Transferring Admission to a Different Degree Program in the Graduate School

Students currently or formerly enrolled in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences who wish to apply to a new degree program, change degree or to transfer to a different department or committee should complete a GSAS online application. Students will have the opportunity to apply for transfers three times in their academic career, with a maximum of two times in one year (this limit does not include the original application to GSAS).

These transfers include:

1. Transfer from a joint AB-AM or AB-SM program to a PhD program.

2. Transfer from a master's degree program to a PhD program.

3. Students formerly in a GSAS program applying to a different GSAS program.

4. Students currently enrolled in GSAS who wish to transfer from one department to another.

Please note: Application deadlines vary; please follow the department deadlines and detailed application instructions on the admissions webpage. General information for apply to the Graduate School can be on that webpage as well.

The following students are not considered program transfers and should not submit the online application:

1. Current students wishing to transfer into an ad hoc degree program should contact the Office of Student Affairs to fill out a paper application.

2. Former students wishing to reenter the same GSAS program should visit the Readmissions page for application information.

3. Students who wish to transfer from one subject to another within the same department and at the same degree level should file an Application for Change of Subject with the Registrar's Office.

Transferring from a master's to PhD program

Courses completed for a master’s degree in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences may count toward academic requirements for the PhD at the discretion of the department.

A student who transfers from a GSAS master’s degree program to a PhD program receives financial credit toward the PhD tuition requirements. A student transferring from one GSAS PhD program to another also receives financial credit for tuition previously paid. Graduate students are permitted to apply only three times as a transfer/readmit student to other programs and only twice during one admissions season.

HILS (Harvard Integrated Life Sciences) Students only:

Students currently enrolled in a HILS member program who wish to transfer to another HILS program should complete the online application and follow the application instructions below. In addition, you MUST make an appointment to see the Assistant Dean of HILS, as soon as you have submitted the online application. Your application will NOT be delivered to the department for evaluation until there is a written confirmation note from the Assistant Dean in your transfer application file.

You can set up an appointment with the Assistant Dean by emailing or calling the HILS Office at 617-495-9500.

Application materials

Transcripts, GRE scores, and TOEFL scores, if available from your original application to GSAS, as well as your original application, are included when your online application is sent to the department for consideration. If these scores are not available from your original GSAS application, you are responsible for submitting them with your online application. Please note that GRE scores expire after 5 years, and TOEFL scores expire after 2 years. You are responsible for retaking these tests if necessary and submitting your scores. For English language proficiency, please note that only the TOEFL iBT or an undergraduate degree from an English-speaking institution will be accepted.

As you are completing the online application, be sure to answer “Yes” and list your dates of attendance under the question “Have you ever been registered in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences as a degree candidate?” found on page 1 of the Application Form.

Please include the following with your completed online application:

1. Current official GSAS transcript.

2. Transcripts from institutions which you attended since your last enrollment in GSAS.

3. Three NEW letters of recommendation (preferably from faculty members who can comment on your ability to carry out graduate study in your proposed field).

4. Current GRE scores, if necessary.

5. TOEFL iBT scores, if necessary.

6. Any additional material required by the department (with with the department directly).

7. Financial Aid Application.

Questions may be emailed to You may also call the Student Affairs Office at 617-495-1814.