Choosing a Credit Status

Choosing a Credit Status

Courses are offered at one or more credit levels: undergraduate, graduate, or noncredit, as noted in course descriptions.

Undergraduate and graduate credit

If you want to receive academic credit and grades, you must register for undergraduate or graduate credit. You do not have to be an undergraduate student to take a course for undergraduate credit, nor are you required to have an undergraduate degree to register for graduate credit. Students taking courses for graduate credit may have additional or different assignments and generally are required to perform at a higher level than students enrolled for undergraduate credit.

International students who request an I-20 certificate from Harvard Summer School must register full-time for undergraduate or graduate credit.


To audit courses, you must register for noncredit if it is available. Courses that do not have a noncredit option may not be audited. As a noncredit student, you do not receive grades or academic credit, but the courses do appear on your transcript with an “NC” notation.

In courses available for both credit and noncredit, as a noncredit student you may participate in class discussions, exercises, laboratories, quizzes, and midterm or hour exams. In some courses, instructors will accept and correct other written work from noncredit students, but they may not assign grades for that work. You do not receive grades, attend final exams, or submit final papers.

In courses available only for noncredit, you are required to attend all classes, participate in class discussions, submit all work, and take all quizzes and exams, including final exams, if given.

International students who request an I-20 certificate from Harvard Summer School may not register for noncredit. However, noncredit study is permissible while on a B-2 visa or ESTA in the United States.

changing status

You may change your credit status until the late registration deadline, which is also the deadline for course and credit status changes. See the calendar for dates.

Have a question?

Our Enrollment Services team is here to help.

Request Information