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Admissions & Aid
You must submit all of your required documents online, including your academic transcripts and letters of recommendation, by the application deadline.
A complete application to Ed.M. or Ed.L.D. consists of the following:
Your statement should be your own original work and may not be written, in part or in whole, by a third party. It should be typed, double-spaced, and no more than 1,500 words. International applicants must write their statement in English; the use of translators is not permitted. The admissions committee will carefully consider both the content and the writing in its assessment of your candidacy for graduate study at HGSE.
Tips and FAQs about your statement of purpose.
The length and format of your résumé or C.V. is up to your discretion.
Applicants are required to submit three recommendations using the online application system. We are unable to facilitate changing recommenders once you have entered them in the Recommendations section of your application. Please think carefully and thoughtfully about who you would like to serve as your recommenders before adding them to your application.
You cannot be involved in any way in the drafting or writing of your recommendation letter nor can you help your recommender submit your own letter. The HGSE Admissions Office may follow up with recommenders as needed for additional information.
Letters of recommendation FAQs.
The GRE test is optional for Ed.M. and Ed.L.D. applicants.
GRE and GMAT scores are valid and reportable within a five-year period from the original test date. The test must have been taken on or after January 1, 2019, if you are applying for enrollment in the 2024-2025 academic year. If your scores are no longer reportable/expired, you will need to submit new GRE or GMAT test results.
Applicants whose native language is not English and whose bachelor's degree is not from a college or university where English is the sole language of instruction are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS exam. You are exempt from this requirement if you have earned a bachelor's degree from an institution at which English was the sole language of instruction. Additionally, you must have completed at least 3 years of full-time enrollment at the institution, otherwise, TOEFL/IELTS scores are required.
Tests must have been taken on or after January 1, 2022, if you are applying for enrollment in the 2024-2025 academic year.
You are required to upload transcripts from each postsecondary institution that you have attended showing all undergraduate and graduate work (including non-degree classes) in the Academics section of the application.
At this stage of the application process, you may upload unofficial or student copies. All transcripts should show courses completed, grades received, duration of study, and degree or diploma received, if applicable.
Please keep in mind that you will need to provide official transcripts (and translations, if applicable) for verification, should you be admitted. HGSE reserves the right to withdraw an admissions offer if there is a discrepancy between the uploaded version and the official original transcript and/or the official translation.
You must submit your $85 application fee when applying to an Ed.M. program or Ed.L.D. using a Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. The application fee is nonrefundable.
Written fee waiver requests will be considered if they are accompanied by documentation of need. Fee waivers are subject to approval by the Admissions Office. The fee waiver request form is located within the online application.
These requirements include specific requirements for all Ed.M. applicants, the Ed.L.D program, the Teaching and Teacher Leadership (TTL) Licensure Strand, the Education Leadership, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship (ELOE) School Leadership Pathway and Principal Licensure, and the Human Development and Education (HDE) School Counseling Strand.
All Ed.M. applications are required to respond to the following prompt (250 words):
The mission of the Harvard Graduate School of Education is to prepare education leaders and innovators who will change the world by expanding opportunities and outcomes for learners everywhere. Please tell us how you will contribute to the vibrant HGSE community and help advance the mission.
Short Essay prompt (750 words)
Describe a strategy from outside your organization — or even the education sector — that could radically improve the American PreK-12 education system and explain why you think this strategy would have a strong impact.
Once all applications have been reviewed, HGSE will invite selected Ed.L.D. applicants for required virtual interviews (both individual and group) with members of the admissions committee. These virtual interviews will take place in February.
It is not possible to submit multiple HGSE applications for the same academic year. Ed.L.D. applicants who wish to be considered for admission to an Ed.M. program, should they not be admitted to the program to which they applied, must indicate their interest in an Ed.M. referral on their online application. They will be required to select a specific Ed.M. program (and strand, if applicable) and provide a statement regarding their referral interest.
In the Education Leadership, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship Program, some students seek, but are not required, to pursue the School Leadership Pathway or Principal Licensure. Applicants interested in the School Leadership Pathway must submit an employment verification form on school letterhead verifying your employment. This form should include the school(s) where you were employed as a full-time teacher for at least one year under your teaching license, if applicable, and include the dates of employment.
Counseling licensure applicants are required to respond to the following prompt with a short essay (500 words):
Describe your interest in counseling, as well as your general preparedness to pursue this curricular pathway.
Application Deadline: November 1, 2023
The application includes a template for you to list all post-secondary courses you have taken relevant to your intended subject area and AP credits you have earned that address each particular topic. You should also list any courses that you have taken/are taking during the fall of 2023 or intend to take in the spring of 2024.
The licensure subject areas are:
The Harvard Graduate School of Education will accept a maximum of three applications from one individual over their lifetime.
If your most recent application submission was for or prior to the 2020-2021 academic year, you are required to submit all new application materials.
You are eligible to reapply for the 2024-2025 academic year without resubmitting all supporting documents if one or both of your previous applications were for the 2021-2022, 2022-2023, and/or 2023-2024 academic years. In these cases, the requirements are as follows:
You must submit both an updated statement of purpose and resume.
You must submit at least one new letter of recommendation. This can be updated from a previous recommender or a new letter from a new recommender. (You may submit all new letters up to a maximum of three letters.)
For Ed.M. and Ed.L.D. reapplicants who choose to submit GRE scores, the test must have been taken on or after January 1, 2019, if you are applying for enrollment in the 2024-2025 academic year.
Unofficial transcripts do not need to be resubmitted during the application process unless new courses were taken or a new degree program was completed.
You must submit your $85 application fee when applying to an Ed.M. program. or Ed.L.D. using a Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. The application fee is nonrefundable.