Admission to the RSEA master's degree program is extremely competitive. In an average year, the program receives 180–200 applications from around the world; however, a typical entering cohort consists of 24–28 students.

From a wide pool of applicants RSEA admits students with different academic areas of focus, as well as varied backgrounds and perspectives. RSEA welcomes applicants who identify as belonging to groups under-represented in Asian Studies. Harvard GSAS provides advice and resurces, outlined in their recruitment brochure, Perspectives: Resources for Minority Applicants

The RSEA Admissions Committee seeks input from faculty across multiple Harvard departments and schools to ensure a breadth of perspectives in admissions decisions. In evaluating applications the Admissions Committee takes into account all component parts of each candidate's application.

The RSEA Admissions Committee may consider any and all of the following criteria for admission: demonstrated academic excellence, the extent of appropriate language training and prior experience in East Asia, letters of recommendation, writing ability, GRE scores and, where applicable, TOEFL or IELTS scores*, together with the student’s own statement of purpose. In addition, an applicant's intended area of study is carefully considered to assess the availability of faculty resources to provide supervision to an applicant, if admitted.

Prospective applicants should refer to the RSEA Admissions Requirements and deadlines and FAQs.

Please note: 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). All application materials are submitted directly to GSAS via the online application portal.

Questions about the online application process may be directed to the GSAS Admissions Office at Please carefully read their automated response for helpful information.

For RSEA program inquiries please email