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Applicants to Harvard Kennedy School must complete an online admission application. The application for entry in fall 2016 will be available in early September 2015. The application deadline is Tuesday, December 1, 2015. HKS does not offer spring admission and we only have one application deadline for fall admission consideration each year.
Information on the required parts of the application are below. Please note that our Admissions Blog features frequent updates on the application process. For example, even though the online application will not be available until September, we will post the essay prompts for each program on the Admissions Blog during the summer as part of a long-term application planning series. Applicants who wish to receive an email each time the Admissions Blog is updated can enter their email address on this page.
Please note that PhD applications for Health Policy, Political Economy and Government, Public Policy and Social Policy are submitted through the Harvard GSAS application.
Instructions included with the online application will provide complete details on application requirements. In general, a completed application includes:
All applicants to the following programs are required to submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), even if an advanced degree has been earned. GRE or GMAT scores must be less than five years old as of the admission application deadline. We do not accept/require GRE subject tests, we only review the general test.
Applicants need to self-report test scores on the online application for admission. If admitted, applicants will be required to have official test scores sent directly from the testing service to HKS. Be sure to allow at least 10 business days to register, sit for the exam, and obtain your official scores prior to the admissions deadline.
A few exceptions to our GRE/GMAT policy do exist:
Notes on LSAT and MCAT Scores
The Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required of all applicants (both two-year and MC/MPA programs) unless:
TOEFL or IELTS scores submitted must be less than two years old as of the admission application deadline. Please note that we do not accept the TOEFL ITP test. The Admissions Committees require applicants to have a minimum cumulative TOEFL or IELTS score of:
IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR MPP APPLICANTS: The MPP Admissions Committee mandates that in addition to meeting the cumulative scores for the TOEFL and IELTS tests noted above, that applicants obtain minimum scores on the subsections of the English tests as well. The following are the mandatory score requirements for MPP applicants to be considered for admission.
The MPA2, MC/MPA, MC/MPA Mason, and MPA/ID Admissions Committees strongly prefer that applicants meet the MPP minimum score requirements for the subsections listed above, however, MPA2, MC/MPA, MC/MPA Mason, and MPA/ID candidates who do not meet the subsection scores noted for MPP applicants may be considered for admission.
If you have previously applied to HKS and would like to reapply for this upcoming academic year,
Click here to see a flow chart that illustrates the application process. The chart is for the 2014-15 cycle and will be updated in the fall of 2015.
Harvard University is required by federal law (The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, 20 U.S.C. 1092(f), known as the Clery Act) to publish an Annual Security Report and an Annual Fire Safety Report for current and prospective students, faculty, and staff. These reports are prepared by the Harvard University Police Department and the Environmental Health and Safety Department respectively, and can be obtained in hard copy by contacting their offices. Learn more about these reports and the relevant contact information.