Transfer Application for Fall 2013 Entrance
Harvard College Transfer Admissions • 2012–2013
For Entrance in Fall 2013 • Transfer Application Materials
Thank you for your interest in Harvard College. We know there are many fine colleges and universities from
which to choose, and we are happy that you are looking closely at the exciting opportunities available here in
Our admissions procedures are designed to give you maximum freedom and flexibility to present yourself in your own
words. We hope you will respond in whatever ways you feel will best demonstrate your interests and accomplishments.
Here are some recommendations we hope you will consider as you complete your application.
• Keep copies of all materials submitted and ask your teachers to do the same. Materials can be lost in the mail.
• Supplementary materials or portfolios may be submitted, but you should do so only if you have an unusual talent. Such
materials are neither required nor expected as the required components of the application provide ample basis on which
to make our decisions. Because we cannot return materials, applicants should send only duplicates.
The answers to many questions about admissions requirements and deadlines are included on the following pages. For an
expanded list of frequently asked questions with their answers, please consult the FAQ index on our website: www.admis-
Each admission decision is made without any regard for a candidate’s financial need — a policy we call “need-blind admis-
sion.” Indeed the Admissions Committee may respond favorably to evidence that a candidate has overcome significant ob-
stacles, financial or otherwise. Once an applicant is admitted, we create an individual financial aid package that will enable
that student’s family to meet the cost of attendance. Providing financial access to Harvard for every admitted student is one
of our highest priorities.
We hope you will take every opportunity to explore whether Harvard might be a good match for your academic, extra-
curricular and personal interests. Please let us know if we can be of assistance to you during the admissions process. Best
wishes for a happy and productive year.
Christine G. Mascolo
Director of Transfer Admissions
William R. Fitzsimmons Marlyn McGrath Sarah C. Donahue
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Director of Admissions Director of Financial Aid
For Entrance in Fall 2013 • Transfer Application Materials
The Committee on Transfer Admissions welcomes inquiries from This year the Committee will admit a small number of transfer students
all qualified students interested in transferring to Harvard College. who present a clearly defined academic need for transfer, supported
Over the years we have found that transfer students contribute by both a proven record of achievement at the college level and strong
a great deal to college life here as well as gain much from their faculty recommendations.
experience. We hope the information that follows will enable you
Candidates for transfer admission will be considered for Fall 2013
to give careful consideration to Harvard as you make plans to
continue your education.
Criteria for Eligibility as a Transfer Applicant Forty-six fields of concentration are offered by departments and
committees. Within fields, there are various options for specialization. It
Once a student has completed one year of full-time study at a is also possible to combine major fields, such as government with history
single college or university, he or she ordinarily may apply to or economics, classics with allied fields, or mathematics with philosophy.
Harvard College only as a transfer student. Further guidelines The following is a list of fields for specialization.
for eligibility are as follows:
Afro-American Studies History of Art and Architecture
• By the anticipated date of matriculation, applicants must have Anthropology History of Science
satisfactorily completed a minimum of one continuous academic Applied Mathematics Human Evolutionary Biology
year in a degree program at one college, and not more than two Astronomy and Astrophysics Linguistics
academic years of full-time college study. Biochemical Sciences Literature
• A minimum of sixteen Harvard courses—typically four terms— Biology Mathematics
are required for Harvard’s A.B. or S.B. degree. Chemical and Physical Biology Molecular and Cellular Biology
• Students who have completed more than two years of college study Chemistry and Physics Near Eastern Languages and
with transferable credit, and those who have earned a bachelor’s Classics Civilizations
degree, are not eligible to transfer to Harvard College. Students Comparative Study of Religion Neurobiology
may not choose to relinquish academic credits, or a degree, in Computer Science Organismic and Evolutionary
order to apply for transfer admission. Earth and Planetary Sciences Biology
• Students who will have completed less than one full-time East Asian Studies Philosophy
continuous year of study at one college by the anticipated date of Economics Physics
matriculation at Harvard should apply as freshman candidates. Engineering Sciences Psychology
(All such applicants, if admitted, will matriculate as regular English and American Literature Romance Languages and
freshmen without any transfer credit.) and Language Literatures
Environmental Science and Slavic Languages and Literatures
• Students who have completed one full-time year of college in a Public Policy Social Studies
regular degree program in lieu of their senior year of high school Folklore and Mythology Sociology
(under an early admission plan) should contact the Admissions Germanic Languages and South Asian Studies
Office before submitting an application. Literatures Statistics
Government Visual and Environmental
• Students are eligible to transfer only from a liberal arts curriculum
that is similar to Harvard’s. Candidates whose education has been
History and Literature Women, Gender and Sexuality
in a vocational, professional, technical or performance program
will not ordinarily qualify for transfer admission. The undergraduate curriculum does not include professional or
vocational concentrations, such as accounting, advertising, agriculture,
The Visiting Undergraduate Program, described on the last page,
architecture, business, commercial art, communications, criminal justice,
may be of interest to students too advanced to qualify for transfer.
education, journalism, law or nursing.
Academic Program While concentrating in a particular field, undergraduates also fulfill
requirements in the General Education Program. In doing so, each
student will select one course from each of the following eight areas:
Transfer students are admitted to the same program of study for the
Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding, Culture and Belief, Empirical
A.B. or S.B. degree as those who enter Harvard as freshmen. They
Reasoning, Ethical Reasoning, Science of Living Systems, Science of the
are expected to undertake a balanced program of study, devoting
Physical Universe, Societites of the World, and the U.S. in the World.
approximately one-half of their time to specialized courses in
their concentration (i.e. major) and the remaining time to General All undergraduates must also demonstrate a level of proficiency in
Education courses and electives. expository writing and a foreign language.
Harvard College offers study in a wide variety of liberal arts and In the case of transfer students,
sciences as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering.
Transfer students entering as juniors must declare a field of • Proficiency in expository writing is evaluated on an individual basis
specialization immediately upon matriculation. Entering sophomores after admission.
will declare their field at the end of their first term here. Although the • The foreign language requirement is met by one of the following
choice of concentration is not irrevocable, it is important for students criteria: obtaining a score of 700 or higher on a College Board Subject
to begin to work in their field as soon as possible, as doing advanced Test, receiving a 5 on an A.P. exam, a 7 in an IB HL course, passing a
work depends on a strong, early foundation. Harvard placement test or by completing a full year course in a
For Entrance in Fall 2013 • Transfer Application Materials
foreign language. Any foreign language, ancient or modern, in • summer school courses, except for
which Harvard can arrange an examination is acceptable. The
those at the transfer student’s current college or university
language requirement is ordinarily waived for any student whose
native language is not English and who is proficient both in that courses at Harvard Summer School.
language and in English.
• The General Education requirement for transfer students will be Evaluation of Candidates
reduced by one course per term of Harvard College credit granted
for prior coursework. For detailed information, please visit www. In evaluating transfer candidates, the Committee seeks students
generaleducation.fas.harvard.edu. with clearly developing academic interests that can be well served by
The academic year at Harvard includes a fall and a spring term. The Harvard. Students preparing to apply as transfer candidates should take
fall term runs from late August to mid-December, and the spring challenging, liberal arts programs, including mathematics, science, and
term runs from early February to late May. In evaluating a transfer a foreign language, if they are not already proficient in these areas. The
application, the Committee pays particular attention to how well Committee also looks for strong preparation in the student’s expected
the applicant’s academic aspirations can be satisfied by courses and field of specialization.
programs of study here and to whether degree requirements can be In regard to standardized test scores, most successful applicants have
met in the two or three years that the student will have at Harvard. verbal and math SAT I scores of 600 or above and, for foreign applicants
For detailed information about course offerings, consult the who submit a TOEFL result, a score of 600 or above on the paper test, or
undergraduate catalogue “Courses of Instruction” available online at: 250 or above on the computer test, or 100 or better on the iBT version.
www.registrar.fas.harvard.edu/fasro/courses/. For those using the ACT as an alternative, the composite score is usually
30 or above.
Though good grades, strong programs, and test scores are important in
Transfer of Credit determining the academic potential of a candidate, the Committee also
Credit for work done at another college or university is granted to looks beyond these for such qualities as creativity, resiliency, tenacity,
each admitted transfer student on an individual basis after evaluation intellectual curiosity, and independent thinking.
by the Registrar’s Office. The maximum amount of credit allowed any Other factors weighed in the evaluation of transfer candidates include
transfer student is 8.0 full (year-long) courses, i.e., half of the 16.0 full significant non-academic talents and personal qualities such as a
courses required for the A.B. or S.B. degrees, or the equivalent of two capacity for leadership, energy, enthusiasm, motivation and a sense of
full years of academic work. responsibility.
Ordinarily, credit is granted for any course taken in a full-time,
Harvard has very few places available for sophomore and junior transfers
daytime program of study at an accredited degree-granting
and the number of well-qualified candidates far exceeds the number of
institution provided that the student:
students admitted. It is therefore recommended that students who wish
• completed at least one full academic year of undergraduate study to transfer from their current colleges explore a variety of options.
at one college
• took courses comparable to those given at Harvard Housing
• earned grades of “C” (or the equivalent) or better. All admitted transfer students are immediately eligible to live in
the Harvard Houses. In this way they share fully in the residential
Ordinarily, credit is not granted for:
undergraduate experience of the College.
• online or distance education courses
• night or extension courses, or courses taken on a part-time basis Financial Aid
or for less than a full academic year
If you are applying for financial assistance, the financial aid timetable is
• technical or vocational courses such as journalism, law, as follows:
agriculture, nursing, business, communications or courses taken in
military service Immediately: Please review the financial aid application instructions
on the Prosepctive Students section of our website at http://www.fao.fas.
• work done prior to admission in an isolated term, semester or harvard.edu. As a prosepctive transfer student, the deadlines are the same
quarter at another college, unless the college from which the as those listed on the website for frehsman candidates.
student is transferring has granted credit for that work
February 1: Submit the initial components of your financial aid
• credit gained by accelerating in an academic year at another
application following the instructions found on the Prospective Students
section of our website. We realize that you may not have access to your
• College Level Placement Exam (CLEP), Advanced Placement final 2011 tax information by this deadline and ask that you use the best
Exam (AP) results, or any credit earned by examination, even available estimated figures.
when credited to the student’s degree by the college or university
from which he or she wishes to transfer. Please note that credit is March 1: Final deadline for all financial aid application materials,
awarded to transfer students only for course work completed in including tax and income documentation.
college or university Transfer students are eligible to apply for financial aid, which is awarded
in the form of scholarships and jobs to students demonstrating need on
the basis of family financial circumstances.
For Entrance in Fall 2013 • Transfer Application Instructions
Please read all the instructions and information carefully before filling out the Application for Transfer and the Harvard Transfer
Applying to Harvard Official Transcripts—Secondary School
An official high school transcript and official test results are required. In
Harvard is accepting transfer applicants for Fall 2013 admission. The order to be considered official, test scores – ACT, SAT I and (optional)
application deadline for admission is March 1. The Committee on SAT II: Subject – must be electronically submitted to us by the American
Transfer Admissions meets in May to consider candidates and admit College Testing Program or by the College Board.
for the fall term.
If you were enrolled in an international rather than U.S. secondary
Below is a description of the forms and documents required to school system, a certified copy of the appropriate exam results must be
apply for transfer admission. You may apply online using the sent, e.g., A levels, Abitur, I.B., French Baccalaureate. All reports must
transfer application forms available from the Common Application be in English or accompanied by an official translation. Please attach an
(www.commonapp.org), the Universal Application (www. explanation of the marking system if it differs from the American system.
universalcollegeapp.com) or you may download the forms from our Do not send the original certification of your international test results.
As soon as you decide to apply, carefully complete and return both
the Application for Transfer and the Harvard Transfer Application Official transcripts of all completed work from each post-secondary
Supplement with a check or money order for $75 (U.S.) payable institution you have attended must be sent to the Office of Transfer
to Harvard University. You may also pay the fee online when Admissions. For admissions purposes, transcripts issued directly to
submitting your application through the Common Application or the you, and so marked, are acceptable, but photocopies are not. However,
Universal College Application websites. The application fee is non- admitted students will be required to submit official transcripts directly
refundable. To qualify for a fee waiver, you must submit a letter from from the Registrar(s) or Dean(s) of every post-secondary institution you
your college dean, counselor, or financial aid advisor recommending have attended. Students enrolled in international universities should
a waiver on your behalf. provide an official English translation and send an explanation of the
marking system. Transcripts that have been requested before the deadline
will be accepted even if received after the deadline.
Application Requirements and Timetable
All transfer applicants are required to have the results of either the SAT
I or the ACT (with Writing) reported directly from the College Board
Please send: or the American College Testing Program, respectively, even if you have
applied previously for freshman admission. Applicants are encouraged,
• The College Transfer Application
but not required, to submit the results of three College Board SAT II:
• The Harvard Transfer Application Supplement Subject Tests. In addition, if your native language is not English, you are
required to submit results from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign
• The $75 application fee or a fee waiver request
Without your transfer application, we cannot open your admission Please request that all scores be forwarded to the Office of Undergraduate
file or track supporting documents for your application. Once we Admissions (CB Code 3434) (ACT Code 1840). Do not request “Rush
have received your application and supplement, the Admissions Reports.” Please present recent scores; standardized test results more
Office will send you a confirmation notice between March 15 and than three years old may not represent your ability. For information
April 5. No confirmation messages will be sent prior to March 1. about dates, times and exam centers for all SAT tests, contact The College
Board at 866-756-7346 or online at www.collegeboard.com. The American
March 1: Final deadline for all application materials. College Testing Program can be reached at (319) 337-1270 or online at
www.act.org. College Board tests taken on or before the January testing
Early June 2013: Decision letters mailed.
date and ACT tests taken by February will reach us in time.
Mid-June, 2013: Reply date for admitted students. No deposit Professor Recommendation Forms
Please submit two recommendation forms from faculty members or
teaching assistants who have taught you and are familiar with your work.
If you have chosen a field of study, it is helpful to have at least one letter
Submitting an Application from a professor in that field.
We encourage you to apply online using the Common Application
The University’s Official Report
or the Universal College Application, but you may also download
the forms from our website and submit them to us by mail. If you This report should be submitted by the appropriate dean or
are downloading the application forms from our website, you administrative officer. You need not know the official personally.
must mark the mailing envelopes with the designation, “Transfer
Admissions.” Doing so will help us process your application more
For Entrance in Fall 2013 • Transfer Application Instructions
You should supply your faculty recommenders and dean with
stamped return envelopes that designate “Transfer Admissions.” You may indicate whether you would like to have your decision sent to
you via e-mail. If you choose this option, please alter your e-mail filters to
All additional correspondence and supplementary materials allow messages from firstname.lastname@example.org and fileroom@fas.
must be carefully addressed to the Office of Transfer Admissions harvard.edu to reach your inbox. An official decision letter will be
as Freshman Admissions offices are also located at 86 Brattle sent via regular mail to all applicants who elect to receive an e-mail
Street and confusion can easily occur. notification.
It is the responsibility of every applicant to maintain
copies of all materials submitted to this office as well as any
correspondence to you from the Harvard College Admissions Applicants Outside the United States
If you are applying from a school outside the United States, you should
follow the same procedures and timetables as candidates applying from
After You Have Applied schools within the U.S.
The Committee begins to review candidates as soon as possible Translations
after all the required documents have been received. The evaluation
of candidates takes place during early spring. Candidates will be We appreciate the effort that many applicants make in providing
notified of the Committee’s decision by mail at their permanent the Transfer Admissions Committee with a translation of the
home address in early June. The staff of the Admissions Office will recommendations submitted on their behalf. We ask, however, that any
not give decisions over the phone until after the decisions are mailed. translations include the name of the translator and that the original
untranslated reports be submitted as well.
Any admission is contingent upon successful completion of all
courses in progress, verified by an official transcript sent to the
Committee by the registrar of your present college.
Transfer students are admitted for a specific matriculation date
with no deferment ordinarily possible. All decisions are final. The
Committee cannot reconsider the candidacy of an applicant who is Harvard Admission Policy
not admitted. Harvard University makes all decisions concerning applicants, students,
The Admissions Office will be unable to answer individual applicant faculty and staff on the basis of the individual’s qualifications to
questions or to respond to specific concerns by phone or e-mail. contribute to Harvard’s educational objectives and institutional needs.
Please carefully review our website www.admissions.college.harvard.
edu/apply/transfer/ for information pertaining to the Transfer Discriminating against individuals on the basis of race, color, gender,
Program. sexual orientation, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, political
beliefs, veteran status or disability unrelated to course requirements is
inconsistent with the purposes of a university and with the law.
We do not ordinarily schedule personal interviews for transfer Misrepresentation of Credentials
applicants. If the Committee needs further information, you will be
contacted. Occasionally, a candidate for admission will make inaccurate statements
or submit false material in connection with his or her application.
Contact Information In most cases, these misrepresentations are discovered during the
admission process and the application is rejected. If a misrepresentation
If you change your mailing address, phone number or e-mail address is discovered after a candidate has been admitted, the offer of admission
after submitting your application, please contact the Transfer will be withdrawn.
Admissions Office by writing to email@example.com.
If a misrepresentation is discovered after a student has registered, the
Please be sure to include your full legal name, date of birth and offer of admission normally will be revoked and the student will be
name of your current college or university when contacting the required to leave the College. If the discovery occurs after a degree has
Admissions Office. been awarded, the degree will be rescinded.
Send Updates The determination that an application contains misrepresentations or
To send information updates to your application, please write to inaccuracies rests solely with the Admissions Office and will be resolved
us or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the phrase outside the student disciplinary process.
“Transfer Update” in the subject line. In the body of the message, Application Content Verification Service
please type your full name and the information you would like to
include in your file. We do not open e-mail attachments. Please be aware that Harvard, like most schools, uses outside companies
to help process, review and collect data for applications. For this purpose
Withdraw Your Application we share application materials and information with them. Examples of
such outside companies include the Common Application and Universal
To withdraw your application, please write to us or send an e-mail
College Application, transcript request services, and services that review
to email@example.com with the phrase “Withdraw-Transfer
materials for plagiarism. These companies in many cases will retain the
Student” in the subject line. In the message body, please type your
application information in their databases. We also share application
full name, date of birth and name of current college. You will receive
information with our alumni interviewers.
a confirmation via regular mail.
For Entrance in Fall 2013 • Transfer Application Materials
Important Excerpts from the Joint Statement for Helpful Application Checklist
Candidates on Common Ivy Group Admission Procedure
The Ivy Group is an association of eight institutions of higher Requirements for All Transfer Applicants:
education established in 1954 primarily for the purpose of fostering
amateurism in athletics. Relations between the member institutions Official score report from the SAT Reasoning Test or
have grown over the years, and representatives of these institutions ACT with Writing component
now meet regularly at a variety of levels to discuss topics that
range from the purely academic to the purely athletic and from Official score reports from two SAT Subject Tests
fundamental educational philosophy to procedures in admissions.
Each member institution has its own identity and character and
protects its right to pursue its own educational objectives. Thus, Transfer Application
although the Ivy Group institutions are similar in many respects,
each member institution will continue to make its own independent Harvard Transfer Application Supplement
admission decisions according to its own particular admission policy.
All contacts with students by representatives of Ivy institutions are Application fee of $75 or a request for a fee waiver
intended to provide assistance and information and should be free
of any activity that applies undue pressure on the candidate. No Official Secondary School Transcript
information referring to the admission or financial-aid status of an and
applicant to any Ivy institution may be considered official or reliable
unless it is received directly from that institution’s admission or Official College/University Transcript
financial aid office.
Two Professor Recommendations
Participating institutions: Brown University, Columbia University,
Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Financial Aid Application (by February 1, if you plan
University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Yale University. to apply)
Visiting Undergraduate Student Program Update address, phone and e-mail address if there are
The Visiting Undergraduate Student program is available for students changes after you apply
(usually juniors and seniors) who seek instruction in specific fields
of study at Harvard. The purpose of this program is to meet the
academic needs of undergraduates in other institutions who are
qualified and who wish to spend a term or a year of undergraduate
study at Harvard.
Applicants for this program should be enrolled in a full-time
under- graduate degree program in a college or university that
will ordinarily agree to accept Harvard credit towards the student’s
diploma or degree. Visiting Undergraduate Student status usually is
limited to a maximum of two terms, with extension possible only by
Course loads of up to four courses per semester are permitted.
International students must undertake full-time study to meet
visa requirements. Neither financial aid nor on-campus housing
is available. Students who are enrolled at the College as Visiting
Students will not be considered for transfer admission. The
recommended deadline for spring enrollment (late January) is
October 1, and for fall enrollment (late August) is April 1. For
further information, please visit our website: www.admissions.
Harvard Websites: Accessible Education Office | www.aeo.fas.harvard.edu
Advanced Standing | www.fas.harvard.edu/~advising/advanced/reqs.html
Advising | www.fas.harvard.edu/~advising
Application | www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/apply/forms/
Athletics | www.gocrimson.com
Bureau of Study Counsel | www.bsc.harvard.edu
Career Services | www.ocs.fas.harvard.edu
Counseling Services | www.college.harvard.edu/services/counseling
Courses of Instruction | www.registrar.fas.harvard.edu/fasro/courses
Departments and Concentrations | www.fas.harvard.edu/home/academics-and-research
Dining | www.dining.harvard.edu
Engineering and Applied Sciences | www.seas.harvard.edu
Financial Aid | www.fao.fas.harvard.edu
Health Services | www.huhs.harvard.edu
International Applicants | www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/apply/international/
Ivy Group Common Admissions Procedure Statement | www.ivyleaguesports.com
Libraries | lib.harvard.edu
Museums | www.harvard.edu/museums
Program in General Education | www.generaleducation.fas.harvard.edu/
Public Service Opportunities | www.fas.harvard.edu/~pbh/psn
Research Opportunities and Student Employment | www.seo.harvard.edu/
Student Organizations and Activities | www.college.harvard.edu/student/activities
Study Abroad | www.fas.harvard.edu/~oip
Taking Time Off | www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/apply/time_off/
Transfer Admissions Office | www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/apply/transfer/
Visit | www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/visit/
Standardized ACT | www.act.org/aap/
AP | www.ets.org
College Board | www.collegeboard.com
GRE | www.ets.org
SAT Registration | www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/sat/reg.html
TOEFL | www.ets.org
Applying Online: The Common Application | www.commonapp.org
The Universal College Application | www.universalcollegeapp.com