The master's degree programs at Harvard Kennedy School are rigorous and test scores play a role when we review your application.
GRE or GMAT
If you are applying to our MPP, MPA/ID, MPA, or MC/MPA programs, you will need to submit either your official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) test scores—even if you have an advanced degree.
We accept either the GRE or GMAT. You do not need to send us both tests and we do not prefer one test over the other. Your scores must be less than five years old by the time you submit your application. We only look at the general test and do not require—or accept—GRE subject test scores.
You may self-report your test scores when submitting your application, but you must submit an official score report directly from the testing service for your application to be reviewed. You will need to take any required tests by the application deadline.
Use the school codes below to report your official scores to Harvard Kennedy School:
|Exam||School Code||Department Code/Other|
|GRE and TOEFL||3454||No dept. code|
|GMAT||HRL-27-69||No dept. code|
|IELTS||No code for HKS||Select "Harvard Kennedy School" in the school submission section when taking the test|
If your official scores will not be available until after our application deadline, include your test date and unofficial scores in your application and select "Harvard Kennedy School" as the score recipient.
LSAT or MCAT
We only accept Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) scores if you are a first-year Harvard Law School student applying to the HKS/HLS joint degree program. You will be asked to report your LSAT score when you are filling out our online application. You'll need to take the GRE or GMAT if you are applying to or enrolled at law schools other than Harvard or you are applying to our MPA/ID Program.
We only accept Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) scores if you are a current Harvard Medical School student applying to the MD/MPP concurrent degree program. You must take the GRE or GMAT if you are applying to or enrolled at medical schools other than Harvard or if you are applying to our MPA/ID Program.
TOEFL or IELTS
You must submit your Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS, academic test only) score if English is not your native language or if your undergraduate degree was not conducted in English.
We consider all valid TOEFL results (tests taken within two years prior to your application), and we pay closer attention to your most recent scores. We do not consider MyBestTM TOEFL scores. We do not accept the TOEFL Institutional Testing Program (ITP) or IELTS General Training tests. Your test scores must be less than two years old by the time you submit your application.
You must have a minimum cumulative TOEFL or IELTS score of 100 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT), 600 on the Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT), or 7 overall band score on the IELTS.
You are not required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS only if:
- Your native language is English or
- Your four-year undergraduate degree was conducted entirely in English
Applicants who transferred from a non-English speaking institution to an English speaking institution must still submit a TOEFL or IELTS test. An advanced degree (a master's or PhD, for example) from a U.S. institution or an institution where English is the language of instruction does not fulfill the TOEFL or IELTS requirement. We do not accept the TOEFL ITP test.
We may ask you to submit proof from your university that your entire undergraduate degree was conducted in English.
If you are applying to the MPP Program, we require that you meet the following test scores:
- TOEFL iBT: a minimum of 25 on each section
- TOEFL PBT: a minimum of 58 on the reading, 59 on the listening, and 61 on the writing sections
- IELTS: a minimum of 7 on each section
If you are applying to the MPA/ID, MPA, MC/MPA, or MC/MPA Edward S. Mason programs, you will be a more competitive candidate if you meet the MPP minimum scores listed above. All submitted and complete applications will be considered for admission, but we strongly prefer you meet these minimums given the rigors of the programs.
You will need to take any required tests by the application deadline. If your official scores will not be available until after our application deadline, include your test date and unofficial scores in your application and select "Harvard Kennedy School" as the score recipient.