Harvard College Student Guidelines
Important Updates for Summer 2020
Because of the recent announcement of the move to online courses in the Summer School, some of our usual guidelines (such as, that online courses can not be taken for credit) do not apply for Summer 2020. We have therefore edited these guidelines and are providing a list of courses that count for Harvard College Credit. As courses may be added in the upcoming weeks, check this page for updates. Please also see important policy notes and departmental notes below.
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
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:
- Biotechnology (BIOT)
- 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.
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 resident 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 form and tuition (per 4 credits) to the Summer School Registrar’s Office no later than the registration deadline.
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.
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) may be taken for Harvard College degree credit.
However, 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.
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 course changes 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 Resident Dean/Resident Dean of First-Year Students Approval form to the FAS Registrar's Office as soon as possible after registering, and no later than the 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 email (email@example.com) 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 first-year students.
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 resident dean or resident dean of first-year students. Submit a completed Allston Burr Resident Dean/Resident Dean of First-Year Students Approval form to the Summer School Registrar's Office as soon as possible after registering, and no later than May 18, 2020.
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
Please review the list of courses that count for Harvard College credit.
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:
- Courses offered in the three-week format
- Courses in specified professional fields
- Expository writing (EXPO) courses
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.
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-110 and BIOS S-200 are proseminars designed for Harvard Extension School graduate students and may not be taken for Harvard College degree credit.
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 and CHEM S-B do not count for Chemistry concentration credit but may be taken for Harvard College degree credit.
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.
The following courses may be taken for Harvard College degree credit: CSCI S-1, CSCI S-7, CSCI S-20, CSCI S-50, CSCI S-109A, and CSCI S-111. In addition, Computer Science concentrators may count CSCI S-20, and CSCI S-109A for 4 concentration credits each. CSCI S-111 counts as 8 degree credits but only 4 concentration credits (equivalent to 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.
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.
Earth and Planetary Sciences
EPS S-144 and EPS S-58 may be counted toward the Harvard College degree but do not count for concentration credit in Earth and Planetary Sciences.
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
Harvard College students taking ECON S-1010 must enroll in the course’s undergraduate section. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Engineering sciences concentrators must consult their Director of Undergraduate Studies regarding concentration credit for Summer School courses.
ENGL S-198 and S-231 are proseminars for Harvard Extension School graduate students and may not be taken for Harvard College credit.
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 concentrators must have the permission of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures to enroll in GERM S-R.
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.
History concentrators may count only one degree-credit-eligible Summer School course toward the concentration. Concentrators should speak to their Director of Undergraduate Studies about any questions concerning concentration credit.
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.
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.
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.
Only some Summer School Psychology courses count toward the concentration or secondary field. Please consult the department’s electives webpage or email email@example.com 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.
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.
SPAN S-27 does not count toward a language citation.
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.
Theater, Dance & Media
Theater, Dance & Media concentrators must consult their Director of Undergraduate Studies before taking any Summer School drama (DRAM) courses for concentration or secondary field credit.