Admission to Harvard

Candidates who are awarded fellowships must apply and receive admission to their specific Harvard program for the following year. For example, if you apply for a fellowship during the 2017 application cycle and you are selected, you must then apply for admission to your program for the following academic year of 2018-2019. If admitted to the program, your fellowship will be awarded for 2018-19.

If candidates who are awarded fellowships 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 (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, or 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.


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.

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.

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.


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.

General Management Program, Harvard Business School
 helps participants master new skills, explore diverse perspectives, and develop new leadership styles; transforming them into outstanding business leaders who can lead their organizations with new skills, judgment, and confidence.

Program for Leadership Development, Harvard Business School
 equips functional 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.

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
Special Student @ GSAS
 is an individual wishing to take coursework at Harvard who has sound academic and/or professional reasons for not wishing to enter a degree program. This program is 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 Fellow Status, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Visiting Fellow@ GSAS
 is for scholars intending to do research, who hold a doctorate or have equivalent professional experience, or are advanced doctoral candidates who have completed all required coursework.