Harvard University Acceptance Rate, Admissions, SAT/ACT, GPA, Tuition

This article contains precise and comprehensive information about the acceptance rate at Harvard University, its admission process, programs, tuition, and lots more.

Harvard University is a prestigious and popular institution in the world. Today, whenever the word “Harvard University” is mentioned, people always associate the name with prestige, excellence, uniqueness, and state-of-the-art education. 

There is a huge admiration for Harvard globally and thousands are eager to be freshmen at the university. However, getting into Harvard is not easy as the university is among the Ivy elites known for single-digit acceptance rates.

If you want to find out about the acceptance rate at Harvard, application requirements for both domestic and international students, application deadline, and much more. Kindly read this article for facts and statistics regarding the aforementioned. 

Harvard University Acceptance Rate 

About Harvard University 

Harvard University is a private research institute located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Harvard is among the Ivy League Schools in the New England region of the United States.

Harvard University was established in 1636 and it is the oldest institution in the United States and North America. Harvard Cambridge campus sits on 209 acres, with the other two main campuses located in the Boston area. 

As of the fall of 2020, the total student enrolment at Harvard is 19,218 which comprises 5,222 undergraduates and 13,996 postgraduates. 

Harvard currently has 14 schools that comprise an undergraduate school, 12 professional and graduate schools, and the Harvard Radcliffe Institute.

The world’s largest academic system is the Harvard Library which consists of 79 individual libraries. 

Harvard University is one of the best institutions with global recognition and admiration. The university has produced some of the past U.S presidents, Noble Prize winners, Academy Award winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, Olympic Medalists, and several billionaires. 

Harvard University Acceptance Rate

Harvard University is one of the Ivy elites and getting into an Ivy School is very competitive. By all standards, Harvard University lives up to the expectations of providing nothing but the best education. Now, regarding Harvard’s high prestige and values, It will be out of line if the university admission process were less competitive. 

Ivy League schools are highly selective in their admission process and Harvard University is not exceptional. 

The acceptance rate at Harvard University as of the fall of 2020 is 5%. And this simply means, that if 100 applications were received at the university, only 5 of those applications will be accepted.

Arguably, this makes Harvard the most selective institution among the Ivy Leagues’. 

Apart from the overall acceptance rate at Harvard University, let us look at other admit rates at the institute.

  • The acceptance rate for in-state students: 4.6%
  • The acceptance rate for out of state students: 6%
  • Acceptance rate for transfer students: 0.9%-1.5%
  • The acceptance rate for international students: 2.6%-4.6% 
  • Harvard Restricted Early Action (REA) acceptance rate: 7.9%
  • Harvard Early Decision (ED) acceptance rate: 7.9%
  • The acceptance rate for Regular Decision: 2.6%-4.6%

Also Read: How to Get Into Harvard Medical School | Acceptance Rate

Harvard University Acceptance Rate by Major

Harvard University’s selectivity also applies to some of its popular majors. The hardest majors to get into Harvard are in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. 

Here is a holistic statistics of Harvard University acceptance rate by major.

MajorsAcceptance Rate
Biological Sciences          18.3%  
Computer Science          8.1%  
Engineering          10%  
Humanities           15.3%  
Math     6.0%  
Physical Sciences            7.6%  
Social Sciences            28.1%  

However, since Harvard is extremely competitive to get into, what could be the requirements for GPA, SAT, and ACT?

GPA Requirements at Harvard University

Every university has its GPA requirements considering its acceptance rate and admission process.

Harvard University requires an average GPA of 4.18.

The GPA requirements at Harvard demand that you be at the top of your class in high school.

SAT Requirements at Harvard

  • SAT Range: 1460-1580.
  • SAT Reading: 720-780
  • SAT Math: 740-800
  • Students Submitting SAT: 72%

ACT requirements at Harvard 

  • ACT Range: 33-35
  • ACT English: 35-36
  • ACT Math: 31-35
  • ACT Writing: 8-10
  • Students Submitting ACT: 45%

Why Study At Harvard University?

Harvard University is a remarkable institution with a long-lasting reputation for providing the best in education and research.

Students enrolled at Harvard gain access to courses, and research facilities where they receive insights to nurture a career in their respective majors.

At Harvard University, you will receive the best experiences and be mentored by professionals in your area of specialization. 

The Harvard community embraces you with an atmosphere of serenity and rich heritage. The residential system at Harvard provides an opportunity for interaction between students and faculty members.

You can also decide to join over 450 student organizations or get engaged with over 42 university sports available.

Also Read: Free Online Courses at Harvard University with Certificate

Application Requirements at Harvard University 

Here are the application requirements for first-year and transfer applicants.

Application Requirements for First-Year Students

Harvard University accepts both the Common Application and the Coalition Application. The university admission committee accepts both forms of application and it is highly recommended that you submit your materials on time for better application consideration.

If you are submitting your application via the Common Application, you must submit your application first, in other for your materials to be sent to a college.

The application fee at Harvard is $75 and you can pay the fee online through the websites of Common Application or Coalition Application.

School Report & Recommendations from Teachers

The school report and recommendations from teachers include

Mid-year school report

Transcripts omit some of the senior-year course grades and for this reason, Harvard requires your mid-year school report to evaluate your chances of admission.

Your mid-year school report must be completed by the counsellors or other officials at your school.

Teachers Evaluation 

Have two teachers from different subjects fill and complete the Teachers Evaluation forms.

Final School Report and Transcripts 

Harvard requires all freshmen who want to enrol to send a final school report and transcripts once they receive their final grades. The final school report and transcripts must be sent by the counsellor or officials at your school.

Standardized Test Scores (SAT/ACT)

The application process at Harvard does not require an SAT, but you can submit it if there is a need for it. If you decide to submit your standardized tests, it is highly recommended that you chose only one mathematics test rather than two.

The College Board at Harvard does not offer Subject Tests, as they are not part of the requirements for application.

Application Deadline at Harvard University

Application Type  Deadline
Regular Decision1st January  
Early Decision1st November  
Financial Aid Application  1st February  

Application Requirements for International Students

Harvard University accepts thousands of applications each year outside the United States borders. Although the acceptance rate at Harvard University is extremely selective, it is not a discouragement for many international students.

The application process at Harvard is the same for both domestic and international students. Harvard University has no preferential treatment for any applicant.

Standardized Tests

If you decide to submit standardized tests, Harvard University accepts all standardized test scores (SAT or ACT).

English Language Proficiency

Harvard University requires adequate knowledge of English to enhance your chances of admission. However, the university does not require an English proficiency exam such as IETLS, PTE, etc. You can submit scores if you chose to.

TestMinimum Score
Source: https://collegedunia.com/

International Interviews 

Harvard may not be able to interview all applicants and this does not affect your chances of admission.

For more information about things to expect after your application, visit the official website of Harvard via the link below.

Translated Materials

If you are submitting the translated version of your academic report (transcripts, letters of recommendations, etc.) You should not translate them by yourself either do you need to hire a professional translator.

Harvard University accepts translated letters by any qualified English teacher and the name of the translator should be included in all translations.

Also Read: 5 Universities in Cambridge Massachusetts MA

Application Process for International Students at Harvard

For a successful application as an international student, here are the steps to follow sequentially.

  • Step 1: Visit the Common Application or Coalition Application portal
  • Step 2: Create an account in either the Common Application or Coalition Application
  • Step 3: Submit your supporting materials
  • Step 4: Submit English proficiency scores (IELTS, TOEFL, etc.) These English proficiency test scores are optional anywhere.

Admission Statistics at Harvard University 

Harvard University receives thousands of applications every year from domestic and international students. The admission process at Harvard is the most selective among the Ivy elites in the New England region. 

To better understand the selectivity at Harvard, here are the statistics for admission.

  • Applicants: 57,786
  • Admitted: 2,320
  • Admitted from the waiting list: 0

Who Gets Into Harvard?

The Harvard community is diverse and it accommodates a large number of individuals interacting and sharing ideas from different backgrounds.

Out of the thousand applications received at Harvard, those accepted are from the New England region and other parts of the United States and beyond.

Here is a demographics statistics for the class of 2025.

  • New England States- 16.6%
  • Mid Atlantic States- 20.7%
  • Midwestern States- 9.9%
  • Southern States- 18.3%
  • Central States- 1.8%
  • Pacific States- 13.2%
  • Mountain States- 3.4%
  • International- 15.6%
  • Territories- 0.5% 


  • Asians American- 25.9%
  • Hispanic or Latino- 12.5%
  • African American- 15.9%
  • Native American- 1.1%
  • Native Hawaiian- 0.5%

Harvard University Tuition

Attending any of the Ivy Leagues School is quite expensive as tuition and expenses could be above $70,000. 

Here is the cost of attendance at Harvard University for 2021-2022.

Subtotal – billed costs$74,528
Estimated personal expenses
(including $800-$1,000 for books)
Estimated travel costs$0-$4,150
Total billed and unbilled costs$78,028-$82,178
Source: https://www.harvard.edu/

Harvard University Rankings 

Harvard University is a recognized and reputable higher learning institute in the world. Currently, Harvard occupies notable positions in national and state rankings. 

National Rankings

  • 1st in Best Colleges for Biology in America
  • 1st in Best Colleges for Political Science in America 
  • 1st in Best Colleges for Math in America 
  • 1st in Best Colleges for Chemistry in America 
  • 1st in Best Colleges for Economics in America 
  • 2nd in Hardest College to Get Into America 
  • 2nd in Too Private Universities in America 

State Rankings 

  • 1st in Best College Campuses in Massachusetts 
  • 1st in Colleges with the Best Professor in Massachusetts 
  • 1st in Colleges with the Best Student Life in Massachusetts 
  • 1st in Hardest College to Get Into in Massachusetts 
  • 1st in Best Colleges for Student Athletes in Massachusetts 

Academic Life at Harvard University

Harvard University is selective in its acceptance rate with over 50,000 applications and only about 2,300 of those applications were accepted.

With such selectivity, the student-faculty ratio at Harvard is 5-to-1. According to Usnews, 76.3% of classes at Harvard have fewer than 20 students.

Is Harvard University a Good School? 

Harvard University is one of the best institutions in the world to attend. The University consists of an undergraduate school, 12 professional schools, and the Harvard Radcliffe Institute offering over 3,000 courses.

Harvard has a global admiration because of its standard of providing the best education through a state of the art learning and research facilities. 

The Harvard community is an atmosphere of serenity filled with a rich heritage, and wonderful experiences.

Also Read: What Are The 12 Ivy League Schools and Their Ranking?

Is It Hard to Get Into Harvard University?

As one of the Ivy League Institutes, Harvard is extremely competitive. The acceptance rate at Harvard University is 5% which is highly selective.

The required GPA is 4.18 on an average, and this simply explains how difficult getting into Harvard can be. 

If you want to attend Harvard University, you must be top of your class in high school with a GPA of 4.2 or above to increase your chances of competing with thousands of applicants.

Harvard University Contact Address

  • School Address: Harvard University, Massachusetts Hall Cambridge, MA 02138

Frequently Asked Questions about Harvard University

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about Harvard University and its acceptance rate.

Do normal students get into Harvard? 

Harvard University is very selective in its admission process. To get into Harvard, you will need a GPA above the required average of 4.18.

What is the minimum average to get into Harvard?

The required GPA at Harvard is 4.18 as the minimum average. To stand a chance of competing with other applicants, you will need a GPA above 4.18.

However, if your GPA is lower than the required average at Harvard, you will need higher Standardized Tests (SAT/ACT) scores to compensate for your low GPA.


Harvard University is a household name in global academics. A fancy school with prestige and excellence. 

The acceptance rate at Harvard University is extremely competitive and only the best students from high school or any other learning institute are admitted into the institution.

For a better opportunity of getting into Harvard, your best chances are with a GPA above 4.1 and higher standardized test (SAT/ACT) scores.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like