International Applicants

International credentials

International applicants must submit all standard application materials outlined on the How to 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. The test must have been taken on or after February 1, 2016, if you are applying for enrollment in the 2018–19 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, and MTS applicants must receive a score of:

  • 100 or higher on the Internet-based TOEFL test
  • 600 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
  • 620 or higher on the paper-based TOEFL test
  • 8 or higher on the IELTS test

Please note, the Ho Scholars Program is not accepting applications for the 2019–20 academic year.

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 aid. 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.

HDS Voices

Serving the local homeless community at the Outdoor Church added purpose and energy to my classroom experience. I was not learning theology for theology's sake, but as a living, breathing tradition brimming with good news even for those at the edges of our society. This realization gave clarity to my own faith and sense of vocation.
Tom Hathaway, MDiv '11More about field education


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