Alert: Important Update
In response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the Admissions & Financial Aid Office staff are working remotely until further notice. Our top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our community, on and off campus. Therefore, our offices are closed but our main phone lines and email are operative during normal business hours (9 AM to 5 PM EST). No information sessions or campus tours will be offered at this time. Visitas, our admitted students weekend, will be held virtually.
Last Updated: March 17, 10:06am
We look forward to learning about you through your application.
Here you'll find a detailed explanation of each admission application requirement. Most of the information here applies to both first-year and transfer applicants. Don't forget to reference our Application Tips for guidance on filling out the Common Application.
A Special Message for High School Juniors
In the face of unprecedented uncertainty and anxiety surrounding the coronavirus and the economy, we want to be helpful in any way we can. We have heard from students, parents, and college counselors about a number of specific concerns they have regarding next year’s application process at Harvard, including standardized testing, subject tests, spring semester grades, and financial aid. Please read our message for high school juniors for more information.
We accept the Common Application, the Universal College Application, and the Coalition Application. Each is treated equally by the Admissions Committee. Complete and submit your materials as soon as possible to ensure full and timely consideration of your application. If you use the Common Application, you must submit your application before your supporting materials (Secondary School Report, Teacher Reports, etc.) can be released to a college. Until you submit your own application sections, no part of your application will be transmitted to the Harvard Admissions Office. The Universal College Application does not require this same process.
Submitting Your Application
Additional application questions
School Reports and Teacher Recommendations
Midyear School Report
When you apply, your school counselor will often send your transcript with few or no senior year course grades included. That is why the midyear school report is required - to allow us to review your performance in the first half of your senior year coursework. The midyear school report must be completed by your school counselor or other school official. Please request that the midyear school report is completed and returned to our office as soon as possible.
Midyear School Report FAQs
Ask two teachers in different academic subjects who know you well to complete the Teacher Evaluation forms. If you wish to submit additional letters of recommendation, you can do so after you submit your application. In your application confirmation email, there will be a personalized link to send to your recommenders.
Final School Report and Transcripts
All admitted students who choose to enroll are required to send a Final School Report and transcript as soon as their final grades become available – no later than July 1. The Final School Report and transcript should be completed and sent by a school counselor or other school official through Parchment/Docufide or Scrip-Safe International, if your school has access to these submission options.
IB students should send their final results as soon as they are released in mid-July. We will expect to see final A levels results by mid-August.
Standardized Test Scores
We require all applicants to submit the ACT or SAT, but you may choose to submit with or without the writing component. If you choose to submit Subject Tests, it is more useful to choose only one mathematics test rather than two. Similarly, if your first language is not English, a Subject Test in your first language may be less helpful. You should submit scores from tests taken in the past three years.
While we recommend two SAT Subject Tests, you may apply without them if the cost of taking the tests represents a financial hardship or if you prefer to have your application considered without them. If you were eligible for a fee waiver from the SAT or ACT, you are eligible for unlimited free score reports to be sent to institutions to which you are applying. We recommend you use your free score reports to share your scores with Harvard. Standardized testing is only one component of our admissions process and your application will be evaluated on the basis of all of the other information that you submit.
Standardized Testing FAQs
SAT Subject Tests
While we recommend that you submit two SAT Subject Tests, you may apply without them if the cost of the tests represents a financial hardship or if you prefer to have your application considered without them.
Standardized testing is only one component of our admissions process and your application will be evaluated on the basis of all submitted information. Standardized tests are best viewed as rough yardsticks of academic progress which are greatly affected by academic opportunity.
SAT Subject Test FAQs
Our standard application materials typically give us ample information for making admission decisions. However, we recognize you may have truly exceptional talents or achievements you wish to share, and we want you to have every opportunity to best represent yourself.
At the discretion of the Admissions Committee, supplementary materials—such as music recordings, artwork, or selected samples of academic work—may be evaluated by faculty. These materials are entirely optional.