FAQs

By when do I need to take a GRE or TOEFL exam?

GRE/TOEFL exams must be taken prior to the RSEA application deadline and we will accept the scores that are sent from the testing company.  TOEFL scores are waived for non-native English speakers who have received their bachelor’s degree from an accredited English speaking college or university.

What should I write in my Statement of Purpose?

An applicant’s statement of purpose should describe his or her plan of study at Harvard and introduce their academic and intellectual background, e.g. what has led them to their current academic goals, and what kind of academic preparations he or she has had for undertaking their proposed study in a Masters program.

What should I submit as a writing sample?

The writing sample must be in English and is limited to 20 pages on letter size paper (not A4), double-spaced utilizing 11-12 point font. The writing sample may be an academic paper you have previously submitted to a class, or part of your senior thesis. It does not have to focus on your proposed area of research, but it will be beneficial if it does.

What kind of funding is available?

As noted on the RSEA website, there is limited funding and all applicants should apply for outside aid (such as Soros, etc.).  The Harvard-Yenching Institute Fellowship is awarded through nomination by the committee and applicants may not apply for nor contact faculty members to receive the Fellowship.