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Transferring to Harvard College

Bring Your Unique Experiences to Harvard

Harvard may be the right place for you to continue developing your academic interests and extracurricular talents as a transfer student. Because you will enter Harvard partway through your undergraduate education, your experiences prior to transfer will need to prepare you to flourish immediately in our challenging liberal arts program and active community. 

Transfer students have unique college experiences that add to the diverse fabric of our academic community. Each year, we welcome a very small number of transfer students to Harvard College. We look for: 

  • A clearly defined academic need to transfer
  • A proven record of achievement at your current institution
  • Strong faculty recommendations. 

To be eligible to transfer, you must have completed at least one continuous academic year in a full-time degree program at one college and not have completed more than two years total in college. You must complete at least two full years of study at Harvard. Once a student has completed more than two years total of college at another institution, regardless of courses taken, that student is no longer eligible for transfer admission.

When you are admitted, we will evaluate your transfer credits, and take care to transition you into Harvard life through a transfer adviser and a fall orientation program prior to matriculation. You are immediately eligible for placement into our House system with other upperclassmen.

Transfer Admission Timeline

Harvard accepts transfer applicants for fall admission only. You may apply through the Common Application, Coalition Application, or Universal College Application.

The deadline for all transfer application & financial aid materials is March 1.

Applications will begin to be reviewed by the Transfer Admissions Committee after the application deadline. Admissions decisions will be released by June 1. Early submission of forms provides more time for evaluation of your credentials and location of any missing materials, however, please note that college transcripts should be sent beginning in January in order to reflect your most updated academic credentials.

Put your best foot forward

Through our admissions process, we strive to give you ample opportunities to best demonstrate your interests and accomplishments. The Admissions Committee looks for strong preparation, especially in your expected field of specialization. 

Beyond strong grades, programs, test scores, and recommendations, the Committee considers other factors such as significant non-academic talents and personal qualities—capacity for leadership, creativity, resiliency, intellectual curiosity, and independent thinking.  

In addition to our standard application materials, you may submit supplementary materials showcasing exceptional or unusual talents, including musical performance, artistic work, and research material.

Need-blind admissions

With a goal of bringing the brightest scholars to Harvard, we admit students without any regard for financial need—a policy we call “need-blind admission.” Please fill out your financial aid application by March 1 if possible. When you are admitted, we create a financial aid package to meet your full demonstrated need and work to understand your family’s financial situation.

Application tips

  • Keep copies of all materials submitted, and ask your college instructors to do the same. Materials can be lost in the mail.
  • Review our application requirements information.
  • Explore life at Harvard to learn more about opportunities at Harvard and how you may contribute to our community.
  • Use your application status portal to track the submission of your required materials throughout the application process. We are not able to confirm receipt of materials over the phone or by email.

Facts About Financial Aid


Amount that parents making less than $65,000 are expected to contribute.

Ninety percent of American families would pay the same or less to send their children to Harvard as they would a state school.


John Harvard Statue in front of University Hall

Stroll through Harvard Yard, ask Admissions staff all your questions, and feel the warmth of the Harvard community. See tour dates and times.


Get step-by-step tips for completing your application.