Harvard Masters In Education Acceptance Rate

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Harvard University is renowned for its prestigious graduate programs, including the Masters in Education program offered by the Harvard Graduate School. With an acceptance rate of just 4%, gaining admission to this highly competitive program is no easy feat.

To be considered for admission to the Harvard Masters in Education program, applicants must meet stringent academic requirements. One of the key requirements is earning a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher from all Harvard courses. This is equivalent to a grade of B and demonstrates the applicant’s ability to excel in a rigorous academic environment.

The admission process for the Harvard Masters in Education program is highly selective, with only a small percentage of applicants being accepted each year. To improve your chances of admission, it is essential to not only meet the GPA requirement but also submit a strong application that showcases your academic achievements, relevant experience, and commitment to the field of education. Additionally, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and standardized test scores may also be required as part of the application process.


Harvard Graduate School Acceptance Rate
Acceptance Rate4%
Requirements for Harvard Masters in Education
Required GPA3.0
Equivalent GradeB
Relation to Education Quality
The low acceptance rate of 4% at Harvard Graduate School indicates high competition and selectivity, ensuring that only the most qualified candidates are admitted. The requirement of a minimum GPA of 3.0 demonstrates the institution’s commitment to academic excellence and rigor in its education programs.

Harvard Graduate School of Education

At HGSE, we recognize the pivotal impact of education professionals who are committed to making a difference and creating equitable and transformative learning opportunities. Education needs leaders like you to guide the field into the future.

Our year-long, intensive master’s program will allow you to gain professional skills and theoretical knowledge, access to world-renowned faculty, and a network of education leaders. Join an extraordinary community of educators from across the country and around the world who are dedicated to improving lives and shaping the future through the transformative power of education. Explore our programs and complete the Introduce Yourself form to learn more about our Master’s in Education. 

Payment & Tuition Assistance | Harvard Graduate School of Education

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

DegreeConcentrationSub-concentration
Master of Education (Ed M)Prevention science and practice
Master of Education (Ed M)Education policy and management
Master of Education (Ed M)Arts in education
Master of Education (Ed M)School leadership
Master of Education (Ed M)Mind, brain, and education
Master of Education (Ed M)Human development and psychology
Master of Education (Ed M)Special studies
Master of Education (Ed M)Language and literacy
Master of Education (Ed M)Technology, innovation, and education
Master of Education (Ed M)Teacher education
Master of Education (Ed M)Higher education
Master of Education (Ed M)International education policy
Master of Education (Ed M)Learning and teaching

Harvard Masters In Education Acceptance Rate

Admissions

Acceptance Rate

54%

All Programs
 

Arts in Education

Educating self-directed individuals who are interested in fashioning their own arts-related course of study, equipping them to become effective advocates for arts-based education initiatives, both in and out of schools. 

Education Policy and Management

Developing effective leaders by providing an atmosphere that promotes the understanding of diverse viewpoints from a wide range of disciplines.

Harvard Graduate School of Education home

Higher Education

Preparing leaders with the knowledge and skills to strengthen institutions, engineer policies, and engage in direct service to positively impact the outcomes for all students in postsecondary education.

Human Development and Psychology

Educating students interested in the development of children and adults and how knowledge of development can be applied to educational issues.

International Education Policy

Providing an environment for the investigation and discussion of practical approaches for improving the quality of education available to children from all backgrounds.

Language and Literacy

Combining research and practice in reading, writing, and language development.

Learning and Teaching

Sharing interests including: students and adults as learners, the preparation and professional work of teachers, the organization of schools, and the role of communities in learning.

Mind, Brain, and Education

Targeting students interested in connecting cognition, neuroscience, and educational practice, especially involving learning, teaching, and cognitive and emotional development.

Prevention Science and Practice

Training prevention practitioners, educators, and applied researchers to improve the educational, social and emotional, and postsecondary outcomes of children and adolescents.

School Leadership

Preparing students to lead people, schools and organizations, learning and change to make a difference in the world.

Specialized Studies

Allowing students to develop an interdisciplinary program of study that meets their specific academic and professional needs.

Teacher Education

Preparing individuals to become middle or secondary school classroom teachers in urban settings.

Technology, Innovation, and Education

Preparing students to contribute to the thoughtful design, implementation, and assessment of technology-enhanced educational innovations.

harvard graduate school of education gpa requirements

Degree Requirements

Common Requirements

GSAS students are required to:

  • Remain continuously registered and enrolled.
  • Maintain a satisfactory grade-point average.
  • Provide evidence that satisfactory progress is being made toward the degree.

Continuous registration may be interrupted by academic terms of withdrawal.

All GSAS programs have residence requirements, both financial and academic, and many programs have language requirements (see departmental requirements for your program).

  • Financial credit will not be granted for tuition paid to other universities or to other Harvard Schools.
  • After completing one term as a GSAS student, former special students or students who took FAS courses under the Tuition Assistance Plan (TAP) may be eligible to apply for financial and academic credit for coursework.

Satisfactory Progress

Students are considered making satisfactory progress if they:

  • Complete expected requirements
  • Achieve a minimum grade-point average of B (3.0) 

  • GSAS students must make satisfactory progress to be eligible for financial aid.

Unsatisfactory Progress

Students who have not met conditions as outlined above or stated by their department, degree requirements, or deadlines may be considered to be making unsatisfactory progress and may be withdrawn from their program.

  • Students making unsatisfactory progress may not teach or receive financial aid (including federal Title IV funding).
  • Students making unsatisfactory progress are considered to not be in good standing with the University.
  • Students may not remain in “unsatisfactory” progress and those who do may be withdrawn from their program.

GRACE STATUS

A student making unsatisfactory progress may, with departmental endorsement, be granted the status of “grace” for one year. At the end of the grace period, the student must be making satisfactory progress, otherwise they will be considered to be making unsatisfactory progress.

  • In most cases, only one period of grace will be granted to a student.
  • Students in “grace” status may not hold teaching appointments.
  • Students in “grace” remain eligible for institutional aid, except for federal Title IV loans and/or work-study (only students making satisfactory progress are eligible for federal Title IV funding).

harvard graduate school of education requirements

Applying to the Ed.M. Program

The application for fall 2022 enrollment is now open. The application deadlines, including receipt of all materials, are:

  • November 1, 2021 (11:59 p.m. EDT) – Teaching and Teacher Leadership (Ed.M.) residency model only
  • January 5, 2022 (11:59 p.m. EST) – All other Ed.M. programs, including other TTL pathways

 Master’s decisions will be made available online in late March 2022.

A complete application to the Ed.M. Program consists of the following:

  • Online Application Form 
  • Statement of Purpose and Résumé
  • Three letters of recommendation (submitted through the online application system)
  • Standardized test score(s):
    • GRE (optional)
    • TOEFL or IELTS (if applicable)​​
  • Transcript(s) from each postsecondary institution attended (uploaded with the online application)
  • $85 application fee (paid via credit card with the online application)


You must submit all of your required documents online, including your academic transcripts and letters of recommendation. After you enter the contact information for your three recommenders on your application, each will receive an email with instructions about logging onto our system. At that time, they will have the opportunity to fill out the Recommendation Form and upload a recommendation letter.

It is not possible to apply to multiple Ed.M. programs for the same academic year. However, admissions committees have the discretion to refer files in cases where they feel the applicant might be better suited in another Ed.M. program.

Interviews are not part of the Ed.M. application process.

Reapplying

The Harvard Graduate School of Education will accept a maximum of three applications from one individual over his or her lifetime.

Applicants for the 2022-2023 academic year who have previously applied within the past three years (i.e., for the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and/or 2021-2022 academic years) should review the reapplication process to determine which materials they do not need to resubmit.

International Students

The Harvard Graduate School of Education welcomes and encourages applicants from around the world. Of the 2020-2021 incoming class, international students represented 26% of the student body.

International applicants must submit all standard application materials outlined above and pay special attention to the requirements for international transcripts and standardized test scores (TOEFL, IELTS).

The Harvard International Office and the HGSE Office of Student Affairs provide extensive support for international students before they depart and once they arrive in Cambridge.

Once students have been admitted as in-person degree candidates, Harvard University requires international students who need a Harvard-sponsored student visa to submit financial certification that demonstrates adequate funding for one year of study. Detailed instructions regarding this process will be available upon admission to HGSE. Please note that admitted international students requesting J-1 or F-1 visas are required to enroll full-time. International students for the online Ed.M. are not required to submit this documentation and will not need a student visa.

Applying to the Ed.L.D. Program

The application for fall 2022 enrollment is now open. The application deadline, including receipt of all materials, is December 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Ed.L.D. decisions will be made available online in late March 2022.

A complete application to the Ed.L.D. Program consists of the following:

  • Online Application Form
  • Short essay question
  • Statement of Purpose and Résumé
  • Standardized test score(s):
    • GRE or GMAT
    • TOEFL or IELTS (if applicable)
  • Three letters of recommendation (submitted through the online application system)
  • Transcript(s) from each postsecondary institution attended (uploaded with the online application)
  • $85 application fee (paid via credit card with the online application)


You must submit all of your required documents online, including your academic transcripts and letters of recommendation. After you enter the contact information for your three recommenders on your application, each will receive an email with instructions about logging onto our system. At that time, they will have the opportunity to fill out the Recommendation Form and upload a recommendation letter.

It is not possible to submit multiple HGSE applications for the same academic year. Ed.L.D. applicants who wish to be considered for admission to an Ed.M. program, should they not be admitted to the program to which they applied, should indicate their interest in an Ed.M. referral on their online application. They will be required to select a specific Ed.M. program (and strand, if applicable) and provide a statement regarding their referral interest.

Once all applications have been reviewed, HGSE will invite selected Ed.L.D. applicants to campus for a day of required interviews (both individual and group) with members of the admissions committee. Interviews will take place in February.

Reapplying

The Harvard Graduate School of Education will accept a maximum of three applications from one individual over the course of his or her lifetime.

Applicants who have previously applied within the past three years should review the reapplication process to determine which materials they do not need to resubmit.

International Students

International applicants must submit all standard application materials outlined above and pay special attention to the requirements for international transcripts and standardized test scores (TOEFL, IELTS).

The Harvard International Office and the HGSE Office of Student Affairs provide extensive support for international students before they depart and once they arrive in Cambridge.

Once students have been admitted as degree candidates, Harvard University requires international students who need a Harvard-sponsored student visa to submit financial certification that demonstrates adequate funding for one year of study. Detailed instructions regarding this process will be available upon admission to HGSE. Please note that admitted international students requesting J-1 or F-1 visas are required to enroll full-time.

Applying to the Ph.D. Program

The application for fall 2022 enrollment is now live on the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website. The application deadline is December 1, 2021.

A complete application to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Education typically consists of the following, submitted to the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). 

  • Online application form (accessed through GSAS’s website)
  • Résumé/curriculum vitae
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Standardized test score(s):
    • GRE – must be sent directly to GSAS, institution code 3451
    • TOEFL or IELTS (if applicable) – must be sent directly to GSAS: institution code 3451 for TOEFL; specify Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for IELTS
  • Transcript(s) from each postsecondary institution attended: uploaded copy of each transcript with the online application
  • $105 application fee (paid via credit card with the online application)
  • Supplemental form for the Ph.D. in Education

Once all applications have been reviewed, HGSE will invite selected Ph.D. applicants for a required online interview with members of the admissions committee. Interview dates will be in January, with precise dates to be determined.

Ph.D. applicants who wish to be considered for admission to an Ed.M. program, if they are not admitted to the program to which they applied, should indicate their interest in an Ed.M. referral on their online application. Shortly after the Ph.D. application deadline, they will receive an email from the HGSE Admissions Office, asking them to select a specific Ed.M. program (and strand, if applicable) and provide a statement regarding their referral interest.

harvard graduate school of education admissions statistics

Teachers, entrepreneurs, engineers, doctors, lawyers, and artists — HGSE students defy a single mold, but share a singularly vital goal: to make a difference through education.

The master’s programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Education attract extraordinary students from every imaginable background: classroom teachers, district leaders, nonprofit workers, public policy researchers, social entrepreneurs, and software engineers. Our doctoral programs draw emerging leaders in research, policy, and practice committed to improving educational opportunities in America and around the world. Our diversity is our greatest strength. We are a community of talented, compassionate, and ambitious individuals united by a shared purpose: making a difference in the lives of learners of all ages.

2021-2022 Entering Class 

Individual class profiles vary significantly by program, but here is the big picture for the class that entered in 2021-2022:

  • Master of Education (Ed.M.) students: 648
  • Certificate of Advanced Study (C.A.S.) students: 7

Note: Admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Education (Ph.D.) and Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) programs was suspended for academic year 2021-2022 due to challenges surrounding COVID-19. Each program typically has an incoming class of about 25 students, however, and we are again going to be admitting students to both programs for 2022-2023 enrollment.

Gender Identity: Woman: 73%  |  Man: 21%  |  Transgender, Genderqueer/Gender Non-Conforming, or Another Identity: 2%

Geographical Distribution: 40 states, D.C., and 64 countries of citizenship

International Students: 32%

Students of Color: 33%

First Generation College Students: 26%

LGBTQ+: 20%

Age Breakdown

Ph.D. studentsEd.L.D. studentsEd.M. students
Range: 25 to 36Range: 29 to 58Range: 20 to 65
Average: 29Average: 38Average: 29

Years of Work

Ph.D. studentsEd.L.D. studentsEd.M. students
Range: 1 to 14Range: 7 to 29Range: 0 to 41
Average: 5.4Average: 13.5Average: 4.6

Note: All class profile numbers are accurate as of September 15, 2021.

General Record Test (GRE) Scores for Admitted Students*
*the GRE is optional for master’s applicants

Ph.D. studentsEd.L.D. StudentsEd.M. Students*
Verbal Average: 88 (percentile)Verbal Average: 73 (percentile)n/a
Quantitative Average: 65 (percentile)Quantitative Average: 41 (percentile)n/a
Analytical Writing Average: 4.9Analytical Writing Average: 4.3n/a

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