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Now is the time. Apply to Harvard Kennedy School.


Our admission application deadline for the 2021-2022 academic year was Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 5 p.m. EST and our financial aid application deadline was Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 5 p.m. EST. Admission and financial aid decisions were released in late March 2021.

The admission application for the 2022-2023 academic year will be available in September 2021.

There is one admission application deadline and one start date for each degree program per year. If you are interested in applying to our doctoral programs, learn more here. 

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. 

Your complete application to one of our master’s programs will include the following:
  • Online application
  • $100 USD application fee
  • Essays, which vary by program
  • Additional analytical and quantitative résumé or statement, 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 more applications from 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.

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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.

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report Availability

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.