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English Proficiency Requirement

English Proficiency Requirement

English is the language of instruction at Harvard Summer School. If your native language is not English, you must provide proof of English proficiency, unless you are an admitted degree candidate in Harvard College, the Harvard Extension School, or a Harvard graduate or professional school.

How to meet the requirement

Secondary School and Pre-College Program applicants

See Secondary School Program Admissions and Pre-College Program Admissions for instructions on meeting this requirement. The information on this page applies only to general program students.

General program students taking courses in a seven- or three-week session

Meet the requirement in one of these three ways (click for more details):

Submit a minimum required score on the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTEA.

Scores must be no more than three years old.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Minimum score required:

  • 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT)
  • 250 on the computer-based TOEFL
  • 600 on the paper-based TOEFL

Send your score electronically to the Harvard Summer School Registrar’s Office: institution code 8578.

International English Language Testing System, Academic (Academic IELTS)

Minimum score required: Band 7.0

Send your score electronically to the Harvard Summer School Registrar’s Office.

Pearson Test of English Academic (PTEA)

Minimum score required: 68

Send your score electronically to the Harvard Summer School Registrar’s Office.

Submit a three- or four-year undergraduate degree transcript from one of the listed countries.

Submit an official transcript showing completion of a three- or four-year undergraduate degree (of which you have completed at least three of these years at one of the countries listed) at a college or university located in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, or the United Kingdom, at which English is the sole language of instruction.

Transcripts showing more than one year of transfer credit from a school in a country not listed will not meet this requirement. Send your official transcript to proficiency@dcemail.harvard.edu or by post to Registrar’s Office, Attn: English Proficiency, Harvard Summer School, 51 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.

Submit a four-year high school transcript from one of the listed countries.

Submit an official transcript showing your graduation from a four-year high school located in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, or the United Kingdom, at which English is the sole language of instruction.

Transcripts showing more than one year of transfer credit from a school in a country not listed will not meet this requirement. Send your official transcript to proficiency@dcemail.harvard.edu or by post to Registrar’s Office, Attn: English Proficiency, Harvard Summer School, 51 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.

HOW TO REGISTER FOR COURSES WHILE MEETING THE REQUIREMENT

  • You can submit your transcript or test score year-round, if you have an account in online services. Create an account before submitting materials. Submit materials before registration opens for the best chance of meeting the deadline.
    • New students: Create an account and provide required English proficiency information before submitting your test score or transcript. Or, if registration is open, provide the information when you register as a new student.
    • Returning students: Provide required English proficiency information in the English Proficiency Information and Status page in online services before registration opens, or when you register.
  • You can also register before you meet the requirement, but your registration will be conditional until your test score or transcript is reviewed and a determination regarding your proficiency is made.
    • If you meet the requirement, you will be officially registered/waitlisted for courses in which your status was conditional.
    • If you do not meet the requirement, you will be dropped for a 100% tuition refund from those courses. Please note that the registration fee is nonrefundable.
  • You can check your English proficiency status and your course registration status in online services, via the English Proficiency Information and Status page or the View Course Schedule page.
  • Meet the English proficiency requirement before attempting the test of critical reading and writing skills (CRWS) if you register for a course that requires this test.

Deadlines for meeting the requirement

  • If you request an I-20: You must meet the requirement before an I-20 can be issued and no later than Monday, May 2. If you do not meet the requirement by May 2, an I-20 will not be issued to you.
  • All other students: Meet the requirement by Monday, May 16.

Option for One Term of Enrollment with Other English Language Test Scores

If the TOEFL, IELTS, and PTEA are not available in your location and you have not earned a three- or four-year undergraduate degree or four-year high school diploma at a school in one of the countries listed above, you have the option of requesting one term of enrollment upon submitting the minimum required score on one of the following tests:

  • Institutional TOEFL
  • the University of Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)
  • the University of Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
  • the Business English Certificate Higher (BEC Higher)
  • the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC, 800 or higher)
  • the duoLingo English language test (a minimum of 7.6 of 10, or 76 percent, and no more than one year old); take the duoLingo test entirely online at the duoLingo Test Center and e-mail a copy of your score certificate to proficiency@dcemail.harvard.edu. We have a limited number of discount codes for this test, valid through July 22. Contact Enrollment Services at (617) 495-4024 to request the code.

You may request this option for one term of enrollment by making the appropriate selection on your English Proficiency Information and Status page in online services. Your request and scores must be received in the Registrar's Office by the registration deadline for the courses you plan to take. Please keep in mind that if your request is approved based on one of these test scores, it is for one semester only, and the minimum required TOEFL, IELTS, or PTEA score must be provided for your future enrollment.

English proficiency for other Harvard schools

Meeting the Summer School English proficiency requirement does not meet the requirement for other Harvard schools or programs, including Harvard Extension School degree programs.

Are you considering an Extension degree program?

If you are considering a Harvard Extension School degree program, review admission policies for the degree program that interests you. Contact the Admissions Office directly with questions about meeting the requirement for that program.

Questions?

Please contact Enrollment Services at (617) 495-4024 or e-mail proficiency@dcemail.harvard.edu.

Have a question?

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