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HARVARD UNIVERSITY, CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS - ADMISSION

Cambridge, MassachusettsLOCATION
UniversitySCHOOL TYPE
Estd 1636Established Year
  22947Enrollment

Harvard University 2020-2021 Admissions: Acceptance Rate, Requirements, Deadlines, Application Process

Hitaishi Bhatia Hitaishi Bhatia
Study Abroad Expert

Regarded as a coveted institution globally, Harvard University is exceptionally selective towards its approach to admissions with an acceptance rate of merely 4.7%. It is one of the highly competitive universities of the US Education System with 11 principal academic units. The committee looks at students with a passion for the subject, diverse life, community involvement and work experiences.

More than 40,000 students applied for admission to Harvard University in 2020 out of which hardly 2,015 were offered admissions and 34 students were admitted from the waiting list.Nearly 10% of international students are offered admissions across various graduate and undergraduate programs at the institute. Course-specific enrollment is as depicted below.

Contents

Top Courses at Harvard: Admission Deadlines

Type of ProgramApplication DeadlineAdmission Requirements
Master of Business Administration (MBA)January 5 (decision by March 30)LORs (3), CV, SOP; Interview
IELTS: 7.5; TOEFL: 109; GMAT: 730/ GRE: 292
Masters of Science (M.Sc)- Data ScienceDecember 15LORs (3), CV, SOP
IELTS: 7.0; TOEFL: 100; GRE: 292
Master of Science (M.Sc)- Computational ScienceDecember 15LORs (3), CV, SOP
IELTS: 7.0; TOEFL: 100; GRE: 292
M.Sc Applied ComputationJanuary 1LORs (3), CV, SOP
IELTS: 7.0; TOEFL: 100; GRE: 292
Master of ManagementDecember 1, April 15LORs (3), CV, SOP
IELTS: 7.0; TOEFL: 100
M.Sc Computational Science & EngineeringDecember 1LORs (3), CV, SOP
IELTS: 7.0; TOEFL: 100; GRE: 292
Master of LawFebruary 1LORs, Statement of Purpose
IELTS: 7.5; TOEFL: 109; GRE: (if required)
Master of Landscape Architecture IDecember 15IELTS: 6.5; TOEFL: 90; GRE: 292
Master of Liberal Arts- FinanceDecember 1/April 15IELTS: 7; TOEFL: 100; PTE: 70
GRE (recommended)
Master of Public PolicyDecember 15IELTS: 6.5; TOEFL: 90; GRE: 292
Master of Liberal Arts - BiotechnologyDecember 1/April 15IELTS: 7; TOEFL: 100; GRE (recommended)
Master of Public AdministrationDecember 15IELTS: 6.5; TOEFL: 900; GRE: 292
B.Sc Mechanical EngineeringDecember 15English, Maths, Science (class 12th)
IELTS: 6.5; TOEFL: 80; ACT: 32; SAT: 1460
B.Sc Computer ScienceDecember 15English, Maths, Science (class 12th)
LORs, SOP, Resume
IELTS: 6.5; TOEFL: 80; ACT: 32; SAT: 1460
B.Sc Electrical EngineeringJanuary 11, November 1English, Maths (55%), Science (class 12th)
LORs, SOP, Resume
IELTS: 6.5; TOEFL: 80; ACT: 32; SAT: 1460

Harvard University Common Deadlines

Apart from various course-specific deadlines, Harvard also observes a regular decision admission deadline of January 1. Some other important Harvard University deadline for application are mentioned below:

Type of Application DeadlinesDate
Early action deadlineNovember 1
Early decision deadlineMid December
Regular admissionsJanuary 1
Regular decision deadlineLate March
Submission of standardized test scoresEnd of October (latest by December end)
Confirmation deadline for admitted studentsMay 1

Harvard University Online Courses

Here we bring you the trending online courses at Harvard University. Enrol in your favourite courses before the registration date gets over!

CourseDetails
Financial Accounting (Business)8 weeks; 1600 USD; Register By: October 5
Business Analytics (Business)8 weeks; 1600 USD; Register By: October 12
Cybersecurity: Managing Risk in the Information Age (Business)8 weeks; 2800 USD; Register By: November 3
FinTech (Business)6 weeks; 3600 USD; Register By: November 10
Digital Marketing Strategy (Business)5 days; 2,850 USD; Register By: December 7
Harvard Business Analytics Program (Data Science)10 weeks; 51,500 USD; Register By: January 14
Recognizing Global Health Care Disparities (Health Medicine)1 day; 75 USD; Register By: November 19
Higher Education Teaching Certificate (Education & Training)8 weeks; 2,400 USD; Register By: January 26

Harvard University Free Online Courses

Looking for free online courses at Harvard University? Here are the most trending free online courses you can take any time to hone your skills!

CourseDuration
Data Science: Inference and Modeling (Data Science)8 weeks
CS50's Introduction to Game Development (Programming)12 weeks
CS50's Web Programming with Python and JavaScript (Programming)12 weeks
CS50's Introduction to Artificial Intelligence with Python7 weeks
Causal Diagrams: Draw Your Assumptions Before Your Conclusions (Data Science)9 weeks
Exercising Leadership: Foundational Principles (Business)4 weeks
PredictionX: Lost Without Longitude (Humanities)1 week Long
Nonprofit Financial Stewardship Webinar: Introduction to Accounting and Financial Statements (Business)1 Day
CS50: Introduction to Computer Science (Computer Science)11 weeks
PredictionX: John Snow and the Cholera Epidemic of 1854 (Health & Medicine)1 week
CS50 for Lawyers (Computer Science)10 weeks
MalariaX: Defeating Malaria from the Genes to the Globe (Health & Medicine)8 weeks
Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and the Birth of Opera (Art & Design)3 weeks
Beethoven's 9th Symphony and the 19th Century Orchestra (Art & Design)3 weeks
Fat Chance: Probability from the Ground Up (Mathematics)7 weeks
Strengthening Community Health Worker Programs (Health & Medicine)6 weeks
Introduction to Digital Humanities7 weeks
Bioethics: The Law, Medicine, and Ethics of Reproductive Technologies and Genetics (Humanities)10 weeks
Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking (Humanities)8 weeks

Harvard University Acceptance Rate & Admission Statistics

ApplicationsFigures
Total Applications Received39041
Total Applications Accepted2037
Overall Acceptance Rate5.2%
Regular Decision Application Received32,868
Regular Decision Applications Accepted1,119
Regular Decision3.4%
Early Decision Applications Received6,173
Early Decision Applications Accepted918
Early Decision Acceptance Rate14.9%

How to get into Harvard University

Depending upon your level of study, you need to consider the following scores to get into Harvard University:

TestScore
SAT ERW720 (25th Percentile); 780 (75th Percentile)
SAT Math740 (25th Percentile); 800 (75th Percentile)
ACT English34 (25th Percentile); 36 (75th Percentile)
ACT Math31 (25th Percentile); 35 (75th Percentile)
ACT Composite33 (25th Percentile); 35 (75th Percentile)
GPA4.18
Average GRE Verbal Score155-166
Average GRE Quant Score155-170
Average GMAT Score for MBA at Harvard730

Additionally, you will be required to demonstrate participation in extracurricular activities and personal qualities such as innovative thinking, strong character and ability to make good decisions. Also, recommendations from mentors or teachers play a key role in securing a place at Harvard.

Harvard University MBA

It can be really insightful to study the class profile of recently admitted students into the MBA at Harvard University. Let’s have a look!

Harvard MBA Class Profile (2019-2020)

ParticularsNumbers
Applications Received9304
Students Enrolled730
Intake Capacity930
Students Submitting GMAT78%
Students Submitting GRE22%
Average Work Experience4.7 years
International Student Percentage33%
Students from Engineering background26%
Students from Business & Commerce background22%
Students from Economics background19%
Students from Social Sciences background14%
Students from Math/Physical Science background15%
Students from Arts & Humanities background4%

Employment Background of Harvard MBA Students

Type of Prior Job ExperiencePercentage
Consulting15%
Consumer Products / Retail / E-Commerce9%
Financial Services11%
Health Care / Biotech7%
Manufacturing / Industrial / Energy11%
Media / Entertainment / Travel5%
Military5%
Nonprofit / Government / Education6%
Services2%
Technology13%
Venture Capital / Private Equity16%

Tests for Havard MBA

Tests for Havard MBAScores
GMAT Verbal Range27-51
GMAT Quantitative Range40-51
Total GMAT Range620-790
GMAT Median Verbal42
GMAT Median Quantitative48
Median GMAT Total730
GRE Verbal Range148-170
GRE Quantitative Range145-170
Median GRE Verbal163
Median GRE Quantitative163

Harvard University Admission: International Students

Harvard evaluates all its applicants in a similar manner irrespective of their nationality. The detailed Harvard University admission requirements for international students are as mentioned below.

Where to apply?

Application portal: Coalition ApplicationCommon Application, and Universal College Application

Application fee: 75 USD

How to study at Harvard University?

After you have selected the application portal you are opting for, apply at Harvard by attaching the below-mentioned documents.

  • Official transcripts (all educational institutes attended): English translations evaluated by WES must only be sent.
  • English language proficiency scores: Undergraduate-level applicants require test scores like TOEFL (min 80) and IELTS (min 6.5). Requirements for graduates vary as per the program and is discussed in the sections above.
  • Test scores of required standardized exams: SAT/ACT (1460/32) or GMAT/GRE (730/292) for undergrads and graduates, respectively.
  • Letter of recommendations: At least 3 written by teachers of supervisors you have worked directly under who can highlight your strengths and weaknesses appropriately for the Harvard to judge. 
  • Statement of Purpose: An impressive, outstanding essay can add great merit to the candidate's profile. Make sure you do not lie or look mechanical in your statement.
  • Resume (wherever required): To highlight your professional experience and community involvement. This forms a major factor in the admission process at Harvard.

Harvard University Undergraduate Admission

Many undergraduate programs are offered by Harvard College, located within the University. Committed to Liberal arts and sciences, it offers more than 46 undergraduate majors across vast fields to its students.

How to Apply – Apply through the Common Application, Universal College Application, and the Coalition Application.

Application Fee – 75 USD

Basic Requirements - High school transcripts, final school report, midyear school report, English language test scores, resume, statement of purpose and letters of recommendation.

Some course-specific detailed information regarding top undergraduate programs at Harvard is as compiled below.

Admission RequirementsTuition Fee (USD, per year)Application DeadlineEnglish language RequirementsSAT/ACT Requirements
Bachelor of Liberal Arts14,720December 1TOEFL: 100; IELTS: 7-
Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (BSc)47,730December 15TOEFL: 80; IELTS: 6.5ACT: 32; SAT: 1460
Bachelor of Arts- Applied Mathematics (BA)47,730December 15TOEFL: 80; IELTS: 6.5ACT: 32; SAT: 1460
Bachelor of Science- Mechanical Engineering (BSc)47,730December 15TOEFL: 80; IELTS: 6.5ACT: 32; SAT: 1460

Harvard University Graduate Admission

The institute offers more than 134 graduate degree programs along with 32 professional degree programs. There are ten schools that offer graduate degrees and each of them has a separate application process, requirements, and deadlines.

What can you study at Harvard University?

While basic application requirements are similar for undergraduate and graduate admissions, detailed and course-specific requirements for top courses at the institute are as tabulated below.

Admission RequirementsMBAMasters of Biomedical InformaticsMasters (MSc) Data ScienceMasters of Computer ScienceMasters in Education
Tuition Fee (USD)73,44053,84458,88058,88051,990
Application PortalHBS application portalHMS application portalGSAS application portalGSAS application portalGSE application portal
Application DeadlineJanuary 5January 3December 15December 15December 15
Admission Decision byMarch 30Early MarchMid-FebruaryMid-February-
TranscriptsRequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredRequired
GRE/GMATGMAT: 730/GRE: 292Not requiredGRE: 292GRE: 292GRE: 292
ResumeRequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredRequired
Letters of Recommendation33RequiredRequired3
InterviewBy invite----
Statement of PurposeRequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredRequired
Additional RequirementsWork Experience-Writing SampleWriting Sample, Supplemental Data Form-

Harvard University English Language Requirements

For Undergraduate admissions

It is not mandatory to take an English language proficiency test at the university, however, candidates are suggested to send the scores along with the application to add more weight to the application. Scores for TOEFL and IELTS are usually 80 and 6.5, respectively.

For Graduate admissions

Language requirements also vary majorly from program to program, score accepted in most of the programs are as follows:-

English Language Proficiency TestScores
TOEFL iBT80 minimum
IELTS7.5 minimum

Admission at Harvard University: Important Pointers

Some points to be considered when applying for admissions at the institute are as follows:

  • While there is no minimum score requirement, a GPA of 3.8 or above along with SAT and ACT scores of 1460-1590 and 32-35 is the ideal score for Harvard.
  • Work experience is highly recommended for MBA graduates applying to the university.
  • The interview offered by the invite-only policy is a course-specific requirement and is not mandatory for international students.
  • International applicants can contact the admissions helpdesk at Harvard.

Harvard University Interview Tips

Harvard sends interview invites to its students depending upon their course-specific requirements. The interview is usually a 30-minute long session held in person or on skype. Some general points to be noted when appearing for the interview at the university are as follows:

  • Prepare your interview as per the interviewer: Since the interview is usually a way of getting to know the candidate’s dedication towards the subject, his/her personality, passion and professionalism, it is mandatory to note these points and answer accordingly. Talk about your research work (if any).
  • Be natural and don’t sound mechanical: If you are trying to lie or fake an image from someone you are not, that can be reflected in your answers and can act against you during the interview. Be natural, prepare well but do not over-rehearse.
  • Dress professionally and speak confidently: Do not beat around the bush and come straight to the point to ensure your vision is clearly reflected in your answers.

What are common Harvard University interview questions?

  1. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  2. What motivated you to pursue this field?
  3. Tell me more about a certain section of your personal statement?
  4. What is one mistake that you have made in the past? How did you rectify it?
  5. What is a stressful situation according to you? How do you overcome it?
  6. Tell me about a compromise you had to make? Were you happy to do it?
  7. Tell me more about yourself?
  8. What is the most negative experience of your school life?
  9. What have you read or seen or gone to a place lately?
  10. What is one thing that you would want me to convey to the admission committee in regard to your application?

Harvard University Admissions: Document Submission

Document submission and application process is one of the most important parts of admission. Candidate must note to take care of the following information while applying.

  • The application must be submitted before the submission of supporting materials.
  • Candidates can ask for an application fee waiver simply by writing a small mail to the university.
  • An acknowledgment is sent from the university after receiving the application.
  • Candidates must complete Harvard supplements or questions along with the application so that the admission committee can assess the application better.
  • School Transcripts or reports must be completed by the school counselor.
  • All the information provided should be accurate, any misrepresentation may lead to denial of admission.
  • Candidates can make amendments in the application through the Application Status Portal.

Visa Application Process

Initial steps of the international student visa process are managed by their respective school. Once they've submitted their financial documents, the HIO will proceed to issue the I-20 or DS-2019 form to the student, depending on the type of student visa. After successfully paying the SEVIS fee, the international applicant can schedule their visa appointment at the nearby US embassy/consulate.

The following things need to be provided by international students:

  • Sufficient finances must be demonstrated in order to cover their study. A minimum amount of 46,333 USD is required as proof of funds.
  • SEVIS fee receipt.
  • Copy of the passport.
  • A university Student’s Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).

Factors influencing Admissions at Harvard University

The university’s admission committee treats each and every application equally and assessment is done on the basis of merit only. Candidates who have attended well-resourced schools throughout their lives tend to score better. While assessing the submitted applications the “no one size fits all” rule is followed so that every candidate is assessed individually. The factors strongly considered by the university are:-

  • Growth and Potential
  • Interests and Activities
  • Character and Personality
  • Contribution to the Harvard Community

Harvard is one of the only five US universities to offer “need-blind admission”. This means an applicant’s needs are not considered while assessing the application. Only merit-based admissions are offered. International applicants who need financial help can apply for other scholarships and financial help available in the US.

FAQs

Ques. Can I get admission at Harvard University with a GPA of 3.5?

Ans. While there is no fixed GPA requirement for Harvard, past trends reflect that a GPA of at least 3.8 or 4.0 and above is a good enough score for the institute. However, students with 3.5 GPA can also apply for admissions if they have an overall impressive student profile.

Ques. Is interview mandatory for international students at Harvard University?

Ans. No, interviews do not influence the admission process at Harvard and are conducted only to get to know the candidate and their approach better. Interviews are scheduled by Harvard on an invite basis only.

Ques. Does Harvard University have any specific admission requirements for Indian students?

Ans. No, Harvard observes the same requirements for all international students like English proficiency scores, transcripts, resume etc. and there are no extra requirements for Indian applicants. Some course-specific requirements like portfolio, interview etc. might apply.

Ques. Do I need to translate my documents for the Harvard admission process?

Ans. If the documents are not in English, they need to be translated. However it is not necessary to get them translated from a professional translator only, translations by an English teacher are accepted too.

Ques. Is there a way to track my application at Harvard University?

Ans. A link to the application portal (from mid-September onwards) is provided after successfully submitting an application. Applicants can view their personalized application checklist and change their financial aid application status, application round and upload additional materials. 

Ques. What kind of financial help is provided for international students at Harvard University?

Ans. Different schools of Harvard provide financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study, irrespective of the nationality of students. Candidates seeking this aid will need to submit an IDOC packet along with a CSS profile.

Ques. How many courses are offered by Harvard University?

Ans. More than 3,700 courses are offered by Harvard across a number of fields such as undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and several non-degree and combined degree programs.

Ques. What is the average cost of studying at Harvard University?

Ans. The average cost of living in the USA while studying at Harvard is nearly 80,000 USD per year.

Ques. What are the job prospects of an MBA graduate of Harvard Business School?

Ans. Full-time MBA graduates of Harvard Business School have been employed in various positions, most commonly in Financial Services, Consulting, Health Care, Manufacturing, Retail and Technology. The median base salary of a Harvard MBA graduate is 165,000 USD.

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