GSAS Policies

GSAS Policies detail the regulations, rules, and procedures that apply to students, including departmental-specific requirements. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the policies and following the procedures outlined.

GSAS strives to provide students with timely, accurate, and clear information. If you need help understanding a specific policy, please contact the office that administers that policy, listed at the bottom of each policy page.

At times, a mid-year review of academic, financial, or other considerations may lead to changes in policies, rules, and regulations.  GSAS therefore reserves the right at any time to make changes to the Student Policies that may affect such matters as tuition and other fees, degrees and programs offered (including the modification or possible elimination of degrees and programs), degree and other academic requirements, academic policies, rules pertaining to student conduct and discipline, fields or areas of concentration, and other rules and regulations applicable to students.

COVID-19 Policy 

The public health crisis occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented social and economic disruption worldwide, in the United States, and in the Boston/Cambridge area. For the 2021–2022 academic year, GSAS plans to resume in-person instruction to the fullest extent possible, with appropriate measures and conditions in place to protect the health and safety of University students, staff, faculty, and surrounding communities. These measures and conditions include, among other things, the University’s requirement that students (1) provide evidence of vaccination to Harvard University Health Services and (2) participate in compulsory HUHS COVID-19 testing and tracing programs.

Unless they can demonstrate that they are eligible for a medical or religious exemption from these requirements, students who do not provide the HUHS-required documentation of COVID-19 vaccination and/or decline, refuse, or fail to be tested for COVID-19 at the cadence specified for them by HUHS may be placed on an involuntary leave or, at the School’s discretion, may face other consequences including, but not limited to, exclusion from participation in certain School or University activities, an instruction not to enter upon University property, the loss of access to University housing, or denial of registration.

In addition, GSAS continues to retain the discretion to apply its considered judgment to the question of how best to pursue its educational programs during the COVID-19 crisis. We remain alert to the fact that local conditions and/or public health guidance may shift suddenly and require us to adapt how the school operates. Accordingly, changes in conditions may require us to revert to online instruction (in whole or in part), introduce or modify mask and physical distancing mandates, limit certain activities and services, and/or de-densify classrooms and campus spaces—among other protective measures aimed at protecting the health and safety of our community, preserving our ability to adapt to evolving circumstances, and ensuring the continuity of our teaching and research mission. Please see GSAS's community expectations for more information.