Summer 2021: Updates and Resources

For reasons of health and safety, all 2021 Harvard Summer School courses and activities will be offered online. The feedback from our 2020 virtual programs from students and faculty was overwhelmingly positive, and we look forward to another exciting and successful summer online in 2021.

Our response to the to the COVID-19 crisis: 

The following outlines Harvard Summer School’s plans to limit the spread of COVID-19 among the community. The plans are in accordance with the University’s response and we encourage you to also visit the general Harvard University COVID-19 information page.

Below is information for students. Faculty and teaching assistants should consult with HSS Academic Administration and the Teaching and Learning site for support moving their courses online.

All Summer School Community Updates: 

11/16/20: For reasons of health and safety, all 2021 Harvard Summer School courses and activities will be offered online. The feedback from our 2020 virtual programs from students and faculty was overwhelmingly positive, and we look forward to another exciting and successful summer online in 2021.​

4/13/20: Harvard Summer School has made the difficult decision to move entirely online this summer. While we will no longer host students on campus, we are committed to providing you with a rigorous and enriching academic experience this summer. We believe this is the best course of action to support the health and safety of our students, our instructors, our staff, and our global community, and we look forward to navigating these changes together with you this summer.

3/23/20: STUDY ABROAD—In light of the significant and prolonged uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Harvard Summer School is suspending the operation of our 2020 study abroad programs. For further travel resources, please visit the Harvard Global Support Services website and Harvard’s coronavirus website which is frequently updated – and contains the latest announcements, guidance and resources.


On-Campus Courses Move Online

All summer courses will be moved to a virtual format. No classes, labs, section meetings, or exams will be held on campus this summer.

  • Most changes will be to format only. If your course meeting schedule changes, we will notify you of that as well. 
    • Learn Zoom Now. It is likely that web-conference will be the instructional delivery mode for most courses moving from on campus to online; therefore, we recommend that if you don’t already use the web-conferencing platform Zoom that you become familiar with Zoom and review our guidelines for using this platform. Also view Zoom help video or attend a training.
  • As we make these changes our course catalog and Online Services systems may be in flux. We appreciate your patience and ask that you check back soon for an update that all changes have been made. 
  • Be aware of deadlines. If you should need to make changes to your course(s) as a result of the change in format please remember to do so by the course change and drop deadlines for your session or program. 
  • The Summer School cannot reimburse for lodging, travel, or other course-related expenses.

International Students 

Harvard Summer School will no longer issue I-20 certificates for on-campus study this year. All I-20 certificates that have already been issued will be canceled as required by U.S. federal immigration regulations. Please visit the International Student Guidelines page for additional information. 

Pre-College Program students will no longer need to apply for a B2 visa or visa waiver (ESTA) to participate.

Immunizations and Medical Documents

Students are no longer required to meet the immunization requirement and will no longer need to submit any medical forms, including the Medical History and Consent forms for high school program students. Please contact with any questions.

On-Campus Housing and Dining

Summer School on-campus housing and dining will not be available this summer. See Housing and Dining for additional information.


The Pre-College Program and Secondary School Program (SSP) will be offered this summer in an online format. 

Changes to Courses and Course Formats

Pre-College: Courses open to Pre-College Program students will be offered as Online (live) web conference and taught at the time listed in the course catalog. While we understand that it may be difficult for students who are not in Eastern Time to participate in synchronous courses, we feel it is important to maintain a seminar-style experience in Pre-College Program courses. Please review the Admitted Students page for more information.

SSP: Harvard Summer School courses, in which SSP students enroll, are offered in several online formats. Updates to the Summer School course catalog are forthcoming.

Program Costs

Pre-College: The program fee, which includes tuition and activity costs for the full two week online session, is now $3,200. Please see Program Cost for more information.

SSP: Tuition for seven-week Harvard Summer School courses, taken through the Secondary School Program, remains $3,340 for four credits, and $6,680 for eight credits. SSP students may enroll in one or two college courses. The tuition fee covers all SSP and Summer School academic support and extracurricular activities for the full seven-week summer term. Please see Program Cost for more information. 


The Secondary School Program will continue to accept applications until June 1. As of May 15 the Pre-College Program is no longer accepting new applications. The Pre-College Staff will continue to accept materials from previously submitted applicants until June 1. We understand you may encounter difficulties providing documentation for checklist items, such as English proficiency test scores or the Counselor Report form. Should you run into any issues, please reach out to us at, so that we may consider alternative options for you on a case-by-case basis.


Harvard College Students

Summer School courses that had been scheduled to count for credit toward your Harvard College degree will continue to do so. Please check the Harvard College Student Guidelines for more information. 

Harvard Extension School Prospective and Admitted Degree Candidates

Any 2021 Harvard Summer School course delivered in the live web-conference format can fulfill the on-campus requirement for a Harvard Extension School (HES) degree for all students who complete the course with the necessary credit status and grade as outlined on the HES website. Prospective and admitted degree candidates must use the degree course search found on the HES website to determine which courses meet the on-campus requirement. See Harvard Extension Students for more information.

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