Course Options

As a college or adult student, you can find a variety of course options at Harvard Summer School.

Join us for three weeks or seven. Attend classes in person—right on the Harvard campus. Or choose an online course and participate from anywhere in the world.

Find a course

Types of Courses

On Campus

These courses meet in person—on the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There are morning, afternoon, and evening classes.

Classes vary, but the following reflect common schedules.

Seven-week session meeting schedules

  • Four-credit courses typically meet:
    • Twice a week
    • For three hours a day
  • Eight-credit courses typically meet:
    • Five days a week
    • For three to five hours a day

Three-week session meeting schedules

Typically, these courses are four credits and meet: 

  • Four days a week
  • For three hours a day


Online-only courses offer flexibility. You can engage with course materials when it's convenient for you—as long as you keep pace with the activities and assignments outlined in the syllabus.

Live participation may be required in some online courses. Be sure to check course descriptions. 

See the technical requirements for video courses.  

On Campus or Online

These courses give you the choice of attending on campus, participating live online, viewing class recordings on your own time, or doing a combination of all three.

Classes are recorded, then posted to the course website within 24 hours of the end of class.

Online (Live) Web Conference

Most of these classes meet during the seven-week session:

  • At a scheduled time
  • Twice a week
  • For three hours each meeting

See the technical requirements and guidelines for web-conference courses.

Online (Live or On Demand) Web-Conference

These online web-conference courses meet at a scheduled time, and you participate in class live at that time or watch recorded sessions on demand, while keeping up with posted deadlines for assignments and exams. Recorded sessions are posted to the course website within 24 hours of the class meeting. Please see the Web Conference Technology Guidelines and Course Video Technology Guidelines for more information.

Online with Required On-Campus Weekend

In this type of course, you participate in classes mostly online. Then you come to campus once, for an intensive weekend class. These courses are seven weeks. Information is outlined in specific course descriptions.

Summer Seminar

Enrolling a maximum of 15 students and available for undergraduate credit only, Summer Seminars are offered over a range of subject areas. Each seminar emphasizes small-group instruction, close attention to writing, an expanded opportunity for classroom discussion, and the opportunity to do independent research or an independent project under the direction of a faculty member. Peer study groups outside of class are encouraged, as are in-class presentations by students. Summer Seminars provide ample opportunity for students to shape their own courses of study and to learn by teaching others.

Searching for Courses by Preferred Format

Use the course search to find courses by your preferences.