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Harvard University Admission Requirements

What are the admission requirements for Harvard University?

While a lot goes into making your application for Harvard College exceptional, it is important to get a few critical things right. Here is the gist of what you’ll need:

  • GPA (closer to 4.0 unweighted)
  • SAT and ACT (75th percentile for SAT and 33-35 for ACT)
  • Miscellaneous requirements (one or two extracurriculars to ‘stand out’)

In this guide, we’ll cover the essentials of what it takes to maximize your chances of getting into Harvard University. But first, we’ll have a brief look at what has become a pillar in the academic world.

About Harvard University

Harvard University is the oldest, and arguably, most well-renowned college in the United States. The campus is situated in the heart of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and receives applicants from around the world. A quick look at the picturesque campus reveals beautiful architecture full of new and old buildings, and several iconic places such as Harvard Square and the Coop.

Harvard University offers 57 distinct majors that cover 19 broad fields of study for a total of 97 undergraduate degrees. Their impressive roster of notable alumni includes Mark Zuckerberg, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Conan O’Brien, and Barack Obama, among others.

It goes without saying that Harvard University is among the most competitive schools in the country to get into, marking its place among Ivy League colleges in the United States. The statistics can paint a really grim story though: the school accepted only 1,968 of the record-breaking 57,435 number of applicants for the class of 2025, which means their acceptance rate was just 4.9%. This means that 95 applicants were rejected out of every 100 who applied.

Moreover, the admissions process gets tougher every year, as more domestic and international candidates send in their applications. This means you have to stand out to get noticed by admissions officers. Don’t worry though; getting accepted is a matter of becoming familiar with the process. Once you know what admissions officers are looking for, you can tailor your application to meet their expectations.

What are the GPA Requirements for Harvard University

Your GPA will play the biggest role in college admissions. Long story short, the grade point average (GPA) is based on your high school transcript. Admissions officers will calculate your weighted GPA to create a level playing field for all applicants.

Weighted GPAs are important because high schools all high schools approach them differently. In most cases, you will need to get as close to a 4.0 unweighted GPA as possible to maximize your chances of getting into Harvard. This translates into straight As in nearly every class.

What are the SAT Requirements for Harvard University

The average SAT scores for students admitted to Harvard varies every year. Students who fall into certain categories (legacies, athletes, donors, and others) don’t need a competitive SAT score – everyone else will need to get as close to the 75th percentile as possible.

The 75th percentile for the New SAT score is about 1580 and the 25th percentile is about 1460. This means that a 1460 places you below average and a 1580 moves you up. Take this with a grain of salt because there is no ‘minimum’ threshold for SAT scores you need to get into Harvard University. However, it definitely helps to be in the 75th percentile to improve your odds.

The good news is that you can work on your SAT score with an experienced tutor. It’s arguably the easiest component of your application – as long as you’re working with an expert. Click here to find an expert SAT tutor.

What are the ACT Requirements for Harvard University

ACT scores for Harvard are just as impressive. Most of their admitted students achieved a composite ACT score of 33 to 35. Less than 2 percent of applicants scored below 27. You may assume they were athletes or donors.

It’s worth noting that just like the SAT, Harvard doesn’t have a cutoff score for the ACT, but if you score too low, your application may be rejected.

Click here to work with the best ACT tutors to improve your score!

What is the College Application Process for Harvard University?

The college application process for Harvard University is similar to other schools: you’ll need a high school transcript and GPA, application form, and other core documents.

You will have to submit:

  • A high school transcript
  • A midyear report (depends on where you’re from)
  • Write an engaging essay
  • Get two letters of recommendation from your teachers (make sure they put their heart into it!)
  • SAT or ACT scores

Wrapping Up

Harvard University can be very selective. It’s better that you also apply to other schools, such as Yale University and Princeton University. If you need more information or help with the application process for Harvard College, feel free to reach out to us.


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