Admissions & Financial Aid

If you are planning to apply for Fall 2017 admission, please check our website in early September 2016 for the new online application.

Meanwhile, the 2016 Diversity and Explorations Program application is now available.

You can also join our mailing list to learn more about our admissions process, programs, and events.

Harvard Divinity School attracts a talented and diverse student body who prepare for lives of leadership, ministry, and scholarship.

Why HDS?

Students come to HDS because they are passionate about theological or religious study and ministry preparation and wish to explore this passion in a pluralistic community within the context of a wider university. They study both with Harvard's Faculty of Divinity—which includes some of the most distinguished scholars of religion and practitioners of ministry in the world—and with faculty from other areas of the University. HDS students enjoy access to all of Harvard University's libraries and to courses and resources at the other Schools at Harvard and at the Boston Theological Institute.

A rewarding career

HDS graduates go on to a wide variety of professions and vocations, including ordained and lay ministry; chaplaincy; higher education teaching and research; public and private secondary education; community development, advocacy, and human services; management and consulting, especially nonprofit; public policy, law, conflict resolution, and mediation; the arts, publishing, communications, and media.

Applying to HDS

The deadline for the 2016 Graduate Admissions Application is Friday, January 16, 2017 at 5 pm EST. The application will be available in early September 2016.

Please join our mailing list to receive further information about HDS, including our admissions process, academic programs, and events.

Browse latest HDS graduate news >

Here, one of our graduates discusses her path to a career through HDS:

View more graduate videos


HDS offers four degree programs that allow for a flexible curriculum in a rigorous academic environment:

View a comparison chart of the MDiv and MTS programs

HDS also offers several nondegree options for those interested in joining the community for a period of time without earning a degree. Below are two options we would like to highlight:

  • Special student program: Designed for individuals who have obtained a bachelor’s degree and who wish to take courses for credit that could possibly be used toward completion of a degree program at a later date
  • Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Scholars: Provides an opportunity for students from Asian countries to study Buddhist ministry at HDS. The Ho Family Foundation Scholars Program is not accepting applications for the 2017–18 academic year. Check back in fall 2017 for information about the 2018–19 academic year.


HDS uses selection criteria aimed at admitting a class that represents a wide range of academic interests, personal experiences and aspirations, and diversity in age, gender, religion, geographic region, race and ethnicity, and academic background.

Diversity and Explorations is an HDS initiative intended to interest students underrepresented in the graduate study of religion, ministry, and theology.

Financial aid

In the spirit of Harvard University's commitment to assuring broader access to its educational resources, HDS provides financial aid to all students who demonstrate financial need.

Learn more