Harvard College Students

Earn Harvard degree credit in the summer

Harvard Summer School offers intensive study that is ideal for fulfilling tough requirements. Study with Harvard professors and visiting scholars. And strengthen your application to graduate school.

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Summer credits for Harvard College degrees

Most courses count toward your degree if taken for credit after matriculating at Harvard College. There are exceptions. For example, online courses, including web conference courses, do not count for degree credit. The following and other guidelines are outlined on Academic Credit.

To ensure you will earn credit:

  • Register for Harvard Summer School courses held on-campus or one of our study abroad programs.
  • Review the course exceptions by department before registering. If you need more information, consult with your advisor or departmental Director of Undergraduate Studies about applying Harvard Summer School courses to concentrations, requirements, or secondary fields and citations.
  • Because some courses are offered both on campus and online, see how to request credit for on-campus courses with an online option available.
  • Do not register for courses offered online only or via live web conference.
  • See the Harvard College Academic Credit for instructions for the following:
    •  Newly admitted freshmen
    • Transfer credit
    • Returning from a leave of absence
    • Pass/fail option
    • Completing degree requirements at Harvard Summer School
    • Enrolling more than full time

Course exceptions

There are some course exceptions, along with the procedures governing admission to certain courses in economics. Review Academic Credit for information about applying Summer School credit toward Harvard College degrees.

Biological sciences

Harvard College biology concentrators: you must petition the Biology Undergraduate Office before registering for Summer School courses to determine which biological sciences courses are appropriate for your plan of study. See information about earning credit for on-campus courses with a distance education option.

Chemistry

CHEM S-1ab satisfies a year of general chemistry, either for a chemistry concentration or a premedical program. Likewise, CHEM S-20ab satisfies a year of organic chemistry, either for a chemistry concentration or a premedical program. See the chemistry courses.

Computer science

CSCI S-15, S-40, S-75, and DGMD S-5 and S-30 are special professional offerings not drawn from the Harvard College curriculum and, therefore, cannot be taken for credit toward a Harvard College degree. CSCI S-1 counts as 4 degree credits but may not be counted for concentration credit in computer science. CSCI S-111 counts as 8 degree credits and 4 concentration credits (Computer Science 50). Note that credit for summer courses taken online cannot be applied toward Harvard College degrees. See information about earning credit for on-campus courses with a distance education option. See the computer science courses.

Core Curriculum

The Program in General Education has assumed responsibility for the Core Curriculum.  Please consult directly with the Gen Ed Office for guidance on new summer courses, by e-mailing gened@fas.harvard.edu or calling (617) 495-2563.

Drama

Check with the director of undergraduate studies before counting any Summer School courses for secondary field credit. See drama courses.

Economics

Harvard students who have completed Ec 10 and meet individual course prerequirements need not take the  proficiency exam to take economics courses. The Economics Department only grants concentration (or secondary field) credit for some economics Summer School courses. Economics concentrators (and secondary field students) are only eligible for concentration (or secondary) credit for one course taken outside of Harvard’s academic year (this means students can earn concentration/secondary credit for only one eligible Harvard Summer School course OR one eligible course abroad). A student’s grade in a Summer School economics course is not included in his/her economics concentration GPA. For more details on all of these points, consult the  Department of Economics summer webpage, or contact Dani Doyle, the Economics UPC, in Littauer 112, or at 617-495-3247 or ddoyle@fas.harvard.edu.

Education

EDUC S-037 is a professional offering and cannot be taken for credit toward a Harvard College degree.

Engineering sciences

Engineering sciences concentrators must consult the department regarding concentration credit for Summer School courses. See the engineering sciences courses.

English

Note that credit for summer courses taken online cannot be applied toward Harvard College degrees. See information about earning credit for on-campus courses with a distance education option. See English courses.

Environmental studies

ENVR S-101, S-117, S-130, S-138, S-140/W, S-142, S-154, S-161, S-200, S-210, and S-599 are professional offerings and cannot be taken for credit toward a Harvard College degree. See the environmental studies courses.

Expository writing

Summer School courses in expository writing and creative writing do not fulfill the expository writing requirement.

French

FREN S-27 does not fulfill the language citation. FREN S-Ax does not fulfill the foreign language requirement. See the French courses.

General Education Curriculum

See the list of approved on-campus Summer School and Summer Study Abroad courses on the Program in General Education website.

German

You must have the permission of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures to enroll in GERM S-R. See the Germanic language and literature courses.

Government

Note that credit for summer courses taken online cannot be applied toward Harvard College degrees. See information about earning credit for on-campus courses with a distance education option. See the government courses.

History of art and architecture

The Graduate School of Design’s Career Discovery Program may count as Harvard College credit.

Journalism

Journalism courses are professional offerings and cannot be taken for credit toward a Harvard College degree.

Literature

Some literature courses may be counted toward concentration credit. However, if you are a literature concentrator, consult your faculty advisor before enrollment to determine how credit for these courses will be applied. See the literature courses.

Management

The courses in management (MGMT) and information systems management (ISMT) are professional offerings and cannot be taken for credit toward a Harvard College degree.

Mathematics

MATH S-304, S-305, S-310, and S-323 are professional offerings and cannot be taken for credit toward a Harvard College degree. See the mathematics courses.

Museum studies

These courses are professional offerings and cannot be taken for credit toward a Harvard College degree.

Philosophy

Note that credit for summer courses taken online cannot be applied toward Harvard College degrees. See information about earning credit for on-campus courses with a distance education option. See the philosophy courses.

Physics

PHYS S-1a and S-1b count for Harvard College degree credit and fulfill the requirements for medical school. They do not count toward the physics or physical sciences concentrations. While PHYS 1a and 1b count for Harvard College degree credit, and fulfill the requirements for medical school, they do not count toward the Physics or Physical Sciences concentrations. They may meet physics requirements in other concentrations; please consult with individual departments for more information.

Proseminars

BIOS S-200, BIOT S-200, ENVR S-200, HUMA S-100, SSCI S-100B are courses designed for students in graduate-level programs at the Harvard Extension School, and may not be taken for credit toward a Harvard College degree.

Psychology

While all psychology courses count for Harvard College degree credit, only certain courses can count toward the concentration or secondary field. Please consult the department’s electives webpage or e-mail psychology@wjh.harvard.edu for further information. See the psychology courses.

Reading and research courses

In accordance with policies and requirements in your department, you may enroll in up to 8 credits of reading and research or tutorial during the Summer School session. Reading and research courses are available only for Harvard College students and only in departments that regularly offer the courses during the year.

To register for a reading and research course, obtain written approval from your resident dean and department tutor on a Summer School reading and research application form. Submit that form along with a Summer School registration form, the $50 registration fee, and $2,850 tuition (per 4 credits) to the Summer School Registrar’s office by Monday, May 19. From Tuesday, May 20, through Thursday, June 26, you may register with an additional $200 late fee.

Religion

Note that credit for summer courses taken online cannot be applied toward Harvard College degrees. See information about earning credit for on-campus courses with a distance education option. See the religion courses.

Spanish

SPAN S-27 does not fulfill the language citation.

Statistics

Note that credit for summer courses taken online cannot be applied toward Harvard College degrees. See information about earning credit for on-campus courses with a distance education option. See the statistics courses.

Study abroad programs

See Study Abroad Credit Information.

Summer seminars

Unlike Harvard freshman seminars, summer seminars are taken for a letter grade, and some may have a final exam in lieu of a paper or project. Summer seminars provide one half-year course of Harvard College degree credit.

Tutorial courses

See reading and research courses above.