How To Transfer to Harvard University

Harvard University is obviously one of the most prestigious universities in the world, attracting the top students from all corners of the globe. If you’re currently enrolled in another college or university, and you’re considering transferring to Harvard, you’re not alone. Each year, thousands of students apply to transfer to Harvard, but only a small few are admitted (last year it was 15 students out of all who applied). It is possible though to be one of the chosen, and each year I get students into Harvard’s incoming class.  You never know if you don’t try!

To help you out, in this article, we’ll explore some tips and strategies that can increase your chances of successfully transferring to Harvard. Worth noting: I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate myself.  I have the credentials to back up what I say:

  1. Understand the Transfer Requirements:

The first step to transfer to Harvard is to understand the transfer requirements. You will need to have completed at least one year of college-level coursework at an accredited institution (the more prestigious the better, though those in the military and those going to community college have absolutely also gotten in), AND you’ll need to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. You also might benefit from submitting your previous year’s SAT or ACT scores if they were high. Additionally, Harvard requires you to submit your college transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement along with all of their supplemental essays.

  1. Maintain a Strong GPA:

Harvard’s transfer admission process is obviously highly competitive, and maintaining a high GPA your first year in college is essential. Harvard does not have a minimum GPA requirement, but most successful transfer students have a GPA of 3.85 or higher.

  1. Get Involved on Campus:

Harvard values well-rounded students who are active in extracurricular activities. Participating in clubs, sports, or other highly skilled activities or talents (music, art, writing, research, etc) demonstrates your leadership skills, commitment, and passion. It’s also an opportunity to showcase your strengths beyond straight academics.

  1. Seek Letters of Recommendation:

Harvard requires two letters of recommendation from professors who have taught you in college-level courses. The letters should highlight your academic achievements, leadership skills, and potential for success at Harvard. It’s important to ask your professors early on, so they have time to write a strong letter. Letters are incredibly important.

  1. Craft Compelling Essays:

Your essays are an opportunity to showcase who you are and what you can bring to Harvard. Be sure to highlight your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and your personal story. All of your essays should be well-written, concise, and compelling. The number 1 reason students didn’t get in to their chosen schools the previous year most often has to do with the topic choices for their essays, and how the essays were written.  Seek help from a qualified college admissions consultant like myself, if you are unsure why you got rejected last year — don’t make the same mistake again, as this might be your last chance!

  1. Pay attention to the deadline

The deadline to apply for fall transfer is March 1st. Most successful applicants get their transfer applications in way before that date, after the window opens for submission in January.  Getting your application in earlier means more time spent reviewing it via the very busy Harvard admissions committee.  Give yourself the best chance!

In conclusion, transferring to Harvard is a challenging process, but with the right preparation and strategies, it is possible. By maintaining a strong GPA, getting involved on campus, seeking letters of recommendation, crafting compelling transfer essays, you can increase your chances of being admitted to Harvard University as a transfer student.

Remember that the key to a successful transfer application is to present yourself as a unique, well-rounded, ambitious, and talented student who will thrive in Harvard’s intellectual community.

[Want more help with your Harvard transfer applications? I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer + Harvard grad. Contact me today for a free consultation and get into the school of your dreams!]

Check out my other blog articles as well, for great college transfer tips and advice:

  1. How To Get Into An Ivy League College (Tips For Parents)
  2. What Each Ivy League College Is Known For