If you applied to one of our master’s programs in the past but were not admitted or did not enroll, you are welcome to reapply to a single HKS degree program up to three times. While we cannot provide personalized guidance on reapplying, there are some general tips for those hoping to reapply.

1. Familiarize yourself with our application requirements.

Each application cycle, we evaluate our application requirements and make changes to our policies. Some years, these changes are minor; in other years, we make substantial updates. It’s quite possible that things have changed since you previously applied, so be sure to thoroughly review the How to Apply section of our website for the most up-to-date information.

2. Refresh your materials and showcase what has changed.

If you’ve applied to HKS in the last three years, you may reuse some application documents, including academic transcripts, official test scores, and letters of recommendation. We do, however, recommend that you replace or update at least one of your three letters of recommendation. Perhaps you have a new supervisor who can speak to recent professional accomplishments, or maybe you’ve taken additional coursework with a new professor who can discuss your academic performance.

We understand that there may be some elements of your application that haven’t changed since you last applied. Essays are one major application component that you can—and should—refresh. As you prepare your new essays, think about meaningful experiences, significant accomplishments, and unique perspectives you will bring to the Kennedy School community. Be authentic, take a fresh approach, and thoroughly proofread and edit your essays to ensure that you are submitting your strongest quality writing. 

In addition to the general essay questions, you will be asked to provide a 250-word reapplication statement that explains what has changed since your last application. Use this essay to highlight any significant changes—new jobs, career milestones, academic achievements, examples of public service or leadership—that show how you’ve grown since you last applied.

3. Be sure that your standardized test scores are still valid.

While we allow reapplicants to reuse standardized test scores, your results must still be valid. GRE and GMAT scores are valid for five years; TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years. If your existing test scores will no longer be valid as of the application deadline, you will need to retake the required exams.

Even if your scores are still valid, you may want to think about retaking standardized tests if you feel that you can improve upon earlier results.

While you have until the application deadline to take any required tests, we recommend that you register for a test date well in advance of the deadline. 

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