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Applying to Ed.L.D.

Given the fiscal constraints on our institution presented by the continuously evolving COVID-19 pandemic, HGSE has made the difficult decision not to accept doctoral applications for fall 2021 enrollment. We are pausing admissions for our fully-funded doctoral programs in order to uphold our commitment to maintaining program quality and strong support for our current students. Also, there remains much uncertainty about the pandemic’s impact on PreK-12 schools, research, and universities. At this time, the next application cycle is expected to have a December 2021 application deadline for fall 2022 enrollment.

The list below, for admission to the 2020-2021 academic year, is provided for planning purposes, but actual application requirements may change for future years.

A complete application to the Ed.L.D. Program consists of the following:

You must submit all of your required documents online, including your academic transcripts and letters of recommendation. After you enter the contact information for your three recommenders on your application, each will receive an email with instructions about logging onto our system. At that time, they will have the opportunity to fill out the Recommendation Form and upload a recommendation letter.

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, should 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.

Once all applications have been reviewed, HGSE will invite selected Ed.L.D. applicants to campus for a day of required interviews (both individual and group) with members of the admissions committee. Interviews will take place in February.


The Harvard Graduate School of Education will accept a maximum of three applications from one individual over the course of his or her lifetime.

Reapplicants who have previously applied within the past three years should review the reapplication process to determine which materials they do not need to resubmit.

International Students

International applicants must submit all standard application materials outlined above and pay special attention to the requirements for international transcripts and standardized test scores (TOEFL, IELTS).

The Harvard International Office and the HGSE Office of Student Affairs provide extensive support for international students before they depart and once they arrive in Cambridge.

Once students have been admitted as degree candidates, Harvard University requires international students who need a Harvard-sponsored student visa to submit financial certification that demonstrates adequate funding for one year of study. Detailed instructions regarding this process will be available upon admission to HGSE. Please note that admitted international students requesting J-1 or F-1 visas are required to enroll full-time.