How to Apply

The online application for entrance in fall 2020 is now available.

Apply now

HDS uses an online admissions application process for the MDiv, MTS, ThM, Special Student, and Ho Scholars programs. When you create an account and begin an application, you will find detailed application instructions. Below is a brief overview of required application materials and preparation tips for the MDiv, MTS, and ThM programs.

Applicants interested in the PhD program in Religion should contact Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences directly.

Each year the Admissions Committee seeks to build a class with a range of interests, experience, and preparation. There is no single formula or profile for admission to HDS. Successful applicants come from a wide range of academic, professional, and cultural backgrounds. Although the admissions process at HDS is highly selective, each application is carefully reviewed by the Admissions Committee to evaluate the fit between the goals, academic record, and experience of the applicant and the resources available at HDS.

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

Application to the Ho Scholars Program

The Ho Scholars Program is currently on hiatus and is not accepting applications for the 2019–20 academic year.

Please contact the Office of Admissions with any questions at admissions@hds.harvard.edu.

PhD application

The PhD program is jointly offered with the Committee on the Study of Religion. Visit the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website for both the application and comprehensive information about admissions requirements.

Application materials

A completed application for the MDiv, MTS, and ThM programs consists of the following:

  1. Online application form
  2. Application fee of $25 or approved waiver (please note that in order to access the fee waiver request form, you must initiate an online application)
  3. Résumé or curriculum vitae
  4. Complete academic history with transcripts for all coursework taken for credit
  5. Three letters of recommendation (submitted electronically through our online application system)
  6. Statement of purpose—1,000 words
  7. Writing sample—1,000–1,500 words
  8. TOEFL or IELTS scores (required of some international applicants only; see instructions)
  9. Optional: GRE General Test Scores

Changes for the 2020–21 application

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination General Test) is no longer required for admission to our degree programs. Applicants may submit GRE scores if they feel it would be a beneficial component to their application.

We are now requiring an Academic Writing Sample (maximum length 1,000–1,500 words). This writing sample should show your best academic writing abilities and can be uploaded directly into the online application. This requirement replaces the previous essay component of the application.

Preparing for your application

Careful planning will allow you to put forth a thoughtful, cohesive application. As you begin to prepare your materials, you may want to consider taking these initial steps: update your résumé or curriculum vitae, register and study for the GRE, write an initial draft of your statement of purpose, discuss your application plans with your recommendation providers, research outside scholarships and funding sources, and plan your finances early by learning more about the cost of attendance and financial aid available through HDS.

Applicants interested in the PhD program should review the Committee on the Study of Religion and Graduate School  of Arts and Sciences websites for preparation.

Annual Security Report and Annual Fire Safety Report

The University is required by federal law (The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, 20 U.S.C. 1092(f), known as the “Clery Act”) to publish an Annual Security Report and an Annual Fire Safety Report.

The Harvard University Police Department publishes the Annual Security Report, entitled “Playing it Safe,” which includes information about the HUPD, how to report a crime, HUPD’s crime prevention programs, substance abuse, sensitive crimes, emergency notifications, and other important information about security and HUPD services on campus. It also contains three years of statistics on reported campus or campus-related crimes. A hard copy of “Playing it Safe” may be obtained by contacting the Harvard University Police Department at 1033 Massachusetts Avenue, 6th floor, Cambridge, MA 02138, 617.495.9225.

The Harvard University Environmental Health and Safety Department publishes the Annual Fire Safety Report, which includes fire safety polices, evacuation procedures, and fire statistics. A hard copy of the Annual Fire Safety Report may be obtained by contacting Environmental Health and Safety Department at 46 Blackstone Street, Cambridge, MA 02139, 617.496.7168.

The 2018 Annual Security Report, “Playing it Safe,” is available at www.hupd.harvard.edu/annual-security-report.

The 2018 Annual Fire Safety Report is available at www.ehs.harvard.edu/programs/higher-education-opportunity-act-heoa.

Annual Copyright Disclosure

Harvard University is committed to maintaining the integrity and availability of the Harvard network for the vital educational and research purposes for which it was designed and prohibits the use of its network to violate the law, including the U.S. Copyright Act. The unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, violates the Copyright Act and may subject you to civil and criminal liabilities.

Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or "statutory" damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For "willful" infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys' fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to ten years and a fine of $250,000 for an individual. For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov, especially their FAQs at www.copyright.gov/help/faq.

Harvard complies fully with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"). Users of the Harvard network found to have engaged in repeated infringement of copyright are subject to termination of their network access and may be reported to the appropriate Dean or Human Resources officer for disciplinary action. Find Harvard's policy, or review the FAQs.

HDS Facts

The oldest printed volume in Andover-Harvard Theological Library’s rare book collection is a book on virtues by Guillelmus Paraldus, printed in Basel, Switzerland, "not after 1475."
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