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Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
DeanEmma Dench
Students4,824 (4,599 PhD)[1]
Location, ,
United States

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) is the largest of the twelve graduate schools of Harvard University.[2] Formed in 1872, GSAS is responsible for most of Harvard's graduate degree programs in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The school offers Master of Arts (AM), Master of Science (SM), and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in approximately 58 disciplines.[3]

Academic programs offered by the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences have consistently ranked at the top of graduate programs in the United States.[4] The school's graduates include a diverse set of prominent public figures and academics. The vast majority of Harvard's Nobel Prize-winning alumni earned a degree at GSAS. In addition to scholars and scientists, GSAS graduates have become U.S. Cabinet Secretaries, Supreme Court Justices, foreign heads of state, and heads of government.

History and organization

GSAS was formally created as the Graduate Department of Harvard University in 1872 and was renamed the Graduate School of Harvard University in 1890. Women were not allowed to enroll in GSAS until 1962.[5]

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences forms part of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), along with Harvard College, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Harvard Division of Continuing Education. The dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, who reports to the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, is charged with the responsibility of implementing and supervising the policies of the faculty in the area of graduate education. In the administration of academic policy, the dean is guided by the Administrative Board and the Committee on Graduate Education. The dean is assisted by an administrative dean of GSAS, who has day-to-day responsibility for the operations of the school, a dean for admissions and financial aid, and a dean for student affairs. While the GSAS office oversees the processing of applications, financial aid and fellowships, thesis guidelines, and graduate student affairs, the individual departments in FAS retain considerable autonomy in the administration of their respective graduate programs.

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences oversees GSAS and is responsible for setting the conditions of admission, for providing courses of instruction for students, for directing their studies and examining them in their fields of study, for establishing and maintaining the requirements for its degrees and for making recommendations for those degrees to Harvard’s Governing Boards, for laying down regulations for the governance of the school, and for supervising all its affairs. The dean of GSAS is responsible for implementing and supervising the policies of the faculty in the area of graduate education.

In addition to its own master's and PhD programs, GSAS nominally oversees the PhD programs in Harvard's professional schools: Harvard Business School, Harvard Divinity School, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard Medical School, the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Academic programs

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers many degree programs, including:[6]

  • African and African American Studies
  • American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Astronomy
  • Bioengineering
  • Celtic Languages and Literatures
  • Chemistry and Chemical Biology
  • Computer Science
  • The Classics
  • Comparative Literature
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • East Asian Languages and Civilizations
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • English
  • Germanic Languages and Literatures
  • Government
  • History
  • History of Art and Architecture
  • History of Science
  • Human Evolutionary Biology
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Music
  • Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
  • Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Romance Languages and Literatures
  • Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • Sociology
  • South Asian Studies
  • Statistics
  • Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology

Student life

Dudley House is the center of GSAS student life on Harvard Yard
Dudley House is the center of GSAS student life on Harvard Yard

As of 2019, Harvard's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences had 4,521 students, with the vast majority (4,392 students) pursuing PhDs.[1] 46% of GSAS students are women, 30% of students are international, and 12% are underrepresented minorities. 20% of GSAS students pursue degrees in humanities, 26% in social sciences, and the remaining 54% in natural sciences.[7]

GSAS students have a dedicated space on Harvard Yard, known as The GSAS Student Center at Lehman Hall. Graduate students who prefer to dine on-campus do so at the GSAS Student Center, which features a full-scale dining hall as well as a smaller cafe. The building also provides study and leisure spaces.

Financial aid

GSAS guarantees full funding for all PhD students for five years, which covers tuition, health fees, and living expenses. The PhD funding packages include a combination of tuition grants, stipends, traineeships, teaching fellowships, research assistantships, and other academic appointments.[8] Although master's students are not guaranteed full funding, they often receive financial support covering at least half of tuition and fees.


Conant Hall, as seen in 2017
Conant Hall, as seen in 2017
Perkins Hall, as seen in 2013
Perkins Hall, as seen in 2013

As of 2017, Harvard's GSAS guarantees housing for all first-year graduate students, as long as the students apply for accommodations by April 22.[9] GSAS offers housing through several on-campus residence halls, as well as Harvard-owned apartments, both on and off-campus. In addition, approximately 100 GSAS students live in Harvard’s undergraduate houses and freshman dorms as resident tutors and proctors.[10] GSAS residence halls include the following:[11]

Conant Hall

Constructed in 1894, Conant Hall was designed by Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, reflecting the Georgian architecture of freshman residences found around Harvard Yard. It was built with funds gifted by Edwin Conant, whose name the building currently bears. Originally consisting of 29 suites, Conant has since undergone numerous renovations and currently houses 84 single rooms.

Perkins Hall

Perkins Hall was built in 1893 according to the design of Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge. Consisting of 154 single rooms, Perkins is the oldest of the GSAS residence halls currently in use at Harvard. The funds for its construction were donated by Catharine Page Perkins, the widow of an oil tycoon, in memory of her husband's family. Perkins was originally intended to house undergraduate students from modest circumstances but as the number of graduate students increased, it was converted into a graduate residence. In the early 1900s, Perkins Hall was at the center of controversy involving "homosexual activity" at Harvard, and the university administration's attempts to suppress it, an affair that later became known as the Secret Court of 1920.[12]

Richards Hall and Child Hall

Designed by the German modernist architect Walter Gropius, Richards and Child Halls were built in 1949. Richards is named after the Nobel Prize-winning chemist Theodore Richards, while Child Hall takes its name from Francis J. Child. The two residence halls are constructed on the former Jarvis Field, where the first American football game was played in 1874. Child Hall houses approximately 100 students and Richards Hall houses over 70. The lawn space includes Richard Lippold’s “World Tree” sculpture, a 27-feet-tall steel construction designed to be climbed by students.


  1. ^ a b "GSAS at a Glance". The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Harvard University. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
  2. ^ GSAS is the largest of Harvard's twelve graduate and professional schools when measured by the number of degree-seeking students.
  3. ^ "History". The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Harvard University. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
  4. ^ Harvard University: Grad School, U.S. News & World Report, Retrieved: 7 April 2017
  5. ^ History: Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Retrieved: 7 April 2017
  6. ^ "Degree Programs". The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Harvard University. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  7. ^ GSAS at a Glance, Harvard University, Retrieved: 7 April 2017
  8. ^ Funding and Aid, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, Retrieved: 7 April 2017
  9. ^ Housing Options for Graduate Students, Harvard University, Retrieved: 7 April 2017
  10. ^ Fact: Housing and Dorms, Harvard University, Retrieved: 7 April 2017
  11. ^ GSAS Residence Hall Handbook: 2017-2018 Archived 2017-08-24 at the Wayback Machine, Harvard University, Retrieved: 24 August 2017
  12. ^ Wright, William. Harvard's Secret Court: The Savage 1920 Purge of Campus Homosexuals. St. Martin's Press: 2006

External links

This page was last edited on 21 October 2020, at 20:37
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