Harvard Chemistry PhD: Stipend, Acceptance Rate, Application, Deadline, Requirements

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Harvard University needs little introduction, being synonymous with academic excellence. Yet, its prestigious Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology boasts cutting-edge research, groundbreaking discoveries, and intellectual giants shaping the future of the field. For aspiring chemists wanting to push the boundaries of knowledge, a Harvard Chemistry PhD stands as the pinnacle of achievement, a gateway to a career in scientific exploration. Read this blog further for more details!

Institute Name Harvard University
Founded 1636
Acceptance Rate 8-12%
Application Deadline 1 December of the year preceding start date
Application Fee $75
Qualifications Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biochemistry, or related field
Standardized Tests GRE General Test, GRE Chemistry Subject Test (competitive scores expected in both)
Documents Required Official transcripts, CV/resume, GRE score reports, 3 letters of recommendation, statement of purpose
Application Process Online through Graduate School of Arts and Sciences portal
Stipend $38,000 per year
Additional Funding Research assistantships, fellowships available
Program Length 5-7 years

Also Read: Top 5 Unique Courses Offered at Harvard University in 2024

Harvard University: An Overview

Founded in 1636, Harvard University has nurtured some of the brightest minds in history, boasting 162 Nobel laureates among its alumni and faculty. Its campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts has world-renowned libraries, state-of-the-art labs, and a diverse community of scholars eager to unravel the mysteries of the universe. The Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, established in 1912, embodies this spirit of discovery, boasting 5 Nobel laureates and consistently ranking among the top chemistry programs globally.

Why Pursue Harvard Chemistry PhD?

The Harvard Chemistry PhD program is more than just academic rigour; it’s a transformative journey. Here are a few reasons why it might be the perfect path for you:

  1. You get to work alongside internationally renowned faculty on research projects across subfields like nanochemistry, synthetic biology, chemical catalysis, and theoretical chemistry.
  2. You benefit from the guidance of Nobel laureates, esteemed professors, and experienced postdoctoral researchers, gaining invaluable insights and honing your research skills.
  3. You get access to a collaborative community of fellow PhD students and researchers, sharing ideas, and sparking discoveries.
  4. You receive comprehensive coursework in core and advanced chemical disciplines, in theory and practical, to thrive in your chosen field.
  5. You develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills essential for success in academia, industry, or beyond.

Harvard Chemistry PhD: Acceptance Rate

Gaining admission to the Harvard Chemistry PhD program is highly competitive. The acceptance rate typically ranges between 8-12%, i.e. roughly 80-100 applicants get accepted annually from hundreds of applications. This also emphasizes the need for a strong academic background and other requirements set out by the institute. Let’s take a look at some of the general entry criteria for the same.

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Harvard Chemistry PhD: Entry Requirements

A successful application should demonstrate your academic excellence, research potential, and commitment to the field of chemistry. Here are the key requirements:

  1. A bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biochemistry, or a related field with a strong GPA is mandatory.
  2. Competitive scores on both the GRE General Test & GRE Chemistry Subject Test are expected, although specific requirements may vary for international applicants.
  3. 3 strong letters of recommendation from professors, research advisors, or mentors.
  4. A well-written and compelling statement highlighting your research interests, relevant experience, and future career aspirations.
  5. Demonstrating previous research experience through participation in lab projects, internships, or independent research.

Documents Required: 

  • Official transcripts from all universities attended
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • GRE score reports (General Test & Chemistry Subject Test)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose


Fortunately, financial aid is readily available for admitted students. The program guarantees full tuition scholarships and a generous living stipend of approximately $38,000 for the 2024 academic year. Additional funding opportunities, such as research assistantships and fellowships, can further supplement your financial needs.

Also Read: Scholarships For Indian Students at Harvard University

Application Process

The application process for the Harvard Chemistry PhD program is online through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences portal. Be sure to carefully review the program website and application instructions for specific details and deadlines.

Application Deadline

The application deadline for the Harvard Chemistry PhD program is 1 December of the year preceding your desired start date. Students are encouraged to submit their applications early as they are reviewed on a rolling basis.

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Q1. What are the subfields of specialization within the program? 

Ans: The Harvard Chemistry Ph.D. program has research opportunities in various subfields, such as organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, chemical biology, materials chemistry, and theoretical chemistry. 

Q2. Are there opportunities for teaching experience during the program? 

Ans: Teaching opportunities may be available through Graduate School of Arts and Sciences teaching fellowships or as a teaching assistant in undergraduate courses.

Q3. What documents are required for the application process?

Ans: The following documents are required for the application process: 
1. Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
2. 3 letters of recommendation
3. Statement of purpose
4. GRE scores
5. TOEFL or IELTS scores (for non-native English speakers)

We hope that this blog gave a complete insight into the Harvard Chemistry PhD program. Subscribe to Leverage Edu for more content on universities and courses to study abroad. Thank you for reading!

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