admission requirements for harvard
Freshmen admission requirements
Admission to Harvard is a holistic process. The Harvard Admissions Office takes into account your academic record, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities, and personal characteristics. The requirements for each applicant are as follows:
- A high school diploma or equivalent
- Two SAT subject tests (one in math and one in science)
- An essay or application
- Two teacher recommendations
- An interview with the admissions team
- A $75 application fee (if applicable)
- Your application must be submitted by December 1
Homeschoolers admission requirements
Homeschooled applicants must submit a transcript or the equivalent, along with any available standardized testing results. If your curriculum included a mix of standard and non-standard courses, please explain in an accompanying statement how you believe your education prepared you for college.
If you have taken AP, IB or A-level examinations, please have the results sent to us directly from the examining board. We also encourage students who took college courses during high school to have those transcripts forwarded to us as well.
Transfer admission requirements
If you are currently enrolled in, or have graduated from, a college or university and wish to apply for an undergraduate degree program, please review the following requirements.
- Minimum of one year of academic coursework at a college or university.
- Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 or higher on a 4-point scale. Students must maintain this GPA to remain in good standing and be eligible for financial aid.
- Submission of SAT or ACT scores is optional but recommended for students who meet the GPA requirement above.
- Completed online application form with nonrefundable application fee (waived if you visit campus).
- Two letters of recommendation are required; these may be submitted by anyone who can speak to your qualifications as an applicant, except relatives, Harvard alumni interviewers, and Harvard College Admissions Office staff members. Letters from coaches, employers, research mentors/supervisors/collaborators, advisors/mentors/tutors (including those affiliated with national fellowships), faculty members at your current institution are preferred; family friends and teachers from high school will not be considered unless they can provide unique insight into your academic qualifications as a transfer student; counselors will not receive additional consideration during the evaluation process. One letter must come from an academic source who has directly observed your intellectual curiosity and capacity for excellence in class work over time since most recent high school experience. The second letter should address specific personal traits such as leadership ability and character that you would bring to the Harvard community as a transfer student both inside and outside the classroom setting while completing Bachelor’s degrees in two years*. We strongly suggest that either this letter is also written by an academic source such as a faculty member at your current institution OR it comes from someone familiar with you outside of academics such as a coach or employer who is highly familiar with you through regular interactions beyond just observing your performance on particular tasks so that potential references don’t overlap
International students admission requirements
To be considered as an international student, you will need to submit documentation showing that you have achieved a very high level of academic success. This includes:
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and Duolingo English Test scores
- A credential evaluation by the World Education Services (WES) or another agency approved by Harvard.
- Proof of proficiency in the English language if your native language isn’t English
GPA calculation and coursework distribution
Your GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of letter graded units attempted. Transfer, summer school, and University Extension School courses are included in this calculation. Coursework undertaken at other institutions will not be included in this calculation. There are several grading schemes that are not included in your GPA:
- Credit/D/Fail – Your student record will show the grades Credit or D, but no numerical grade point value.
- Audit – This grade indicates that you attended classes but did not complete the assignments; it also carries no numerical grade point value.
- Pass/Fail and Withdrawal/Pass/Fail – While these two grades appear as letters on your academic record, they also do not carry a numerical grade point value.
Please note: Harvard College does not accept AP credits for transfer students who matriculate to Harvard College during their junior year or later.
Harvard University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
Harvard University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It was founded in 1636 and has an annual enrollment of around 20,000 students. It’s known for being hard to get into, with less than 6 percent of applicants admitted each year. The university is part of the Ivy League and counts among its alumni eight U.S. presidents, 62 living billionaires and 130 Nobel laureates. Harvard is also home to the largest academic library in the world, with over 18 million volumes across 71 individual libraries.