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Harvard College Student Guidelines

You may take Summer School courses for credit toward your Harvard College degree in accordance with the following guidelines and the regulations in the Harvard College Handbook for Students.

General guidelines for course selection

Most summer courses count toward your degree if taken for credit after matriculating at Harvard College. There are some exceptions. Online courses, including web conference courses, do not count for degree credit nor do courses offered in the three-week format, or courses geared towards our professional students (in fields such as Management or Environmental Studies). See course exceptions below for more information about what counts towards the Harvard College degree.

You may not count a Summer School course that duplicates a previously taken academic-year course. Consult your department tutorial office or head tutor about summer and academic-year course equivalencies, as well as the availability of particular courses for concentration credit.

Online courses

Per Harvard College policy, you may not count courses taken online, including web-conference courses, toward your Harvard College degree. Some Summer School courses have an online option, however, which means that they are taught on the Harvard campus and are also available online.

If you enroll in a course with an online option and you attend and participate in the course entirely on campus, you may request that it be counted toward your undergraduate degree by completing a certification of attendance form and submitting it to the Harvard Summer School Registrar’s Office by the Wednesday, June 22, late registration deadline.

Three-week courses

Courses in the three-week format do not count for degree credit.

Pass/fail option

You may submit a pass/fail form to request approval to enroll for up to 8 credits with a pass/fail (PA/FL) grade except in expository and creative writing, education, and management courses. PA covers the range of letter grades from A to D–.

Requests for the pass/fail option must be submitted by Wednesday, June 22. The pass/fail deadlines for study abroad programs vary, but generally you have the first three days of your program to submit the pass/fail form. If you wish to request the pass/fail option, first consult the Harvard College Handbook for Students for information on the number of pass/fail courses that can be counted toward your degree.

Returning from a leave of absence or withdrawal

If you are returning after a leave of absence or withdrawal from Harvard College, you must submit a completed Allston Burr Assistant Dean/Resident Dean of Freshmen approval form to the Summer School Registrar's Office as soon as possible after registering, and no later than the May 16 registration deadline.

Completing degree requirements

If you plan to complete your Harvard College degree requirements at the Summer School, notify the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Registrar’s Office by e-mail (require@fas.harvard.edu) or phone (617-495-1489) before registering to ensure you select courses that meet your final degree requirements.

Newly admitted freshmen

If you are a newly admitted Harvard freshman, starting in fall 2016, you must apply to take Summer School courses through the Secondary School Program. You may apply Summer School credit toward your degree if you obtain prior approval from your Resident Dean of Freshmen.

New transfer students

If you are a new College transfer student for fall 2016, you may register online through the Summer School website. You may apply Summer School credit toward your degree provided you obtain prior approval from the Advising Programs Office.

Exceptions to maximum enrollment

To enroll for greater than the maximum credit enrollment in any session, you must obtain approval from your Allston Burr Assistant Dean or Resident Dean of Freshmen. Submit a completed Allston Burr Assistant Dean/Resident Dean of Freshmen approval form to the Summer School Registrar's Office as soon as possible after registering, and no later than the May 16 registration deadline.

Grades and academic credit

Grades for your Summer School general program courses are available via Summer School online services on August 16. Study Abroad course grades are generally available one week after the program ends.

Your Summer School courses and grades are also submitted to the FAS Registrar’s Office. They are entered on your Harvard College academic record if at least one course counts towards your College degree.

Course exceptions

Review the following exceptions to see what courses you can count towards your degree. If you need more information, consult with your advisor or departmental Director of Undergraduate Studies about applying Harvard Summer School courses to concentration, requirements for the degree, or secondary fields and citations.

Detailed course exception information will be available in early February.

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