First, take comfort in knowing that the application process is now out of your hands and that you have done what you needed to do to craft a strong application. In addition to celebrating the fact that you’ve submitted your graduate school application, here are some other things you can do while you wait for decisions to come out:
Apply for Financial Aid: If you haven’t already, be sure to apply for financial aid. Look out for an email from the financial aid office with instructions on how to apply. Although you do not need to apply to for financial aid to be considered for merit-based aid, you do need to apply for financial aid to be considered for need-based aid. About 90 percent of students receive some form of institutional grant assistance, and the vast majority of that is need-based aid, so we strongly encourage all HDS applicants to apply for financial aid even if they feel that they may not qualify for need-based aid.
Keep Up with Admissions Office: Our Admissions Team will be hosting various panels and presentations in the coming months to help answer any questions you may still have. Keep an eye out for our emails and follow us on Instagram (@harvarddivinity). Also, feel free to look through previously recorded panels here and browse the student crafted content on our Admissions Blog.
Start Planning: If you find out you have been accepted to HDS when decisions are released in mid-March, you’ll have about a month to decide whether to accept the admissions offer. This means that as you wait for a decision you should think seriously about what attending HDS will mean for you and any family that you may bring with you. If you haven’t already, have a conversation with your spouse, family, etc. about potential relocation and what that would look like. Most students do not secure housing until the summer before they begin their program, but you can start to consider what type of housing makes sense for you. While most students choose to live off campus, some students opt for Harvard University housing. The Graduate Commons Program, the Center for the Study of World Religion, and Cronkhite Center are all potential places to find on campus housing. Think about whether being close to campus is important to you. After decisions are released, you’ll receive more details regarding housing options.
Consider SLP: HDS offers a Summer Language Program (SLP) which is an 8-week intensive program in language study designed for theological and religious studies and taught with a focus on translation and reading comprehension. This summer, SLP will be conducted entirely online. You can view the languages offered here. Take time to read about this program and determine if it something you would like to participate in.
Consider who you’d want as your advisor: If you are admitted and chose to accept your offer, you will be asked to choose an advisor. Take time to look through faculty profiles and familiarize yourself with their research and areas of expertise. Make a list of the top two or three faculty members who would best assist you in meeting your academic and professional goals.