Admissions Timeline

It’s never too early to...

  • Clarify your academic and career goals
  • Research potential outside sources of financial aid
  • Prepare and plan when to take the GRE (and TOEFL, if applicable)
  • Work on your Russian language skills
  • Contact the REECA office with any questions about the program or the application process


  • Seek and apply for outside funding sources
  • Draft your statement of purpose
  • Select a writing sample to include with your application
  • Consider a campus visit in October or early November


  • Seek and apply for outside funding sources (ongoing)
  • Consider a campus visit in October or early November


  • Seek and apply for outside funding sources
  • Consider a campus visit in early November
  • Request letters of recommendation
  • Have transcripts and test scores sent to Harvard GSAS


  • If eligible, apply to Harvard for a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship for your first year of graduate school. Consider also applying for a Summer FLAS for intensive language study in the summer prior to matriculation.
  • By mid-December, take GRE general test (and TOEFL, if applicable) and have score reports sent to Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, school code 3451.
  • By the end of December (check GSAS website for exact date):
    • Submit application for admission
    • Submit application for Harvard financial aid
    • Submit application for Academic Year and/or Summer FLAS fellowships
      Note: supplementary application materials (test scores, letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc.) that arrive after the deadline will be forwarded to the review committee as they come in. Email if you know that an item will be delayed.

January / February

  • Review of applications
  • Allocation of Harvard and Davis Center grants
  • Allocation of FLAS fellowships


  • Notification of admissions and financial aid decisions
  • Notification of FLAS fellowship nominations


  • GSAS and REECA orientations for admitted students
  • April 15: Reply Deadline for most US graduate schools; offers of admission to waitlisted candidates may be made after this date


  • Admitted students receive Harvard ID and PIN, set up Harvard email, and apply for GSAS housing, if desired
  • Incoming international students provide documentation for visa support


  • Intensive language study (if applicable)

Late August / Early September

  • REECA and GSAS Orientation
  • GSAS online check-in
  • Russian Language Placement Exam
  • Classes begin
  • First week of classes: Course selection
  • Registration (to enroll into specific courses)