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Admissions

GRE General Test

Please note: the information below refers to the HGSE application for enrollment in the Ed.L.D., Ed.M., and C.A.S. programs.

Applications for the Ph.D. in Education must be submitted through the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. For information about the Ph.D. application, please visit the GSAS Application Instructions and Information, as well as the HGSE How to Apply and Ph.D. FAQ pages.

Is the GRE a required part of the application?
Yes. All applicants are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. Note: Ed.L.D. applicants ONLY may choose to submit GMAT scores in lieu of GRE scores.

How recent must my GRE scores be?
The test must have been taken on or after February 1, 2015 if you are applying for enrollment in the 2019-2020 academic year. Your application will not be considered complete until an official GRE score report has been received.

I haven't taken the test yet. By when should I take the GRE?
We recommend taking the GRE no later than November of the application cycle in which you are applying in order to ensure that your official score reports reach the Admissions Office in time for the committee's review of your application. Please note that it can take 3 to 4 weeks to receive official scores from the test provider.

What is the institutional code?
You must request that official test scores be sent directly to the appropriate Admissions Office from the testing agency; photocopies of test scores are not acceptable.

For the Ed.L.D., Ed.M., and C.A.S. programs, HGSE's institution code for the GRE is 3428. You do not need a department code, because the Admissions Office is the only department within HGSE that receives scores from ETS. However, GRE test takers who find they are required to enter a department code may list 5199 ("any department not listed").

How many scores does HGSE accept?
HGSE will consider up to two sets of official GRE scores. If candidates have taken the test more than twice, the admissions committee looks at the two most recent test dates. We encourage all applicants to self-report their scores on the online application, as well as request your official score report from ETS (institution code 3428). Additionally, HGSE does not average test scores — we look at each set of scores separately.

What should I do if I took the GRE under another name (e.g., a maiden name)?
If your credentials will be submitted under any other name, be sure to indicate this in the Personal Information section of the online application.

Does HGSE have minimum GRE score requirements?
The admission committee considers several different factors when making admission decisions, including your current/previous academic performance (e.g., GPA), statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation, in addition to your standardized test scores.

Your GRE test scores are one important part of your application, and you should strive to submit your best possible scores. We review them closely, because we have found that to some degree, those with strong scores are best positioned to succeed in graduate study at HGSE.

If your GRE scores are significantly low (i.e., below the 50 percentile in Verbal, the 30 percentile in Quantitative, and 3.5 in Analytical Writing), your chances for admission will be greatly reduced. We have seen that the program can be quite challenging under these circumstances. In recent years, successful applicants with lower scores have presented compelling professional experience and provided evidence of demonstrated academic ability in other areas of the application.

Please note: your scores are not the sole determinant of your admissibility. This means that strong scores do not guarantee admission, while weak scores do not automatically disqualify you.