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HDS Application advice


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Hi, I'd love to get some advice on applying to Harvard Divinity school for my MTS.
Some background information: I graduated from NYU with an individualized degree in Human Rights, Peace and Non-violent activism, studied abroad three semesters (Czech Republic, Ghana and Uganda). I did a slew of internships in college ranging from two high-end fashion magazines to a few different orphanages, an HIV/AIDS clinic, immigration reform organization and a human rights education non-profit. For the past six years I have been working for a Christian campus ministry (two years in NYC and four in Burlington, VT). I will have an article published in a theological journal this coming fall. I also come from a multiracial background (Chinese, Polynesian, White), for what it's worth.
The hold up is this: While my GPA isn't terrible (3.4) there is an F on my transcript from a period of time that was personally quite rough (long story short, came back from a year in Africa and had some serious reverse culture shock/a degree of PTSD from experiences therein and couldn't handle school). Additionally, there is a semester reflected on my transcript wherein I withdrew from classes and took an additional part-time year, thus graduating in five years rather than four.
Additionally, I plan on taking the GRE in the fall and don't anticipate doing all that well since it's been years since I've taken an exam (didn't take any in college, either, as was the nature of my program).
What recommendations would you have in applying to HDS? Do you think it's a realistic option considering my academic record?
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My thoughts:

Your overall background is impressive.

Christianity is probably harder to get accepted in to than other faith traditions.

My advice:

Don't anticipate doing poorly on the GRE. If you do, then you will score low. Think positive. Study hard and get a good score. A solid GRE score will help offset the F.

As for your overall chances, I think they are good.

Good luck.

Edited by Averroes MD
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  • 2 weeks later...

Don't take anything for granted. Your SOP needs to be laser targeted. Candidates can overcome burbs on transcripts only if they have a brief and justifiable explanation. As a Christian, you'll have to show that you can work in a multi-faith environment. Your recommendations should touch on that..... Your resume should be tight yet glowing distinguishing you from the pack. You've got the makings of a potentially successful application, but don't blow it. PM me if you wish

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