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Visiting Scholar/Visiting Researcher Program: Application Deadlines and Materials

Application Deadlines

Admission to the program is in two cycles per year. Visiting Scholars and Visiting Researchers (“Visitors”) may be appointed for one semester or two consecutive semesters; extensions beyond the second semester are rarely granted and only with the explicit support of the faculty sponsor.

Fall semester begins in September and ends in January; the Spring semester begins in February and ends in June. While there is no Visitors program in July and August, Visitors who are admitted for two semesters beginning in the Spring may remain at Harvard to work on independent research during the summer months (July and August).

If you are interested in gaining access to the Harvard Law School Libraries for a period shorter than one semester, please consult the library's website or contact Library Access at access@law.harvard.edu.

Application Deadlines are as follows:

  • April 15, 2015 for applicants wishing to commence research beginning in September 2015.
  • September 15, 2015 for applicants wishing to commence research beginning in February 2016.

Admission Decisions are as follows:

  • Early June 2015 for applicants wishing to commence research beginning in September 2015.
  • Early November 2015 for applicants wishing to commence research beginning in February 2016.
  • Admission decisions will be communicated electronically. Once the decisions have been reached, you will be notified promptly. To protect the confidentiality of applications, we do not release any information on an application decision to anyone other than the applicant.

Application Materials

To apply to the Visitors Program, you must carefully complete and submit the online Application for Admission

Applicants must provide information about themselves and the specific research project they propose to pursue at Harvard, letters of recommendation from professors and others who know their work, and transcripts from each university they have attended. In addition, each applicant must submit a letter from a Harvard Law School Faculty member indicating the faculty member's willingness to supervise the proposed research project. 

Checklist of application materials:
• Online Application for Admission 
• Résumé or C.V.
• Cover letter
• Research proposal
• Letter of Harvard Law School faculty support
• Transcript(s)*
• Two letters of recommendation**
• Official TOEFL report (if applicable)
• Application fee of US $85

* Applicants to the Visitors program who are currently enrolled in the Harvard Law School LL.M. or S.J.D. program, or who received their degrees from Harvard Law School within the previous three years, need only submit their Harvard Law School transcript.
** Applicants to the Visitors program who are currently enrolled in the Harvard Law School LL.M. or S.J.D. program, or who received their degrees from Harvard Law School within the previous three years, are not required to submit the two letters of recommendation. They only need to provide a letter of faculty support.

English language proficiency is essential for Visitors to ensure the most beneficial and efficient use of time at Harvard Law School. The Graduate Program requires a minimum total score of 100 (with a score of at least 25 for each of the 4 subsections) on the IBT TOEFL exam, or a score of 600 or better on the paper based TOEFL exam (with a minimum score of 60 for each of the three subsections and a score of at least 5.0 on the TWE). To ensure that your TOEFL score reaches the Harvard Law School Graduate Program Admissions Office, please use the following reporting code: Institution code: 3457, Department code Graduate Law.

All international degree candidates whose primary language is not English, or who have not had a minimum of two years of instruction in English at the university level must submit a TOEFL score. The Graduate Program reserves the right to require Visiting Scholar/Researcher applicants to submit evidence of comparable English language proficiency. 

TOEFL is offered by the Educational Testing Service at locations around the world. For more information, please visit their website.

Last modified: September 18, 2014

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