Admissions FAQ

How do I apply to the Chemistry and Chemical Biology program?

Harvard's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) facilitates our application process. Information about GSAS graduate programs and policies, including the Chemistry PhD and the Chemical Physics PhD, can be found on their web site at the GSAS website.

I would like to work in a particular faculty member’s lab group; may I apply to the Professor directly?

In order to be considered to work in a faculty member lab group, you must first apply to the Chemistry and Chemical Biology (CCB) graduate program. Our admissions committee reviews all applications; students do not apply to faculty directly. Once admitted and with the faculty members approval, you may join a lab group after the first semester of graduate school.

What is the application deadline?

The deadline for Fall 2017 applications is December 1, 2016 at 5:00pm.

May I visit the labs in the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department?

If admitted to our program, you will have the opportunity to meet with our faculty and visit their labs.

Do I have to submit GRE scores with my application?

We expect students to take both the general GRE exam and the GRE chemistry exam (other subjects like physics or biochemistry can be substituted if appropriate).

Will my application be considered if my GRE scores are received after the admission deadline?

Yes, all applications will be considered with or without GRE scores. In some cases the admissions committee may feel that they don’t have enough information on an applicant that does not submit scores. This is the risk of submitting the scores after the deadline.

To which code should ETS send my scores to ensure that they are received by the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Dept?

Please send GRE and TOEFL scores to institutional code 3451, The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.  No department code is needed.

I am an international student; do I have to submit a TOEFL score?

Anyone who did not graduate from a 4 year undergraduate institution where English is the first language, must submit the TOEFL.

What is the minimum acceptable TOEFL score?

Applicants must receive a minimum score of 80.

The online application has a section where a writing sample can be uploaded, is this a requirement?

No, we do not require a separate writing sample outside of your personal statement and research accomplishments. These two sections can be uploaded as one document.

The directions in the essay section of the application are confusing, which set of directions should be followed?

Applicants to Chemical Physics and Chemistry and Chemical Biology should follow these instructions: For the Statement of Purpose, please provide a brief statement, not exceeding 300 words, of your scientific and professional interests and objectives. For Research Accomplishments, please provide a statement, not exceeding 500 words, of your research accomplishments or current projects. In the event that undergraduate research opportunities have not been available to you, please discuss other science projects, reading projects, etc., that you have undertaken.  Please clearly delineate the two components of this section, the "statement of purpose" and "research accomplishments."  You are welcome to combine both, one after the other on the same piece of paper, or to upload each essay as separate documents

Does the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department provide financial support?

CCB meets the financial needs (tuition and stipend) of its graduate students through department scholarships, department fellowships, teaching fellowships, research assistantships, and independent outside fellowships. Financial support is awarded on a 12-month basis, enabling students to pursue their research throughout the year. Tuition and stipend is guaranteed to all graduate students whose academic standing and research work is satisfactory.

If I apply and am accepted, may I defer my admission for one year?

Requests to defer admission must be approved by the admissions committee. Generally, deferrals will only be approved for "notable" Fellowship Awards (e.g. Marshall, Fulbright, etc.), medical, and military reasons.

What are the average GRE scores for those who were admitted to the program last year?

GRE Verbal=163

GRE Quantitative=166

GRE Analytical= 4.5

GRE Chemistry= 816

What are the average GPA scores for those who were admitted to the program last year?