How to apply

All prospective graduate students to our Ph.D., M.E., S.M., and A.B./S.M. programs apply to the School of Engineering through the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS).

Students interested in the Master in Design Engineering with the Harvard Graduate School of Design will find information about applying to that program here.

Students interested in the MS/MBA: Engineering Sciences program offered jointly with Harvard Business School will find information about applying to that program here.

Students with bachelor's degrees in the natural or quantitative sciences, mathematics, computer science, or engineering are invited to apply.

All students begin graduate study in the fall term only. 

What does the application require?

  • Completed application form submitted by the appropriate application deadline (Dec.1st for masters applicants;  December 15th for Ph.D. applicants)
  • Statement of Purpose: describe your future research interests, how they relate to your classroom and/or research experience, and which labs at SEAS you're most excited about.  Your statement should be no longer than 1,000 words.
  • Personal Statement:Please share how your experiences or activities will advance our mission and commitment to sustain a welcoming, supportive, and inclusive environment (full text of prompt can be found in the application). No longer than 500 words.
  • Three letters of recommendation submitted electronically
  • Transcripts; please upload copies of all transcripts to the Academic Background section of the online application; unofficial copies are acceptable. 
  • C.V. or Resume
  • SEAS does not accept General GRE scores nor Subject Test GRE scores for applicants to our Ph.D. programs. Applicants to these programs should not submit official or unofficial GRE scores to us nor mention them anywhere in their application materials.  
  • SEAS does not accept General GRE scores nor Subject Test GRE scores for applicants to our masters degree programs in Computational Science & Engineering and Data Science.  Applicants to these programs should not submit official or unofficial GRE scores to us nor mention them anywhere in their application materials.  
  • Either the GRE or GMAT is required for applicants applying to the Master of Design Engineering or the MS/MBA: Engineering Sciences programs.   The applications for these programs are available via the Graduate School of Design or Harvard Business School, respectively. 
  • If required, an official TOEFL or IELTS score report. The school code to use to submit your TOEFL score is 3451.  *TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for applicants whose native language is other than English and who do not hold a Bachelor degree or its equivalent from an institution at which English is the language of instruction.  The score must be valid at the time of entry into the program.  Note that a masters degree from an English-speaking institution does not meet this requirement.   
  • The application fee of $105.00. Should you want to request a fee waiver from Harvard Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, you may do so in the fee section of the application.

Please list only SEAS ladder faculty on the application.  "Affiliate faculty" cannot admit PhD students.  There are many SEAS ladder faculty with formal joint appointments in other Harvard Griffin GSAS departments, like Physics and Earth and Planetary Sciences.  These faculty can serve as primary research advisors to SEAS students.   A complete list of the SEAS ladder faculty can be found here- filter for "primary graduate advisors" once you're on this page. 

We do not require an interview as part of the application process and we cannot offer applicants the opportunity for an in-person interview with the admissions staff.  Attending a Ph.D. or Masters Programs admissions information session is the best way to have your questions answered.   More information about our information sessions that will be held in the Fall can be found here.

We require electronic submission of the entire application, including letters of recommendation and transcripts.  Please do not send us any hard copy materials.

Admissions Timeline for Ph.D., M.E., S.M., and A.B./S.M. Programs 
(Note: The Master in Design Engineering and the MS/MBA: Engineering Sciences have different deadlines and timetables.)

Please note:  The application deadline for applicants to our masters programs (S.M., M.E., and AB-SM) is earlier than the application deadline for applicants to our Ph.D. program.   Applicants to our S.M., M.E., and AB-SM masters programs must apply by December 1, 2024.  Applicants to our Ph.D. program must apply by December 15, 2024.  We do not accept late applications to any of our programs.


Harvard Griffin GSAS Application becomes available

December 1st

December 15th

Masters Program (S.M., M.E., and AB-SM) Application Deadline (by 5 p.m. ET)

PhD  Program Application Deadline (by 5 p.m. ET)

Mid-Late December Review of applications begins
January Review of applications continues
Early February Review of applications continues
Mid February Decision notifications are made by Harvard Griffin GSAS and SEAS
April 15 Reply/Decision date for admitted students