Frequently Asked Questions

What is the institutional code for HDS? (Applies to both GRE and TOEFL)

Our HDS Institution Code is 3433. Once you are ready to send your scores, please provide this code to ETS. Otherwise, our office will not receive them. Please note, if we receive multiple sets of scores from you before the application deadline, the Admissions Committee will consider all scores received.

What is your deferment policy?

Deferments are rarely granted, and 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.

When will I find out my admission decision?

Your admission decision will be available online in mid-March. At the time of decision release, you will receive an email alerting you that your applicant status page has been updated. All applicants will be notified of their status at the same time.

How will I know if you have received my application materials?

Once your application has been submitted, you will be able log back into the online application to see the status of your application and to track our office’s receipt of your supporting documents and recommendations. Due to the high volume of applications we receive each year, please know that it may take several days for us to process your materials and update your online application.

Per our institutional policy, the Office of Admissions cannot confirm receipt of your application materials via phone or email. Applicants can verify our office’s receipt of materials by logging

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What does the Admissions Committee look for in a statement of purpose?

The statement of purpose (1,000 words) is an integral part of the application and is evaluated with great care by the Admissions Committee. It should include your general background (education, work experience, volunteer work, and/or relevant personal experience) and how this background has prepared you for graduate theological study, specifically at Harvard Divinity School (HDS). It should also include your vocational or career objectives and why you believe your desired program at HDS will aid you in achieving those objectives.

Why do you request my social security number with my application?

Social security numbers are required in order to verify applicants’ identities and to correlate with information provided as part of the financial aid process. Our confidential receipt of applicants’ social security numbers is in compliance with federal reporting requirements. Please review these security-related advisories for additional information.

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When should I start preparing for the application process?

As early as possible! 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), study for the GRE, write an initial draft of your statement of purpose, discuss your application plans with your recommendation providers, review our

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