Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor Talks Justice, Civic Engagement at Radcliffe Day


Church Says It Did Not Authorize ‘People’s Commencement’ Protest After Harvard Graduation Walkout


‘Welcome to the Battlefield’: Maria Ressa Talks Tech, Fascism in Harvard Commencement Address


In Photos: Harvard’s 373rd Commencement Exercises


Rabbi Zarchi Confronted Maria Ressa, Walked Off Stage Over Her Harvard Commencement Speech

Harvard GSAS Sees 8% Increase in Applications for 2024

The new flag of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences flies outside its main building, Lehman Hall. GSAS applications rose 8 percent compared to last year, the school announced Monday.
The new flag of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences flies outside its main building, Lehman Hall. GSAS applications rose 8 percent compared to last year, the school announced Monday. By Frank S. Zhou
By Adina R. Lippman and Angelina J. Parker, Crimson Staff Writers

The Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences received 25,239 applications during its 2024 cycle, an 8 percent increase from last year that suggests the University’s leadership crisis and allegations of antisemitism on campus have not deterred prospective graduate students from applying.

The increase in applications to GSAS comes after Harvard College made headlines for reporting a 17 percent decline in the number of applications under its early action program, leading some to speculate that the controversy contributed to the decline.

The GSAS applicant pool comprised 14,327 international students and 10,912 U.S. citizens and permanent residents. GSAS admissions expects to admit a class similar in size to last year, which included 1,138 new Ph.D. candidates. The most common fields that students applied to include medical and health sciences, engineering, psychology, and chemistry.

“Harvard Griffin GSAS is the intellectual heart of the University and I’m pleased to see this year’s applicants demonstrate an interest in the wide range of research undertaken here, from physics and life sciences to history and philosophy,” GSAS Dean Emma Dench said in a press release.

The increase in applications follows a recently announced $50,000 minimum annual stipend across all Ph.D. programs, including dental and transit subsidies. The increase in stipend rates is expected to go into effect in July.

The stipend increase was implemented after a report by the GSAS Admissions and Graduate Education Working Group, or GAGE, recommended “urgent action” to secure Harvard’s “preeminence” in graduate education.

Implementation of GAGE report recommendations began in the fall of 2023.

Only 64 percent of graduate students admitted during GSAS’ 2023 cycle chose to enroll at Harvard. The GAGE report cited insufficient financial aid, especially in the face of rising living costs, as a deterrent.

“The best education and reputation in the world is no longer enough to attract the most promising students. Harvard must increase its financial support or risk being left behind,” the report stated.

The GAGE report also highlighted the importance of creating a more robust advising system for graduate students.

“In many cases, it is the lack of structures to support individual advising or the absence of departmental processes to help students progress that can lead to a breakdown in the faculty-student relationship and, in some instances, an inability on the part of the student to thrive in the program,” the report stated.

Students anonymously quoted in the report said that a lack of advising support also heightened pressures to solidify their future prospects.

“Advising makes a big difference, and if it’s not up to department rules, it’s up to faculty to make it work,” wrote one anonymous student in the report. “Sometimes it can be hard to get faculty to get that going; the burden is definitely on the student.”

A further evaluation of “departmental climate” highlighted a lack of equity and inclusion as survey results demonstrated graduate students as the group that most often reported being treated differently by others based on their identity, including their ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and religion.

Future directives include addressing department climate concerns effectively in order to facilitate a culture of inclusion and equity.

The report recommended that academic programs within GSAS evaluate their curriculums in order to better prepare students for a shrinking “academic job market.”

“Because fields and job opportunities change, it is important to regularly evaluate the strength and scale of the academic program to ensure that students receive an education that sets them up for success in the future, in whatever profession they may choose,” the report stated.

Correction: March 6, 2024

Due to an error in a press release from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, this article incorrectly stated that the school saw a 15 percent increase in applications from last year. In fact, the school saw an 8 percent increase in applications.

—Staff writer Adina R. Lippman can be reached at

—Staff writer Angelina J. Parker can be reached at Follow her on X @angelinajparker.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.