International Applicants

International credentials

International applicants must submit all standard application materials outlined on the Apply page. HDS requires original official documents in the original language, and a notarized/certified translation of all materials that are not in English. All other materials must be submitted in English.

English language proficiency

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International Language Testing System (IELTS) is required for all applicants whose native language is not English or who did not complete their baccalaureate degree at an institution where the sole language of instruction is English. If you are unsure whether you fall under these categories, email as soon as possible to verify whether you will be required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS.

No test other than the TOEFL or IELTS will be acceptable as proof of English proficiency. An applicant’s TOEFL or IELTS must have been taken no earlier than February 1, 2021 for enrollment in the 2023-24 academic year.

The TOEFL ETS school code for HDS is 3433.

Please note that a major or concentration in English is not sufficient to waive the TOEFL or IELTS requirement. Additionally, completion of graduate-level degrees at an institution where the instruction is conducted in English does not exempt an applicant from the TOEFL or IELTS requirement. Transcripts and verification of language of instruction will be required to waive a non-native English speaker’s TOEFL or IELTS requirement.

The required minimum TOEFL / IELTS scores are listed below.

Special Students, MDiv, MTS, and MRPL applicants must receive a score of:

  • 100 or higher on the Internet-based TOEFL test
  • 68 or higher on the paper-based TOEFL test
  • 7.5 or higher on the IELTS test

ThM applicants must receive a score of:

  • 105 or higher on the Internet-based TOEFL test
  • 70 or higher on the paper-based TOEFL test
  • 8 or higher on the IELTS test

Student visas

Once students have been admitted as degree candidates, Harvard University requires international students who need a Harvard-sponsored student visa to submit financial certification that demonstrates adequate funding for one year of study. Detailed instructions regarding this process will be available upon admission to HDS. Please note that admitted international students requesting J-1 or F-1 visas are required to enroll full-time.

Financial aid

International students are eligible for both need-based and merit-based institutional grants. Merit-based aid does not require an application and is based on the competitiveness of the individual’s application for admission. Need-based aid is awarded based on a student’s financial aid application, which is sent to all prospective students after they have completed their application for admission. Please note that most international students are ineligible for federal need-based aid.