Traveling Scholar / Non-Residency

What is the definition of a Non-Resident student:

Application for non-resident status is required for any circumstance where a student will be going away for one term or longer. See the GSAS website for all non-resident classifications. To receive such status, one must file a form (online) declaring non-resident status.

Students should be aware that all waivers are time-sensitive: those who fail to meet the appropriate deadlines will be obliged to pay term bill charges.

Deadlines for applications for Non-residency:

Fall Term - by July 1st.

Spring Term: by December 1st.


Applications are submitted online. PLEASE contact your advisor about your wish to change your status BEFORE you submit your application.

To cancel a submitted application or make a change, please submit one of the forms below:
Change in Non-Resident Status (PDF)
Cancellation of Non-Resident Status (PDF)

Applications for non-resident status must be submitted for departmental approval online by July 1 for the fall term or academic year, and by December 1 for the spring term. After those dates, late registration fees apply. The student will be charged $50 plus $5 for each week that the application is late.

If a student is currently in non-resident status and wants to continue in that status for additional terms, a new non-resident application must be submitted.

Once a non-resident application has been approved, a traveling scholar may request a formal letter of introduction from the Dean's Office in the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center to assist the student in gaining access to research facilities and libraries abroad.

For more information, please contact the Dean's Office at 617-495-1814 or e-mail

Note: A completed application will not be approved if the student has an outstanding term bill.
A current mailing address outside of the Department must be included.

Registration at Another Harvard School

Third- and fourth-year students declaring non-resident status AND participating in a coordinated Harvard degree program will NOT forfeit their teaching guarantee in the Department.

  • GSAS tuition delayed

Students pursuing coordinated degrees may be permitted to register at another Harvard school for a maximum of two consecutive years. Students must consult their advisors and the Graduate Coordinator to determine the best program to complete the dissertation. All forms may be found on the GSAS Website.

A student registered at another school should obtain deferment forms from the Harvard Student Loan Office (phone: 617-495-3782).

The “dissertation clock” does stop for students pursuing coordinated degrees.