Diversity and Explorations Program

DivEx Online is a three-day introduction to Harvard Divinity School and our graduate programs.

HDS is a vibrant, pluralistic community that gives students the opportunity to engage in study and conversation across different experiences, with special attention to diversity and social change. If you are a college undergraduate who is passionate about social justice or considering a career grounded in a commitment to diversity and social change, explore HDS at DivEx Online to learn more about how the study of religion, theology, and ethics will help you make an impact on the world.

For information about HDS and our programs, please complete our HDS Admissions Connect Form.

The 2020 DivEx application deadline has passed.

Please check back in Summer 2021 for the 2021 DivEx application.

Who Participates?

The primary goal of DivEx is to increase participation by members of groups that have been historically underrepresented or marginalized in the study of religion. We strongly encourage applications from current undergraduates who are students of color, first-generation students, and/or LGBTQ+ students, among other underrepresented groups. We define recent graduates as those whose undergraduate degree was conferred within a year of the DivEx application deadline.

Eligibility Note

As the focus of this program is to increase the number of students that are underrepresented in the study of religion, we will only accept applications from domestic students residing in the United States. International students—while an important part of the HDS community—are not eligible for this program.

How Much Does it Cost?

DivEx Online is completely free. We ask that applicants are able to be in a quiet, well-lit space with a stable internet connection during the three-day workshop.

With the evolving religious landscape, constant social movements, and changing political climate in the world, the Harvard Divinity School community recognizes that an interdisciplinary approach to world issues is necessary.

I was unsure if I was capable of thriving at a place like Harvard as a first-generation college student coming from the Pacific Islands and growing up in a low-socioeconomic community. My DivEx experience helped me realize I was more than capable of flourishing there, but that I also have a huge contribution to make to the HDS community through my lived experiences.

— Nathan Samayo, DivEx ’19, MDiv ’23

2020 DivEx Statistics




Seniors in college/university


First generation

Learn more about DivEx at HDS

What can I expect?

  • Network with Harvard Divinity School faculty and current students
  • Engage in webinar discussions related to diversity and social justice, graduate study in religion, and the admissions process and financial aid
  • Connect with others around the country who are passionate about diversity and social justice and how the study of religion can impact their work to change the world
  • Talk with current students to help you determine if HDS is a good fit for you

How do I apply?

Check out our DivEx Frequently Asked Questions below for more specifics on the DivEx program and the application process.

Contact us

Email admissions@hds.harvard.edu.
Phone: 617.495.5796
We love to talk about DivEx!

DivEx Brochure

Read the DivEx brochure to learn more.


Please note that attendance in the Diversity and Explorations Program does not guarantee admission to Harvard Divinity School.

Participants who are seriously considering applying to a degree program at HDS should contact the Office of Admissions to discuss the admissions process and the suitability of the program to the student’s future career and educational goals.

Not being selected for the Diversity and Explorations Program will not adversely affect future application for admission to any HDS program.

The program is not designed for students who already have extensive preparation and robust understanding of the study of religion. Therefore, some students who may be well-qualified for an HDS degree program may not be ideal for participation in DivEx, which is exploratory by design.

Diversity and Explorations Program Admissions FAQ

How do I apply?

Applicants will be asked to provide:

  • Completed DivEx online application form 
  • Personal statement describing your interest in the program 
  • Résumé 
  • Letter of recommendation from a professor, career mentor, or faith-based leader
  • Academic transcripts 

Can I add any information or documents once the application is closed? Can I retrieve documents I used in my application for reference or for future applications?

No. Please double-check all documents you include with your application before submitting it. Once an application is submitted, no further changes can be made.  Additionally, we cannot return submitted documents for re-use in a future application or for personal review.  

I’ve submitted my application with all required documents, but I still see red ‘x’ marks indicating that some documents have not been uploaded. What does this mean?

Our application processing system can take a short while to refresh after an application has been submitted. We recommend you check back in 30 to 60 minutes from the time of submission, which should allow the system to properly refresh. If documents are still shown as missing at that time, please email us at admissions@hds.harvard.edu so we can look into the issue. 

What kind of transcripts will I have to provide in my application?

You’ll need to provide HDS with unofficial transcripts for all post-secondary institutions where you have completed, or are currently pursuing a degree, unless the courses and grades from a previous institution are listed on your current, degree-bearing institution’s transcript. You don’t need to submit a separate transcript if they were courses completed at the college level while you were in high school, although you are welcome to submit those if you would like to. If you have any questions about your transcript(s), please contact our office at admissions@hds.harvard.edu

Transcripts must be legible and should include: 

  • Course names 
  • Dates of attendance 
  • Grades, course credits, GPA (if applicable) 
  • Transcript legend/key (often found on the back page of the transcript or on the Registrar's website)


My recommender does not have or has limited access to the Internet. Can they mail in a hard copy? Can a recommender hand-deliver a letter if they are local?

All recommendation letters must be submitted electronically through the online application system. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the HDS Office of Admissions is physically closed and the staff are working remotely. We will not be able to accept any hard copy materials.  

If you have any questions about this process after reading the application instructions, please reach out to admissions@hds.harvard.edu for more guidance.