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Who Studies at HGSE?

Teachers, entrepreneurs, engineers, doctors, lawyers, and artists — HGSE students defy a single mold, but share a singularly vital goal: to make a difference through education.

The master's programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Education attract extraordinary students from every imaginable background: classroom teachers, district leaders, nonprofit workers, public policy researchers, social entrepreneurs, and software engineers. Our doctoral programs draw emerging leaders in research, policy, and practice committed to improving educational opportunities in America and around the world. Our diversity is our greatest strength. We are a community of talented, compassionate, and ambitious individuals united by a shared purpose: making a difference in the lives of learners of all ages.

2021-2022 Entering Class 

Individual class profiles vary significantly by program, but here is the big picture for the class that entered in 2021-2022:

Note: Admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Education (Ph.D.) and Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) programs was suspended for academic year 2021-2022 due to challenges surrounding COVID-19. Each program typically has an incoming class of about 25 students, however, and we are again going to be admitting students to both programs for 2022-2023 enrollment.

Gender Identity: Woman: 73%  |  Man: 21%  |  Transgender, Genderqueer/Gender Non-Conforming, or Another Identity: 2%

Geographical Distribution: 40 states, D.C., and 64 countries of citizenship

International Students: 32%

Students of Color: 33%

First Generation College Students: 26%

LGBTQ+: 20%

Age Breakdown

Ph.D. students

Ed.L.D. students

Ed.M. students

Range: 25 to 36

Range: 29 to 58

Range: 20 to 65

Average: 29

Average: 38

Average: 29

Years of Work

Ph.D. students

Ed.L.D. students

Ed.M. students

Range: 1 to 14

Range: 7 to 29

Range: 0 to 41

Average: 5.4

Average: 13.5

Average: 4.6

Note: All class profile numbers are accurate as of September 15, 2021.

General Record Test (GRE) Scores for Admitted Students*
*the GRE is optional for master's applicants

Ph.D. students

Ed.L.D. Students

Ed.M. Students*

Verbal Average: 88 (percentile)

Verbal Average: 73 (percentile)


Quantitative Average: 65 (percentile)

Quantitative Average: 41 (percentile)


Analytical Writing Average: 4.9

Analytical Writing Average: 4.3


Note: Any data shared specifically about our Ph.D. or Ed.L.D. students reflects the 2020-2021 entering class.