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Statement of Purpose and Resume

Please note that 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.

Statement of Purpose

The statement should be no more than 1,500 words, typed and double-spaced. Your statement should be written by you alone and represent your original work. International applicants are reminded that they must write their own statement in English; the use of translators is not permitted.

Please note that the admissions committee will carefully consider both the content and the writing in its assessment of your candidacy for graduate study at HGSE.

Program Specific Requirements

Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) applicants only
To help us better understand your decision to become a system-level leader, please discuss the following:

Your background:

  • What key experiences have contributed to your commitment to education?
  • What do you view as your most significant professional accomplishment(s) and your most significant professional failure(s) to date? How did they inform your development?

Your plans:

  • What issues would you like to tackle in your career as a system-level leader in education?
  • How do you envision yourself effecting significant change in the American preK-12 education sector?

Master of Education (Ed.M.) applicants only
As a reminder, competitive candidates need not have prior direct experience in an education setting though should have a clear conception of why they're pursuing a master's degree in education.  In addition, "education” and “education-related" are broadly defined at HGSE and encompass all fields covered by the Ed.M. programs we offer.

  • Your background: What key experiences have contributed to your commitment to work in the field of education or with education-related issues?
  • Your objectives for graduate study: What are your academic and professional goals and what knowledge, skills, and tools are you hoping to develop through enrollment in a graduate program?
  • Why HGSE, and why this specific program (and strand within the program, if relevant): why is enrollment at HGSE, and in this master’s program/strand specifically, critical in helping you achieve your goals?

Certificate of Advanced Study (C.A.S.) in Counseling applicants only
In your statement, please address the following questions:

  • How has your experience in the Prevention Science and Practice master's program motivated you or influenced you to pursue the C.A.S. year? What skills or knowledge do you hope to gain in this second year of graduate study?
  • Given the importance of cultural humility in the field of counseling, please talk about where you are on your own journey in learning and incorporating this into your work. How have you grown in your personal awareness and/or understanding of cultural humility? Please share an example of a time when you exercised cultural humility this year; given us a sense of what happened, how you engaged, and what you learned.

Programs with additional instructions

Human Development and Psychology
Please note that the following programs would like you to address additional topics in your Statement of Purpose:

For Child Advocacy strand applicants only: Please explain how your background or previous experience has led to your interest in the child advocacy strand. Include mention of any child advocacy or related work experience or course work. What are your key learning goals related to child advocacy? Please specifically address these questions in one to two paragraphs within your statement of purpose.

Teacher Education
Please address the following in your statement of purpose:

  • Why do you want to become a teacher?
  • What is the relationship between the subject you want to teach and educational (in)equity?
  • As you envision your future classroom, where and who do you hope to teach, and why?

Resume/ Curriculum Vitae

The length and format of your resume or C.V. is up to your discretion.