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Please note: the information below refers to the HGSE application for enrollment in the Ed.L.D. and Ed.M. 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 Information and Instructions, as well as the How to Apply and Ph.D. FAQ pages.

How do I know if I need to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)?

If your native language is not English, you must submit the results of the TOEFL (or IELTS) and, if taking the paper-based test, the Test of Written English (TWE). 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.

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 TOEFL 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 TOEFL/IELTS requirement. 

Which version of the TOEFL is accepted?

HGSE only accepts the TOEFL iBT.

How recent must the TOEFL score be?

The test must have been taken on or after January 1, 2021 if you are applying for enrollment in the 2023-2024 academic year. Due to limitations caused by COVID-19, we are accepting TOEFL IBT Special Home Edition.

What is the last day I can take the TOEFL?

Please note that it can take two to three weeks to receive official scores from the test provider. We recommend taking the TOEFL no later than three weeks before the application deadline in order to ensure that your official score reports reach the Admissions Office in time for the committee's review of your application. Due to limitations caused by COVID-19, we are accepting TOEFL IBT Special Home Edition.

Does HGSE have a minimum TOEFL score?

HGSE prefers applicants with scores of 104 or higher on the Internet-based TOEFL, with individual section scores (e.g., reading, writing, listening, and speaking) of at least 26. On the old Paper-based TOEFL, HGSE prefers applicants with scores of 613 or higher, with individual section scores of at least 60 in reading, 63 in writing, 60 in listening, and 5.0 on the TWE (Test of Written English). For the new Paper-based TOEFL, HGSE prefers applicants with individual scores of at least 26 in reading, 26 in listening, and 26 in writing.

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. and Ed.M. programs, HGSE's institution code for the TOEFL 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, TOEFL test takers who find they are required to enter a department code may list 99 ("any department not listed").

What should I do if I took the TOEFL 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.