Frequently Asked Questions | Harvard (2024)

There is no single academic path we expect all students to follow, but the strongest applicants take the most rigorous secondary school curricula available to them. An ideal four-year preparatory program includes four years of English, with extensive practice in writing; four years of math*; four years of science: biology, chemistry, physics, and an advanced course in one of these subjects; three years of history, including American and European history; and four years of one foreign language.

*​​Applicants to Harvard should excel in a challenging high school math sequence corresponding to their educational interests and aspirations. We recommend that applicants take four years of math courses in high school. Ideally, these math courses will focus on conceptual understanding, promote higher-order thinking, and encourage students to use mathematical reasoning to critically examine the world. Examples include rigorous and relevant courses in computer science, statistics and its subfields, mathematical modeling, calculus, and other advanced math subjects.

Students’ math records are viewed holistically, and no specific course is required. Specifically, calculus is not a requirement for admission to Harvard. We understand that applicants do not have the same opportunities and course offerings in their high schools. Moreover, many programs of study at Harvard do not require knowledge of calculus. We encourage applicants to take the courses that are available to them and aligned with their interests and goals.

Students intending to study engineering, computer science, physics, mathematics, statistics or other fields where calculus is needed may benefit from taking calculus in high school. However, students at Harvard can still pursue such fields by starting with one of our introductory calculus classes that has no high school calculus prerequisite. On balance, we encourage all students to master foundational mathematical material instead of rushing through any of the more advanced courses.

Frequently Asked Questions | Harvard (2024)


Can a 14 year old apply for Harvard? ›

Harvard College: This is the undergraduate program that is open to students aged 16 and up (or 14 if you're taking a post-high school program). You'll need to apply to Harvard College if you want to study engineering, humanities, social sciences, biological sciences, or arts.

What is the lowest GPA Harvard accepted? ›

A GPA between 3.50-3.74 makes Harvard a “reach” school. A GPA between 2.50-3.49 results in an extremely low chance of success. Anything below 2.50 means you won't be accepted.

Can I get into Harvard without a SAT? ›

The College will accept the SAT or ACT to meet the standardized testing requirement. In exceptional cases when those tests are not accessible, one of the following can meet the requirement: AP exam results. IB Actual or Predicted Scores.

Can I go to Harvard at 30? ›

There is not an age requirement for applying to Harvard, though applicants are expected to have some secondary school experience.

Does Harvard accept 15 year olds? ›

To register for credit or noncredit in courses with Harvard Extension School, students must meet the following age requirements: Noncredit and undergraduate credit. Harvard Extension School welcomes academically talented students ages 15 and above to register for noncredit or undergraduate credit.

Is a 2.8 GPA good? ›

Is a 2.8 GPA Good? Because a 2.8 is two-tenths of a point from a B average, a 2.8 GPA indicates several above-average grades and that your performance on homework and exams was up to par. With a 2.8 GPA, several colleges will consider your application, so you have a decent number of options to choose from.

Is a 2.5 GPA good? ›

The answer is No. The national average for a GPA is around 3.0 and a 2.5 GPA puts you below that average. A 2.5 GPA means that you've gotten only C-s and D+s in your high school classes so far. Since this GPA is significantly below a 2.0, it will make things very difficult for you in the college application process.

Is a 1.0 GPA good? ›

Is a 1.0 GPA Good? Considering the US national average GPA is a 3.0, a 1.0 is far below average. Generally, a 1.0 is considered a dismal GPA.

Does Harvard accept homeschoolers? ›

The answer is yes, Harvard does accept homeschooled students. They have a specific application process for homeschooled applicants. This process may seem daunting at first glance, but it is designed to give homeschoolers the same opportunity as traditional students.

Does Harvard accept GED? ›

Most U.S. colleges, including Ivy League schools like Harvard and Yale, accept an applicant's GED certificate, just as they do a high school diploma. GED diploma-holders can apply as first-year applicants or transfer students if they've already earned some college credits.

Does Harvard accept Duolingo? ›

International students who wish to study at Harvard, must meet the Harvard University admission requirements for MBA course are given below: An undergraduate degree or its equivalent. GMAT or GRE score. TOEFL / IELTS / PTE / Duolingo test score.

Can I go to Harvard if I'm poor? ›

Fortunately, Harvard has a robust financial aid program. Just like Princeton, if your family makes less than $75,000 a year, you can get a free college education, including room, board and fees.

Does Harvard look at freshman grades? ›

This means that while your freshman year grades are certainly reviewed, they care a lot about the improvement you've shown over time. It's not uncommon for students to have a bit of a rocky start as they transition into high school, and admissions officers are aware of this.

Does Harvard look at middle school grades? ›

Does Harvard Look at Middle School Grades? No, Harvard does not look at middle school grades. However, developing good study habits and work ethic during middle school can build the foundations for your high school marks and academic achievements that Harvard will look at.

Who was the 14 year old in Harvard? ›

A Harvard Freshman at 14. That's the story of Alexander M. McColl '52, the youngest enrollee at the University in recent years. McColl arrived at his room in Straus Hall last week from his Kalamazoo, Mich., residence and his sometime home in German town, Pa.

Does MIT accept 14 year olds? ›

MIT doesn't have any age requirements or limits. Each year we receive a small number of applications from young students who have outgrown their high school curriculum and feel ready for college.

What age do you join Harvard? ›

Undergraduate Programs (Harvard College): Most students apply to Harvard College, the undergraduate division of Harvard University, during their senior year of high school, typically at the age of 17 or 18.

How do I get my child into Harvard? ›

There is no formula for gaining admission to Harvard. Academic accomplishment in high school is important, but the Admissions Committee also considers many other criteria, such as community involvement, leadership and distinction in extracurricular activities, and personal qualities and character.

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