Applying to Doctoral Programs in Education – Making your Applications Stand Out (Harvard Graduate School of Education)

About the Event: This event was presented on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 by Harvard Graduate School of Education Admissions, Financial Aid, and Doctoral Programs. Participants gained strategies to improve the competitiveness of their graduate school application as they explored the possibilities of doctoral study within the field of education, the types of doctoral degrees, and institutions offering programs. Below are several resources and opportunities related to the presentation. 

  • Download Presentation
  • Additional Content and Opportunity: Due to time limitations, the presenters could not address the “Ed.M. Referral” feature of HGSE doctoral applications. This allows doctoral applicants to be considered for admission to one of HGSE’s master’s programs should they not be admitted to the doctoral program to which they applied. HGSE’s six diverse master’s programs can accelerate one’s development of skills and experience necessary for doctoral study, as well as provide non-doctoral pathways to a wide variety of leadership roles within education. All doctoral applicants can elect to be considered for referral to an Ed.M. program by checking the corresponding box on their application; Ed.L.D. applicants need to submit a 500-word statement of interest regarding the Ed.M. program of their choice when submitting their application, while Ph.D. applicants will merely check the appropriate box and wait to receive further instructions via email after application submission.
  • Exclusive TFA Alumni Benefits: HGSE is eager to support TFA alumni as they navigate the graduate school application process. In addition to our recorded presentations, TFA alumni can take advantage of a number of exclusive benefits listed below by completing our Partnership Benefits Form and indicating Teach for America in the Referral Information section. Benefits include:
    • Application fee waivers to HGSE’s Ed.L.D. and Ed.M. programs
    • Dedicated opportunities to engage one-on-one and in small groups with HGSE Admissions officers (additional information to be provided over email)
    • Priority consideration for Leadership in Education Scholarship (for Ed.M. students)
  • HGSE Resources: As discussed in the presentation, applicants to any school are encouraged to review a range of widely available information to better understand their potential “fit.” This includes program structures, available faculty and courses, as well as student profiles and alumni trajectories. For HGSE, those resources can be found here:
  • Stay in Touch: If you have further questions, you’re welcome to email Stanislav Rivkin, Associate Director of Admissions, at
  • Upcoming Events: HGSE will also host a range of upcoming events that all TFA alumni are invited to attend, including an Open House and workshop on master’s application strategies. The complete event listings and registration information can be found here.

About the Presenter: The mission of the Harvard Graduate School of Education is to prepare education leaders and innovators who will change the world by expanding opportunities and outcomes for learners everywhere. To that end, HGSE offers two doctoral and six Ed.M. programs that can accelerate one’s impact at all levels and across all roles in the education field. With exceptional faculty mentors, highly personalized degree plans, a lifelong network of innovative colleagues and friends, and a deep commitment to social justice, HGSE helps students pursue ambitious goals and establish an impactful, rewarding, and successful career in education.

About the Career Acceleration Virtual Event Series: Hosted by the Teach For America Career Center and select partners and contributors, the Career Acceleration Virtual Events Series is offered to our entire network to engage in career accelerating topics to help inspire and support mindsets, knowledge and skills that advance one’s own career. The event series occurs every fall and spring (with our next series occurring 2/26- 3/26). We are always looking for a range of diverse speakers and topics to engage our alumni and corps member network. If you are interested in becoming a Career Acceleration virtual speaker or presenter, click here to learn more.