Courses at Harvard Summer School are offered in a variety of formats, including on-campus, online video, web-conference, and hybrid, so you can study from anywhere in the world.
Course descriptions list the specific class formats, days, times, and credit status. Some courses have separate, smaller section meetings or labs, and the days and times of those are also listed in the descriptions.
Most courses meet in and around historic Harvard Yard, in the heart of the Harvard University campus.
Depending on the session, the course, and the number of credits offered, classes meet two to five days per week during the morning, afternoon, or evening hours.
Seven-week session: four-credit courses typically meet twice per week for three hours a day; eight-credit courses typically meet five days per week for two to five hours a day.
Three-week session: four-credit courses meet four days per week for three hours a day on campus only.
Many online courses feature lecture videos and online course materials. Some of these courses are offered only online. But some on-campus courses have an online option, which means you can attend on campus, watch online, or both—whatever your preference.
Some online courses combine online and on-campus study. You take the majority of the course online via video or web conference, and you attend one mandatory intensive weekend class on campus. Information about the online format and dates of the intensive weekend class are outlined in specific course descriptions. See the technical requirements for video courses.
live Web-conference courses
These courses meet twice a week for seven weeks in a virtual classroom using web-conferencing software. See the technical requirements and guidelines for web-conference courses.
Summer seminars are inspired by Harvard's renowned Freshman Seminars, which have provided Harvard freshmen with an intense academic experience since 1963. They are open only to Secondary School Program juniors and seniors, and to college undergraduates. Because enrollment is limited, early application and early registration are advised.
Enrolling a maximum of 15 students, summer seminars are offered over a range of subject areas. In varying ways each seminar emphasizes small-group instruction, namely, 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; thus, the summer seminar provides ample opportunity for students not only to shape their own course of study, but also to begin to learn by teaching others.
2017 Summer Seminars
- HIST S-1490 Summer Seminar: The Vietnam War in American Culture
- PSYC S-980V Summer Seminar: The Insanity Defense
- SOCI S-108 Summer Seminar: Inequality and Social Mobility In America
- VISU S-34Z Summer Seminar: The Book as Art: Working with Letters, Ink, and Paper
Searching for courses by preferred format
Use the course search to find courses. If you’re interested in any of the various online or hybrid options, you can search by those criteria. On-campus courses are searched by default.