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How much is a master’s at Harvard?

How much is a master's at Harvard?
Unlock the cost details of pursuing a master's at Harvard and invest in your future. Find out tuition fees and financial aid options now.

Are you considering pursuing a master’s degree at Harvard? It’s no secret that Harvard is known for its prestigious programs and educational excellence. But what about the cost? How much does it really cost to earn a master’s degree from this renowned institution? Prepare to be enlightened as we dive into the tuition fees, living expenses, and other costs associated with pursuing a master’s at Harvard.

Master’s and PhD Students Tuition Fees

If you’re considering pursuing a master’s or PhD degree at Harvard, it’s important to understand the tuition fees associated with these programs.

For master’s students, the tuition is set at a flat rate of $54,032 for the first two years of study. This includes full-time enrollment and access to resources and facilities at the university.

PhD students, on the other hand, follow a tiered tuition structure. In the third and fourth years of study, they pay reduced tuition fees of $14,048. After the fourth year, PhD students are required to pay a facilities fee of $3,574.

It’s worth noting that nonresident students with either a leave of absence or traveling scholar status are charged a minimum fee of $300.

These tuition fees reflect the cost of instruction and the resources available to students at Harvard. It’s important to budget accordingly and consider these expenses when planning your financial resources for your master’s or PhD education.

Next, we will explore the tuition fees for specific master’s programs at Harvard, including the Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) and Data Science programs. Stay tuned!

Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) and Data Science Programs

The Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) and Data Science master’s programs at Harvard offer specialized academic pathways for students interested in these fields. These programs have unique tuition structures compared to other degree programs at Harvard.

In the CSE program, you have two options: the master of science (SM) program and the master of engineering (ME) program. The tuition for the CSE SM program is $61,768 for a one-year program, providing you with a comprehensive education in computational science and engineering.

If you choose the CSE ME program, the tuition is $61,768 for the first year and $30,884 for the second year. This program combines advanced coursework in computational science with practical engineering skills, preparing you for professional careers in the industry.

The Data Science master of science (SM) program also offers a unique tuition structure. The tuition for the first year is $61,768, and for the second year, it is $30,884 (one term only). This program focuses on statistical analysis, machine learning, and data interpretation, equipping you with the skills necessary to thrive in the data-driven world.

Harvard Data Science tuition

By enrolling in the CSE or Data Science programs at Harvard, you gain access to world-class faculty, cutting-edge research opportunities, and a prestigious network of alumni. These programs provide a solid foundation for your career in computational science and data analysis.

If you have a passion for technology, analytics, and problem-solving, the CSE and Data Science programs at Harvard can offer you the knowledge and skills to pursue exciting opportunities in various industries or continue your academic journey with a Ph.D. program.

Special Students Tuition Fees

Are you interested in pursuing coursework or research at Harvard without seeking a degree? As a special student, you have the opportunity to engage in academic activities and access student privileges. However, it’s important to note that special students are not eligible for financial aid, work-study opportunities, or student loans.

When it comes to tuition, special students are required to pay full fees. The tuition for special students is calculated based on the number of courses you take. Whether you enroll in one course or four courses, the tuition fees range from $6,754 to $27,016.

In addition to tuition, special students are also responsible for paying the student health fees. However, despite not being eligible for financial aid, there are various resources and support available to help you navigate your academic journey at Harvard.

Harvard special students tuition

As a special student, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the academic atmosphere of Harvard, gain valuable knowledge, and expand your network. Keep in mind that while special students are not candidates for a degree, the experience and learning you gain from your time at Harvard can be invaluable for your personal and professional development.

  • Full tuition fees range from $6,754 for one course to $27,016 for four courses.
  • Special students have access to student privileges.
  • Financial aid, work-study opportunities, and student loans are not available for special students.
  • Student health fees are additional and required.

In the next section, we’ll explore the tuition fees and privileges for visiting fellows at Harvard.

Visiting Fellows Tuition Fees

As a visiting fellow at Harvard, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in independent research and access Harvard University’s world-class libraries and facilities. Being considered a full-time research student, you will benefit from a reduced tuition rate and have the freedom to pursue your academic interests.

Visiting fellows are not eligible for financial aid, work-study opportunities, or student loans. However, the reduced tuition and student health fees make it more affordable for you to engage in research activities at Harvard. The tuition for visiting fellows is $7,024 for one academic term (five months) and $14,048 for one academic year (nine months).

During your time as a visiting fellow, you will join a vibrant community of scholars and have the opportunity to collaborate with renowned experts in your field. The research resources and intellectual environment at Harvard will undoubtedly enrich your academic journey and contribute to your professional development.

Benefits for Visiting Fellows at Harvard:

  • Access to Harvard University’s libraries and facilities
  • Engagement in independent research
  • Reduced tuition rate
  • Inclusion in a prestigious academic community

Harvard research fellowship

Harvard University values the contributions of visiting fellows and recognizes the importance of fostering a diverse and inclusive research community. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to further your research goals, expand your network, and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in your field.

Health Fees

When it comes to your well-being, Harvard prioritizes your health. As such, all students are required to have health insurance coverage. This ensures that you have access to the necessary healthcare services and support throughout your academic journey.

The health fees at Harvard include the Student Health Fee (SHF) and the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). The SHF is an essential component of the comprehensive healthcare services provided to students. It covers services such as routine medical and mental health visits, preventive care, and access to the University Health Services. The SHF is $704 per term, allowing you to access the resources and support you need to prioritize your well-being.

Harvard also offers the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), which provides extensive coverage for medical services, prescription drugs, mental health services, and more. By participating in the SHIP, you ensure that you have access to high-quality medical care, both on and off-campus. The cost for the SHIP is $2,060 per term, offering comprehensive coverage and peace of mind.

It’s important to note that if you have comparable health insurance coverage through another provider, you may be eligible to waive the Harvard University Student Health Fee. This allows you to utilize your existing insurance plan while still benefiting from the other support services offered by Harvard. However, please keep in mind that waivers for the SHF are only accepted in limited cases.

  • Student Health Fee (SHF): $704 per term
  • Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP): $2,060 per term

By ensuring that you have the necessary health insurance coverage, you can focus on your studies and personal growth, knowing that your well-being is taken care of. Harvard remains committed to supporting your overall health and providing you with the resources you need to thrive as a student.

Other Costs

In addition to tuition and health fees, there are other costs that Harvard students should consider when budgeting for their education.

  • Housing: Depending on your housing type, whether it’s on-campus with or without dependents, or off-campus, the estimated living expense budgets for the 2023-2024 academic year range from $17,020 to $41,172.
  • Food: The cost of meals and groceries should be factored into your budget. Harvard offers various dining options on campus and nearby restaurants.
  • Books and Supplies: You will need to purchase textbooks, study materials, and any required supplies for your courses.
  • Transportation: Consider the cost of commuting to and from campus, as well as any travel expenses for internships, conferences, or study abroad programs.
  • Miscellaneous Expenses: This category includes personal expenses, entertainment, and any unforeseen costs that may arise during your time at Harvard.

It’s essential to note that the estimated budgets provided do not include travel costs, fees for required tests, application fees, or initial expenses like home furnishings.

Managing these expenses is crucial to ensure a comfortable and successful academic experience at Harvard.

Harvard living expenses

Family Expenses

Harvard recognizes the importance of supporting graduate students with families and has implemented policies and resources to meet their needs. However, it is important to note that most financial aid sources have limitations on including family expenses when determining eligibility.

For the 2023-2024 academic year, the estimated budget for supporting a spouse and/or dependent(s) at Harvard ranges from $15,368 to $50,040. This budget includes expenses such as housing, healthcare, childcare, and other daily necessities.

While Harvard provides resources and support for student families, it is crucial for students with families to plan ahead and ensure they have sufficient resources to cover these additional costs. Balancing family expenses with the cost of education requires careful financial planning and consideration.

Support for Student Families at Harvard

  • Childcare assistance programs
  • Housing options for families
  • Access to healthcare services
  • Community support networks

Harvard understands that student families have unique needs and strives to provide a supportive environment where both academic and family goals can be achieved.


Deciding to pursue a master’s degree at Harvard is a significant investment in your future. However, with the prestige and quality education that Harvard offers, it is essential to consider the financial implications. The cost of a master’s at Harvard consists of tuition, health fees, and living expenses, which vary depending on the program and student type.

Fortunately, Harvard understands the financial challenges that students may face and provides various forms of financial aid to help meet the cost of attendance. You can explore options such as scholarships, grants, and student loans to alleviate the financial burden. It is crucial to evaluate your own financial circumstances and carefully consider the available funding options.

By taking advantage of the financial aid resources offered by Harvard, you can make the dream of obtaining a master’s degree a reality. Remember to research and apply for scholarships and grants for which you are eligible. Additionally, consider student loan options and create a budget to manage your living expenses effectively. With the right planning and financial support, you can embark on an enriching educational journey at Harvard.

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