Non-Resident Doctoral Status

Non-Resident Doctoral Status (Dissertation Work in Absentia)

Doctoral students occasionally need to perform dissertation research in absentia (outside the Boston metropolitan area). The student must apply to the CAD for approval of non-resident status. The completion of the minimum two years residency requirement and the satisfactory completion of the Oral Qualifying Examination are prerequisites to gain non-resident status. A Non-Resident Status Petition Form and a Progress Report Form must be submitted to the CAD prior to the end of the semester preceding the requested departure. Hard copies of both forms are available at the Registrar’s Office.

Non-resident status will be granted for one year at a time only. Progress Reports will be due minimally every six months (or more frequently, if stipulated by the CAD) while the student is a non-resident. Non-resident students are required to return to the school at least once a year for a committee meeting – the other 6-month meetings/reviews may be done via conference call or e-mail. Before the CAD will consider a request for non-resident status, it is necessary for the Research Committee to meet with the candidate to appraise the dissertation plan. The Committee must complete the Progress Report Form and the student must submit it with the petition for non-resident status. The progress report must include the committee’s assessment of the following items:

  • the acceptability and feasibility of the proposed dissertation plan
  • the timing and scope of the periodic written reports required of the student
  • the arrangements which have been or will be made for direct supervision of the student
  • an estimate of the minimum period of time the student will spend at the school prior to dissertation presentation and defense

It is assumed that the doctoral student will pursue dissertation work on a full-time basis while a non-resident. Therefore, the student must adhere to the timetable noted in the Student Handbook. If students wish to change their status from full- to part-time, (or continue part-time), additional information must be supplied on the Non-Resident Status Petition declaring the reason(s) research will be conducted only on a part-time basis.

All international students (resident and non-resident) must maintain full-time status when holding a visa issued by Harvard University.
Non-resident students do not pay facilities fees (only a non-resident fee) and have limited access to Harvard facilities.

Non-resident students must meet the financial degree requirements of 2 years full-time tuition and 1 year full-time reduced tuition before their tuition is assessed at the non-resident rate. The CAD will not grant non-resident status for more than one year at a time. Both a Non-Resident Status Petition and an acceptable Progress Report Form must be submitted to the CAD before a request for a second year is considered.

Insurance Policy for Non-Resident Status
Non-resident students will be billed for both the HUSHP Student Health Fee and the HUSHP Student Health Insurance Plan. To waive the Student Health Fee and/or the Student Health Insurance Plan, a student must file a waiver form online at by the stated deadline. A waiver must be filed online each academic year.