Last Updated on August 8, 2022
Did you know there are many psychological areas of study? The department’s research efforts are organized around six major areas: developmental, social, clinical, quantitative, neuroscience, and experimental. We welcome undergraduates who are considering graduate school in psychology or related fields to participate in our Psychology in the News program to receive faculty mentoring and feedback on their writing. Know more about Harvard Psychology PhD Acceptance Rate, Harvard psychology PhD requirement, Harvard psychology PhD application & Harvard psychology PhD stipend.
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Harvard PhD Psychology Program
A PhD usually involves students engaged independently in original and significant research in a specific field or subject prior to the production of a publication-worthy thesis. By undertaking a PhD, you will become an expert, possibly an international expert, in your chosen field. A doctorate is the highest academic degree that can be awarded by a university. In Germany, studying for a doctorate means working intensively on a specific subject or research project over a long period of time. The duration of the doctorate also varies. Three to five years is typical. If you decide to take a doctorate, you can choose between different forms of study.
The Department of Psychology at Harvard University offers both an undergraduate psychology degree program and several options for graduate students. As one of the top schools in the country, Harvard offers programs that help students study graduate psychology topics at an Ivy League institution. Unlike other colleges that offer a major in psychology, Harvard offers a concentration in psychology. Undergrads must take all general education required classes, but they can select emphasis areas such as general psychology and mind, brain and behavior.
In the undergraduate psychology program, majors take at least 12 credits of psychology courses. The general program features classes such as Science of Living Systems. Students typically take introductory courses in their first years and advanced psychology courses in the following three years. Some of the emphasis areas require that students do a thesis too. This allows them to show their research and writing skills before they finish the program. They have until late in their junior years to submit a thesis proposal and get approval for it. Harvard also offers an honors psychology program, which requires that students do a thesis and maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
Graduate students attending Harvard University must pick from one of four concentrations: clinical science, cognition, brain and behavior, developmental psychology or social psychology. Some of the concentrations work together and allow students to take courses from one discipline and have it count towards their degree requirements. Those classes can include Psychology of Racism, Prejudice and Discrimination, Cognitive and Neural Organization and Individual Counseling and Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents.
A Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology is also available from the university. It asks students to choose between the common curriculum track and the clinical science track. Those in the clinical science track must enroll in the university’s graduate program and make the transition to the doctoral program, but common curriculum students can enroll in the PhD program later. Harvard offers opportunities for students to work in the on-campus counseling center, which provides help to those struggling in school. They can also do internships and work for other counseling centers and close to the campus. The university also has a post-graduate program for students who have a doctoral degree and want to study psychology.
Harvard University is the oldest university in the United States. Established in 1636, it received a charter in 1850 and offered opportunities to the settlers arriving in the new country. The private university offered training programs in its early years for some of the religious leaders who worked in Massachusetts and along the East Coast. It now has a strong reputation for its admissions process and because it’s one of the most selective schools in the world. Students who attend Harvard typically have a perfect GPA and take AP courses that let them have a GPA of above 3.0. The university also looks for students who have extracurriculars on their resumes, including volunteer work and taking part in high school clubs.
As an Ivy League university, Harvard also ranks as one of the best American colleges, ARWU, Forbes and U.S. News and World Report all rank it as the nation’s best university, and Washington Monthly ranks it as the nation’s second best university. It also ranks as having a good return for students, being one of the best campuses in the nation and for its active alumni network. Harvard has an enrollment of more than 22,000 students and ranks as one of the world’s best colleges.
Why Study at Harvard University?
Harvard is one of the eight (8) Ivy League research universities in the USA. Ivy League universities are universities in the USA that are renowned for their history, influence, wealth, and academic reputation.
In Harvard’s case, it is the oldest university in the USA. So, can you imagine what it is like to study at the oldest university in the USA, knowing that eight (8) presidents of the USA and 188 billionaires in the world studied there too? It is unimaginable and if you’re a sucker for following the steps of great men, you’ll do anything to gain admission into Harvard University.
What makes Harvard’s academics so exceptional is that it has renowned faculty members from around the world. It also has state-of-the-art resources and the faculty delivers instructions through an individualized instruction system. That is why Harvard has a 6:1 student to faculty ratio. You get full access to the faculty members when you need them.
Now what is more interesting is that Harvard offers you unmatchable education at an affordable price. The financial aid program at Harvard makes Harvard affordable for every family throughout the world. This package does not require families with incomes of $65,000 or less to take loans or make a contribution to their child’s education.
Meanwhile, families with incomes between $65,000 and $150,000 will contribute from 0-10% of their income. Those families with incomes above $150,000 will pay proportionately more than 10% of their income, based on their individual circumstances.
This ensures that students from low-income families study equitably with students from high-income families without financial hassles. Besides, there are a good number of Harvard University scholarships you can apply to while you study at Harvard University.
Harvard University Accreditation Details
The APA awarded Harvard full accreditation for its doctoral psychology program. This accreditation also covers the fieldwork that students do in the program. Harvard also has regional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
Harvard University Undergraduate Acceptance Rate
You must have heard that Harvard University is a highly competitive school. If you ever wonder what this means, it is simply that Harvard University accepts only a little fraction or percentage of students that apply to the school every year.
For the class of 2022, which is the students admitted in 2018, the acceptance rate was 4.7%. The breakdown of this percentage is that of the 42,749 applications Harvard university received, it admitted only 2,024.
The current acceptance rate for Harvard University is 4.6%. This is for the class of 2023 or the students admitted for the 2019-20 academic year. Of the 43,330 students that sent in their application to Harvard, the university accepted just 2,009.
Compared to the class of 2022, you will discover that Harvard University’s acceptance rate is declining. This means that it is getting even more difficult to get admission to Harvard University.
We will discuss the requirements you need to meet to get admission to Harvard University, but first, let’s meet the class of 2023.
What Students Make Up the Class of 2023?
There is always that talk going around that a particular school is racist or accept students from a certain geographical area. Harvard has faced criticisms on its students’ ethnicity. Critics are of the opinion that Harvard takes in a very low percentage of Asian Americans who happen to top the category of high performing students in the USA. While the case is still in court, let’s see how students are represented at Harvard University.
Class of 2023 by Ethnicity
By Ethnicity, we mean the racial diversity of Harvard’s class of 2023. The following is the percentage breakdown of Havard’s class of 2023 by ethnicity.
- African American – 14.3%
- Asian American – 25.3%
- Hispanic or Latino – 12.2%
- Native American – 1.8%
- Native Hawaiian – 0.6%
Class of 2023 by Geographic Location
By Geographic Location, we mean the regions in the USA where the students that make up Harvard’s class of 2023 come from. This section also shows the percentage that comes from other parts of the world, classified as International Students.
- New England – 16.6%
- Middle Atlantic – 21.8%
- South – 19.6%
- Midwest – 9.9%
- Central – 2.0%
- Mountain – 2.8%
- Pacific – 14.3%
- Territories – 0.3%
- International – 12.8%
The statistic above shows that 12.8% of students in the class of 2023 are International Students. This is a good percentage for students applying from outside the USA.
So, despite the competitive nature of Harvard’s admission, if you work hard as an international student, you could fall under this 12.8% next year. Who knows, the percentage for International students may be higher by then.
Class of 2023 by Area of Study
This section talks about the fields of study at Havard University that students in the class of 2023 intend to major in.
Here they are:
- Humanities – 15.7%
- Social Sciences – 24.5%
- Biological Sciences – 18.4%
- Physical Sciences – 7.4%
- Engineering – 12.3%
- Computer Science – 8.3%
- Math – 7.1%
- Undecided – 6.4%
Social Sciences takes the highest percentage of 24.5%. This shows that students recognize Havard University most for its social science majors.
Are you interested in getting one of the best undergraduate degrees in the social science field? Harvard University may just be where you should be submitting your application.
Harvard University Undergraduate Admissions Criticisms
We know that Havard operates at the best standards and so are interested in high-performance students; but is this really so? Does Havard only take students who meet the admission requirements and merit admission? Do they select students based on color?
The statistics above for the admitted class of 2023 help answer these questions, but they don’t change what critics have discovered and have dragged Harvard to court for.
Harvard University Application Requirements
One of the country’s most selective schools is Harvard, which has an acceptance rate of less than 6%. Undergrads can use the Universal College Application, Common Application or Coalition Application, but they must answer all the questions and write the essays required of the university. Students will also provide a school report, transcript, two teacher reports, and an ACT/SAT score. Harvard asks for a midyear school report and a final report and can rescind an acceptance letter based on those reports. The university recommends that students take and submit two SAT subject scores and asks for information from those who earned AP and other exam credits in high school.
Harvard gives future graduate and doctoral psychology students until December 15 to submit their applications. They need to use the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GAS) application. The university gives priority to female and minority students who do not typically attend graduate school. Once they complete the application, they will upload their official transcripts to the site and pay a $105 application fee. All prospective Harvard grad students must submit three letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose. They may need to provide a writing sample and a GRE score too.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Graduate and doctoral students pay Harvard $48,008 each year for the first two years they’re in a degree program. The university reduces this rate down to $12,484 for the remaining years the student spends working on a degree. Harvard offers guaranteed funding for PhD students that will cover the first five years they spend in a psychology program. Graduate students can get financial aid, including loans, work study, and grants.
The cost of undergrads comes to more than $69,000 a year, which includes tuition and fees of more than $51,000 a year. Students who submit a FAFSA that shows a combined family income of less than $56,000 a year receive financial aid packages that cover all of their estimated costs. Those who come from families who make up to $150,000 a year receive aid packages that cover all but 10% of their estimated costs. Harvard has a long history of providing students in need with financial aid packages that make college highly affordable. Not only do they qualify for government grants, but they can get grants and scholarships from the university too. Many of the students in the Harvard University psychology and counseling degree programs receive financial aid that covers most or all of their costs without including student loans.
Graduate study in the Department of Psychology is organized into four areas: clinical science, developmental, social psychology, and cognition, brain, and behavior. These areas consist of faculty members whose combined interests span a coherent program of advanced study and research in some subfield of psychology.
Students enrolled in the PhD program may follow one of two tracks. The first is the Common Curriculum, which embraces social psychology, cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, behavioral neuroscience, and perception. The second track is Clinical Science. Students may only be considered for Clinical Science during the graduate school application process.
Faculty in the Department of Psychology have a wide range of interests, and the themes of their research often span the boundaries of traditional areas in the field. Visit the Department of Psychology for a list of themes and associated faculty.
The verbal, quantitative, and analytical aptitude tests of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test are optional.
Admission to PhD programs in clinical psychology is very competitive. The primary concern is that students should have conducted some psychological research in order to know whether they find it interesting.
Harvard University Undergraduate Admission Plans
Before 2007, Harvard used to operate an Early Admission program that allowed students to apply early in the year than usual and receive their results early as well. This plan was criticized to pose a disadvantage to low-income and under-represented minority applicants.
Presently, Harvard University has the Early Action and Regular Decision program. The Early Action candidates make their application by November 1 and receive notification from the university by mid-December. On the other hand, the Regular Decision candidates are to make their application by January 1 and receive notification by Harvard by late March.
Whichever admission plan you choose, the application timeline will still allow you to compare the admission and financial aid offers of other colleges. This is because you have until May 1 to finally make your college choice.
Are you wondering if the application procedures are different for both the admission plan? No, you will have to submit the same documents for both kinds of applications at Harvard Univerity.
Harvard University Undergraduate Admission Requirements
So what do you need for your first-year application to Harvard University?
Whether you’re a prospective US student in the USA or an international student seeking admission to Harvard University, you must complete the Common Application, the Universal College Application, or the Coalition Application.
You will submit any of these along with the following documents for undergraduate admission to Harvard University:
- Harvard College Questions for the Common Application, Coalition Application, or the Universal College Application Harvard supplement
- $75 fee (or request a fee waiver)
- ACT or SAT (with or without writing)
- 2 SAT Subject Tests (recommended, except in the case of financial hardship)
- Optional: AP or other examination results
- School Report and high school transcript
- Two Teacher Report
- Midyear School Report (after your first semester grades)
- Final School Report (for admitted students only).
At the end of this section, you’ll find a button to view the full Harvard application requirements but let’s touch on the most difficult parts of the application.
Mid-year School Report
Harvard University needs your midyear school report to allow them to review your performance in the first half of your senior year coursework. This is different from your transcript and it will be completed by your school counselor or some other school official.
If you apply for Early Action admission to Harvard, you are not required to submit the midyear report by the November 1 deadline. However, if you applied to the Early Action and are deferred to Regular Decision, you will have to submit the midyear report and transcript in February or as soon as the midyear grades are available.
For international students studying the IB or the A-level curriculum, Harvard expects your school to send predicted grades, based on your current classroom work. Your school should also send the results of any internal or mock exams you have taken up to that point. But if your school does not issue official or predicted midyear grades for your final year of school, then there’s no need to submit the midyear report form.
Finally, if you have already graduated from high school, there is no need for you to submit the midyear report. Simply ask your school to send your final school report if you haven’t already done so.
Harvard University requires you to get two teacher evaluations. You are expected to ask two teachers in two different academic subjects to complete the Teacher’s Evaluation forms for you. These teachers must know you well. Meanwhile, you can submit additional letters of recommendation if you so wish. But that will be after you have submitted your application. You will get a personalized link to send to your recommenders.
Final School Report and Transcripts
Your final school report and transcript are necessary for your admission process at Harvard University. If you’ve been admitted into the university and you choose to accept the admission, you will need to send a Final School Report and transcript as soon as your final grades are available. That is, no later than July 1.
A school counselor or other school official will complete and send the Final School Report and transcript through Parchment/Docufide or Scrip-Safe International if your school has access to these submission options.
If you’re an IB student, you’ll have to send your final results as soon as they are released in mid-July. Meanwhile, for A level students, Harvard expects to see your final A levels results by mid-August.
Harvard requires you to submit either ACT or SAT – with the freedom of submitting with or without the writing component. So, if you choose to submit Subject Tests, for example, mathematics, choose only one mathematics test rather than two. In the same manner, if your first language is not English, a Subject Test in your first language may not be very helpful.
Additionally, only submit scores from tests taken in the past three years. Note also that while Harvard recommends two SAT Subject Tests, you may apply for admission without them if the cost of taking the tests will be a great financial burden on you or if you prefer to Harvard to consider your application without them.
Test Score Cutoffs
Are you wondering whether Harvard has cutoffs for their standardized tests or not? Well, Harvard has said that they do not have any score cutoffs. They also do not admit “by the numbers.” However, for the ACT, Harvard University will evaluate your highest composite score and any other score you choose to share with them. The school will also take into account your educational background when reviewing your scores.
harvard psychology admission requirements
Harvard University stated explicitly on their First-Year Application Requirement page that they have no stipulated cutoff marks for test scores. However, you don’t expect to score low in ACT or SAT and get admission to Harvard University.
So what ACT, SAT, and GPA grades depict a standard Harvard student?
According to Harvard’s Common Common Data for the admitted class of 2022, here are the successful applicants’ middle 50% range of SAT and ACT Scores, as well as average GPA:
- SAT Scores – 720-780 for reading and writing and 740-800 for math
- ACT Composite Score – 33-35
- High School GPA – 4.18
Prepscholar agrees with these figures and sums it up to give an average composite SAT score of 1510 on the 1600 scale. 25th percentile of students applying to Harvard score 1460 while 75th percentile of the students applying to Harvard score 1580. Scoring 1580 will be a boost to your application.
On the other hand, the average ACT score for Harvard is 34.
So, if you have an SAT score of 1510 or an ACT score of 34 and a GPA of 4.2, you have almost sealed your chances of gaining admission to Harvard. You just need to meet the other Harvard selection requirements.
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What are the Other Selection Requirements of Harvard University?
While Harvard University values academic excellence, being a high-performing student does not make you a “Typical Harvard Student.” In fact, there is no such thing as a typical Harvard Student.
This is because Harvard considers several other factors while selecting students for admission.
A comprehensive list of what Harvard looks for in their prospective student is:
- Growth and Potential: Includes high academic and personal potential.
- Interests and Activities: Includes the Intellectual, Extracurricular, and personal activities that interest you.
- Personal Character: Includes your leadership abilities self-confidence, sense of humor, and your concern for other people.
- Contribution to the Harvard Community: Includes what you have to give to the school, the community that houses the school, and your fellow Harvard students.
So you see, reaching high academic standards is just a part of the admission requirements of Harvard University. You must be a “whole student,” judging by the other requirements above, to pass the Harvard University admission process.
Harvard Early Decision Acceptance Rate
Moving on, based on the two admission plans (Early Action and Regular Decision) which we have discussed earlier, you should know that Havard accepts some students before others.
There is no other reason for accepting these sets of students first other than that they applied based on Early Action.
So, for the class of 2024, for which the Early Action application began November 1, 2009, Harvard rolled out notification of acceptance by December 12, 2019.
6,424 students applied to the university via the Early Action Program and out of this number, Harvard accepted 895. This gives an Early Action acceptance rate of 13.9% for Harvard University.
One interesting thing to note about the accepted students for the class of 2024 by Early Action is that 51.7% of them are women. This is a commendable growth from 51.2 of last year, and 47.2 of the last two years.
Harvard Graduate School Acceptance Rate
At this point, we would like to remind you that all we’ve been discussing so far is the acceptance rate and admission requirements for undergraduates. Harvard University has different acceptance rates and admission requirements for its graduate schools.
Presently, there are 12 graduate schools at Harvard University, including Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Law School, Havard Business School, and Havard Medical School.
The Havard Divinity School has an acceptance rate as high as 50% and the Havard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) has an acceptance rate of 2.7%. Additionally, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science accepted about 6% of the over 4,000 students that applied in the Fall of 2019.
You can also check out the full discussion on Harvard University Medical School Acceptance Rate
Harvard Ph.D. Acceptance Rate
Discussing the Harvard Ph.D. Acceptance rate is a bit tricky because it would involve getting data from all the 12 graduate schools of Havard concerning the proportion of Ph.D. students they accepted from their Ph.D. application pool.
This would prove a tedious work, however, we have a sample of acceptance rate for Ph.D. programs in core subjects and fields.
They are as follows:
- Economics (PhD) – 4-5%
- Health Policy (PhD) – 8-10%
- History (PhD) – 6%
- Sociology (PhD) – 5%
- Linguistics (PhD) – 5%
- Philosophy (PhD) – 5%
- English (PhD) – 2%
- Clinical Psychology (PhD) – 2%
- Political Science (PhD) – 9.2%
- Statistics (PhD) – 10%
- Physics (PhD) – 13%