Harvard Admissions for HSAFP


Candidates who are selected as finalists must apply and receive admission to their specific Harvard program for the following year. For example, if you apply for a fellowship during the 2022 application cycle and you are selected as a finalist, you must then apply for admission to your program for the following academic year of 2023-2024. If admitted to the program, your fellowship will be awarded for 2023-2024.

If candidates who are selected as finalists do not apply and receive admission to a specific Harvard program, the fellowship is void. While the relevant admission offices are consulted when reviewing applicants to be invited for interview, applicants are advised to consult program websites (see below) to ensure that the program to which they apply matches their academic and professional qualifications as well as career aspirations.

Admission to a formal Harvard degree or other program remains solely within the authority of the Admissions Committee of the particular Harvard school or program and not with the Center for African Studies. Harvard’s Law School, School of Public Health, and Kennedy School of Government all offer one-year master’s degree programs open to holders of the relevant bachelor’s degree. Admissions committees for master’s degrees may require candidates to take the Graduate Records Examination or the equivalent professional test. The deadlines for submission of all admission materials to Harvard vary from mid-December to early January.

Unlike most South African universities, Harvard’s MBA is a two-year degree program and, therefore, not available through this fellowship program. Harvard Business School offers Executive Education programs that candidates may wish to consider. It should also be noted that Harvard offers no programs, degree or otherwise, in several areas commonly taught at other institutions (e.g. nursing, library science, social work). Furthermore, the largest Harvard school, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, does not offer a one-year Master’s degree. However, the Graduate School or Arts and Sciences (GSAS) does offer fellowship-eligible non-degree programs: Special Students or Visiting Fellows status. Applicants for either of these programs should submit a well-developed plan that illustrates how access to Harvard faculty, courses, and research resources will further their studies or research.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend HSAFP information sessions towards the end of February and in early March. The first information session will feature CAS program managers and program alumni while the second session will feature program directors of participating Harvard programs to which HSAFP candidates can apply. Both are an opportunity to learn more about the program and application process as well as to ask questions before you apply. To be informed of the information session dates, sign-up for the CAS weekly newsletter HERE, or check the CAS website regularly.

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions page with any questions. Further inquiries about the Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program should be addressed to  Nthatisi Quella, Africa Office Director.



Mid-Career Master in Public Administration, Harvard Kennedy School
is an intensive program designed to increase the knowledge and skills of well established, high-performing professionals, who seek to enhance their public service careers or to move from the private sector to a leadership position in either the public or non-profit sectors. www.hks.harvard.edu/degrees/masters/mc-mpa

Master of Laws, Harvard Law School
 is a flexible program interested in attracting intellectually curious and thoughtful candidates from a variety of legal systems and backgrounds and with various career plans. www.law.harvard.edu/academics/degrees/gradprogram/llm/index.html

Master of Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health
 is designed for public health leaders, who aspire to high-level roles in state, federal, international health or the private sector.  This demanding, interdisciplinary program emphasizes student-directed learning, problem solving, and the acquisition of fundamental public health skills. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/admissions/degree-programs/master-of-public-health/


Fellowship-Eligible Non-Degree Programs

Advanced Management Program, Harvard Business School
provides the latest management concepts and tools to transform senior executives into indispensable leaders. Participants leave with a broader vision of success; equipped to make the tough decisions required to position their organizations for growth and profitability. www.exed.hbs.edu/programs/amp/Pages/default.aspx

General Management Program, Harvard Business School
 is designed to help participants accelerate their leadership transformation and play a greater role in their company's success. Participants will expand their leadership skills, mindset, and network—and become outstanding business leaders who can lead their organizations with new skills, judgment, and confidence.

Program for Leadership Development, Harvard Business School
 equips up-and-coming managers with the advanced decision-making and execution skills they need to excel as multifaceted leaders. Participants emerge well equipped to take on greater cross-functional responsibilities and ultimately drive performance throughout the organization. www.exed.hbs.edu/programs/pld/Pages/default.aspx

View a comparison of the Harvard Business School programs to see which is right for you.

Special Student Status, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

These programs are geared toward students interested in contributing to a degree at a home institution abroad or strengthening their academic background before applying to graduate degree programs.  

Visiting Fellows @ GSAS conduct independent research at Harvard. Applicants must hold a doctorate (or have equivalent professional experience), or be advanced doctoral students who have completed required coursework. 

Special Students @ GSAS wish to pursue graduate-level study at Harvard but have academic and/or professional reasons for not entering a degree program.

Find more information about the difference between these programs here.