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Post by: Mikaela Allen, MTS 2019, HDS Office of Admissions Graduate Assistant

This article is part of our How to Apply series, answers common questions about the application process and includes these articles:

This post was originally written in 2018 but has been updated to reflect accurate application information in December 2020.


How many times can I apply to HDS?

You can apply to HDS a total of three times, regardless of the program or combination of programs. For example, this means that if you applied for the MTS once, and the MDiv twice, you may not reapply to any program even though you did not apply to the same program three times.

I began an application last year but did not submit it, does that count against the number of times allotted to apply for HDS? 

Nope! If you began an application but did not submit it, it does not count for one of the three times you are allowed to apply. It only counts if you submit your application. However, our office does keep files for three years, meaning that even if you started but did not submit an application within the last three years, but did send official test scores or transcripts to our office, we do still have those on file. If you have any questions about this, please do reach out to us at admissions@hds.harvard.edu.

How do I know what materials I need to resubmit if I am reapplying?

First, you’ll need to start a new application and review the Reapplication section of the instructions. This will explain how reapplication works and which materials can be carried over into your new application.

Will the fact that I was not accepted last time impact my chances of acceptance this time? What if I was previously accepted but could not come to HDS due to personal reasons?

If your application was previously denied and you decide to reapply, this will not impact your new application. HDS is a very competitive school, meaning that fantastic applicants are denied admission each year. Even though you should consider working to strengthen your application between applications, rejection does not necessarily suggest that you were not a competitive applicant.

In the case that you were previously accepted to HDS but rejected our offer for personal reasons, you might consider discussing this briefly within your SOP to show the admissions committee that you are now prepared to attend HDS if you are admitted to the program.


That wraps up our “How to Apply” series! We hope that these posts have been helpful for you as you prepare your applications. If you have any further questions, please do reach out to us at admissions@hds.harvard.edu.