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### News: Harvard GSAS Witnesses Almost 15% Surge in 2024 Applications

The 2024 application cycle for the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences witnessed a surge in applications, reaching 25,239 submissions, marking a 15 percent increase compared to the previous year. This rise indicates that factors such as the University’s [ppp1] and on-campus environment have not dissuaded potential graduate students from applying.

This upsurge in GSAS applications follows a period where Harvard College faced scrutiny over a decrease in early action program applications, leading to speculation that the controversy may have influenced the decline.

Among the applicants to GSAS, 14,327 were international students, while 10,912 were U.S. citizens and permanent residents. The admissions office at GSAS anticipates admitting a cohort similar in size to the previous year, which welcomed 1,138 new Ph.D. candidates. The predominant fields of interest among applicants encompassed medical and health sciences, engineering, psychology, and chemistry.

In a press release, GSAS Dean Emma Dench expressed satisfaction with this year’s applicant pool, stating, “Harvard Griffin GSAS is the intellectual heart of the University, and I’m delighted to observe the diverse research interests showcased by this year’s applicants, spanning from physics and life sciences to history and philosophy.”

The increase in applications coincides with the recent announcement of enhancements [ppp2] across all Ph.D. programs, including dental and transit subsidies. These adjustments, including an increment in stipend rates effective from July, stem from recommendations outlined in a report by the GSAS Admissions and Graduate Education Working Group (GAGE) aimed at upholding Harvard’s educational excellence.

The GAGE report implementation commenced in the autumn of 2023, emphasizing the necessity to bolster financial aid support to attract top-tier students amidst escalating living expenses. Only 64 percent of admitted graduate students during the 2023 cycle opted to enroll at Harvard, citing inadequate financial assistance as a significant deterrent in light of rising costs.

Furthermore, the GAGE report underscored the significance of establishing a more robust advising framework for graduate students to foster their academic progression effectively.

An evaluation of the “departmental climate” highlighted disparities in equity and inclusion, with survey findings indicating that graduate students often experienced differential treatment based on their identity markers such as ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and religion.

To address these concerns, future directives call for a comprehensive approach to enhance departmental climate, promoting a culture of inclusivity and equity within GSAS. The report also recommended a thorough review of academic programs to better equip students for a competitive academic landscape.

—Staff writer Adina R. Lippman can be reached at [ppp3].

—Staff writer Angelina J. Parker can be reached at [ppp4]. Follow her on X [ppp5].