Skip to content

As a college or adult student, you can find a variety of course options at Harvard Summer School. Join us for three weeks or seven. Choose an online course and participate from anywhere in the world.


Please note, for any course type, there may be separate labs or section and review meetings. The days and times of those are either listed in the descriptions, on the website, on the syllabus, or announced by the teaching staff once class begins.

Online (Live) Web-Conference Courses

These online web-conference courses meet according to the schedule listed on the course description, and you are required to be present online, live, at the meeting time. Please see the Web Conference Technology Guidelines below for more information.

Online (Live or on Demand) Web Conference Courses

These online web-conference courses meet at a scheduled time, and you participate in class live at that time or watch recorded sessions on demand, while keeping up with posted deadlines for assignments and exams. Recorded sessions are posted to the course website within 24 hours of the class meeting.

Please see the Web Conference Technology Guidelines and Course Video Technology Guidelines below for more information.

Online with Required Weekend Meeting

In these courses, you participate live in the regularly scheduled web-conference meetings online, and participate in an intensive weekend class. Information about the format of the meetings and the dates of the intensive weekend meeting are outlined in the course description.

Online

These courses meet only online. No specific meeting schedule is listed but you need to keep up with posted deadlines for assignments and exams. See course syllabi and websites for specific course information and expectations.

See the technical requirements for video courses below.

Summer Seminar

Enrolling a maximum of 15 students and available for undergraduate credit only, Summer Seminars are offered over a range of subject areas. Each seminar emphasizes small-group instruction, 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. Summer Seminars provide ample opportunity for students to shape their own courses of study and to learn by teaching others.

On-Campus

These courses meet on the Harvard campus. The day and time of the class meetings are listed in the course description.

On Campus or Online

Students in “on-campus or online courses” have three options for attendance: you can attend in person; participate live online in real time; or watch the recordings of the class meetings and participate on demand, keeping up with posted deadlines for assignments and exams. Class recordings will be posted within 24 hours of the class meeting. You can choose how you’d like to attend on a day-to-day basis.

Live online participation comes in two forms. In many courses, you attend via web conference, which is broadcast on large monitors in the classroom so you can interact with the class as if you were there. In others, the class meetings are live streamed and you can communicate via text-based chat. Check the course description for specific information about live participation for each course.

In a few courses, you are required to attend live at the time the course meets. This is explicitly noted in the course description and syllabus.

Please see the Course Video Technology Guidelines and Web Conference Technology Guidelines  below for more information about live online participation in courses.

Searching For Courses by Preferred Format

Use the course search to find courses by your preferences. 

Course Video Technology Guidelines

Accessing Course Video

Course videos are available to registered students on the Course Videos page of their course website. Videos are posted within 24 hours after the end of a live class meeting. The video player provides many helpful options to students including: transcripts and captions, multiple playback speeds, and configurable viewing windows for the classroom and the presentation materials. Details on the features of the player and how to use them are available on the Media Player Help Page.

Course Demos

The following sample lectures will give you a sense of the online course experience:

Technical Requirements and Log-In Instructions

1. Verify Minimum Computer Specifications

Windows
  • 2GHz or faster processor, 8GB or more of RAM
  • Please maintain an up to date operating system and web browser.
Macintosh
  • 2GHz or faster processor, 8GB or more of RAM
  • Please maintain an up to date operating system and web browser.
We do not support
  • Taking courses or viewing videos on mobile devices
  • Linux/Chromebook
  • Beta versions of any software
  • Operating systems discontinued by manufacturers

2. Check Connection Speed

You need a minimum Internet speed of 5 Mbps. The recommended speed is 20 Mbps. Check your Internet speed at http://www.speedof.me

3. 2-Step Authentication

Harvard’s two-step authentication will require periodic use of either a smartphone, app, or phone-based verification.

4. Watch Lecture Videos

Once you have registered and classes begin, be sure to:

  • Visit your course website (linked in the course description). You may want to bookmark the website for future reference.
  • Choose “Class Meetings” from the menu on the course website.
  • Select the video you would like to watch.
  • Log in to watch the video using your HarvardKey (note: videos cannot be downloaded).

Videos are available within 24 hours after the course meets on campus and remain online for the duration of the semester.

Still Need Help?

After completing the steps above, if you still have problems either in configuring your computer or when you try to attend class call:

Online support help desk (technical questions and computer/software troubleshooting)

Enrollment Services (registration, access, and general questions)

Online technology status page
http://status.dce.harvard.edu

Click “Report a Problem” link from within course video to send an incident report to Online Support. Response within 10 minutes to 24 hours.

Web-Conference Technology Guidelines

Prepare to Use the Software

Courses that use web conferencing for class meetings and section meetings use Zoom.

If this is your first course using Zoom you must complete a training before the first class session. Please go to the web conference information page to find upcoming live training dates and times. Alternatively, watch our training video.

The meeting link for your class or section meeting is available on the course website. If this is your first time using Zoom, the program will automatically download when you join your first meeting.

Participation Requirements

1. Computer minimum specifications:

Windows
  • 2GHz or faster processor, 8GB RAM
  • Please install the most recent operating system and web browser.
Macintosh
  • 2GHz or faster processor, 8GB RAM
  •  Please install the most recent operating system and web browser.
We do not support
  • Taking courses or viewing videos on mobile devices
  • Linux/Chromebook
  • Beta versions of any software

2. Internet Speeds

Download/upload: minimum 4 Mbps, wired connection recommended. (Course staff minimum is 5 Mbps.)

Can check at https://speedof.me/

3. Video

Students are required to use a webcam during class.

4. Audio

Be prepared to use a microphone during class. Do not use the microphone that is built into your computer. We recommend a Logitech H390 headset, but any headset should be adequate. Avoid wireless headphones if possible.

5. Student Conduct

Students are expected to join from a suitable, quiet location with a computer that permits full participation in the class activities. Please review the full Participation and Attendance requirements. If you do not adhere to all participation requirements you may be removed from your class meeting.

Still Need Help?

Online Support (Technical Questions and Computer/Software Troubleshooting)

Enrollment Services (Registration, Access, and General Questions)

Online Technology Status Page

http://status.dce.harvard.edu