Master’s and PhD Programs

The first critical and fundamental step in considering graduate study is to understand why you want to pursue a graduate degree. To set the stage for careful decision making, it is important to clarify your reasons for pursuing a graduate degree, your goals for study and research, and the realities of your intended career path. As you begin to think about this, consider the following questions:

What are your motivations?

What are your goals?

What are your expectations?

For a more in-depth exploration of these questions, see our  Applying to Graduate School Guide. In this booklet, you will also learn about:

  • Timing of Application and Enrollment
  • Considering Different Degree Options
    • Master’s Degree (e.g. M.A., M.S., M.P.P., M.P.H., M.F.A., Ed.M.)
    • Professional Degree (e.g. J.D., M.B.A., M.D.)
    • Doctoral Degree (e.g. Ph.D., Ed.D., D.F.A.)
  • Researching Graduate Schools and Programs
  • The Application Process
    • Application Essay or Statement of Purpose
    • Requesting Letters of Recommendation

Meet with an advisor to discuss your graduate school questions. GSAS advisors work with Harvard College undergraduates and graduate students enrolled in GSAS master’s programs on advanced degree applications. Harvard College undergraduates who are interested in applying for PhD programs should first meet with one of our undergraduate advisors who will then refer the student to a GSAS advisor.