Apply to Harvard Kennedy School. 

Now is the time.

As future leaders in public service, your talent and energy are essential to reinvent how we lift up and support all members of our communities. Join us at Harvard Kennedy School to learn how to do this important work together. 

Admission and financial aid decisions for the 2024-2025 academic year have now been released. If you applied for admission this cycle, you can log into your applicant status page to view your decision. Admitted students should carefully review the New Admit Portal, which contains important information and next steps. Thank you to all who applied for admission; we truly appreciate your interest in HKS.

The application for the 2025-2026 academic year will be available in September 2024. There is one admission application deadline and one start date for each degree program per year. You may apply to only one master’s degree program per admissions cycle.

Join our email list to receive updates from the Office of Admissions & Financial Aid.

Application checklist

Your complete application to one of our master’s programs will include:

  • Online application
  • $100 USD application fee or an application fee waiver, which may be granted to participants or alumni of certain programs, as well as applicants who require a waiver in order to apply
  • Essays, which vary by program
  • Three strong letters of recommendation from individuals in academia or other professional sectors who know you well and can tell us about your qualifications for our programs
  • Academic transcripts that include your institution's name, course names, grades you received, and proof of your degree (if received)
  • Standardized test scores (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS, and Cambridge English), which vary by program

Each year, we receive applications from more qualified candidates than we are able to admit, but we review and consider all applications submitted before admitting the strongest applicants. You cannot assume you’ll be admitted to HKS even if you meet our admissions criteria.

Extenuating circumstances

We recognize that extreme, extenuating circumstances may impact an applicant's ability to complete an application and/or submit required documents by the December 1 application deadline. Examples of such circumstances may include the direct impact of war, prolonged natural disasters, or other extreme and life-altering events. Candidates who wish to request an exception must do so in writing prior to the December 1 application deadline. All requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and a decision will be rendered to the applicant as quickly as possible.

Consent regarding Sensitive Personal Data

During the application process, you and others, such as recommenders, may provide Harvard Kennedy School with certain kinds of personal data about you that some laws regard as sensitive and deserving of special protection (“Sensitive Personal Data”).  For example, in Europe, Sensitive Personal Data can include personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership; genetic or biometric data; data concerning health; data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation; and personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences. You can find further information about how Harvard Kennedy School uses personal data of individuals in Europe in the admissions process here.

By submitting an application, you consent to Harvard’s processing Sensitive Personal Data about you in order to evaluate your application for admission and your eligibility for financial aid, if applicable.  Sensitive Personal Data about you also may be processed for other purposes permitted by applicable law.

The 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.

Read more about these reports.