Admission to the RSEA program is extremely competitive.  In an average year, the program receives 180–200 applications from around the world; however, the typical entering A.M. cohort consists of 24–28 students.  The application process and offer of admission into the Regional Studies East Asia A.M. program is handled through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS).

In evaluating applications, the RSEA Admissions Committee may consider any and all of the following criteria for admission: proven academic excellence, the extent of appropriate language training and prior experience in East Asia, letters of recommendation, writing ability, GRE scores and, where applicable, TOFEL scores, together with the student’s own statement of purpose and proposed subject of study.  In addition, each study plan is evaluated to assess the availability of suitable faculty resources to provide adequate training and supervision to an applicant, if admitted.  

Deadlines and Requirements

The deadline to apply for admission in Fall 2020 will be announced in September 2019 on the GSAS Admissions webpage. 

GSAS requires prospective students to submit all application materials online by the deadline; no materials should be sent to the RSEA office.  The full details of the admissions procedure and requirements are available directly from the GSAS website (  A complete application consists of these required items:

1. Admissions Application
2. Statement of Purpose (plan of study)
3. Official Transcripts

4. Official GRE General Test scores (GSAS Code for ETS: 3451)

5. Writing Sample (not to exceed 20 pages)
6. Three Letters of Recommendation (submitted online, no hard copies)

7. TOEFL or IELTS scores (if required) 

8. Statement of Financial Resources
 (uploaded after application is submitted)

Please note that on your application, you are asked to indicate which Harvard faculty member(s) you would like to work with should you be admitted into the program.  It is important for you to do so to ensure that faculty members with whom you would like to work are informed when your application becomes available for review.  There is no need to contact faculty directly.

Questions about the application process may be directed to the GSAS Admissions Office at