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 on the Harvard campus. The day and time of the class meetings are listed in the course description. Some courses have separate labs or section and review meetings. The days and times of those are either listed in the descriptions, on the website, on the syllabus, or announced by the teaching staff once class begins.


These courses meet only online. No specific meeting schedule is listed but you need to keep up with posted deadlines for assignments and exams. See course syllabi and websites for specific course information and expectations

See the technical requirements for video courses.  

On Campus or Online

Students in “on-campus or online courses” have three options for attendance: you can attend in person; participate live online in real time; or watch the recordings of the class meetings and participate on demand, keeping up with posted deadlines for assignments and exams. Class recordings will be posted within 24 hours of the class meeting. You can choose how you’d like to attend on a day-to-day basis.

Live online participation comes in two forms. In many courses, you attend via web conference, which is broadcast on large monitors in the classroom so you can interact with the class as if you were there. In others, the class meetings are live streamed and you can communicate via text-based chat. Check the course description for specific information about live participation for each course.

In a few courses, you are required to attend live at the time the course meets. This is explicitly noted in the course description and syllabus. 

Please see the Course Video Technology Guidelines for more information on accessing and viewing course videos. Please see the Web Conference Technology Guidelines for more information about live online participation in courses.

Online (Live) Web Conference

These online web-conference courses meet according to the schedule listed on the course description, and you are required to be present online, live, at the meeting time. Please see the Web Conference Technology Guidelines for more information.

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 these seven-week courses, you participate live in the regularly scheduled web-conference meetings online, and attend an intensive weekend class on the Harvard campus. Information about the format of the online meetings and the dates of the intensive weekend meeting are outlined in the course description.

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.