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Harvard University Admission Criteria For Indian Students In 2024

Harvard University Admission Criteria For Indian Students

Ranked among the top universities globally, Harvard offers over 3,700 courses and provides access to exceptional faculty and extensive library resources. The campus is a hub for networking with professionals and peers alike. Many Indian students also wish to be a part of such an elite university that helps them thrive in their careers.

Harvard graduates are highly sought after, with an average salary of around $90,000, making them among the highest-paid graduates in the world. In the past, Ratan Naval Tata, Anand Gopal Mahindra, Rahul Bajaj, Suhel Seth, and Ashish Nanda were some of the notable alumni of Harvard. 

Image Source: Harvard Website 

If this intrigues you and you wish to get into Harvard, this is a must-read!

Harvard Admission Criteria For Indian Students 

To get admission to Harvard University from India, you must follow a rigorous process that includes meeting specific criteria and completing various steps.

Admission Criteria For Harvard University From India

Students must first check the eligibility criteria to understand the Harvard University admission criteria. They should also check the course-specific admission criteria. For starters, we have mentioned general admission across all courses. 

Academic Requirements:

  • Prospective students should have a strong academic background and challenging coursework in subjects such as Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts.
  • A high GPA and competitive SAT (1500 out of 1600) or ACT (34 out of 36) scores are typically required. The SAT scores vary annually. 


  • Application Fee: 105 USD (Approximately 8,622 INR)
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • GPA of 3.0/4.0 (85%)
  • GRE Scores (260-340)
  • TOEFL-iBT Score of 100
  • 2 Recommendation Letters
  • Resume
  • Writing Sample (if required)
  • Work Experience (if required)

Language Proficiency:

  • Validate English proficiency through TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test.

Extracurricular Activities:

  • To showcase a well-rounded profile, engage in sports, music, community service, or leadership roles.

Admission Essay:

  • Craft a compelling essay reflecting your personality, aspirations, and passion for learning.

Application Process for Indian Candidates

  1. Research: Thoroughly research Harvard University and its programs.
  2. Program Selection: Choose a program that aligns with your academic and professional goals.
  3. Create an Account: Register on the Common or Coalition Application platforms.
  4. Complete the Application Form: Provide personal information, academic history, and extracurricular activities.
  5. Submit Required Documents: Transcripts, standardised test results, recommendation letters, and language proficiency scores.
  6. Payment of Application Fee: Pay the application fee during the submission process.

By following these guidelines and meeting the specified criteria, Indian students can enhance their chances of successfully gaining admission to Harvard University.

Eligibility Criteria For Indian Students 

Gaining admission to Harvard is exceptionally challenging, with an acceptance rate of less than 4%, making it a daunting prospect for those seeking undergraduate or postgraduate degrees at this prestigious university. However, students who have the following meet the basic criteria and can still apply, check them out: 

Academic Performance– High GPA throughout high school and secondary school 
– Strong standardised test scores (SAT/ACT)
Standardised Tests– SAT: Average score
– Two SAT Subject Tests recommended (one math) 
– ACT: Minimum composite score
Graduate Programs– Above-average GRE or GMAT scores
Application– Stellar application with essays, teacher evaluations, and supplementary materials (if needed) 
– Timely submission
Leadership & Activities– Relevant work experience 
– Demonstrated leadership and problem-solving skills 
– Involvement in extracurricular activities (sports, clubs, volunteering)
Documents– Letters of Recommendation (LOR) 
– Statement of Purpose (SOP)
 – Resume/Portfolio 
– Academic Transcripts 
– Valid Passport 
– Birth Certificate 
– Completed Application Form

Cost Of Studying At Harvard As An Indian Student 

The average tuition fees at Harvard University are as follows: Harvard College (undergraduate degrees) costs $54,269, Harvard Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is $54,032, and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is $61,768. Additionally, it’s advisable to budget approximately $30,000 per year for living expenses and medical insurance. The application fee is $105, which can be waived if an applicant cannot afford it. Financial aid can reduce the average annual tuition fee to around $15,000-$30,000, provided that all the criteria for financial assistance are fully met. Details on these criteria are discussed in the following sections.

In a nutshell – 

CategoryApprox. Costs In INR
Harvard College (undergraduate degrees)₹45 Lakhs
Harvard Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences₹44.5 Lakhs
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences₹51 Lakhs
Living expenses and medical insuranceApproximately ₹25 Lakhs per year
Application fee₹8,000 (waivable if unaffordable)
Reduced tuition with financial aid₹12-25 Lakhs (if all criteria are met)

Cost Of Living In The USA As An Indian Student 

Let’s examine the average annual cost of living in the USA for Indian students, considering factors such as tuition, travel, dining out, groceries, and more. The following tables estimate the anticipated living expenses for students in the USA based on various cost categories.

ParticularsAmount (USD)Amount (INR)
Off-Campus Accommodation$525₹43,125
On-Campus Accommodation$871₹74,141
Food Cost$527₹44,575
Utility Cost$180₹15,600
Total Cost of Living with Off-Campus Accommodation$1,504₹1,27,440
Total Cost of Living with On-Campus Accommodation$1,850₹1,57,500

Conversion Rate Used:1 USD ≈ 82.5 INR

Harvard University Scholarships For Indian Students

If the cost or the tuition fee feels overwhelming, students can apply for scholarships exclusively applicable to Indian students. Here is the detailed list of Harvard University scholarships for Indian students, including eligibility, application details, and benefits:

ScholarshipEligibilityApplication PeriodBenefitsProvider
Horace W. Goldsmith Fellowship– Bachelors Degree
– IELTS (7.5), TOEFL (109), PTE (75)
– Full-time leadership in Non-profit organisation
January to March$10,000Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation & Richard L. Menschel
Boustany MBA Harvard Scholarship– Admitted MBA students
– Outstanding academics
January to MayFinancial aid totalling $102,200 (US$51,100 per year) over two yearsBoustany Foundation
The Robert S. Kaplan Life Sciences Fellowship– Excellent academic background
– Bachelor’s degree 
– IELTS (7.5), TOEFL (109), and PTE (75)
– Interview
JanuaryLiving expenses and tuition feesRobert S. Kaplan
Need-Based Fellowships– TOEFL Score (109), IELTS score (7.5), PTE score (75) 
– Outstanding Academic Performance 
– Interview
January to MarchLiving stipend and tuition feesHarvard Business School

Application Process

  • Horace W. Goldsmith Fellowship: Automatically considered during the application process.
  • Boustany MBA Harvard Scholarship: Submit necessary documents to admissions@boustany-foundation.org.
  • The Robert S. Kaplan Life Sciences Fellowship: Automatically considered during the application process.
  • Need-Based Fellowships: These are automatically considered during the application process.

Documents Required

  • Correctly filled online application form
  • Application fees
  • Language proficiency test score
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume
  • Recommendation letter
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Transcripts


  • Access to one of the most renowned colleges in the world
  • Outstanding educational experience
  • Ability to learn from renowned professors and interact with students of various backgrounds
  • Makes education more affordable by paying for living expenses, tuition, and other educational costs
  • Access to international networking, research opportunities, and esteemed internships

Tips For Indian Students Applying To Harvard University

Image Source: Unsplash

Applying to Harvard University as an Indian student requires meticulous preparation and strategic planning. First, focus on maintaining an excellent academic record throughout high school and beyond, aiming for a GPA close to Harvard’s average of 4.18. 

  • Strong scores on standardised tests like the SAT (average score around 1520) or ACT (minimum composite score of 33) are crucial. Additionally, take English proficiency tests like IELTS, TOEFL, or Duolingo, as required.
  • Showcase your individuality and leadership skills through a well-rounded application. Participate actively in extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, community service, or fundraisers. Demonstrating leadership and a genuine passion for addressing issues in your local community can set you apart.
  • Prepare thoroughly for standardised tests and consider taking advanced placement (AP) tests. For graduate applicants, high GRE or GMAT scores (the average GRE score is around 160, and the GMAT score is about 730 for Harvard Business School) are essential.
  • Craft compelling essays that reflect your ambitions and experiences, and seek strong letters of recommendation. 
  • Submit a polished and complete application by the deadline, ensuring all required documents, such as transcripts, a statement of purpose, a résumé, and a valid passport for a student visa, are included. 
  • Leveraging resources like the US-India Education Foundation (USIEF) for test preparation can also be beneficial.


How can Indian students get admission to Harvard University?

Indian students can apply to Harvard University by meeting the admission criteria, submitting required documents, and going through the competitive admissions process. The application process involves submitting the online application form, required fee, standardised test scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendation.

Does Harvard give 100% scholarships to Indian students?

No, Harvard University does not provide 100% scholarships to Indian students. However, it offers need-based financial aid and scholarships to admitted students based on their demonstrated financial need.

Can CBSE students get into Harvard?

Yes, CBSE students can apply to Harvard University. The university accepts applications from students worldwide, including those from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

Can I go to Harvard after IIT?

Yes, students who have completed their undergraduate studies at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) can apply to Harvard University for graduate programs. However, the admission process and requirements may vary depending on the specific program and school within Harvard.

Thanks for reading our blog on ‘Harvard Admission Criteria 2024’, you can also read some of our blogs that might interest you as well- 

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1 thought on “Top PGDM Courses In Canada: Universities, Specialisations & Eligibility”

  1. I have done Bachelor’s in Culinary Arts from India and completed my graduation in the year 2022 .I am 22 years old. After graduation, I have done 1 year paid internship from USA .Now, I would like to take occupational experience and learn culinary skills and also do masters in Culinary arts.How can I find the college n best course / country where I can persue studying further

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Harvard University Admission Criteria For Indian Students

Harvard University Admission Criteria For Indian Students In 2024

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