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Explore Courses

for Adult & Visiting College Students

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Harvard Summer School offers hundreds of courses — all you have to do is register. Whether you want fill a skills gap, explore a new subject, or take a course you need with a renowned Harvard faculty member, we have nearly 1,000 courses to help you reach your goals. 

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View steps to register for Harvard Summer School courses, as well as requirements and deadlines.

Explore Career Paths

Harvard Summer School offers two types of courses where you can study a subject of interest while gaining insight from industry professionals on what a career might be like: For-credit undergraduate courses that integrate career exploration into a regular, credit-bearing course, and non-credit courses that introduce students to the landscape of different jobs in a particular field in a less time-intensive format.

Career Pathways

Career Pathway courses are small, for-credit classes designed to help you get a fresh perspective on a field you may want to pursue. In each course, you will explore an academic topic in depth while working on projects that are mirrored in the real world. 

Components include:

  • In-class guests who will advise students and provide insights on their own career paths
  • Self-reflection exercises on skills, interests, and future goals they’ve identified

At the end of a course, students will come away energized about potential career paths, and will have built valuable team-building and leadership skills.

Career Pathways Courses:

Careers in Engineering and Careers in Public Health (Non-Credit)

Careers in Engineering and Careers in Public Health are non-credit courses aimed at helping college students determine a career path, whether it’s committing to a major with a clearer vision of what to do with it, or finding inspiration or guidance in what to do with an already declared major.

Components include:

In-class guests who will advise students and provide insights on their own career paths, resume and interview guidance from Harvard career services, readings and assignments to learn about subfields and determine personal career interests.

Non-credit Careers Courses

Summer Seminars at Harvard Summer School

Summer Seminars at Harvard Summer School give undergraduate students and advanced high school students unique opportunities and personal faculty instruction that’s hard to find on a large campus.

Inspired by Harvard’s renowned freshman seminars that get students acclimated and engaged in campus life, seven-week Summer Seminars give both Harvard and visiting students the unique chance to study with us in a small-group format.

The benefits you’ll enjoy during Summer Seminars include:

Small Class Sizes

Summer Seminars are limited to 15 students each to keep class sizes small and maximize your learning experience. This small class size promotes open and dynamic discussion, peer study groups, in-class presentations, and equal opportunity participation in the classroom.

Close Faculty Interaction

Each Summer Seminar is taught by a Harvard affiliate and offers excellent opportunities for personal guidance and advising. Throughout the seminar, students can consult with and learn from Harvard instructors in a small-group or one-to-one format that lets them dig deep into a subject and build valuable expertise.

Independent Research Opportunities

Learn the researching and writing skills that will let you rise to the top of your undergraduate class or prepare you for graduate school. Your Summer Seminar instructor will give you the frameworks and advice needed to complete a final research project in your area of study.

Summer Seminars are available for undergraduate credits only.

Summer 2023 Seminars

Advice to Young Leaders

Read some of the most influential texts in the western tradition, explicitly written for young people planning to enter public service or take up other positions of leadership. Examine these traditions of advice with an eye to the past, the present, and the future: that is, in their own terms and for what they say to you today about our responsibilities as citizens and as leaders.

Big Ideas, Great Thinkers

Read some of the most influential thinkers across the world and from a variety of philosophical and literary traditions. Consider these writers’ approach to fundamental questions such as: how should we organize our social, economic, cultural, and political life? What is the place of humans in the grand, cosmological scheme of things? And how should one live one’s life?

Human Evolution

Apply scientific methods to the questions of who humans are, where we came from, and why we do the things we do. Use archaeological, primatological, physiological, fossil, technological, genetic, and ethnographic evidence in service to understanding the human story in deep time, tracking our evolution from seven million years ago until the end of the last ice age.

Politics and Governance in the Global South

Examine the political and governance challenges that countries in the Global South face and explore the best prospects for addressing them. Using both theory and case studies from Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia, you’ll delve deeply into topics such as the impact of international development aid, civil society and activism, and gender, diversity and inequality.

The Psychology of Cults

Explore the psychological mechanisms that enable cults to form and to take human behavior to extremes. You will examine case studies of different cults (such as Reverend Moon of the Unification Church and David Koresh of the Branch Davidians) to discover how psychological research can shed light on cult behavior, and how cult behavior can shed light on our everyday psychology.