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The Master's degree admission application deadline for fall 2017 admission consideration was Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 11:59 EST. HKS does not offer spring admission. To stay up-to-date with admissions news, please sign up for our prospective student database. The Master's degree admission application for fall 2018 will be available in September 2017.
A complete application includes:
The HKS Admissions Blog is a helpful resource for updates and advice on the application process. During the summer of 2016 we ran a long-term application planning series and we recommend that applicants subscribe to the Admissions Blog by visiting this page.
Applicants to the Doctoral Programs in Political Economy and Government, Public Policy, Health Policy, or Social Policy must submit their applications to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences by the stated deadline.
Applicants to the MPP, MPA/ID, MPA, and MC/MPA degree programs must submit their Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) test scores, even if they already hold an advanced degree. GRE or GMAT scores must be less than five years old as of the application deadline. HKS only reviews the general test, and does not accept or require GRE subject test scores.
When completing their online applications, applicants will be asked to self-report their test scores. If admitted, they must have their official test scores sent directly from the testing service to HKS. The last date applicants can take the GRE or GMAT to be considered for 2017 admission is December 1, 2016. Applicants who have not received official scores by the December 1 deadline should read this admissions blog entry for details on score submission.
LSAT and MCAT
Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) scores will only be accepted from applicants who are first-year Harvard Law School students applying to the HKS/HLS joint degree program. They should report their LSAT scores on the HKS application when applying.
Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) scores will only be accepted from applicants who are applying to the MD/MPP concurrent degree program at Harvard. Applicants who are applying to medical schools other than Harvard must take the GRE or GMAT exam.
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System, academic test format only) test scores for all sections are required of all applicants (to both two-year and Mid-Career programs) whose native language is not English or whose entire undergraduate/bachelor's degree program was not conducted in English. Applicants who transferred from a non-English speak institute to an English speaking institute must still submit a TOEFL or IELTS test. An advanced degree (for example, master's or PhD) from a U.S. institution or institution where English is the language of instruction does not fulfill the TOEFL or IELTS requirement. We do not accept the TOEFL ITP test or the IELTS General Training test. Applicants are not required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score only if their:
Applicants are required to have a minimum cumulative TOEFL or IELTS score of:
For MPP applicants, in addition to meeting the cumulative TOEFL or IELTS scores above, the MPP Admissions Committee requires that they achieve the following minimum scores on the English tests’ subsections as well to be considered for admission:
For MPA/ID, MPA, MC/MPA, and MC/MPA Mason applicants, the programs’ Admissions Committees strongly prefer they meet the MPP minimum score requirements listed above; however, they may still be considered for admission if they do not meet the subsection scores.
Important note: The HKS admissions office cannot retrieve test scores and academic transcripts sent to other schools at Harvard University. When submitting your documents, please ensure that you are selecting “Harvard Kennedy School” or “John F. Kennedy School of Government.”
If you are admitted to HKS and accept our offer of admission, your official test scores must be sent directly from the testing service to the HKS admissions office. The last date applicants can take the TOEFL or IELTS to be considered for 2017 admission is December 1, 2016. Applicants who have not received official scores by the December 1 deadline should read this admissions blog entry for details on score submission.
Copies of your academic transcript(s) must also be sent directly from the issuing institution(s) to our office as well. If possible, we advise that you submit the required official documentation during the application process.
If you applied to HKS in the past and would like to reapply for the 2016-2017 academic year, you will need to submit:
If you applied within the last three years, you may re-use:
Please note that applicants may apply a maximum of three times to a given program.
This flow chart provides a visual of the application and admissions process.
Harvard Kennedy School offers enrollment deferrals on a case by case basis. When an enrollment deferral is granted, it is typically for one year due to extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the applicant or for an exceptional professional opportunity. In both cases, the Admissions Committee may ask for supporting documentation. For more information about the deferral process, please contact the Admissions Office at email@example.com. NOTE: In light of the Presidential executive orders limiting entry into the United States for travelers from certain countries, special consideration will be given to deferral requests received from admitted applicants directly affected by those restrictions.
Because financial aid is limited and awarded annually, individuals who defer enrollment typically need to reapply for financial aid. However, special consideration will be given to those affected by the executive orders just noted. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Services at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss individual circumstances.