Applying to Harvard University in a graduate program, whether that is a Master’s or Ph.D. program, can be a difficult task. However, we will try our best to make this application process easier by listing what you should do step-by-step.

If you are a US citizen or Permanent Resident, you can just ignore the part that applies to international students. But if you are an international student, you should additionally complete the parts that apply to international students.

Applying for admissions as an international student is essentially the same as applying as a domestic student with few exceptions such as the language proficiency exam. In this section, I will list all the necessary documents and procedures for applying to Harvard University as an international student. 

Necessary Documents to Apply for Harvard University Graduate Program

  1. Online application form and application fee of $105
  2. Uploaded transcripts to the online application 
  3. Three letters of recommendation
  4. Statement of Purpose
  5. GRE (Graduate Record Examination) 
  6. Demonstration of English Proficiency for international students (Only for International Students: IELTS or TOEFL)
  7. Writing sample where required 


Application Procedure

Quite frankly, the application procedure (especially the required documents) is different for different graduate programs at Harvard University. Also, the application is different. You should refer to your graduate program website for information. So, if you are applying for engineering, you should look at the Harvard College of Engineering Site. If you are looking for a humanities program, you should look at the Harvard Humanities Site.

You can find the site by searching on Google “Harvard Graduate School in [your Major].”

This is a general guide on the application procedure. There might be slight differences between graduate programs.

  1. Start the online application. Students need to go to the appropriate graduate school of Harvard and start an online application (Ex. Graduate School of Engineering for engineering majors, etc.) 
  2. Upload your transcripts form to the online application
  3. Ask 3 faculty members in your previous institution for the recommendations 
  4. Write a statement of purpose. This should convey your interest, academic qualification, and your goals in the graduate program.  
  5. Take a Graduate Record Examination (GRE). GRE which is a standardized test for graduate programs is required for all programs except Astronomy.  
  6. Take an English Proficiency Exam. International students are required to take the TOEFL and score at least a score of 80. Some programs will require higher scores. 
  7. Submit the application when all the application forms and the required materials are filled.


As stated before, the application procedure is different for different graduate programs, and therefore, it is vital that you check the graduate program website for complete information on the application procedure. However, this should give you a general guideline so that you know what to expect when you are filling out the application.


I hope this guide on applying for Harvard University’s graduate programs was insightful & informative. If you are interested in studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

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