Harvard University Acceptance Rate 2023

Harvard University is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is also one of the Ivy League Universities.

Harvard University was founded in 1636 and was firstly called Harvard College. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and among other prestigious universities in the world.

Harvard consistently ranks as one of the top universities in the world. Its prestige and history date back to over hundreds of years of existence.

Getting admitted to Harvard University can be very difficult, and in the last few years, acceptance rates have decreased even more. While competition is strong, it’s not impossible for you to get accepted.

It’s important to know the acceptance rate of whatever University you’re applying to. This breeds a familiarity between the applicant and the expectations of the school.

Find out the acceptance rate of Harvard University, how you can stand out from the competition, and what it takes to get into Harvard University, in this article.

Harvard University acceptance rate

The acceptance rate for Harvard University is 5% and early acceptance of 13.9%.

Harvard University is one of the few most selective schools in the world. Its high standard is the reason for the low acceptance rate.

Harvard University schools

Harvard University consists of 12 schools and the Harvard Radcliffe Institute.

The 12 schools include:

Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is a comprehensive community of excellent problem-solvers using science to address the most important and pressing issues of the world.

Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is giving 21st-century education a new narrative by being at the forefront of learning, teaching, research, and discovery.

Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences comprises the following four schools:

  1. Harvard College,
  2. The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences,
  3. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and
  4. The Harvard Extension School.

Harvard School of Dental Medicine

Harvard School of Dental Medicine is creating global leaders dedicated to improving lives by removing the differences between oral and generalized health.

Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School educates leaders who want to invent the future of business and make a difference in the world.

Harvard Graduate School of Design

Harvard Graduate School of Design encourages its students to create a strong, fair, and beautiful world through excellent designs, research, and scholarship.

Harvard Divinity School

Harvard Divinity School is a non-discriminating school of religious and theological studies that prepares students to build a better world through leadership in religious, governmental, and service organizations.

Harvard Graduate School of Education

Harvard Graduate School of Education is working to improve opportunities for all learners by putting powerful ideas around education into practice.

Harvard Kennedy School

Harvard Kennedy School is empowering students to improve public policy and leadership so that everyone can live in a society that is more safe, free, fair, and prosperous.

Harvard Law School

Harvard Law School students pursue the highest ideals of law and justice through different approaches and methods with a focus on public service.

Harvard Medical School

Harvard Medical School produces leaders and compassionate caregivers who are dedicated to removing suffering and improving health and well-being for all people.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health brings together dedicated and Science excellent experts to educate new generations of global health leaders and produce powerful ideas that improve the lives and health of people everywhere.

Harvard Radcliffe Institute

Harvard Radcliffe Institute is a bank of ideas that brings together a diversity of voices to engage with issues that can only be fully understood by exploring research.

SAT and ACT requirements for Harvard University

Harvard University places so much importance on grades. Therefore, having really good grades before applying is very important.

SAT RANGE: 1460 and 1580

ACT RANGE: 33 and 35

One-quarter of admitted applicants achieved scores above these ranges and one quarter scored below these ranges. Although Harvard claims that there is no minimum ACT score but if you apply with a 29 or lower, you’ll have more difficulty getting in.

Harvard University admission requirements

  • Letters of recommendation
  • High School GPA
  • High School Rank
  • Application requirements (usually stated by the school itself)

Harvard University transfer student requirements

If you are a transfer student, you must complete an application alongside the required documents and some special forms for transfers. This includes:

  • Transfer application from the Common Application, Universal Application, or Coalition Application.
  • Supplement for the Common Application
  • $75 fee or a fee waiver
  • ACT or SAT 
  • College/Dean’s/Registrar’s report
  • College Transcript
  • College Instructor Recommendation 
  • High School Transcript

Harvard University average GPA required

The average GPA required for Harvard University is 4.18. Although, many admitted students have an unweighted average of 4.18 and above. So, you might need to have at least a 4.2 GPA to be seriously evaluated.

Harvard University Majors

The most popular majors at Harvard University include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Biological Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Computer and Information Science
  • History
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Engineering
  • Literature and English
  • Visual and Performing Arts

What qualities does Harvard seek in a candidate?

In a prestigious University like Harvard, grades are not enough to impress admission authorities.

Harvard University loves students who take responsibility like leaders and have made an impact in their communities.

Candidates who have made a difference through community services, volunteer, and charity work stand a higher chance of being admitted.

Students can show these traits in their additional essays and their extracurricular activities.

With this past year’s record of low acceptance rate, it’s clear gaining admission to Harvard is increasingly more difficult. When Harvard admissions officers review applications, they look for the following qualities and characteristics:

  • Leadership
  • Community service involvement
  • Solution-oriented
  • Passionate
  • Self-awareness
  • Visionary
  • Integrity

Rather than talking about what you think they want to hear, be yourself, embrace your interests, and be passionate about your future dreams. You will stand out because of your authenticity and honesty.

Harvard University Scholarship Application process

Harvard University accepts the Common Application, the Universal College Application, and the Coalition Application. Not to worry, each of them is treated equally by the Admissions Committee.

If you use the Common Application, you must submit your application before your supporting materials can be released to a college.

Until you submit your application sections, no part of your application will be transmitted to the Harvard Admissions Office. After you have sent your application, you will receive an acknowledgment of receipt from Harvard University within two weeks of receiving your application.

Tips to increase your chances of getting into Harvard University

Apply Early:

Take advantage of Early Action and apply to Harvard University early. Early Action applications are non-binding but offer you a higher chance of acceptance.

Be an all-rounder in high school:

Explore and apply your passions to your areas of strength. But remember, Admission Officers are always looking for impactful activities. Innovate and create your projects, measure the impact and mentor future leaders.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Harvard University accept international students?

Yes, Harvard University accepts international students who meet their requirements and prove to be academically sound.

Must students live on campus at Harvard University?

Every fresh student of Harvard University must live on Campus but getting into your second year, you can decide to or not to live on campus.

Can transfer students receive an application waiver fee?

Yes, you can request a fee waiver directly through the Common Application or the Coalition application if you meet their respective requirements.

Do I have to take TOEFL?

Strong knowledge of English is required for a successful study at Harvard University, including the ability to understand and express thoughts clearly. First-year and transfer applicants are not required to take an English proficiency test.

What is special about Harvard University?

Harvard students have access to courses, research institutes, and faculty mentors from all parts of Harvard. With world-renowned faculty and state-of-the-art resources, it’s the perfect place to pursue your favorite and still-to-be-discovered academic interests.

Can I go to Harvard at any age?

To become a student of Harvard, you must be 18 years of age by the time you’re registering.

Is Harvard University the best in the world?

According to ranking, Harvard is the second best university in the world.


Getting admitted into the prestigious Harvard University may be difficult but not impossible. Despite the low acceptance rate, students are still being admitted and you can be one of them.

Harvard University is the oldest and most popular among the Ivy League schools, no wonder there are different criteria their students must meet.

If you have a 4.18 or more GPA and also meet all the necessary requirements, you should consider applying to Harvard University. Harvard University offers amazing and good opportunities for its intending students.

If you want to attend a prestigious and popular university, going to Harvard might be your option. Also, if you want to challenge yourself academically, you should consider applying to Harvard University.

Did you find this helpful?

Drop a comment if you found this article helpful. You can also find up-to-date acceptance rates for all Universities and Colleges in the USA on our study abroad page.