How to Get Admission into Harvard University

How to Get Admission into Harvard University

When it comes to the question of how to get admission in Harvard University, most aspiring students often find themselves doubting if they indeed have what it takes to make it into this great institution.

If this is you, then you should know that a Harvard university application isn't a do or die affair and as long as you follow the instructions for successfully applying to this institution, you have a good chance of getting selected.

On that note, this article will act as a guide on everything you need to know about Harvard starting from facts about it, benefits of studying there, and finally how to get admitted as a student.

Likewise, you'll learn about the requirements to apply to Harvard University for undergraduates, postgraduates, business, and medical students.


Article Guide:

  1. About Harvard University

  2. Benefits of studying in Harvard University

  3. Harvard University admission requirements for undergraduate students

  4. Harvard University Admission requirements for postgraduate students admission

  5. Requirements to apply to Harvard Business School

  6. Admission requirements to apply to Harvard Medical School

  7. Conclusion


Related: 50 Harvard Free Online Courses 2022


About Harvard University

Founded in 1636, and located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University is known to be the oldest university in the USA. Harvard University, which is famous for its academics, research opportunities, sports, and extracurricular activities, is also among the top Ivy League colleges in the world.

At top-tier schools like Harvard, almost every applicant has an outstanding academic record, so, great grades and superb standardized test scores are not enough to wow the admissions team. With an acceptance rate of 4%, fitting the type of student they’re looking for is the way you can stand out from other applicants applying to Harvard.

People who have attempted to get into this renowned institution before, know how hard it is to get accepted into Harvard.

They know that your work experience, voluntary community development services, leadership skills, and other charity work are core values that are considered over excellent academic records. You will need both a combination of an interesting academic background and these values to be considered for admission into Harvard.


Benefits of Studying in Harvard University

As you prepare your Harvard application, it is also important that you understand all the things you could gain from studying at this university.

Studying in Harvard University may be one of the most beneficial experiences for a college student, and there are several reasons why international students should apply to study in this great institution.

Here are 9 reasons why you should study in Harvard University:

  1. Variety of programs to choose from

An education at Harvard has limitless possibilities, as Harvard offers such a breadth of academic and extracurricular opportunities. With more than 3,700 courses, taught by esteemed faculty members, you will be able to immerse yourself in whatever interests you, and you’ll be exposed to a bunch of different fields of study.

  1. Financial Aid

Harvard offers a very generous financial program, and the financial aid officers will ensure that finances will not be the reason you would not choose Harvard College. These financial aid packages require no loans, no contribution from families with incomes $65,000 or less. Infact, families with incomes between $65,000 and $150,000 will contribute from 0-10% of their income, and those with incomes above $150,000 will be asked to pay proportionately more than 10%, based on their individual circumstances.

  1. Networking

Harvard has lots of traditions, history, and an extensive alumni network for you to build connections with both as a student and as a graduate from this school.

  1. Unmatched Resources

Harvard is home to a number of art and science museums, and offers access to local museums to members of the Harvard community. The Harvard Library system is also the largest in the academic world, holding more than 18 million volumes.

  1. Opportunity to build life-long skills

This great institution is also known to be a center for training and development workshops in career-building skills, information technology, management skills and more.

  1. Graduate prospects

Graduates from Harvard College are majorly sought after from companies all over the world, based on the value they possess, which could be either their communication, leadership or problem-solving skills. It definitely pays off to be a graduate of this top university.

  1. Support for students

Harvard students have access to courses, research institutes, and faculty mentors from all parts of Harvard. With world-renowned faculty, state-of-the-art resources, and individualized instruction, Harvard is the perfect place to pursue your favorite and still-to-be-discovered academic interests.

  1. A home for all

Harvard University is a diverse community representing many races, ethnicities, belief systems, nationalities, genders, and sexual orientations.

  1. It’s a challenge

Studying in Harvard University isn't necessarily easy, as there are unique challenges that comes with studying in this school. However, that’s all part of the fun and the experience. Leaving your comfort zone is one of the things that makes the whole experience valuable and worthwhile. If you can successfully complete your study in the world's best institutions, you can achieve anything.


Read: 37 Oxford University Free Online Courses 2022


Harvard University Admission Requirements for Undergraduate Students

Harvard, stands as one of the most sought after institutions in the world, especially from undergraduate students looking to build solid educational and career foundations from themselves.

More so, it is a desirable go-to choice for international students like you who wish to study with the rest of USA's best and brightest students.

Without further ado, this section quickly covers the Harvard university admission requirements for international students at undergraduate level.

All first-year applicants, both international and U.S. candidates, must complete the Common Application or the Coalition Application as one of the compulsory Harvard admission requirements, along with the required supplements.

You will need to submit:

  • Common Application or Coalition Application

  • Harvard College Questions for the Common Application or Coalition Application Harvard supplement

  • Pay the Harvard application cost of $75  (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

  • Teacher Report (2)

  • Midyear School Report (after your first semester grades)

  • Final School Report (for admitted students only)


Standardized tests required for undergraduate programs:

  • SAT or ACT (with or without writing)

  • Harvard university sat requirements include SAT scores, two SAT Subject Tests additionally required

  • Avoid sending scores from both Math Level-1 and Math Level-2, if submitting two subject tests

  • IELTS/TOEFL not required if English is the first language

  • Accepts both IELTS/TOEFL scores


For undergraduate aspirants, the following documents are required:

  • Academic transcripts

  • IELTS or TOEFL scores

  • Advanced Placement scores (optional)

  • Letters of recommendation

  • Research articles, artwork, portfolio, music/video recordings (as per course)

  • Financial documents

  • Scholarship letters, if any


How to apply to undergraduate programs in Harvard?

Undergraduate aspirants have three options to choose from while applying to Harvard. You can either apply through the Common Application Portal, the Coalition Application Portal, or the Universal College Portal.

After submitting your application form in any one of the application portals, you will receive an email confirmation from Harvard with its applicant portal link.

In this portal, you need to fulfill some Harvard application requirements like:

  • Contact information such as phone number, email address, and mailing address

  • Go through the personalized application checklist

  • Self-report test scores, if not submitted before

  • Check and confirm the scores submitted

  • Check the financial aid application status and make changes, if required

  • Change the application round

  • Submit additional documents and samples, as per course requirement

After the submission of your documents, Harvard may set up an interview for you with its alumni. This is not a mandatory step as the university will only set this up based on slot availability, and your application will not be affected even when there is no scheduled interview.

Once the results are out, you can check the status of your application (accepted or not) on the Applicant Portal.


Read also: Admission Interview Tips


Harvard University Admission Requirements for Postgraduate Students

Harvard international students seeking postgraduate enrollment at the university have  different set of admission processes from that of the Harvard undergraduate enrollment.

  • For Harvard graduate application, the Graduate School of Art and Science at Harvard University (GSAS), admits students based on their potential to make contributions through their scholarship to their chosen field, whether in academia or in a nonacademic career.

  • The non-refundable application fee for postgraduate programs (masters and PhD) differs from course to course and ranges from $80 – $105.


Standardized test required for postgraduate Harvard admissions include:

  • GRE/GMAT/LSAT (as per program)

  • IELTS/TOEFL not required if English is the first language

  • TOEFL: minimum 80, however, rarely any applicant with scores below 90 is admitted

  • IELTS: 6.5, some programs may require higher scores


How to get admission in Harvard University for MBA? You will need to provide the following:

  • $105 application fee via credit card

  • Academic transcripts

  • IELTS or TOEFL scores

  • GRE or GMAT scores

  • Resume/CV

  • Essays/SOP

  • LORs

  • Writing, video or audio sample, as per course requirement

  • Financial documents

  • Scholarship letters, if any


For Harvard PhD application, the following documents are required:

  • Completed online application form

  • $105 application fee via credit card

  • Resume

  • Statement of Purpose

  • Transcripts for all college/university degrees and courses

  • Self-reported transcripts are accepted for both all programs at the application stage. You must upload copies of your transcripts to the online application system. Hard copy transcripts will only be required if admitted to a program, prior to enrollment.

  • Current GMAT or GRE scores - All applicants are required to take either the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Submitted test scores must not be older than five years, and must be from a test taken between December 1, 2017 and December 1, 2022 for Fall 2023 enrollment.

  • TOEFL or IELTS scores - The committee prefers scores of at least 100 on the TOEFL internet-based test and at least 7.5 on the IELTS test.

  • Three letters of recommendation (at least one from an academic source). Recommendation letters must be submitted online through the online application system. Hard copy recommendation letters will not be accepted.

See: How to Write a Good Letter of Recommendation for Students (10 PDF Sample Examples)


How to apply to postgraduate programs?

As a postgraduate aspirant applying for any PG course in Harvard, you need to apply through the Applicant Portal and then do the following:

  •  First you need to register on the specific school’s site and then log in to its Applicant Portal.

  • Do take a note that each school has its own Applicant Portal, so you shouldn't register on the wrong website. For instance, if you are applying for an MBA, you need to register with Harvard Business School’s website and apply through its portal, instead of trying to apply on GSAS.

  • After submitting your application form with relevant documents through the portal, you may get called for a personal interview.

  • A Post Interview Reflection essay/write-up needs to be submitted within 24 hours after completing the interview. Details will be mailed to the student after the interview.


Admission Requirements to Apply to Harvard Business School

Admission to Harvard Business School is highly competitive and selective and reserved for the only the best candidates. So, for foreign students interested in this program, this section breaks down how to get into Harvard for MBA.

Harvard entry requirements to meet include:

  • GPA of 3.7 or above. This equals around 90-92% and a grade score of A.

  • For admissions to MBA courses at Harvard you will be requiring a competitive GMAT score (620-790 average of 2021 class)

  • Work experience of at least 2-5 years.


Harvard University requirements for international students applying to this program include:

  • Submitting TOEFL/IELTS/PTE score.

  • You'll also need to accept the policies and pay the $250 application fee to submit your application.

  • Students also need to have exceptional academic records, analytical aptitude, and leadership skills to be a part of the Harvard Business School.

After meeting all these Harvard university application requirements for their business school, if the admissions committee finds everything suitable, you may be invited for an interview.


Admission Requirements to Apply to Harvard Medical School

The Harvard Medical School is another renowned branch of Harvard University. HMS is dedicated to dispensing quality medical training to students all over the world, and just like its parent university, they only admit students of impeccable academic background who can contribute positively to it.

Note that as it is with other faculties, Harvard university entry requirements for medical students are specific only to candidates interested in studying under it.

On that note, the HMS Faculty of Medicine accepts applications from current students in good standing and graduates of accredited colleges who:

  • Present evidence that their intellectual and personal credentials are of such quality as to predict success in the study and practice of medicine

  • Demonstrate aptitude in the biological and physical sciences during their undergraduate years, but not to the exclusion of the humanities and social sciences

  • Demonstrate fluent and nuanced facility in English, as effective communication among the medical care team and between physicians and patients is crucial to the delivery of care

  • Students are required to complete at least three years of college work and a baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation. In addition, students must complete all required prerequisite coursework prior to matriculation.


The Committee on Admissions evaluates applications based on several factors, including the following:

  • Academic records

  • Applicant essay(s)

  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores

  • Letters of evaluation

  • Extracurricular activities

  • Summer occupations

  • Life experiences

  • Experience in the health field, including research or community work



Now that you know what the requirements are to apply to Harvard University, you should do well to start applying, so that you can meet up with the next available academic session, if you have the desire to attend this great institution.


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