Harvard Summer School offers courses that count for Harvard College degree credit within the 7-week session, from June 24 to August 9, 2024. Students should choose the option “Harvard College” in the Summer School course catalog to find courses that count for Harvard College credit.
Courses that count for Harvard College degree credit have been reviewed and approved by the corresponding department or concentration in FAS or SEAS, and they also meet the College’s policies around asynchronous course content. Approved courses can be offered in either on- campus or remote formats, with the following stipulations:
- Approved asynchronous courses must have 3-4 hours of required live interaction per week either among students or between students and course staff.
- Harvard College students in courses where there is an option to attend synchronously or asynchronously (formats identified in the course search as “Online (live or on demand) web conference” and “On Campus or Online”) must attend live, if they want to earn credit towards their undergraduate degree. Students need to certify their attendance method through a form that will be sent to them by email. See more information under “Special Course Types” below.
- College credit may not be granted for more than 8 credits (generally two courses) taught in remote formats.
- No more than one course taught through remote formats may be used to fulfill a General Education requirement.
You may take Summer School courses for credit toward your Harvard College degree in accordance with the following guidelines and the regulations in the Harvard College Handbook for Students. Please also see the Harvard College Student Overview page for additional information on Summer 2024.
General Guidelines For Degree Credit
Make sure to select “Harvard College” in the course search to see what courses are eligible for degree credit. Courses offered in the three-week format may not be taken for Harvard College credit. Courses in professional fields, such as Management and Museum Studies, as well as expository writing (EXPO) courses and proseminars may not be taken for Harvard College credit. Also see “Special Course Types” and “Special Instructions and Exceptions by Department” below.
Harvard College students may not count a Summer School course that duplicates a previously taken academic-year course. Occasionally, two courses with different numbers will present material that overlaps in content to a significant degree. Students should consult their department tutorial office or Director of Undergraduate Studies about summer and academic-year course equivalencies, as well as the availability of particular courses for concentration credit.
Special Course Types
“Online (live or on demand) web conference” Courses
“Online (live or on demand) web conference” courses meet via web conference, and students can attend either live at the scheduled meeting time or watch recorded sessions and participate after the fact. Harvard College students enrolled in an “Online (live or on demand) web conference” course must attend live if they want to receive credit towards their undergraduate degree. Harvard College students will be sent an electronic form, which they need to complete by the first Friday of the summer term, asking them to certify their attendance method. The responses will be sent to the FAS Registrar as well as the course instructor.
“On Campus or Online” Courses
“On Campus or Online” courses meet in an on-campus classroom, but there is also the possibility to attend remotely, either live or “on demand,” meaning that students may watch recordings of the class and participate after the fact. Harvard College students enrolled in an “On-Campus or Online” course must attend live, either in the on-campus classroom or via web conference if they want to receive credit towards their undergraduate degree. Harvard College students will be sent an electronic form, which they need to complete by the first Friday of the summer term, asking them to certify their attendance method. The responses will be sent to the FAS Registrar as well as the course instructor.
Reading and Research Courses
In accordance with policies and requirements in your department, you may enroll in up to 8 credits of reading and research or tutorial during the Summer School session. Reading and research courses are available only for Harvard College students and only in departments that regularly offer the courses during the year.
To register for a reading and research course, obtain written approval from your Allston Burr resident dean and the head tutor or director of undergraduate studies in your department on a Summer School supervised reading and research course application form. Submit that form along with Summer School registration form and tuition (per 4 credits) to the Summer School Registrar’s Office no later than the registration deadline.
Unlike Harvard freshman seminars, summer seminars are taken for a letter grade, and some may have a final exam in lieu of a paper or project. Summer seminars provide one semester-long (4 credit) course of Harvard College degree credit.
You may submit a pass/fail request form to request approval for a course to be completed as pass/fail (PA/FL) instead of letter graded. Exceptions to pass/fail exist in expository and creative writing, education, and management courses. PA covers the range of letter grades from A to D–. To submit the pass/fail request:
- Harvard College on campus students must submit the form, including faculty signature no later than July 7th, 2023.
- Study Abroad Harvard College students must submit the form before the 7th calendar day of their respective program.
The completed form should be submitted directly to Academic Services (AcademicServices@Extension.Harvard.edu). Reviewing and approval of pass/fail requests will be reviewed after the initial drop date in the respective summer or study abroad session and continue on a regular basis through the submission deadline. Students and faculty will receive confirmation via email once the form is received and processed.
If you wish to request the pass/fail option, first consult the Harvard College Handbook for Students for information on the number of pass/fail courses that can be counted toward your degree. Once the request has been submitted and updates made to your course, you will not be able to revert to a letter grade option.
CSCI S-50 Grading Basis
Degree-seeking Harvard College students that register for CSCI S-50 in the summer will have the grading basis default to Sat/Unsat. The grade of Satisfactory includes letter grades from A to C-; the grade of Unsatisfactory represents work below C- and is considered a failing grade. Students enrolled in a course with a grade basis of Sat/Unsat will not receive a letter grade in the course.
Harvard College students can petition to change the grading basis for this course from Sat/Unsat to Letter graded. Requests to be graded on a Letter basis must be submitted by Friday, July 7, 2023; requests to change grading basis after that date will not be accepted. The Change of Grading Basis form can be submitted directly to Academic Services (AcademicServices@Extension.Harvard.edu). Students will receive confirmation via email once the form is processed. Students that wish to request letter grade basis for CSCI S-50 should first consult the Harvard College Handbook for Students or speak with their Resident Dean.
Returning from a Leave of Absence or Withdrawal
If you are returning after a leave of absence or withdrawal from Harvard College, you must work with your Resident Dean to inform the FAS Registrar’s Office that you are registered for Harvard Summer School courses.
Completing Degree Requirements
Please review the Special Instructions and Exceptions by Department or consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in your Concentration. For the General Education requirement, you can find an approved list of Summer School and Summer Study Abroad courses on the Program in General Education Website. It is important you consult with these offices before registering to ensure you select courses that meet your final degree requirements.
For the Divisional Distribution requirement, you can find a list of approved Summer School and Summer Study Abroad courses on the Office of Undergraduate Education website. For the Quantitative Reasoning with Data (QRD) requirement, you can find a list of approved Summer School courses on the QRD website.
Newly Admitted Freshmen
If you are admitted as a Harvard College freshman and will matriculate for the upcoming fall term, you must apply to take Summer School courses through the Secondary School Program. You may apply Summer School credit toward your degree if you obtain prior approval from your resident dean of first-year students.
New Transfer Students
If you are a new College transfer student for the upcoming fall term, you may register online through the Summer School website. You may apply Summer School credit toward your degree provided you obtain prior approval from the transfer program coordinator.
Exceptions to Maximum Enrollment
To enroll for greater than the maximum credit enrollment in any session, you must obtain approval from your Allston Burr resident dean or resident dean of first-year students. Submit a completed Maximum Enrollment Petition Form to the Summer School Registrar’s Office as soon as possible after registering, and no later than May 13, 2024.
Grades and Academic Credit
Grades for your Summer School general program courses are available via your MyDCE account. after classes end. See the calendar for specific grade posting dates. Study abroad course grades are generally available approximately one to two weeks after the program ends.
Your Summer School courses and grades are also submitted to the FAS Registrar’s Office. They are entered on your Harvard College academic record if at least one course counts toward your College degree.
Special Instructions and Exceptions By Department
If a department has provided special instructions about concentration requirements, they are listed here. The Summer School strongly recommends that students consult their Director of Undergraduate Studies with any questions about concentration credit.
Harvard College biology concentrators must petition their concentration undergraduate office before registering for Summer School courses to determine which Summer School biological sciences courses are appropriate for their plan of study.
CHEM S-1AB satisfies a year of general chemistry, either for a Chemistry concentration or a premedical program. Likewise, CHEM S-20AB satisfies a year of organic chemistry, either for a Chemistry concentration or a premedical program. Chemistry S-17 satisfies one semester of organic chemistry for the Chemistry concentration. CHEM S-A and CHEM S-B do not count for Chemistry concentration credit but may be taken for Harvard College degree credit when offered on campus.
Comparative Literature concentrators must consult their faculty advisor before enrolling in a Summer School course to determine if credit can be applied to their concentration.
If these courses are offered on campus, Computer Science concentrators may count CSCI S-20, CSCI S-50, and CSCI S-109A for 4 concentration credits each. CSCI S-111 counts as 8 degree credits but only 4 concentration credits (equivalent to Computer Science 50).
Earth and Planetary Sciences
EPS concentrators should email DUS@EPS.Harvard.edu with any questions about whether Summer School courses can count for concentration credit.
Ordinarily, Students can count only one course not offered during the regular academic calendar year toward their Economics concentration or secondary field requirements. This includes approved Harvard Summer School Economics courses, approved study abroad Economics courses, and approved cross-registered Economics courses at MIT. Please see the Department of Economics summer webpage for information about exceptions made due to COVID.
Harvard students who have completed Econ. 10 and meet individual course prerequisites listed below need not take the proficiency exam to enroll in the following Summer School courses:
|Summer School Course||Equivalent Harvard College Prerequisites|
|ECON S-1010||Mathematics 1a|
|ECON S-1012||Mathematics 1a|
|ECON S-1123||Statistics 100|
A student’s grade in a Harvard Summer School Economics course is not included in their Economics concentration GPA. For more details on all of these points, consult the Department of Economics summer webpage, or contact the Economics Undergraduate Program Coordinator at 617-495-3247 or EconUPC@FAS.Harvard.edu.
Engineering sciences concentrators must consult their Director of Undergraduate Studies regarding concentration credit for Summer School courses. When offered on campus ENSC S-106 counts for credit towards a Harvard College degree but does not count for concentration credit.
When offered on campus, ENVR S-100 counts as credit towards a Harvard College degree, but will not, in most cases, count for concentration credit in the Environmental Science and Public Policy concentration. Prior to registering for courses, Harvard College students must consult with the head tutor in the Environmental Science and Public Policy concentration to determine if a course is eligible for concentration credit.
If GERM S-R is offered on campus there therefore eligible for Harvard College credit, German concentrators must have the permission of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures to enroll in GERM S-R.
Please consult the Government Department’s undergraduate website for current policies about counting HSS courses for Government concentration or secondary-field credit.
History concentrators may count only one degree-credit-eligible Summer School course toward the concentration. Concentrators should speak to their Director of Undergraduate Studies about any questions concerning concentration credit.
When offered on campus, PHYS S-1A and S-1B count for Harvard College degree credit and fulfill the requirements for medical school. They do not count toward the Physics concentration. They may meet physics requirements in other concentrations; please consult with individual departments for more information.
Only some Summer School Psychology courses count toward the concentration or secondary field. Please email Psychology@WJH.Harvard.edu for further information.
SPAN S-27 does not count toward a language citation.
Theater, Dance & Media
Theater, Dance & Media concentrators must consult their Director of Undergraduate Studies before taking any Summer School drama (DRAM) courses for concentration or secondary field credit.