Discover Harvard’s Admission Requirements
Harvard University does not state a specific GPA that you need in order to enter into their Masters of Public Health program, however it certainly will play a role in the admissions decision. Many students worry about their GPA and how it will affect their chances of admission, and rightfully so because it is important, however it is not the only aspect that affects your admission. It is my understanding that Harvard prizes well-rounded students more than anything else. Certainly it helps to have a perfect GPA and test scores, however if this is all you possess it is unlikely that you will gain admission.
I gained admission to the Harvard Masters of Public Health program after completing my MD from a state university. I had applied to this program at Harvard before going to medical school and my application was rejected. I believe this was due to my lack of experience in the field and the fact that I was applying right after graduating from college. In this instance my application would have been improved with more real world experience and perhaps even more time to decide what I wanted to do with myself and with my degree.
Going to medical school certainly helped me discover more about myself and about what I am passionate. I learned a great deal about what I want to do with my life and how I can use my skills to achieve these goals. It also gave me the experience I needed to effectively take advantage of all that the Harvard MPH program has to offer and be fully participatory in the process. I was obviously disappointed at the time of this rejection but I look back on it now as a space to give myself more time to grow as a person and as a student.
Getting Into Harvard Isn’t Easy …
After being rejected once by Harvard, I knew that I had to approach my second attempt a bit differently. I assessed my application and tried to see what I was missing. Granted, four years of medical school certainly gave me an advantage in the application process, as it gave me four years of intense education and the opportunity to better understand my motivation for obtaining my Master’s degree. However, I also used feedback and constructive criticism regarding my original application and analyzed it to modify how I presented myself for the second round.
I believe that my strongest attribute is the fact that I am a well-rounded candidate with a clear idea of what I want to gain from my educational process. I always had a broad idea of what I wanted for a career and how I wanted to live my life; but I did not always have a clear idea of how I wanted to achieve these goals. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being unsure about what you want and you want to get there. However, in the application process the admissions committee would like to know that you have some type of roadmap in place, and how a Harvard education will help you continue or start on this path.
The admissions committee does not want to hear that you are interested in attending their university because you want to have a brand-name degree or because you want the prestige of attending an Ivy League institution. These facts are, of course, advantages that come with being accepted to Harvard, however they should not be the reason that you want to attend the university. A better approach would be to really think and develop your goals, write down what you think your dream career or life would be. After writing this goal down, make a visual map of how you think you might be able to get to this place in your life. What will you need to do to get there? Who will you need to meet? Most importantly, how will being accepted to Harvard help you achieve your academic and career goals?
Statistics Reveal The Average Harvard Student Has A 3.85 GPA
But There Is No Baseline GPA To Get Into Harvard …
The admissions committee is interested in what you have done with your life thus far; they want to know about your interests, your passions and you accomplishments. They want to see that you have succeeded in your ventures thus far and that you can thrive in stressful situations. They want to understand how your past experiences have affected your current goals. What many people forget, however, is that the admissions committee also needs to know how your admission to their university is going to help you achieve your future goals.
In order to demonstrate that you will be a candidate that benefits from Harvard you should have some concrete examples in mind. For example, you should ask yourself what exactly is it about the university that interests you? Is there a particular class or series of classes you would like to take? Do they have a particular department that will help further your career? Do they offer you the possibility of greater networking opportunities than anywhere else? These questions may seem overly detailed but they will help you display that you know what you want and have researched how their institution is going to help you achieve your goals.
The trick is to successfully integrate what you have done in the past with what you want to do in the future in a cohesive and understandable manner. Presenting this information requires that you have an understanding of how your past experiences shaped you and encouraged you to pursue your future goals. Your previous school experiences, including GPA, are certainly part of this review because it will demonstrate that you have been able to succeed as a student in the past. Keep in mind, however, that your GPA is not the only number that affects your admission. You can have a perfect GPA but if you cannot demonstrate how a Harvard education is going to further help your goals then your admission is less likely than someone with a sub-par GPA but a crystal clear and cohesive plan for how a Harvard education is going to help them.