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 full-term Harvard Summer School courses offered on campus or as part of the Study Abroad Program count toward a Harvard College degree if taken for credit after matriculating. However, there are some exceptions. Online courses and courses offered in the three-week format may not be taken for Harvard College credit. Courses in professional fields, such as Management and Museum Studies, as well as expository writing (EXPO) courses may not be taken for Harvard College credit. See Course Types and Degree Credit and Special Instructions and Exceptions by Department below for more information.

Harvard College students may not count a Summer School course that duplicates a previously taken academic-year course. Students should consult their department tutorial office or Director of Undergraduate Studies about summer and academic-year course equivalencies, as well as the availability of particular courses for concentration credit. See Policy Information below.

Course Types and Degree Credit

Courses in Professional Fields

Courses in the Summer School catalog in the following areas may not be taken for Harvard College degree credit:

  • Education (EDUC)
  • Information Systems Management (ISMT)
  • Journalism (JOUR)
  • Legal Studies (LSTU)
  • Management (MGMT)
  • Mathematics Review (GMAT)
  • Museum Studies (MUSE)

General Education Curriculum Courses

See the list of approved on-campus Summer School and Summer Study Abroad courses on the Program in General Education website.

Online Courses

Per Harvard College policy, undergraduates may not count courses taken online toward a Harvard College degree. Such courses are identified in the course catalog as one of the following:

  • Online
  • Online (live) web conference
  • Online (live) web conference with required on-campus weekend

On-Campus Courses with an Online Option ("On Campus or Online")

Some Summer School courses are identified in the catalog as "On Campus or Online." This means they are taught on campus, but students also have an option to take them online.

Harvard College students enrolled in an on-campus or online course who attend and participate entirely on campus may request that it count toward the Harvard College degree by completing a certification of in-person attendance form and submitting it to the Harvard Summer School Registrar’s Office by the late registration deadline.

Proseminars

Proseminars are courses designed for Harvard Extension School graduate students and may not be taken for Harvard College degree credit.

Reading and Research Courses

In accordance with policies and requirements in your department, you may enroll in up to 8 credits of reading and research or tutorial during the Summer School session. Reading and research courses are available only for Harvard College students and only in departments that regularly offer the courses during the year.

To register for a reading and research course, obtain written approval from your Allston Burr assistant dean and the head tutor or director of undergraduate studies in your department on a Summer School supervised reading and research course application form. Submit that form along with Summer School registration and payment forms and $3,340 tuition (per 4 credits) to the Summer School Registrar’s Office by Monday, May 20, 2019. From Tuesday, May 21, through Wednesday, June 26, 2019, you may register with an additional $200 late registration fee.

Summer Seminars

Unlike Harvard freshman seminars, summer seminars are taken for a letter grade, and some may have a final exam in lieu of a paper or project. Summer seminars provide one semester-long (4 credit) course of Harvard College degree credit.

Three-Week Courses

Courses in the three-week format may not be taken for Harvard College degree credit.

Writing Courses (CREA and EXPO)

Creative writing (CREA) courses that are full-term (seven weeks long) and fully on campus (no online component) may be taken for Harvard College degree credit.

Expository writing (EXPO) courses may not be taken for Harvard College degree credit.

Please be aware that Summer School CREA and EXPO courses do not fulfill the Harvard College expository writing requirement.

Policy Information

Pass/Fail Option

You may submit a pass / fail request 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 the late registration deadline. 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 registration deadline, May 20, 2019.

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 email (enrollment@fas.harvard.edu) or phone (617-495-1543) before registering to ensure you select courses that meet your final degree requirements.

Newly Admitted Freshmen

If you are admitted as a Harvard College freshman and will matriculate for the upcoming fall term, 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 the upcoming fall term, 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 transfer program coordinator.

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 20, 2019, registration deadline.

Grades and Academic Credit

Grades for your Summer School general program courses are available via Summer School online services after classes end. See the calendar for specific grade posting dates. Study abroad course grades are generally available approximately one to two weeks 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 toward your College degree.

Special Instructions and Exceptions by Department

Information on courses that are exceptions to Summer School policies—or courses for which specific conditions apply—is provided here. If you do not find your concentration area listed below, or do not find a department listing for an elective you wish to take, that means the standard Summer School policies apply for courses in that department.

As explained above, the following types of Summer School courses may not be taken for Harvard College degree credit:

  1. Online courses
  2. Courses offered in the three-week format
  3. Courses in specified professional fields
  4. Expository writing (EXPO) courses

Courses listed in the catalog as "on campus or online"—meaning they are offered on campus but students have an option to take them online— may be taken for Harvard College degree credit if a student's attendance and participation is entirely on campus. Students may request that it be counted toward the undergraduate degree by completing a certification of in-person attendance form and submitting it to the Harvard Summer School Registrar’s Office by the late registration deadline.

The Summer School strongly recommends Harvard College students consult their advisor or Director of Undergraduate Studies with any questions about concentration requirements, degree requirements, or secondary fields and citations.

Biological Sciences

Harvard College biology concentrators must petition their concentration undergraduate office before registering for Summer School courses to determine which Summer School biological sciences courses are appropriate for their plan of study. BIOS S-65DXL is a 1-credit lab practical associated with the Extension School course BIOS E-65D and may not be taken for undergraduate credit toward a Harvard College degree. BIOS S-200 is a proseminar designed for Harvard Extension School graduate students and may not be taken for credit toward a Harvard College degree.

Biotechnology

BIOT S-200 is a proseminar designed for Harvard Extension School graduate students and may not be taken for credit toward a Harvard College degree. 

Chemistry

CHEM S-1AB satisfies a year of general chemistry, either for a Chemistry concentration or a premedical program. Likewise, CHEM S-20AB satisfies a year of organic chemistry, either for a Chemistry concentration or a premedical program. Chemistry S-17 satisfies one semester of organic chemistry for the Chemistry concentration. CHEM S-A does not count for Chemistry concentration credit.

Comparative Literature

Comparative Literature concentrators must consult their faculty advisor before enrolling in a Summer School course to determine if credit can be applied to their concentration.

Computer Science

CSCI S-1 and CSCI S-111 may be taken for Harvard College credit. CSCI S-1 counts as 4 degree credits but may not be counted for concentration credit in Computer Science. CSCI S-111 counts as 8 degree credits and 4 concentration credits (Computer Science 50). All other Summer School Computer Science courses are professional offerings and may not be taken for credit toward a Harvard College degree.

Digital Media

DGMD S-30 may be counted toward Harvard College credit. All other courses in Digital Media are professional offerings and may not be taken for credit toward a Harvard College degree.

Drama

Theater, Dance & Media concentrations must consult their Director of Undergraduate Studies before taking any Summer School Drama courses for concentration or secondary field credit.

Earth and Planetary Sciences

EPS S-144 may be counted toward the Harvard College degree but does not count for concentration credit in Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Economics

Students can count only one course not offered during the regular academic calendar year toward their Economics concentration or secondary field requirements. This includes approved Harvard Summer School Economics courses, approved study abroad Economics courses, and approved cross-registered Economics courses at MIT. Harvard students who have completed Econ. 10 and meet individual course prerequisites listed below need not take the proficiency exam to enroll in the following Summer School courses:

Summer School Course     

Equivalent Harvard College Prerequisites

ECON S-1010

Mathematics 1a

ECON S-1012

Mathematics 1a

ECON S-1123

Statistics 100

A student’s grade in a Harvard Summer School Economics course is not included in their Economics concentration GPA. For more details on all of these points, consult the Department of Economics summer webpage, or contact the Economics Undergraduate Program Coordinator at 617-495-3247 or econupc@fas.harvard.edu.

Engineering Sciences

Engineering sciences concentrators must consult their Director of Undergraduate Studies regarding concentration credit for Summer School courses.

English

ENGL S-198 and S-231 are proseminars for Harvard Extension School graduate students and may not be taken for Harvard College credit.

Environmental Studies

ENVR S-100 counts as credit towards a Harvard College degree, but will not, in most cases, count for concentration credit in the Environmental Science and Public Policy concentration. Prior to registering for courses, Harvard College students must consult with the head tutor in the Environmental Science and Public Policy concentration to determine if a course is eligible for concentration credit.  Most Environmental Studies courses, outside of ENVR S-100, are professional offerings and cannot be taken either for credit toward a Harvard College degree or for concentration credit. Exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis.

German

German concentrators must have the permission of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures to enroll in GERM S-R.

Government

Generally, primary concentrators in Government can count only one Harvard Summer School Government course, taught either on campus or abroad (not online), toward their Government concentration requirements. If that course is not taught by a Harvard Government Department faculty member, the student must petition the Government Director of Undergraduate Studies before taking the course. Read more about the new policy on counting Harvard Summer School Courses for Government Concentration Credit. Note that GOVT S-1550 is a graduate-level course for Extension School graduate students and may not be taken for undergraduate credit toward a Harvard College degree.

Humanities

HUMA S-100 and HUMA S-101 are proseminars designed for Extension School graduate students and may not be taken for credit toward a Harvard College degree.

Mathematics

MATH S-3 may not be taken for credit toward a Harvard College degree. MATH S-P may be taken for Harvard College degree credit, but may not be taken for credit in the Mathematics concentration. Mathematics courses in the 300 range, as well as MATH S-599, are professional offerings and may not be taken for credit toward a Harvard College degree.

Physics

PHYS S-1A and S-1B count for Harvard College degree credit and fulfill the requirements for medical school. They do not count toward the Physics concentration. They may meet physics requirements in other concentrations; please consult with individual departments for more information. PHYS S-1AXL is a 1-credit lab practical that may not be taken for credit toward a Harvard College degree.

Psychology

Only some Summer School Psychology courses count toward the concentration or secondary field. Please consult the department’s electives webpage or email psychology@wjh.harvard.edu for further information. PSYC S-1415 and PSYC S-1440 are graduate-level courses for Extension School students and may not be taken for credit toward a Harvard College degree.

Social Sciences

SSCI S-100A, SSCI S-100B, and SSCI S-495 are proseminars designed for Extension School graduate students and may not be taken for credit toward a Harvard College degree.

Spanish

SPAN S-27 does not count toward a language citation.

Statistics

STAT S-150 is a graduate-level course for Extension School students and may not be taken for undergraduate credit toward a Harvard College degree.

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