Admissions & Aid: Admissions Process

What is your deferment policy?

We expect applicants to apply for the academic year in which they intend to enroll. However, occasionally an admitted student encounters a family emergency or change of circumstances, and we grant deferments on a case-by-case basis. 

Is there a wait list for all programs?

At times, there can be a short waitlist for the MDiv and MTS degree programs.  While applicants will receive notice if they are on the waitlist when decisions are released in mid-March, please note that HDS cannot provide information on waitlist length or an applicant’s position. 

When should I start preparing for the application process?

Once you have decided that HDS is one of the graduate schools to which you would like to apply, you can begin preparing immediately, even before the online application is available each fall. Update your résumé or curriculum vitae (CV), write an initial draft of your statement of purpose, discuss your application plans with your recommendation providers, review our application...

Read more about When should I start preparing for the application process?

How can I show I’m a competitive applicant for HDS’ degree programs?

Our successful applicants demonstrate their ability to do graduate theological study in a variety of ways, and the Admissions Committee honors that through our holistic admissions process. Alongside applicants’ past academic and test performance, the Committee will consider applicants’ writing skills, letters of recommendation, and professional and life experience. We review each application carefully, giving applicants of all backgrounds the opportunity to use the various components of the application to make a case for their academic success at HDS.

What is the reapplication process?

Applicants may apply for admission to HDS up to three times, regardless of the program or combination of programs. Applicants that have applied to HDS within the past three years may elect to reuse some materials from their previous application. Please find more information on this process, including a reapplication request form, in the application instructions within the HDS online application for admission. If you submit a reapplication request form, please do not...

Read more about What is the reapplication process?

What is the admissions timeline?

Harvard Divinity School has a single annual application cycle for fall enrollment. Each year, our application is available in mid-September, and the application deadline is in early January. All decisions will be released via our online system in mid-March. Admitted students will receive their financial aid information within 24 hours of their admissions decision, if they applied for need-based aid. Read more about What is the admissions timeline?