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All students, including those in study abroad programs, are responsible for knowing and adhering to Harvard Summer School policies and procedures outlined on this website and on the Student Handbook website.

Failure to read this information, negligence, personal factors, or contradictory information from any sources are not acceptable grounds for seeking exemption from these policies and procedures.


Your Student Record

As part of your first registration, you create your student record. You must provide your full legal name, date of birth, legal sex, native language, email address, postal mailing address, and emergency contact information. You are responsible for the accuracy of all biographical and contact information that you provide or another person provides on your behalf, both online and on all paper forms and applications. Honesty in all communications, including self-representation, is a requirement of student enrollment. The Registrar has the right to cancel a student’s registration, at any point in term, upon discovery of inaccurate biographical or contact information. Submission of fraudulent information is subject to review by the Administrative Board and may be grounds for disciplinary action.

Your Biographical Information

The name you provide when registering must match exactly the full legal name printed on your passport or other government-issued photo identification. Your Harvard ID card cannot be issued if the name in the Summer School system is different from the name on your government-issued photo ID. Please check that your name and biographical information are correct in MyDCE. To report a legal name change, a birth date or Social Security number correction, or changes to legal sex or other biographical information, you must submit a Biographical and Contact Information Changes Form to the Registrar’s Office with acceptable documentation, as described on the form.

Your Contact Information

All critical school and course communications are sent via email.

To protect the privacy and security of your student records, your email address must be unique to you and not shared with any other person. Duplicate email addresses will be inactivated. Beginning in mid-March, you are eligible to create a unique Harvard email account within two business days of registering. Your Harvard email account will remain active throughout your term of enrollment and expire at the end of the session(s) for which you are registered. If you wish your Harvard email account to be used for Summer School communications, you must update your contact information in MyDCE.

You are responsible for maintaining accurate contact information (email address, postal address, telephone numbers) with the Summer School. You may view and update your contact information through MyDCE at any time.

Attendance and Participation

Students registered in a course for undergraduate or graduate credit must attend all classes or participate online as a distance student, take all exams, and complete and submit all coursework by the stated deadlines from instructional staff or as noted in the course syllabus. Students registered for noncredit are expected to attend all classes and participate in adherence to instructor expectations.

Students are prohibited from using recording devices of any kind in their courses. Students should direct their questions about this policy to the Academic Services office.

Students who are registered in active learning weekend courses, or in online courses with a required on-campus weekend, must attend the entire three-day weekend to earn credit for those courses. (See course descriptions.)

Participation in Courses and Sections Using Web Conferencing

Students are expected to treat web-conference class meetings as if attending class on campus, which includes behaving professionally, treating others with courtesy and respect, refraining from using profanity or socially offensive language as well as wearing appropriate clothing and avoiding inappropriate surroundings.

Students are required to have and use a camera and microphone when attending web-conference class meetings unless otherwise specified by the instructor.

Students may not join a class while driving or riding in a car. Students are expected to join from a suitable, quiet location, with a device that permits full participation in the class activities.

Many courses include activities that cannot adequately be performed on a mobile device.

Submission of Written Work

You are responsible for ensuring that required written work is submitted and received on time. It is your responsibility to submit work according to instructors’ requirements and obtain proof that the submission has been delivered successfully. This includes work that is submitted in person or by postal mail, email, or an electronic dropbox. Please note that submitting the “wrong document” or “the wrong version of the document” is not grounds for an extension of time, re-grading, or any form of re-consideration, nor is it an acceptable defense if plagiarism is detected. Students are responsible for the version of the work that they submit.

Late work may be submitted only with instructor approval and according to instructor policies. Registering or adding a course late does not warrant an exception to this policy.

Exclusion From a Course

If you are consistently not prepared for class, fail to attend class or participate online, grossly neglect coursework, lack the necessary level of English proficiency to be successful in the course, or do not have course prerequisites and your continued enrollment is disruptive to the progress of instruction, you may, after written warning by the instructor, be excluded from the course. The instructor’s warning should specify the steps the student must take to be allowed to continue in the course.

If it is before the drop deadline, you may drop the course as an alternative to exclusion. If it is before the withdrawal deadline, you may voluntarily withdraw from the course for a WD or WN grade as an alternative to exclusion. But you may no longer attend or participate.

If you are excluded from a course, you may no longer participate in any way, including attending classes, participating online, taking exams, and submitting work. You are assigned the permanent notation EXD (excluded from course), which is equivalent to a failing grade and earns no credit for the course. You are not eligible for a tuition refund for courses for which you are assigned an EXD notation.

Administrative Withdrawal

You may be administratively withdrawn by the dean of the Summer School in the following circumstances, which may be without warning if determined to be necessary by the School:

  1. Alleged criminal behavior:  You have been arrested on allegations of serious criminal behavior, or have been formally charged by law enforcement authorities with such behavior; or
  2. Disruption/Risk to the community:  In the school’s judgment, your prior conduct may have violated a disciplinary rule of the School, and your continued presence would pose a significant risk to the safety of any person or a serious disruption to the educational environment of the Harvard community; or
  3. Medical circumstances: (a) Your behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of any person or has seriously disrupted others in the community or environment; and (b) either your threatening, self-destructive, or disruptive behavior is determined to be the result of a medical condition, or you have refused to cooperate with efforts by Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) or other health care providers to determine the cause of the behavior.  The decision to administratively withdraw a student for health-related reasons is made in consultation with the Accessibility Services Office (ASO) or HUHS and is based on the best available objective medical evidence (which may consider information from the student’s current and/or former healthcare providers, if made available by the student), after an individualized assessment of all of the pertinent factors, such as: the nature of the student’s conduct; the nature, duration and severity of the risk; the likelihood of potential injury; and whether reasonable modifications of policies, practices or procedures will mitigate the risk.  However, reasonable modifications do not include changes that would fundamentally alter the academic program or unduly burden the School’s resources or staffing capabilities; or are noncompliant with the efforts deemed by the University Health Services to evaluate your behavior or threatening state.
  4. Immunizations: You have not provided medical documentation as proof of required immunizations.

Before administratively withdrawing a student, the dean of the Summer School ordinarily will consult with the Administrative Board or other officers of the University. With respect to students enrolled in study abroad programs, the Summer School’s judgment as to when administrative withdrawal is appropriate may take into account the remoteness of the program, any particular circumstances or risks associated with the international location in question, and the limitations on resources or staffing capabilities of the program.

If you are administratively withdrawn, you will be informed of the decision in writing, and you may request reconsideration by the dean of the Summer School, or by the Administrative Board. You will be assigned an interim or permanent grade of WA (administrative withdrawal). Administrative withdrawal is not a disciplinary action; however, an incident that gives rise to an administrative withdrawal may subsequently result in disciplinary action. Any student that has been administratively withdrawn may not register for Harvard Extension or Summer School courses, and must remain away from Harvard and its properties if so instructed by the School. Extension School degree or premedical program candidates who are administratively withdrawn will be administratively withdrawn from their programs.

Academic Integrity

Harvard Summer School expects you to understand and maintain high standards of academic integrity and to take advantage of resources to support academic integrity. Breaches of academic integrity are subject to review and disciplinary action by the Administrative Board. Examples include the following:


Plagiarism is the theft of someone else’s ideas and work. It is the incorporation of facts, ideas, or specific language that are not common knowledge, are taken from another source, and are not properly cited.

Whether you copy verbatim or simply rephrase the ideas of another without properly acknowledging the source, the theft is the same. A computer program written as part of your academic work is, like a paper, expected to be your original work and subject to the same standards of representation. In the preparation of work submitted to meet course, program, or school requirements—whether a draft or a final version of a paper, project, take-home exam, computer program, placement exams, application essay, oral presentation, or other work—you must take great care to distinguish your own ideas and language from information derived from sources. Sources include published and unpublished primary and secondary materials, the Internet, and information and opinions of other people.

You are expected to follow the standards of proper citation and to avoid plagiarism. Please consult the Harvard Guide to Using Sources, prepared by the Harvard College Writing Program, for a helpful introduction to all matters related to source use: identifying and evaluating secondary sources, incorporating them into your work, documenting them correctly, and avoiding plagiarism. We also recommend that you complete our online tutorials “Using Sources, Five Scenarios” and “Using Sources, Five Examples” before you submit any written work this summer. These tutorials take 15 minutes each to complete, and they will help you learn what you don’t know about using sources responsibly.

Writing Code.  While it may be common practice in non-academic settings to adapt code examples found online or in texts, this is not the case in academia. In particular, you should never copy code produced as coursework by other students, whether in the current term or a previous term; nor may you provide work for other students to use. Copying code from another student or any other source is a form of academic dishonesty, as is deriving a program substantially from the work of another.

Writing code is similar to academic writing in that when you use or adapt code developed by someone else as part of your assigned coursework, you must cite your source. Paraphrasing without proper citation is just as dishonest with programming as it is with prose. A program can be considered plagiarized even though no single line is identical to any line of the source.

AI Technologies.  It is important to emphasize that new machine learning and AI technologies, like ChatGPT, are emerging that might be tempting to use for writing and other assignments. We want to therefore remind all students that our academic integrity policy forbids students to represent work as their own that they did not write, code, or create. Submission of computer-generated text without attribution is also prohibited by ChatGPT’s own terms of service (“You may not … represent that output from the Services was human-generated when it is not”).

In cases of suspected plagiarism, student papers may be submitted to a private contracted service that reviews content for originality. Results from this review may be used to inform the Office of Student Policy an Governance in its inquiry. Papers submitted to this service are retained by that company and become part of their database of materials used in future searches. No personal identifying information is submitted or retained by the service.

Inappropriate Collaboration and Other Assistance

Collaboration on assignments is prohibited unless explicitly permitted by the instructor. When collaboration is permitted, students must acknowledge all collaboration and its extent in all submitted coursework. Collaboration includes the use of professional or expert editing or writing services, as well as statistical, coding, or other outside assistance. Because it is assumed that work submitted in a course is the student’s own unless otherwise permitted, students should be very clear about how they are working with others and what types of assistance, if any, they are receiving. In cases where assistance is approved, the student is expected to specify, upon submission of the assignment, the type and extent of assistance that was received and from whom. The goal of this oversight is to preserve the status of the work as the student’s own intellectual product. Students should remember that the Writing Center is available to assist them with assessing and editing their own work. This assistance has been sanctioned by Harvard Summer School.


You may not copy another student’s assignment, computer program or parts of a program, or exam. To avoid any suggestions of improper behavior during an exam, you should not communicate with other students during the exam. Neither should you refer to any books, papers, or use electronic devices during the exam without the permission of the instructor or proctor. All electronic devices must be turned off during an exam.

Duplicate Assignments

You are expected to submit work that is done solely for each course in which you enroll. Prior written permission of all instructors is required if you wish to submit the same or similar work in more than one course.

Students who repeat a course must have the instructor’s approval to reuse or resubmit work that they previously submitted for the same course.

Publishing or Distributing Course Materials

Students may not post, publish, sell, or otherwise publicly distribute course materials without the written permission of the course instructor. Such materials include, but are not limited to, the following: lecture notes, lecture slides, video or audio recordings, assignments, problem sets, examinations, other students’ work, and answer keys. Students who sell, post, publish, or distribute course materials without written permission, whether for the purposes of soliciting answers or otherwise, may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including requirement to withdraw from the Summer School.

Further, students may not make video or audio recordings of class sessions for their own use without written permission of the instructor.

Research, Fabrication, and Falsification

Students are expected to be honest and accurate in all work submitted, whether it involves scientific research or writing articles in journalism courses, or any other course. Fabrication is the intentional act of making up data, results, or quotes, and includes falsely citing sources or citing sources never utilized. Falsification is the manipulation of research including the distortion or omission of important data or results. Like plagiarism, fabrication and falsification are serious violations of academic integrity that are subject to review by the Administrative Board for disciplinary action.

The University deeply values the integrity of science with sound and safe research practices by students and faculty. Individually and collectively, student and faculty researchers are expected to safeguard and maintain the University’s policies and practices with respect to scientific misconduct. All researchers are reminded that sponsoring agencies also have such concerns, and that the University must inform the sponsors of any serious transgressions of their policies, as well as of any investigations related to sponsored research. Sponsors may take action independent of the University.

Computer and Network Use

Information stored on a computer system or sent electronically over a network is the private property of the individual who created it. Examination, collection, or dissemination of that information without authorization from the owner is a violation of the owner’s right to control his or her property. Computers and networks provide mechanisms for protecting private information; attempts to circumvent these mechanisms to gain unauthorized access to private information are treated as violations of privacy.

You are eligible for Harvard computer accounts for primarily educational use. When you use University computer facilities and the campus-wide communication network, you assume responsibility for their appropriate use. Computer accounts are considered to have tangible value. Attempts to circumvent the accounting system, to use the accounts of others without authorization, or to use accounts for anything other than their intended purposes are all forms of attempted theft. You should not disclose account passwords or otherwise make the account available to others. Use of Harvard’s computers and networks for commercial purposes without authorization is prohibited.

Do not interfere with the functioning of a computer, or disrupt or distract others using a computer. Use of an email system to send fraudulent, annoying, or obscene messages is prohibited. Similarly, messages must not misrepresent the identity of the sender, be sent as chain letters, or broadcast indiscriminately to large numbers of people.

Harvard Summer School expects you to abide by Harvard University’s rules and responsibilities for the appropriate use of computers and networks. These rules and responsibilities may be viewed online on the Harvard University Information Technology website.

Certain computer misconduct is prohibited under Massachusetts law and is, therefore, subject to criminal penalties. Such misconduct includes knowingly gaining unauthorized access to a computer system or database, falsely obtaining electronic services or data without payment of required charges, and destroying electronically processed, stored, or in-transit data.

Library Use

You may make use of most campus facilities and electronic resources that are part of the Harvard libraries. To preserve the collections and to ensure ongoing access to them, you should respect the rules and regulations for use of library materials and property and assist in the protection of library materials. You have a responsibility to safeguard the integrity of library resources; respect the restrictions on access to and the use of those resources; report the theft, destruction, or misuse of library resources by others; respect the rights of others to the quiet use of the library; and respect the authority of the librarians and staff.

The following is prohibited: the use of licensed materials for commercial purposes, including the sale of licensed materials; printing or downloading significant portions of licensed online resources; permitting anyone other than authorized users to use the licensed materials; modifying or creating derivative work of the licensed materials without permission of the licensor; removing, obscuring, or modifying any copyright or other notices included in the licensed materials; unauthorized removal of materials or property from the library; destruction, defacement, or abuse of library materials or property; and use of library privileges for reasons other than academic pursuits. Users are individually responsible for compliance with these terms.

Students, staff, faculty members, researchers, visitors, and other users who fail to comply with library rules and regulations are subject to revocation of library privileges, disciplinary action, and legal prosecution. You are subject to the fines and penalties of the University, as well as the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts governing crimes against property.

Using The Harvard Name

Harvard University has numerous logos and shields (insignias) and school names. Summer School students are not permitted to use the Harvard University or Harvard Summer School insignias on letterhead, business cards, electronic signatures, websites, blogs, and other forms of communication, except under the circumstances detailed below. Violation of these policies may result in disciplinary action.

Allowable use of the school name or insignia:

  • Student groups that have received explicit approval from the Office of Student Affairs may use the Harvard University or Harvard Summer School name and insignia in notices of meetings and written materials.
  • Any regular publication sponsored by a group that uses “Harvard” in its title needs permission from the Office of Student Affairs.
  • Explicit permission of the Office of Student Affairs is needed before a group can give permission to a third party to use the “Harvard” name or to imply connection with the Summer School or the University.
  • In all instances, the proper version of the logo and shield must be obtained from the Office of Strategic Growth Initiatives.

This policy is in accordance with the Harvard Trademark Program administered by the Office of the Provost.

Filing an Appeal

The Financial and Registration Committee reviews appeals from students who are seeking exceptions to registration and financial policies.

Students may file appeals if there are documented and compelling reasons for requesting an exception and they have no other administrative options available (for example, course withdrawal or extension of time).

Research Requests

Research projects in which students and staff are invited to participate as subjects, whether for survey or scholarly research, must be approved in advance by Academic Services and in some cases, the Committee on the Use of Human Subjects in Research

The Summer School ensures that students and staff are not subject to research procedures that are inappropriate, require excessive time commitments, interfere with the educational process, or violate Summer School and University policies. Students should contact Academic Services (617) 495-0977 no later than two months before they begin their research for more information.

Administrative Board

The Summer School Administrative Board reviews cases involving students who are alleged to have violated Summer School policies. Cases may include breaches of academic integrity, misuse of computer facilities, submission of fraudulent information, and poor or inappropriate conduct, as well as cases of students who are inadequately prepared for their courses, neglect coursework, or behave irresponsibly and recklessly while enrolled in the Summer School, including online courses, and on University property. The Administrative Board may, after considering the seriousness of a case, take any action it deems appropriate.

The range of sanctions includes formal admonishment; probation; the revocation of a student’s right of access to University facilities or buildings, including on-campus housing; suspension of a student’s registration privileges for a specific or indefinite period; and mandatory withdrawal from a course or courses, or the Summer School. The decision of the Administrative Board will supersede any registration changes a student with pending disciplinary or administrative proceedings may make, including a course withdrawal. Academic transcripts include notations of disciplinary sanctions.

Students who are required to withdraw from courses are not issued tuition refunds. The cases of students who are formally sanctioned by the Administrative Board may be referred to the Extension School Administrative Board for further review and action; similarly, cases reviewed by the Extension School Administrative Board may be referred to the Summer School Administrative Board.