Admissions FAQ

Admissions FAQ

When is the application deadline?

The deadline for Fall 2023 will be January 5, 2023 at 5:00 pm ET.  All materials must be submitted to GSAS by that date.

Can I send in application materials after the deadline?

All application materials must be submitted directly to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences via the online application portal before the deadline.  The IAAS office is unable accept any admissions materials.

Do I need to take the GRE?

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is required of all applicants to the IAAS PhD program. It is highly recommended that applicants to the PhD program take the GRE test no later than early December in the year of application. This ensures that your scores will be reported to Harvard GSAS Admissions by the application deadline. GSAS will not accept GRE scores for tests taken after the application deadline.

GRE scores are valid for five years. If you have taken the GRE within the last five years (no earlier than September 1, 2017, for Fall 2023 admission), you may upload those official scores to your application (contact ETS to obtain official scores, .

What is the minimum score required for the GRE?

The IAAS Admissions Committee considers test scores as one part of the whole application package. There is no required mimimum, although the Committee typically looks for strong scores. 

Can I apply to more than one program?

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences permits an applicant to submit only two applications in a single year and a total limit of three applications per that applicant’s academic career.

Is a Master's required to apply to the PhD Program?

Applicants to the Ph.D. program are not required to have an master's degree before applying to the Ph.D. program; however, a master's degree is highly recommended.

How can I get financial aid?

All applicants are encouraged to carefully review the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website. Financial Support information may be found at .

What is the status of my application?

You can log in to the application portal to check on the status of your application.

What if I have additional questions?

After reading the information on the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Admissions website (, if you still have questions about the application process please email: If you have questions specific to the IAAS PhD program, please email for assistance.

Writing Sample

The writing sample should be on a topic relevant to the area in which the applicant intends to pursue your doctoral degree.  Applicants should submit a writing sample that best reflects their abilities and interests while pursuing a doctoral degree.  The writing sample should be no more than 25 pages and include citations.  The use of primary source materials is highly recommended.