Harvard University admission requirements

This college guide uses the most recent data available provided by the U.S. Department of Education. This information was last updated on October 10th, 2023.

Harvard University Admission Requirements Guide

Whether you’re just starting to consider Harvard University as an option or are well into the application process, this guide will provide a comprehensive overview of the Harvard University undergraduate admission requirements. After reading this guide, you will understand what needs to be done to maximize your chances of being admitted to this institution’s undergraduate program.

Harvard University Acceptance Rate

The Harvard University acceptance rate for the most recent class was 4.01%. With such a low admission rate, it may be difficult to separate yourself from other applicants. After all, this is one of the most competitive undergraduate programs in the nation. However, the achievement of being accepted into this university is nearly unmatched. This guide will provide you the necessary checklist to enhance your college application and give you the best chance of being admitted.

Harvard University's Admission Rate
4.01%

Harvard University GPA Requirements

Every high school has its own method of constructing students’ grade point averages (GPA). Some secondary schools use a weighted GPA system, where they take into account the rigor of honors courses and weigh them more heavily, and others use an unweighted GPA system, in which letter grades all carry the same weight regardless of the course’s difficulty.

To level the playing field, schools often compare applicants through their unweighted GPA and consider the number of honors and advanced courses separately. This is how Harvard University typically conducts its college application review process. 

Harvard University Average GPA

When looking at undergraduate students who were most recently admitted, the Harvard University average GPA is 4. Although there are no GPA requirements for admission, it is strongly recommended that prospective students aim for at least a 4 to give themselves an adequate chance of being accepted into Harvard University.

Harvard University SAT Score Requirements

The SAT is a standardized test that measures college readiness and educational foundation. The SAT has been used for nearly 100 years to test prospective students in mathematics, reading, writing, and language. Here are the SAT metrics to take into account when applying to Harvard University.

Harvard University Average SAT Scores

When looking at the undergraduate students who were in the most recently admitted class, the average Harvard University SAT Score was 1534.

Here is the range of Harvard University SAT scores segmented by the three sections of the test: Critical Reading, Math, and Writing.

SAT Scores of Undergraduate Students Recently Admitted to Harvard University:
 25th PercentileMedian        75th Percentile
Critical Reading730755780
Math750 775 800
Writing 710750790

Does Harvard University Require SAT Test Results?

Several major colleges have placed less emphasis on requiring SAT test scores; some are not weighing them as heavily when making admission decisions. On the other hand, the majority of large universities still require applicants to send in their SAT results. Many schools waived the requirement for students impacted by the pandemic, making this question even more convoluted. Thus, is Harvard University currently requiring the submission of SAT test results to be considered for admission?

Harvard University does not require SAT test results, according to our latest data. However, keep in mind that this policy could change with little notice. We still encourage students to submit their SAT scores as part of their application.

Harvard University ACT Score Requirements

The ACT was founded in 1969 and serves as another college readiness measurement tool. The four subject areas are: English, mathematics, reading, and science. Here are the details regarding Harvard University’s ACT Requirements.

Harvard University Average ACT Scores

When examining the most recently accepted undergraduate class, the median ACT Score for Harvard University is 35.

Here is an updated range of Harvard University ACT scores segmented by the three sections of the exam: English, Math, and Writing.

ACT Scores of Undergraduate Students Recently Admitted to Harvard University:
 25th PercentileMedian        75th Percentile
English353636
Math32 34 35
Writing 8910

Does Harvard University Require ACT Test Results?

Harvard University is not requiring applicants to submit ACT test scores. Although standardized tests are not required for their current admissions period, it is strongly recommended to submit your ACT results. Admissions counselors are looking at the applicant holistically, and a good score can add weight to your application.

Harvard University Application Requirements

Harvard University is a great undergraduate school to attend. Harvard University’s admission office is able to extend offers to many students while still being selective. To stand out in the admissions process, it is critical to abide by the school’s application requirements.

Does Harvard University Use the Common App?

Like most major U.S. schools, Harvard University does use the Common Application for their admissions process. The Common App is a unified application that prospective students use to apply to undergraduate colleges and universities. It allows applicants to use a single application that can be sent to as many colleges as they apply to, instead of repeatedly inputting the same demographic and academic information per school. Harvard University may request additional materials, such as supplemental essays and questions, but the primary application structure remains the same.

Does Harvard University Require Letters of Recommendation?

Harvard University requires 2 letters of recommendation from teachers. These letters of rec, or ‘teacher evaluations’, are used to assess what type of student you are and your strengths in a learning environment. It is highly recommended to ask teachers that you have a strong relationship with to write these letters of recommendation, as they can attest to your academic and interpersonal skills. Try to find teachers who are familiar with your character, rather than just test grades. Remember that the goal is to show Harvard University that you are a comprehensively complete applicant.

A recommendation letter from a school counselor or guidance counselor is required to apply to Harvard University. High school counselors are constantly writing letters of recommendation for students, so asking them to create one for you is a fairly straightforward process. Ensure that they are at least somewhat familiar with your character and goals, as the purpose of this letter is to show Harvard University that you are a comprehensively complete applicant.

Harvard University Application Checklist

See our application checklist for Harvard University below to ensure you complete and submit the proper materials.

Required Application Materials:

Optional Application Materials:

Does Harvard University Accept AP Credit?

Harvard University accepts Advanced Placement (AP) credits, but not all scores will be accepted for college credits. Your AP score typically must be at least a “5” to be considered for college credit. Depending on the subject area, the scores may count towards as many as 12 course credits. For some subjects, Harvard University will not convert the scores to any college credit. This is something to keep in mind when enrolling for AP courses during high school. It’s also important to note that colleges change their AP credit policies on a near annual basis.

Harvard University Facts & Frequently Asked Questions

Is Harvard University Public or Private?

Harvard University is a private, non-profit university. Private universities’ primary sources of funding are through tuition, donations, and endowments. Although tuition may be higher at these nonprofit institutions, generous financial aid packages are more common than public schools. Tuition rates do not differ between in-state and out-of-state students.

How Many Students Does Harvard University Have?

Harvard University’s student body is made up of 7938 undergraduate degree-seeking students, according to our latest data. Harvard University offers the benefits of both large and small schools. The class sizes and student to faculty ratios are much lower than what a large school would have, and yet the college still offers a variety of options to network and get to know your professors.

How do I apply to Harvard University?

Make sure you have all of the required application materials we covered on hand. You can learn more about the application process for this particular institution at Harvard University’s Website.

Where is Harvard University?

Harvard University is located in Cambridge, MA. To visualize where Harvard University’s campus is based in relation to Cambridge’s downtown area and landmarks, take a look at the interactive map below.

Harvard University Campus Map

Final Thoughts on Applying to Harvard University

Hopefully this guide helped you to learn more about the admissions requirements for Harvard University. When applying to colleges, remember to keep in mind that not every school will be a good fit. Take the time to evaluate what’s most important to you, such as the school’s academic opportunities, financial aid benefits, and location. All of the application components we covered are important – take your time to put your best foot forward. The College Grid team wishes you the best of luck on your college applications!

Sydney Janssen
Sydney Janssen

As a valedictorian in high school, I developed a strong passion for learning and pushing myself to achieve academic success. Now, as a first-generation college graduate, I'm excited to share my experiences and insights with others who may be navigating similar paths through College Grid.

Harvard University admission requirements

This college guide uses the most recent data available provided by the U.S. Department of Education. This information was last updated on October 10th, 2023.

Harvard University Admission Requirements Guide

Whether you’re just starting to consider Harvard University as an option or are well into the application process, this guide will provide a comprehensive overview of the Harvard University undergraduate admission requirements. After reading this guide, you will understand what needs to be done to maximize your chances of being admitted to this institution’s undergraduate program.

Harvard University Acceptance Rate

The Harvard University acceptance rate for the most recent class was 4.01%. With such a low admission rate, it may be difficult to separate yourself from other applicants. After all, this is one of the most competitive undergraduate programs in the nation. However, the achievement of being accepted into this university is nearly unmatched. This guide will provide you the necessary checklist to enhance your college application and give you the best chance of being admitted.

Harvard University's Admission Rate
4.01%

Harvard University GPA Requirements

Every high school has its own method of constructing students’ grade point averages (GPA). Some secondary schools use a weighted GPA system, where they take into account the rigor of honors courses and weigh them more heavily, and others use an unweighted GPA system, in which letter grades all carry the same weight regardless of the course’s difficulty.

To level the playing field, schools often compare applicants through their unweighted GPA and consider the number of honors and advanced courses separately. This is how Harvard University typically conducts its college application review process. 

Harvard University Average GPA

When looking at undergraduate students who were most recently admitted, the Harvard University average GPA is 4. Although there are no GPA requirements for admission, it is strongly recommended that prospective students aim for at least a 4 to give themselves an adequate chance of being accepted into Harvard University.

Harvard University SAT Score Requirements

The SAT is a standardized test that measures college readiness and educational foundation. The SAT has been used for nearly 100 years to test prospective students in mathematics, reading, writing, and language. Here are the SAT metrics to take into account when applying to Harvard University.

Harvard University Average SAT Scores

When looking at the undergraduate students who were in the most recently admitted class, the average Harvard University SAT Score was 1534.

Here is the range of Harvard University SAT scores segmented by the three sections of the test: Critical Reading, Math, and Writing.

SAT Scores of Undergraduate Students Recently Admitted to Harvard University:
 25th PercentileMedian        75th Percentile
Critical Reading730755780
Math750 775 800
Writing 710750790

Does Harvard University Require SAT Test Results?

Several major colleges have placed less emphasis on requiring SAT test scores; some are not weighing them as heavily when making admission decisions. On the other hand, the majority of large universities still require applicants to send in their SAT results. Many schools waived the requirement for students impacted by the pandemic, making this question even more convoluted. Thus, is Harvard University currently requiring the submission of SAT test results to be considered for admission?

Harvard University does not require SAT test results, according to our latest data. However, keep in mind that this policy could change with little notice. We still encourage students to submit their SAT scores as part of their application.

Harvard University ACT Score Requirements

The ACT was founded in 1969 and serves as another college readiness measurement tool. The four subject areas are: English, mathematics, reading, and science. Here are the details regarding Harvard University’s ACT Requirements.

Harvard University Average ACT Scores

When examining the most recently accepted undergraduate class, the median ACT Score for Harvard University is 35.

Here is an updated range of Harvard University ACT scores segmented by the three sections of the exam: English, Math, and Writing.

ACT Scores of Undergraduate Students Recently Admitted to Harvard University:
 25th PercentileMedian        75th Percentile
English353636
Math32 34 35
Writing 8910

Does Harvard University Require ACT Test Results?

Harvard University is not requiring applicants to submit ACT test scores. Although standardized tests are not required for their current admissions period, it is strongly recommended to submit your ACT results. Admissions counselors are looking at the applicant holistically, and a good score can add weight to your application.

Harvard University Application Requirements

Harvard University is a great undergraduate school to attend. Harvard University’s admission office is able to extend offers to many students while still being selective. To stand out in the admissions process, it is critical to abide by the school’s application requirements.

Does Harvard University Use the Common App?

Like most major U.S. schools, Harvard University does use the Common Application for their admissions process. The Common App is a unified application that prospective students use to apply to undergraduate colleges and universities. It allows applicants to use a single application that can be sent to as many colleges as they apply to, instead of repeatedly inputting the same demographic and academic information per school. Harvard University may request additional materials, such as supplemental essays and questions, but the primary application structure remains the same.

Does Harvard University Require Letters of Recommendation?

Harvard University requires 2 letters of recommendation from teachers. These letters of rec, or ‘teacher evaluations’, are used to assess what type of student you are and your strengths in a learning environment. It is highly recommended to ask teachers that you have a strong relationship with to write these letters of recommendation, as they can attest to your academic and interpersonal skills. Try to find teachers who are familiar with your character, rather than just test grades. Remember that the goal is to show Harvard University that you are a comprehensively complete applicant.

A recommendation letter from a school counselor or guidance counselor is required to apply to Harvard University. High school counselors are constantly writing letters of recommendation for students, so asking them to create one for you is a fairly straightforward process. Ensure that they are at least somewhat familiar with your character and goals, as the purpose of this letter is to show Harvard University that you are a comprehensively complete applicant.

Harvard University Application Checklist

See our application checklist for Harvard University below to ensure you complete and submit the proper materials.

Required Application Materials:

Optional Application Materials:

Does Harvard University Accept AP Credit?

Harvard University accepts Advanced Placement (AP) credits, but not all scores will be accepted for college credits. Your AP score typically must be at least a “5” to be considered for college credit. Depending on the subject area, the scores may count towards as many as 12 course credits. For some subjects, Harvard University will not convert the scores to any college credit. This is something to keep in mind when enrolling for AP courses during high school. It’s also important to note that colleges change their AP credit policies on a near annual basis.

Harvard University Facts & Frequently Asked Questions

Is Harvard University Public or Private?

Harvard University is a private, non-profit university. Private universities’ primary sources of funding are through tuition, donations, and endowments. Although tuition may be higher at these nonprofit institutions, generous financial aid packages are more common than public schools. Tuition rates do not differ between in-state and out-of-state students.

How Many Students Does Harvard University Have?

Harvard University’s student body is made up of 7938 undergraduate degree-seeking students, according to our latest data. Harvard University offers the benefits of both large and small schools. The class sizes and student to faculty ratios are much lower than what a large school would have, and yet the college still offers a variety of options to network and get to know your professors.

How do I apply to Harvard University?

Make sure you have all of the required application materials we covered on hand. You can learn more about the application process for this particular institution at Harvard University’s Website.

Where is Harvard University?

Harvard University is located in Cambridge, MA. To visualize where Harvard University’s campus is based in relation to Cambridge’s downtown area and landmarks, take a look at the interactive map below.

Harvard University Campus Map

Final Thoughts on Applying to Harvard University

Hopefully this guide helped you to learn more about the admissions requirements for Harvard University. When applying to colleges, remember to keep in mind that not every school will be a good fit. Take the time to evaluate what’s most important to you, such as the school’s academic opportunities, financial aid benefits, and location. All of the application components we covered are important – take your time to put your best foot forward. The College Grid team wishes you the best of luck on your college applications!

Sydney Janssen
Sydney Janssen

As a valedictorian in high school, I developed a strong passion for learning and pushing myself to achieve academic success. Now, as a first-generation college graduate, I'm excited to share my experiences and insights with others who may be navigating similar paths through College Grid.