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Admissions

IELTS

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.

How do I know if I need to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for Academic Purposes exam?
If your native language is not English, you must submit the results of the IELTS (or TOEFL). 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. Please note: the Ph.D. in Education is offered jointly by HGSE and the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and does not accept the IELTS exam. Ph.D. applicants who are required to demonstrate their English proficiency must submit scores from the TOEFL internet-based test (iBT).

If you at any point enrolled in an institution where English was NOT the sole language of instruction, please contact HGSE Admissions regarding your specific circumstance. For example, this may pertain to you if you transferred into a U.S. college/university from a non-English university. Please note: this situation only pertains to students who transferred as a matriculated, degree seeking candidate, not as summer school or study abroad students.

Do I have to take the IELTS if I received a graduate degree in the United States?
Completion of graduate-level degrees at an institution at which the instruction is conducted in English does not exempt an applicant from the IELTS/TOEFL requirement.

How recent must the IELTS score be?
The test must have been taken on or after February 1, 2017 if you are applying for enrollment in the 2019-2020 academic year.

What is the last day I can take the IELTS?
We recommend taking the IELTS no later than November 2018 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.

Does HGSE have a minimum IELTS score?
HGSE prefers applicants with scores of 7.5 or higher on the IELTS for Academic Purposes exam, with individual section scores (e.g., reading, writing, listening, and speaking) of at least 7.5 as well.

How do I submit my IELTS scores to HGSE?
HGSE only accepts IELTS scores submitted electronically by the IELTS test center. No IELTS paper Test Report Forms will be accepted.

An IELTS institutional code is not required. Please contact the IELTS test center directly where you took the IELTS exam and request that your test scores be sent electronically to the Harvard Graduate School of Education. All IELTS test centers worldwide are able to send scores electronically to HGSE.

What should I do if I took the IELTS 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.