive Personal Data about you also may be processed for other purposes permitted by applicable law.
Additional EEA Privacy Disclosures provides further information about how GSAS uses personal data of individuals in Europe in the admissions process.