Academics

Experience college-level academics at one of the best universities in the world.

200 courses in 60 subjects

From small seminars to large lectures and labs, challenge yourself to study a new subject or explore introductory and advanced courses in biology, economics, government, computer science, psychology, and more.

Many of the classes are taught by Harvard faculty who teach the same courses to Harvard undergraduates during the academic year. Harvard Summer School also welcomes visiting scholars from institutions around the world.

The Harvard summer term is seven weeks, and most courses open to high school students meet for six weeks, with a final exam during the seventh week. On-campus courses are held in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings. You can also take advantage of several online course formats.

Courses popular among high school students:

  • Neurobiology
  • Great Ideas in Computer Science with Java
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Law and Psychology
  • Principles of Economics
  • Introduction to International Relations
  • Multivariable Calculus
  • Space Exploration and Astrobiology
  • The Essay
  • Modern Dance Technique and Choreography

The 2015 course listings will be available in mid-January. 

View a selection of course trailers from previous summers to get a glimpse of the academic environment and download a PDF of last year’s offerings.

Course selection and academic advice

Taking a college course as a high school student can be a rewarding experience, especially if you make careful selections. Our staff are eager to assist you and can provide advice and support.

College courses are generally more demanding than high school courses. Harvard Summer School courses may surprise you because they cover a semester’s worth of college material in an intensive seven weeks. Four-credit courses meet twice a week for three hours a day. Eight-credit courses typically meet five days a week for two to five hours a day.

If you enroll in the residential program, you must register for a total of 8 credits (two 4-credit courses or one 8-credit course). If you commute or take online courses, you may enroll in 4 or 8 credits.