Learning Support

Students in Rockefeller Hall classroom

There is no one typical HDS student. Each cohort of students is made of individuals with a variety of academic and professional experience and the rigors of the HDS classroom can be particularly challenging, especially for students who are coming back to school, changing disciplines, or are non-native English speakers and writers. The Office of Student Life coordinates learning resources and support services that are flexible and designed to meet the varied needs of our student population. For referral to any of the available services, a student may set up a consultation appointment with the assistant dean for student affairs, Steph Gauchel.

Graduate Student Learning Support (GSLS)


GSLS is a program available to students in Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Law School, the Graduate School of Design, Harvard Business School, and the School of Public Health, and is designed to assist students with academic and learning concerns. These concerns may include, but are not limited to, struggles learning new material, reading comprehension, time management, and writing or test-taking difficulties. Through a referral by Steph Gauchel, assistant dean for student affairs, HDS students may meet with a GSLS Learning Specialist.

Referral may also be available for a neuropsychological screening with our GSLS Neuropsychologist, Dr. Sara Hoffschmidt. Sometimes students come to HDS having previously been diagnosed with a learning disability and with experience with accommodations and learning strategies. Sometimes it is during a student’s graduate studies where problems may surface that ultimately lead to diagnosis of a learning disability, as well as subsequent treatment and counseling. Dr. Sara Hoffschmidt does not conduct a full neuropsychological test, but can conduct a neuropsychological screening to help establish a baseline sense as to whether or not there are any underlying issues for a student and, if so, what accommodations are recommended. Students must meet with Steph Gauchel, assistant dean for student affairs, to assess needs and get a referral for a neuropsychological screening.


HDS Voices

William A. Graham
William Graham

I envision a place where interfaith and cross-cultural understanding is always on a personal level and comes naturally rather than being an objective. By working on shared problems in the history and practice of religions, shoulder to shoulder with persons of different faiths, cultures, races, ethnicities, and viewpoints, one discovers most tangibly the common humanity shared with others very different from oneself.
—William A. Graham, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor and Member of the Faculty of Divinity