Applicants may apply for admission to HDS up to three times, regardless of the program or combination of programs. Applicants that have submitted an application to HDS within the past three years may elect to reuse some materials from their previous application. Please review the reapplication process for details.
There is no formal language requirement for admission. However, it is recommended that each applicant have at least an elementary knowledge of a language that is (normally and preferably) relevant to his or her area of focus, because intermediate-level reading proficiency in a language is required prior to graduation.
Applicants must submit official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores when their native language is not English or when their baccalaureate is not from an institution where English is the sole language of instruction.
As a condition of admission, all international applicants whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL or IELTS. This requirement can be waived for those who attended an undergraduate institution where English was the sole language of instruction. Those who are unsure whether they qualify to waive the requirement are advised to contact the HDS Office of Admissions to verify.
Of course! 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.
We do not have a minimum GPA (grade point average) or minimum GRE score requirement. We review each application holistically, with the knowledge that successful HDS students possess strengths that can manifest themselves in different arenas. The various components of the application are intended to allow you to demonstrate, in a variety of ways, your academic preparation to engage in graduate-level theological study at Harvard Divinity School.
When possible, we suggest that you prepare and take the GRE only once. If you choose to take the GRE a second or third time after ETS has sent us an official GRE score report, it is possible that the Admissions Committee will complete its review of your application before the additional scores arrive. If we receive multiple sets of scores from you before the application deadline, the Admissions Committee will consider all scores received. Please note that GRE scores are only valid for five years after your test date.
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.