Applying to Harvard Kennedy School
Applying to graduate school is an exciting process. It is also time intensive. Stay informed of all the steps you’ll need to take to meet our academic and professional prerequisites and submit a competitive—and complete—application to Harvard Kennedy School. Explore these pages. Now is the time.
The application for admission to the 2021-2022 academic year will become available in September 2020, the application deadline will be in early December. There is one application deadline each year for fall enrollment only. We do not offer spring admission.
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 (see previous essay topics)
- Additional analytic resume 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, and IELTS)
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.
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.