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Admissions

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Sections: About | Applying | Technical Support | Visitor Information

About HGSE

Does HGSE offer evening courses?
The majority of the courses at HGSE are offered during the day. Degrees cannot be completed by taking evening coursework. Please consult the online Course Catalogue for detailed course offerings and information.

Does HGSE offer distance or online learning?
All degree programs at HGSE require the coursework to be completed on campus.

Does HGSE offer summer courses?
All courses offered for the HGSE degree programs are offered during the academic year.

Some professional development classes and institutes are offered during the summer months. Please visit our Professional Education page for more information.

Is a bachelor's degree required for admission to a degree program at HGSE?
Applicants to the Ph.D. in Education must have a B.A., B.S., or equivalent degree (for prospective international students, a three- or four-year undergraduate degree from an institution of recognized standing) by the time of their matriculation.

For applicants to the Ed.L.D. or Ed.M. degree, while a bachelor's degree is not required, those who hold a B.A., B.S., or equivalent degree are the most  competitive for admission. Only in rare and select cases will the school consider exceptional and extensive professional achievements, along with demonstrated non-degree academic success, in lieu of a degree.

May I apply as a part-time student to HGSE?
A limited number of master's students are admitted to HGSE on a part-time basis. Applicants must include a brief statement in the Program Information section of the online application, indicating why they are requesting part-time study.

Full-time enrollment is required for the following:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Education
  • Doctor of Education Leadership
  • Language and Literacy: Reading Specialist strand
  • School Leadership Program
  • Teacher Education Program
  • Certificate of Advanced Study in Counseling

If I matriculate at HGSE, can I cross-register at other Harvard schools?
Many HGSE students choose to take courses at other Harvard graduate schools, including the Harvard Business School (HBS) and the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). Harvard University's academic calendar is now standardized, allowing for seamless cross-registration between schools.

Cross-registration at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is also available for all HGSE Students.

Is it possible to take courses without applying or enrolling in a degree program?
Professional educators, advanced doctoral students who are conducting relevant research, and faculty from other institutions may take courses at HGSE by applying to the Special Students program. Applicants for non-degree study may be admitted to take up to two courses during a single academic year.

Which programs at HGSE offer licensure?
The Teacher Education Program (TEP) offers middle-school and high-school level licensure. Specifically, it prepares candidates to teach in grades 5–8 in biology, English, general science, history, and mathematics. TEP also prepares candidates to teach at the 8–12 level in biology, chemistry, English, history, mathematics, and physics.

  • The Reading Specialist strand of the Language and Literacy Program prepares candidates for reading licensure.
  • The Principal Licensure strand of the School Leadership Program prepares candidates for principal licensure.
  • The Prevention Science and Practice Program prepares candidates for licensure as school guidance counselors (PreK–8, 5–12) or school adjustment counselors (all levels) through its new two-year counseling tracks.

May I transfer credit from another institution to HGSE?
We do not accept transfer credit from other institutions.

Through a petition process, students who have taken courses at HGSE before matriculating into a degree program may be able to transfer up to two courses into their degree program.

May I defer admission to the Harvard Graduate School of Education?
If your circumstances change, you may petition the Admissions Committee in writing for a one-year deferment. Please note that deferments are rarely granted and are subject to the Admission Committee's approval.

Admitted applicants who accept an offer of admission are expected to enroll in the term for which they applied and were admitted.

May I change Ed.M. programs after I've been admitted?
Transfer from one Ed.M. program to another is rarely permitted. Students are expected to enroll in the program to which they were admitted. We encourage students who wish to transfer to another program to seek the advice of the Ed.M. program administrator of the program to which they were initially admitted before submitting a request to transfer to the Admissions Office.

Applying

What do I do if I forgot my password?
Click "Forgot Your Password?" on the application log-in screen to have a new password emailed to you.

How do I enter my Grade Point Average (GPA)?

  • If you are currently a student, please report your GPA up through the prior semester.
  • You are asked to provide your GPA on the scale that your institution uses (e.g., 4.0, 4.3, 5.0, 15. 100, etc.).
  • If your institution does not calculate GPA, please leave the GPA and GPA scale fields blank on your application.

What do I do if I cannot locate my academic institution in the drop-down menu?
If you are unable to locate your institution in the drop-down menu, please select "Other" at the bottom of the list. You will then be able to enter your institution's name and location yourself.

Can I make changes to the application once I have submitted it?
Once you submit your application, it will not be possible to make any changes, except to your contact information. You will be able to update your email address, mailing and permanent addresses, and phone numbers on the Application Status page. On that post-submission page, you will also be able to upload electronic transcripts and send reminder emails to your recommenders.

If you need to make any changes to your application regarding your name, you will need to contact the Admissions Office. You may also want to make the necessary changes to your account profile, which you may do yourself.

How do I check the status of my application?
Once you have submitted your application, you may review the status of each of your materials on the Application Status page of your online application.

Please visit the Application Deadlines page for decision notification dates for fall 2018 enrollment.

Technical Support

Which web browser should I use when working on my application?
The HGSE online application works best in Google Chrome or Firefox. If you are experiencing any technical difficulties when working on your application, we first recommend that you log in using one of these browsers, if you have not already done so.

Please note that we have received reports of technical issues from applicants and recommenders using Internet Explorer. If you are using IE and experience problems, please switch to one of the browsers noted above.

I created an account but have not received an activation PIN. How can I access my application?
Please check your email to see if the activation email was directed to a spam or junk folder in your inbox. If you are not able to locate the email, try resetting your password, which will resend the activation email with your temporary PIN.

I received a “503 Unavailable” error message when I tried to upload my documents. What does this mean?
Because many applicants submit on or around the application deadlines, we generally experience a high volume of user traffic on the application servers at these times. This may result in delays when loading pages or uploading documents. If you experience delays or receive a “503 Unavailable” message, please wait 15-20 minutes and try reloading the page or uploading your materials again.

I received an "Invalid Format" message when I tried to upload my transcript. What should I do?
Some institutions provide students with an encrypted electronic transcript that cannot be uploaded to the application; attempts to do so will result in the following message: “Invalid format for uploaded document. (Document cannot be decrypted. Unrecognized encryption filter.)”

The simplest solution is to print the transcript, scan it, and upload the scanned copy to your application. This will allow you to bypass the encryption that prevented the original document from being uploaded.

My credit card was declined when I tried to pay the application fee. What should I do?
Double check to make sure that you are entering the billing address associated with your credit card. If the incorrect address is provided, your card will be declined.

If you have entered the correct address and the payment is still not successful, we suggest trying a different credit card. (Please note that the name on the credit card used does not have to match the name on your application.) The system will accept Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.

My recommender has not received the notification email. How do I resend it to them?
You can resend the recommender notification email to each of your recommendation providers by going to the Recommendations section of your application, clicking the name of your recommender, and selecting "Send Reminder."

If you have already submitted your application, you can still renotify your recommenders. Log back into your application and scroll to the bottom of the Application Status Page, where you will find a link to the Recommendations page. Follow the instructions provided above to resend the notification email to your recommenders.

If you have resent the email but your recommender has still not received it, please check to ensure that you have entered their email address correctly. You should also ask your recommender to check their spam or junk folder. If you have done this and your recommender still has not received the email, please email us at gseadmissions@harvard.edu for assistance.

How can I confirm that my application is complete?
After you submit your application, you can check the status of materials such as test scores and recommendations by logging into your application and viewing your Application Status Page. On this page, you can also upload transcripts and pay the application fee, if you have not yet done so.

Visitor Information

Do you offer tours?
We do not offer in-person tours on the HGSE campus. We invite you to take our virtual tour of the HGSE campus and surrounding area, hosted by current HGSE students and alumni. The tour provides an insider's look at the classrooms and facilities located in the heart of Harvard Square.

Where can I find directions, parking information, and accommodations to the HGSE campus? 
Directions and all other information can be found here.

Can I still attend an HGSE event after the RSVP deadline has passed?
We strongly encourage you to attend an event, even if the RSVP deadline has passed. Please contact the Admissions Office at gseadmissions@harvard.edu so that we may anticipate your arrival.

Are there current graduate students or alumni that I can contact?
Our Admissions Ambassador Program provides opportunities for you to connect with Student and Alumni Ambassadors to hear about the HGSE experience firsthand.

You will receive an email from ambassadors@gse.harvard.edu, introducing you to an alumnus/a aligned to your preferences. Please note: it could take up to one week to respond to your request. Due to the small size of the cohort and the high level of interest, we are unable to accommodate requests to connect with doctoral alumni. Doctoral students, however, will be represented at various on and off campus events and virtual sessions throughout the year.

How can I connect with HGSE at a distance?
HGSE offers a series of virtual information sessions that enable prospective students to learn about HGSE remotely. For further details and to RSVP to these events, please visit Events & Opportunities.

We are also invite you to tune into HGSE on YouTube and to follow us on Twitter