Every year, Harvard University ranks in the top 5 of the best universities in the United States and the world. The prestige of its education is recognized in practically every corner of the planet, and of course, obtaining a degree from this university can open doors not only in the United States, but also in organizations and institutions around the world. If you are one of those people who have the wonderful and challenging aspiration of studying at Harvard, we want to tell you a little about the process of what TOEFL iBT score you would need to apply to this institution.

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Harvard Programs

Harvard University, like many other universities in the United States, is divided into a system of schools. Each of these schools offers a number of undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs in different disciplines. The reason we are talking about this structure is because the requirements of the admissions process depend on it. For example, the requirements to apply to the undergraduate program in Computer Science will not be exactly the same as those requested by the Harvard Business School for students who wish to pursue an M.B.A. degree. 

In this sense, to find out what requirements you need to apply to Harvard, the first thing you should consider is which program or school you want to apply to. In order to know in more detail all the programs offered by this institution, you can enter the university’s website and look in the Academics section.

Once you have found the program you want to apply to, be sure to check two things:

  1. The general application requirements for that program (Admission Requirements, applies to local and international students).
  2. The application requirements for international students (International Applicants, in this section you will find the English level requirements).


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TOEFL for Undergraduate Programs (Bachelor’s Degree)

If your goal is to study for a bachelor’s degree at Harvard, the TOEFL is not a mandatory requirement, but it is recommended to demonstrate your level of English and help you stand out from other international applicants.

In the International Applicants section, the institution suggests that one of its expectations is to have students who demonstrate, “A strong knowledge of English… including the ability to understand and express thoughts quickly and clearly

Now, you might ask, what does Harvard consider “a strong knowledge of English? “Until a few years ago, Harvard was an institution that did require TOEFL scores from foreign students wishing to pursue an undergraduate program, and the minimum required scores were 80 points or higher. This requirement is still maintained at some of its graduate schools. Even though it is no longer mandatory, whenever a university says “recommended,” we always advise students to take the exam. It can help bolster a student’s application. On the other hand, even though TOEFL is not required for undergraduate programs, all students, both domestic and international, are required to submit their SAT or ACT scores. Getting a good SAT score, and adding a good TOEFL score can help you in the pre-selection process.

TOEFL for Masters and PhD

As we already told you, each graduate, masters, or PhD school has its internal application requirements. However, the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, to which many master’s and PhD programs belong, mentions that the expectation of most Harvard schools is to require a minimum of 80 points on the TOEFL iBT (or Home Edition). However, some schools may ask for a much higher score if the program of study requires the student to demonstrate advanced English proficiency in order to take the courses. This is the case in programs such as the M.B.A., law, medicine, or disciplines associated with education, theology and/or the humanities.

Also, Harvard M.A. and Ph.D. programs do not accept TOEFL scores listed in the MyBEST Scores section. This section was recently included in TOEFL score reports to help students demonstrate their overall performance with English usage. The MyBEST Scores section collects the best scores you have achieved in each section of the TOEFL, if you have taken this test multiple times. However, the fact that Harvard does not accept this section means that if you do not achieve the minimum score required for the TOEFL, you will have to retake the test.


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TOEFL for the Harvard MBA

Harvard Business School has a very selective selection process for both local and international candidates. Because learning in the M.B.A. program is done through seminars, discussions, group studies, presentations, and active class participation, this school recommends a minimum of 109 points on the TOEFL IBT (or Home Edition). This TOEFL score is perhaps one of the highest required by any Harvard school. Quality preparation for this exam is essential as part of the application process.

TOEFL For Harvard Law School

Like the M.B.A., Harvard Law School’s master’s and doctoral programs rigorously assess the English proficiency of international candidates. This particular school asks for a minimum TOEFL IBT total score of 100 points, and a minimum of 25 points on each of the four sections of this exam. Meeting these English proficiency requirements is extremely important for your application to pass the first pre-screening filters.

Hopefully this blog post has resolved all your doubts. However, if you have questions in regards to your TOEFL preparation, get in touch and we will let you know how EPIC PREP can help you achieve your goals. Differently, if you preffer to continue reading here is the link to our TOEFL courses page.

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