We offer a number of scholarships and fellowships for both U.S. and international students.

Harvard Kennedy School scholarships and fellowships are based on a combination of merit and financial need. Some institutional funding is restricted to specific criteria such as a student’s area of study, citizenship, or region. Funding availability can vary each year.

We typically offer institutional aid to roughly 30 percent of our admitted applicants. Scholarship amounts vary but typically do not cover the full cost of attendance. Accordingly, we strongly encourage you to research all possible funding resources, including HKS and Harvard aid, as well as external scholarships resources.

Scholarship & Fellowship Funding Opportunities

You will apply for HKS scholarships and fellowships after you have completed your application for admission but before you receive your admission decision. There are very few opportunities to apply for fellowship or scholarship funding after you are admitted to or enrolled at HKS.

To apply for scholarships, you must complete the following:

There are many fellowships and scholarships for which you will be considered by virtue of submitting the financial aid application. These include, but are not limited to, the following awards.

Kennedy Fellowships and Presidential Scholarships

You may be considered for a  Kennedy Fellowship or Presidential Scholarship if you demonstrate exceptional academic ability and professional distinction. The amount of these fellowships varies depending on financial need.

HKS Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) Scholarship

Harvard Kennedy School has a limited number of scholarships for alumni of a Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute. Recipients must have participated in a PPIA Junior Summer Institute program.

Additionally, there are scholarships and fellowships that require the submission of additional materials such as an essay or personal statement along with the financial aid application. These include the following awards.

Charles Edison Fund Fellowship

For students who want to extend the scope and impact of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

George W. Mallinckrodt Fellowship

Supports MC/MPA students who have exhibited courage, vision, and a deep commitment to ethics, transparency, and good governance

John Berger Fellowship

Supports MPP students who are graduates of Harvard College and intend to work in U.S. or international institutions that focus on international affairs

Margaret Traub and Phyllis Dicker LGBT+ Graduate Fellowship

Awarded to students with a demonstrated an interest in and commitment to issues related to the LBGT+ community

Middle East-North Africa Fellowship

Awarded to MC/MPA Edward S. Mason students from Iraq’s Kurdistan region, Somaliland region, Tunisia, and Yemen

Nurlan Kapparov Fellowship

Awarded on a competitive, merit basis to admitted applicants from Kazakhstan, with a preference given to applicants with a minimum of two years of demonstrated work experience in Kazakhstani government, quasi-government, or private-sector entities in Kazakhstan with work experience related to economics, finance, trade, infrastructure and associated economic sectors

Public Service Fellowships

These are among our most prestigious student awards, and they typically cover tuition and fees up to need. These fellowships were established by former Harvard president Lawrence Summers, alumni, and donors to support students committed to careers in public service. Recipients must be professionally employed in the public sector, broadly defined, for three years after graduating from HKS. We award a variety of Public Service Fellowships, including the following awards:

DS Foundation Public Service Fellowship

For applicants to two-year degree programs who are currently serving in the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, or other Indian Public Service and commit to pursuing a career in public service in India

Fisher-Kistefos Norwegian Graduate Public Service Fellowship 

For Norwegian citizens who demonstrate a capacity to lead, commitment to improving governance, academic proficiency, professional experience, leadership potential, demonstrated financial need and the potential to make a significant, positive difference when they return to Norway

Kistefos African Graduate Public Service Fellowship

Awarded to degree program applicants who are citizens of South Africa, Ethiopia, and Liberia

Native American Public Service Fellowship

Awarded to an individual who has demonstrated commitment to matters of concern to Native American tribes, including tribal self-governance and policy

Rausing Public Service Fellowship for Barbados

Supports an applicant to the MC/MPA Edward S. Mason Program from Barbados

Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston - Jerome L. Rappaport Boston Urban Fellowship

Supports elected officials from throughout greater Boston applying to the MC/MPA Program who demonstrate an interest in urban and metropolitan issues, a capacity for leadership, and a continuing commitment to contribute to the well-being of the greater Boston area

Robert C. Seamans, Jr. Fellowship in Science, Technology, and Public Policy

Provides support for students who demonstrate talent in research or management of issues at the intersection of technology and public policy, and a commitment for future leadership in these areas

Scott and Isabelle Black Fellowship

Awarded to students in two-year degree programs (including students enrolled in joint and concurrent degrees) to pursue studies focused on the causes, consequences, and remedies for problems that afflict the needy and who intend to pursue careers in government and nonprofit organizations to address positively these issues. Scott and Isabelle Black Fellows focus their studies on such areas as homelessness, poverty, child and family welfare, health and mental health, disabilities and addictions, criminal justice, education, employment training, and aging.

Sammy Ofer Graduate Fellowship Fund for Emerging Leaders from Israel and Palestine

Awarded on a competitive, merit basis to deserving applicants from Israel and Palestine who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing peaceful relations throughout the region and demonstrated financial need

Thomas E. Upham Class of 1968 Fund

Supports Harvard College graduates with a demonstrated commitment to pursuing a career as an elected public official

William A. Starr Innovations Fellowship

Supports students who are working to promote innovative solutions and imaginative thinking as leaders in journalism and public service

There are a number of scholarships administered by research centers at the Kennedy School. Unless otherwise noted, applicants should complete the HKS Application for Financial Assistance, including required essays, to be considered for these awards. Recipients of these fellowships are selected by the respective research center.

Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation

Roy and Lila Ash Fellowship in Democracy

Awarded to meritorious students with financial need who demonstrate the commitment and capacity for leadership in strengthening democracy in the United States and beyond, including electoral reform, tribal and Indigenous governance, organizing, community engagement, political participation, and justice and antiracism

Ford Foundation Mason Fellowship

Awarded to meritorious MC/MPA Edward S. Mason Fellows with financial need who demonstrate the commitment and capacity for leadership in strengthening democracy around the globe, including electoral reform, tribal and Indigenous governance, organizing, community engagement, political participation, and justice and antiracism

Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Belfer Young Leaders Fellowship

Supports MPP or MPA students (including those pursuing joint degrees) with a demonstrated interest in science, technology, national security, diplomacy, international relations, or global affairs. Rising second-year MPP and MPA students can also apply during March of their first year.

Roy Family Fellowship

For students in a two-year program (MPP, MPA, or MPA/ID) with an interest in energy and environmental policy issues

Center for Public Leadership

Black Family Fellowship

Supports up to 25 students annually at HKS, Harvard Business School (HBS), and Harvard Law School (HLS) who are veterans and active duty military students from the United States

Emirates Leadership Initiative Fellowship

For students with a demonstrated interest in developing leadership and public management skills in countries within the Arab League

Equity Fellowship

For students who plan to devote their careers to understanding and dismantling barriers to equity across society

George Fellowship

Supports selected students in the third year of the joint degree program offered through HBS and HKS. Eligible students will be contacted by CPL in the spring semester of their second year.

Gleitsman Leadership Fellowship

For students with a strong background in, or potential for, leadership in social activism

Rubenstein Fellowship

Supports students admitted to the HKS/HBS joint degree program with demonstrated commitment to public service. Applicants admitted to the HKS/HBS joint degree program will be contacted about participation in the Rubenstein Fellowship.

Zuckerman Fellowship

For students who have completed, are currently enrolled in, or are accepted and will enroll in an MBA, JD, MD, or DMD/DDS degree from an accredited U.S. institution. Note that candidates wishing to be considered for the Zuckerman Fellowship should  apply for the fellowship through the Harvard Committee on General Scholarships  

Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government

Jerome H. Grossman, M.D. Graduate Fellowship

For physicians pursuing health care policy through the two-year MPA or MPP Program

Taubman Center for State and Local Government

Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG) Master’s Fellowship

For students with a strong interest in educational entrepreneurship, reform, and policy. See the PEPG website for information on applying for this award.

The Committee on General Scholarships (CGS) administers special financial aid, scholarship, and fellowship programs that support full-time, in-residence Harvard University graduate and undergraduate students, including HKS students. CGS funding is very competitive—admitted applicants and current students from across Harvard are eligible.

CGS Restricted Scholarships

CGS restricted scholarships are awarded to recipients who live in specific cities, states, or regions, or are descendants of a particular ancestry or family. These scholarships range in amount—typically a few thousand dollars—and are meant to provide supplementary funding. You will be considered for CGS restricted scholarships based on the information you provide in your HKS Application for Financial Assistance.

CGS International Fellowships

CGS international fellowships are country specific. They are not awarded through HKS and require a separate application. Application details, contact information, and a full list of fellowship and restricted scholarship opportunities are available on the CGS website.

There are many external scholarship opportunities available to graduate students that are not affiliated with Harvard Kennedy School. We strongly encourage you to research possible funding resources offered by:

  • Affinity organizations
  • Former employers
  • Government agencies
  • Nongovernmental organizations
  • Philanthropic foundations
  • Previous schools, colleges, or universities
  • Private organizations

There are a number of scholarship search engines that may be helpful.

Military Branches

HKS has developed partnerships with these branches of the United States Armed Forces:

  • United States Air Force (Air Force Academy)
  • United States Army (Military Academy West Point)
  • United States Coast Guard (MC/MPA Program only)

Yellow Ribbon Program

We are proud to participate in the Post-9/11 GI BillTM’s Yellow Ribbon Program, which provides additional financial assistance to veterans who qualify for 100 percent of the Post-9/11 GI BillTM’s educational benefits.

Veterans who are eligible will receive up to $7,500 in scholarship assistance from HKS for the upcoming academic year. The U.S. government will match this amount, providing veterans with up to $15,000 in Yellow Ribbon funding.

Yellow Ribbon applications will be accepted starting on June 1 for the upcoming academic year. We will not accept applications before this date.

If you are a qualified candidate and plan to apply, you will need to submit:

  • A Notice of Enrollment Form (available in the “Forms” section on MYFAID) and
  • A copy of your Certificate of Eligibility issued by the VA or your DD 214 (report of separation)

Scholarship assistance cannot exceed tuition and fees from all sources. If you receive scholarship assistance from HKS, $7,500 of this scholarship amount will be designated as the Yellow Ribbon match. If the total of scholarship assistance from HKS, the Yellow Ribbon Program, and Chapter 33 benefits exceeds tuition and fees, the scholarship assistance offered by HKS will be reduced commensurately.

For more information of the Yellow Ribbon Program, review the terms on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website or contact the Office of Admissions & Financial Aid.

If you are a Harvard University employee, you may be eligible to use TAP to pay for your tuition if you are enrolled in the MC/MPA Program on a part-time basis, eight credits per semester at most, and received advance approval of the Office of Admissions & Financial Aid.

Visit the Tuition Assistance page in HARVie to see if you are eligible.

Fellowship Perspective

“The funding I received from the Kistefos Foundation provided me with a wonderful opportunity to learn and hone essential leadership skills that are crucial for me to pursue my professional goals in South Africa. I am passionate about making a difference and shaping a positive future for my country and for the African continent with my newly acquired knowledge and skills.”

Priya Singh MC/MPA 2018