Admission in different schools and departments at Harvard
Admission in different schools and departments at Harvard

Admission in different schools and departments at Harvard

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Admission in different schools and departments at Harvard: Harvard is a huge university. It comprises 11 core academic units – ten faculties and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Each college is organized into different schools and divisions that offer courses in different fields of study.

Admission in different schools and departments


Admission requirements and admissions process vary widely between units, according to area and level of study (undergraduate, graduate, extension, continuing education, summer school, etc.). So, if your intention is to apply for one of the mega competitive places at Harvard University, first you need to know which academic unit you should apply for.

Are they:

How to get admission into Harvard?

We have already taught you how to apply for an undergraduate degree from Harvard College , the University’s school of bachelor’s degree programs, as an international student. In this article, we’ll gather some background information about applying and admission to some of Harvard’s top academic units.

Harvard Summer School

The Harvard Summer School is a short-term program school throughout the North American summer. There are over 300-course options with classes in the morning, afternoon and online, aimed at a wide range of audiences.

  • Students who have just graduated from high school participate in a seven-week immersive program or college preparatory course to become familiar with the University.
  • Visiting college students take classes to earn academic credit or an advanced preparatory program for admission to a graduate school.
  • Adults and professionals find classes to improve their career prospects as well as develop their personal interests.
  • Harvard students themselves can attend the Summer School to meet the degree requirements for the academic degree they are enrolled in during the summer vacation, with options for on-campus, online, and overseas classes.

In some cases, the Summer School is an international student’s only chance to obtain a student visa. The Harvard Extension School, for example, does not issue the I-20 for its on-site courses, an essential document for applying for a US visa. If your intention is to attend a Harvard extension program, you must first be a face-to-face, full-time Summer School student in order to earn the I-20 and then, with all prerequisites fulfilled, move on to the extension course. .


The Harvard Summer School issues the I-20 only to students enrolled in one of the following options:

  • Two on-campus courses worth four credits each in a seven-week session;
  • An on-campus course worth four credits and three weeks in length;
  • An essential course worth four credits during a seven-week session, only for candidates admitted to an academic course.


Each of the Summer School’s study programs has different admission criteria. For university preparation, for example, candidates must be between 15 and 19 years old and intend to graduate from high school in the next two years.

Harvard Extension School

As mentioned above, to take an on-site extension course, you need the I-20 issued by another Harvard school – in this case, the Summer School would be the best option because it serves as a preparatory course. However, the Harvard Extension School has an extensive catalog of online courses.


The best part is that there is no need to go through a selection process to take one of these extensions or certificate programs. Just enroll in a course by following three steps:

1. Choose your course at the Harvard Extension School;

2. Create and update your online account on the school’s official website;

3. Register for one of the school’s registration periods: fall, January, spring, and summer.


The academic bachelor’s and master’s courses offered by the Harvard Extension School have an admissions process.

Even if you choose an online bachelor’s or master’s degree, you’ll need to go to Harvard in person for classes during the summer. According to the University, campus experience is an essential aspect of academic programs (so-called degrees ).


Harvard Medical School

The renowned Harvard Medical School (HMS) accepts applications from international students who have studied at least one year at a recognized institution of higher education in the United States or Canada and who meet all course requirements. Although they do not require a TOEFL score, fluency in English is mandatory.

It is important to understand that Medicine in the United States is considered a postgraduate area. This means that, in order to be admitted to any American medical school, you must first complete a degree in any area, as long as it contains specific subjects called pre-medical.

HSM welcomes applications from students of different international backgrounds, however, it prefers applicants with academic degrees from accredited institutions in the United States and Canada. Students must complete at least three years of university studies, culminating in a bachelor’s degree, prior to enrollment at Harvard.

The University will evaluate each case of applicants with required courses taken outside the United States or Canada to determine if they meet the requirements. Even if the degree was not taken at an American or Canadian institution, Harvard advises that candidates to the School of Medicine do their best to study in one of the two countries. However, if you are a foreign national, you are required to complete at least one year of full-time academic study in the United States or Canada in order to apply for any place.

HMS does not accept applications from applicants who are currently enrolled or who have already been enrolled in any other medical school, nor does it accept transfer students without exception.


If you meet these criteria, you will need to provide the following materials for your Harvard Medical School application:


  • Academic records;
  • Redaction;
  • MCAT results;
  • Letters of recommendation (up to six);
  • Extracurricular activities;
  • Summer occupations;
  • Life experience;
  • Experience in the health field, including research and community work.

Harvard Law School

Harvard law school
Harvard law school

Like Medicine, Law is also a postgraduate area in the United States . To attend a Law School in the country, applicants necessarily need a degree with a preparation called pre-law . At Harvard Law School (HLS) it’s no different: candidates need a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in order to apply for vacancies.

The main course at the School is the three-year JD ( Juris Doctor degree ), traditionally a professional doctorate in law equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. HLS also offers two study programs for those already trained in Law: the LL.M. (Master of Law), lasting one year, and the SJD (Doctorate of Legal Science), a more advanced course. However, depending on the US state, complete an LL.M. of Harvard does not qualify the professional student to take the BAR exam – with similar purposes to the exam of the OAB in Brazil.

It is important to note that, even with the disciplines of International and Comparative Law, the JD is a course focused on US Law.

HLS requires all international students to use the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (fees) foreign academic record review service to match their international studies to the US system. The only exception will be if you have studied abroad, a consortium or exchange program sponsored by an American or Canadian institution. For this service, a Foreign Credential Assessment will be conducted by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) attached to your LSAC report.

Approximately 17% of the Harvard Law School student population are foreigners. The School claims that international students who meet the requirements have the same chances of admission as native-born applicants. There are no requirements regarding the duration of the Bachelor’s Degree as long as you have completed the requirements for prior university studies as determined by the Credential Assembly Service .

If you have all the necessary criteria, JD application requires the following items:


  • Application fee of $85;
  • LSAT or GRE exam results;
  • Registration with the LSAC Credential Assembly Service and payment of fees charged for the service;
  • Submission of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts to LSAC;
  • Online submission of application form, personal statement and resume to Harvard Law School.


Harvard Kennedy School

Harvard Kennedy School
Harvard Kennedy School

The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University – or Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) – is a professional and graduate school in the field of public policy and leadership with the primary objective of preparing current and future leaders with the skills to efficiently improve public purpose throughout society.

HKS offers masters, doctorates, and executive education in areas such as democracy, international development, public administration, management and leadership, decision science, social and urban policy, political economy, among others.

Each level of study has different requirements for selection. Masters, for example, list the following items:


  • Online registration;
  • $100 registration fee;
  • Writings (vary according to courses);
  • The statement or additional analytical curriculum (varies by courses);
  • Three letters of recommendation;
  • Academic transcripts containing institution name, course names, student averages, and proof of completed diploma;
  • Results in standardized tests (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, and IELTS).


As it is a graduate school, the candidate needs prior academic training. For example, for a master’s degree, you will need a bachelor’s degree; for a doctorate, a master’s degree is mandatory.

Read More: How to study in Abroad

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