Further Information

Prospective applicants should consult Harvard's website for information about their courses available. This can give you an insight into their courses and the non-degree 'special student' status.

  • You can apply for the Scholarship if you are still an undergraduate. You should contact the Senior Tutor to discuss your application. You must have graduated by the time you take it up, or up to five years after graduating from your first degree.
  • If you have had to delay your degree or career for any reason, you may apply later. Before application, you should discuss your circumstances with the Senior Tutor or Dr Ross Wilson.



  • Preference tends to be given to those who apply for a Master's degree. Applicants should have some experience in relevant employment. Master's degree courses are preferable if you select several courses from a specific graduate school.
  • The University only rarely admits students straight from a first degree. This is especially for courses in Law or Business & Government.
  • If you are applying before or straight after graduation, you should consider 'special student' status, with some courses taken at the graduate school of your choice. 'Special students' have low priority for admission to Harvard courses, so it may not be possible to get on to every course that you would like to attend.
  • For candidates wishing to study for the Harvard MBA, scholarships are available only in exceptional circumstances. The Master should be consulted if you wish to do this, and should be only considered if you believe your circumstances are exceptional.


  • The application form requests the names of two or three referees. After providing their email addresses, they will receive an automatic email requesting them to provide a reference on your behalf. It is your duty to ensure that your chosen referees submit their references before the application deadline date.
  • You are able to choose your own referees. If you are a current student, you should ask your Tutor, Director of Studies or a supervisor who knows you well. If you have left College and your employment is relevant, your employer or line manager can be your referee.

Applications to Harvard

  • The deadline for 'special student' applications is 1 March in the year in which you wish to go to Harvard. There is a rolling acceptance procedure, so you should apply for the status early. However, you should not apply until you have heard whether you have been successful in obtaining a scholarship. This information is likely to help your application.
  • If you are applying for a Master's degree course, the deadline in most cases is earlier, and the competition for places is greater. You should not wait for the outcome of your scholarship application before applying to Harvard.


  • You should arrange accommodation at Harvard at an early stage. Successful applicants for Herchel Smith Scholarships will be automatically entered in the ballot for graduate accommodation.
  • The Harvard houses are very roughly comparable to Cambridge colleges. They have their own character & identity, and offer the chance to spend time with students & staff outside your subject & year group. The College has an arrangement for accommodation for two scholars, normally provided in Eliot House. This is one of the twelve ‘upperclassman’ houses that undergraduates are assigned after their ‘freshman’ year.
  • You don’t have to live in one of these houses, and it is not guaranteed. If you are interested, you should inform to Ashley Skipwith, the Director of Housing at GSAS (the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences) as soon as you have been accepted by Harvard.

Travel Expenses

  • Scholarships are awarded to individuals, and no additional allowances are payable to those accompanied by a spouse or dependents. Travel expenses will be reimbursed by the College for standard economy fares between the UK & Harvard at the beginning & end of the scholarship. If you travel to or from Harvard from outside the UK, the College will reimburse a portion of travel expenses, up to the amount of the fare to/from the UK. You should apply to the College Accountant for reimbursement.

Other Information

  • Scholars are expected to write a short report at the end of their time at Harvard. This should give an account of their academic and other experiences during the year.
  • Scholars are invited to create a brief selfie video, sharing their experiences and reflections during their time at Harvard or their scholarship journey in under two minutes while incorporating a Harvard backdrop or any location that holds significance for their Harvard experience.
  • Those elected to Herchel Smith scholarships are likely to have a strong academic record, and to have contributed significantly to the extracurricular activities of the College. They will be people whom the College is proud to see as its representatives at Harvard, and who are likely to make a positive contribution when there. They should have a clear vision of their career goals and of the benefits that they expect to obtain from their time at Harvard.
  • Advice can be sought from Dr Howell & Dr Odudu, who have studied at Harvard.