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.
Harvard has its own language assessment exams, which all incoming students to the RSEA program with previous language study are required to take in order to determine their language proficiencey level. Scores from outside organizations are not accepted.
Letters of recommendation should be written in English and submitted directly by the Recommender as directed in the GSAS application. Only three letters of recommendation should be submitted. Letters from those who know the applicant well academically and the applicant’s qualifications to do graduate study are the most beneficial.
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.
RSEA is a Masters program in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and has requirements specific to a two-year MA program. Each application is separate and you should carefully read the GSAS website for additional information. You should also indicate on your application for which other Harvard program(s) or school (e.g. Law School) you are applying simultaneously.
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.
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.